After Carl Paladino bested Rick Lazio in the GOP primary, it was widely assumed that Paladino would get stomped by Andrew Cuomo, who is running for the party whose mascot is a Jackass. Not so fast. Paladino is closing the gap, and moderates, the establishment in the middle, is getting nervous.
Paladino, a very wealthy real estate investor, has no experience in government, although it seems that he was miffed about not getting the opportunity to organize the Obama Inaugural. Paladino's playbook so far includes racial gaffes and sexually offensive emails. Rick Lazio is a tomato can. The GOP tosses him in the ring to make the fight. He's a good soldier. But to borrow the definition of nebbish, when Lazio walks into a room it's like somebody just left.
So, what does Paladino stand for?
He's an upstate guy, who says Buffalo is a lot like Staten Island and Queens, because you can actually drive there, as opposed to New York. Has he ever been on the Staten Island Expressway or the LIE?
He thinks Gov. Paterson is a pathetic wimp. Check.
Former Gov. Pataki is a degenerate idiot. Check check.
And Manattan: Home to smug, self-important, pampered liberal elitists. Check, check, check.
Before you allow Carl Paladino to nestle to your bosom, consider the following:
Illegal Immigrants: Send state police to the Big Apple and "every other sanctuary city in the state to pick up illegals and turn them over to the feds." You might even think that's ok. So how's he going to do it without state employees?
The Economy: "We talked about $15 billion in increased taxes and fees over the last two years, and [the state] couldn't find it in their graciousness to lay off one state employee. The people just said, 'Wow!' "
There is anger, my friend, righteous anger in the land. Many usually complacent people are in high dudgeon.
The country is overtaxed, underemployed, and people are angry, desperate, and looking for a dog to kick. But laying off state workers, per se, is not a good policy. Making them more efficient is another matter. With unemployment steadying at 91/2%, government layoffs is not only bad economics. It's bad politics. Sounds good in campaign rhetoric, like fixing the street lights, but really what will he do?
Those state-operated vigilantes hunting down foreigners? Who's going to pay for them? That is not a revenue producing operation. If the state were his business, he might think about that. But really it's rhetroic, designed to raise the dander of the almost-disenfranchised.
Andrew Cuomo, currently New York Attorney General. Why am I thinking about Mark Stein and Mark Greene, and any number of perennial candidates in New York politics who have no currency other than name recognition? That might be unfair to Cuomo, but I can't think of a good reason to vote for him, other than that he's not the other guy.
I give the Tea Party credit for appearing to attack the hegemony of the two-party system. In the end, they may be coopted by the GOP, leaving us where we began. For the moment, I am experiencing a nihilistic ecstacy in imagining that hope may only result from dissolution and chaos.