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With friends like these....

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday September 28, 2010 09:08 PM

So we have our own Blue Dog Democrat running for governor here in New York -- Andrew Cuomo. He's running on a tripod platform -- handouts to corporations, union-bashing, and tax cuts. Oh and charter schools, though that turns it into a tetrapod.

It would be rather difficult to find, in this whole broad land, a more openly and frankly corporate-owned Democratic politician; and certainly in this bluest of blue states he has no precedent.

Yet of course that sad abject body, the Working Families Party, though it is the electoral arm of our public-sector unions, has endorsed this creep. He's a Democrat, you see, and the Republican is admittedly a loon.

The good news is that Howie Hawkins is running against Cuomo on the Green Party ticket, and that lively and likable character Charles Barron, the former Black Panther and current city councilman, is also mounting a challenge on his own new Freedom Party line. (I understand he got 45,000 signatures to put him on the ballot; he needed 15,000.)

Turnout will no doubt be quite low. Black folks, in particular, have no dog in this fight, and neither do union members, and neither do young people -- unless they're disturbed by the manifest lunacy of the Republican. (It's so hard to realize that sane people can be much more dangerous than crazy people.)

But we're screwed, no matter whether the loon or the supremely rational corporate hit man gets elected. So really, why not have some fun? Vote for Howie or Charlie. I'll probably vote for Charlie myself, though I have nothing against Howie; I'll just get such a kick out of being a white former Southerner supporting a black former Panther.

Who knows? It could be such a dismal dispirited contest that the Howie voters and the Charlie voters, between them, deprive the Crown Prince of his throne. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Comments (24)


Sorry not to respond directly to this thread, but your post reminded me of something:

I'm moving to NY in a month and will be needing a source or two of local news/commentary. Anyone have a recommendation for good NY blogs, sites, etc.? This post is the kind of thing I would be looking for, but I don't think Mr. J. Smith comments regularly on local issues.


As an old dead white dude named Christopher Morley once said: "The enemies of the future are always the very nicest people."

This dickhead, on the other hand, is a giant homophobe who was reportedly behind a 1970s campaign slogan for his father that read "Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo*." From what I've read, though, the other guy is the dickhead who became famous for that digital chain-letter which featured a watermelon patch on the White House lawn. So, you know: Would you like to vote for the jackass who hates gay people? Or for the jackass who hates black people? In the race for governor of New York?? Because this is reality, now. At least the California Terminator thing was funny.

* The 'homo,' in this case, was Ed Koch. I don't know if Koch is gay, or what sort of politican he was -- my only exposure to him was on The People's Court, which was my great-grandma Maudie's favorite show.


Oh, man. One of those e-mail addresses was supposed to be my name. Oops!


But...but...if you don't vote for the Democrat, President Palin...Senator O'Donnell....Glenn Beck...Tea Party...it's all so vewy, vewy scawy.


Koch was wretched. Part of the same circus as those identified above, truly. But fag-baiting is reprehensible... and NOT for the same reason that the Obama campaign objected to being raghead-baited.


Technically speaking, I guess Obama wasn't (and isn't) raghead-baited; he was (and is) Koran-baited. But what's the difference to these creeps? On September 12 they were assaulting, or at least menacing, Sikh filling-station owners.

But yes, Koch was a jerk, regardless.

Al Schumann:

Lorenzo, I enjoy the NYC Daily Photo blog. The photos are usually good, sometimes brilliant. The commentary is mixed.



"the Obama campaign objected to being raghead-baited."

Isn't this equivalent to writing: "the gluelicker campaign objected to being nigger-baited"?


@Lorenzo. Sometimes the guy's politics are maudlin and confused, and a large dose of his shtick may make you regret moving to NYC before you pull into town, but you might wanna check out Jeremiah's Vanishing New York http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/

Then again, you might not...


Anon, it would be equivalent only if my detractors insinuated that I (a paleface, some of whose female ancestors probably belonged to the motherfucking DAR for all I know) was "black" because of the "one-drop rule," and only if I cautiously distanced myself from the specious insinuation, rather than by defiantly responding "I ain't 'black,' but so what if I was. Them's good people."

Perhaps my failure to deploy scare quotes around "fag" or "raghead" (or somesuch tactic on the polysemous mashup that is net communication) threw you off course, and for that I apologize.


"the motherfucking DAR"

an interesting concept....

how is it done?


How is it done? Pluck, luck, good breeding, and then generations of insouciant downward mobility.

(I wish Al would substitute for me... he'd come up with something far more charming... but then again he's no subscriber to "substitutionism"... those cats I knew in the Revolutionary Workers' League were always histrionically fulminating against that, in principle if not in practice.)


