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Dems in power: A case study

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday June 28, 2006 06:49 PM

Doug Henwood writes, on lbo-talk:
Someone who knows told me this story the other day...

The New York State Assembly has long been controlled by Democrats,   and the Senate by Republicans. A few years ago, a pretty good   "progressive" Dem Senator, Eric Schneiderman, was running the Senate   campaign, and wanted to take control of the house. The Dem leadership   didn't like his aggressiveness, and essentially deposed him. So now,   with the Dems almost certain to win the governorship, in the person   of Elliot Spitzer, taking control of the Senate would mean total   party control of the state government. But Spitzer doesn't want the   party to take the Senate, and they're making no special effort to do   so. Why? Apparently Spitzer is afraid that a Dem-controlled   legislature would overspend, and reduce the governor's power. [Ex-Governor Mario] Cuomo,   that great liberal icon, felt the same way.

What a party, eh?

It's probably safe to say that New York, as Blue a state as ever watched its industrial base rust, shows fairly clearly how the Democratic Party operates when it gains any considerable degree of power. So all you munchkins out there hoping for great things after Rahm reclaims the House this November -- well, as Fafner says, Acht' auf mich -- be warned by our experience.

Comments (6)

Let's not leave out my very blue state of New Jersey.

Democrats tend to win more often than not. But there's absolutely no opportunity for grassroots organizing since the Democratic machines control everything from the top down.

Ever here of John Lynch and the Lynch machine of New Brunswick? No? Consider yourself lucky.

At least I still get to write my local politicians and Robert Mendendez just got a letter from me on the flag burning amendment that's going to have his ears ringing for the next 5 years (OK. It's going to have one of his flunkies ears ringing).

BTW, has anybody been looking at the progressive dem collective orgasm over Jim Webb's press release to George Allen. Allen is scum but barf, Webb is just dick swinging and the entire left blogosphere thinks he's the second coming of Christ.

John Halle:

A similar pas de deux to what Henwood is describing goes for Connecticut. It's an open secret that the national Dems (via Lieberman and Dodd) have negotiated a deal whereby the Senate is effectively not contested by the Repugs (e.g. Lieberman's last challenger is now serving a thirty year sentence for raping two children) in exchange for allowing the Repugs to keep a lock on the Governor's office.

This arrangement has a variety of benefits for both sides, most notably the Dems in the State Assembly can posture all they want behind this or that progressive program safe in the assurance that the Repug governor will axe it with a veto when the rubber hits the road. No doubt they reassure their big contributors with a more or less explicit acknowledgement of this arrangment.

Someone with a sufficiently strong stomach should make a study of these kind of quid pro quos.

I'm sure the Nation would be happy to publish it.

Great site by the way.

js paine:

and might i add
mass -a -whats -its too

orthrian symbiosis
a fearful asymetry

I would have stayed in Jersey for sure if I'd known we had our own machine. Somebody should've told me sooner. Ever since I mouthed off in public about how much I hate Springsteen, they won't even let me back in to visit my widowed mother...

I wouldn't count on The Nation doing anything to jeopardize their comfy/cozy relationship with the DNC. But LiP probably would.


Hey there,

The upstate NY blogosphere discusses this incessantly - the "gentleman's agreement" between the Dems and the GOP about the division of the Legislature. Stop on over if you're interested.


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