The New York Connection

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tone Deaf Much, Schumer?

From, on Schumer meeting (or rather, NOT meeting) with Cindy Sheehan.

UPDATE: According to my sources, the meeting with Schumer did not go well, to begin with, because he refused to meet with her, and instead sent an aide. She asked the aide if Senator Schumer would help in the effort to bring this war to an end, and the aide replied that: "Senator Schumer thinks this war is good for America." According to the source, Sheehan walked out, remarking "Wel, I guess this means Schumer thinks my son's death was good for America." Or words to that effect.

But guess who he does listen to?

Yesterday Charles Schumer and Dick Durbin attended a fundraiser for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. Schumer seemed to be in command...

[Schumer] indicated that conservative Senators including Coburn believe Roberts will uphold Roe v. Wade. He seemed inclined to vote for Roberts and to present an image of "reasonableness" though he said he is still undecided. The momentum seemed to be in favor keeping the powder dry for the "O'Connor" replacement. Schumer polled the room and the overwhelming majority supported voting for Roberts as a way of keeping our powder dry.

Gosh. But surely he must not be suggesting we follow the disastrous strategy of 2002 and 2004, ignoring the war in Iraq in favor of health care and education, right?

Schumer said that early next year the Dems will put out an agenda returning the focus to Bread and Butter issues... Education and Healthcare seem to be paramount.

Yay! A troika of dumbosity!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Republicans Are for Opposing - No, Really

Bloomie's bedfellows
A month ago, The Times ran an article about Hillary Clinton strategist Howard Wolfson’s radical call to arms entitled "One Democrat Draws a Line: Republicans Are for Opposing."

Well, duh. Right? No. Sadly, the lesson needs to be reiterated in New York City where many New Yorkers who would like to consider themselves Democrats nevertheless support Mike Bloomberg for Mayor.

First it should be stated that if Wolfson means what he said, he should get his boss Senator Clinton to endorse Freddy Ferrer… or, better, have President Clinton go shaking hands in Harlem with Ferrer. Why? Because while I may not be a Ferrer supporter, I am a good Democrat. Are the Clintons good Democrats? Shelve that discussion for later.

Look, primaries are rough, but New York primaries contain the especially pernicious possibility of a run-off – a dream come true for any incumbent. It’s like getting the two wounded dolts who just barely survive a circular firing squad to face each other and joust to the death.

And then the winner of that matchup gets to take on a bottomless campaign war-chest.

Lately in New York elections, run-offs have been all too common. In a city with many ambitious politicians, vacancies for elected office have always brought out more than enough candidates. Racial, ethnic and religious tensions have been inflamed in many of the contests. In short, they’re a mess.

I don't like him, but I believe Ferrer has the best chance to beat Bloomberg because Bloomberg will be beaten by someone who can draw out Mayor Mike’s major weakness: that he’s out of touch with outer-Borough New York life. To those who have tried to explain the sanctity of voting one’s conscience, I say: There’s no god, fight Republicans.

Party discipline is paramount when your party is out of power. When affiliated voters vote, they are participating in the election with a partisanship above that of independent voters. You enter an election as a member of a party to win the election.

Is that Howard Wolfson and me pushing the envelope or is it common sense?

And for those of us who would like to take back the reins of the party and rebuild a new model of political participation, Wolfson says it well:

"Democratic donors at all levels, I think, understand the importance of party and institution building, and I know that we need to do a better job in these areas to compete with Republicans.

But I would hope that our friends understand that this applies here in New York City as much as it does anywhere else in the country."

Do our friends understand?