Sorry Al, I didn't mean to imply that you were "now or ever" a member of the RWL... rather, an offhand compliment went badly awry in the fog of riffing.

Jeez, let's change the topic: What do y'all make of Brazilian land barons spraying Paraguayan smallholders with lethal pesticides, so that they can grab their land, consolidate holdings, and grow mega-hectares of Roundup Ready soybeans for export to China? Does this put the lie to "South-South cooperation"? Or should we excuse these shenanigans in the larger interest of the BRIC challenge to the American imperium?


This election is right in SMBIVA's wheelhouse. Cuomo is just so utterly loathsome and soulless that I don't know a single person --- not one --- who has an ounce of enthusiasm for him. Read between the lines in some press accounts, and you'll see that his father doesn't even like him.

Meanwhile, Crazy Carl has the passionate voters on his side. And Howie and Charlie sure do offer pleasing alternatives, not to mention wonderful opportunities for mischief-making.

>>>Who knows? It could be such a dismal dispirited contest that the Howie voters and the Charlie voters, between them, deprive the Crown Prince of his throne. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Not only a hoot. A very real possibility.


I once had the opportunity to meet Mario Cuomo in person, but it was deferred. My sidekick and I were in SFO to pick up delegates who were attending a hemispheric labor solidarity conference jointly organized by some reconstructed Trotskyists and some anti-globo NGO's. At one of the terminals he or I (I forget) spied Mario impassively reading a newspaper while waiting for his flight. I wondered aloud: "Is that really Mario Cuomo? Should we say something to him?" My hardened comrade said, "Who the hell cares?" If memory serves, Mario just sat there, in resplendent anonymity. That was before the days of relentless key-punching on the crackberry. Well, that's neither here nor there.

Alex Cockburn has long advocated screwing with the US party duopoly by means of weird left-right populist alliances, third party voting, and abstentionism -- the more chaotic the outcome, the better. Although I am an offshore citizen of the NYC city-state (for the time being, anyway), I haven't been following the NY gubernatorial race whatsoever -- but in this case it seems like the electorate has the golden chance to put Alex's thesis to the test. What remains to be seen is if they really have the gumption for it. Let the chips fall where they may, I say.


One of the nice things about living in New York is that it really, really doesn't matter who's governor, or who's in the legislature. NY state government is as close as any government could get to the libertarian view of the state as a mere gang of brigands, intent only upon plunder, pinworms in the social gut, with no political character, in say the Aristotelian sense, at all.

Governor after governor breezes into office with pledges to "change Albany"; and each leaves, later or a lot sooner (vide Eliot "the Spritzer" Spitzer) carrying his head on a platter.

So we have an especially strong case here -- not that it's much weaker anywhere else -- for a lordly snide indifference to who wins.


@MJS: I've been thinking the same thing in recent years, and have lately been contemplating the entertainment value of Governor Palladino.

Seems to me the Attorney General has some opportunties to smack around Wall Street --- perhaps play the role utterly neglected by the SEC --- and Spitzer seemed to do a laudable job on that front. But beyond AG, I have trouble working up enthusiasm or interest.

Well, come to think of it, I do like my local assemblywoman, Joan Millman, because she actually does good, old-fashioned constituent service: Fights to keep pools open and bus lines from being shut down; sets up free shuttles buses for the old-timers to go grocery shopping; and generally handles the unglamorous work of a local pol, in a thoroughly unglam fashion.

But again, beyond her, no interest....


Like to see more on cuomo the younger's anti union line
Certainly can't be baiting the pud second unions ...or can he
Local ny state politics
Mental. Detergent


indifference to who wins

hence this post and discussion!?

Brian M:

I'd love to have a FUN FUN FUN candidate to vote for here in California. Jerry can be mildly amusing, but only that, and as a public employee I find MEG! utterly loathsome. If, in our libertarian world, the only thing that matters is narrowly defined self interest, I find incoomprehensible fellow pubemps who are considering Meg!

I am writing in a vote for Humungous, myself. At least he is BUFF.

As a serious, an increasingly dedicated (in objective accord with the times) SMBVista, this entire thread alarms me in the extreme. Why do any of you think your vote, even as part of a victory, will matter? It's motherfucking counterfactual! Andrew Cuomo is Sarah Palin is Andrew Cuomo.

QED = look out the window


It's all about emancipating people's minds, MD. Mental illness is very difficult to cure, but if I can persuade, oh, half a dozen of my neighbors not to care whether the Donk or the Teabagger wins -- then I can go to meet my maker with something to my credit.

QED = look out the window

Tried, but it was an Overton Window and now it's closed and someone's painted over the pane of Overton Glass. I knew I'd come to hate Robert Overton and his Windows. I don't care if The American Meme-Builder Academy approves!

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