Our governor has got some folks scratchin’ their heads. Is he a political dummy? Or maybe super-smart?
Andrew Cuomo grew up within the state’s Democrat machine. Literally and figuratively. He marches in that machine’s parade. But lately he has fallen out of step. He has wandered off the parade route.
One political columnist listed the fights the governor has picked lately. Fights with big guys in the party. He has clashed with the Big Apple’s new mayor. And with union leaders. He supports charter schools — the very schools many Democrats want to crush. He went toe to toe with Assembly Democrats over the budget. By threatening to drain some of the corruption in which they marinate.
Cuomo supports cuts in taxes. While many in his party want to raise them. He tries to cut state spending. And reduce tax burdens on business. Both moves go against the thinking of many top Dems. And … sin of sins … he has cozied up to Republicans in the state Senate.
Some Democrat leaders openly criticize Cuomo. Some spurn him publicly. Some wonder aloud if he can win re-election. Many say they will not support him if he tries for the White House.
So what is going on? Is the governor slashing his political wrists?
Maybe he has principles. Not likely. When you enter politics in this state, there is a big sign at the door, “Abandon Your Principles, All Ye Who Enter.” Principles are what get sliced, diced, mashed, and pulverized in Albany. Yes, making laws is like grinding out sausage. And you don’t want to watch it up close.
Here is a possibility. The Gov has a better sniffer. He may be picking up scents in the winds of change that others are missing.
Here is a possible scenario. Possible. Nationally, the Democrats get thumped in November. They lose control of the U.S. Senate. They lose further ground in the House of Representatives. The party is humiliated.
It is easy to imagine the fights that would break out. Young Turks would blame the old-line progressives. For leading the party into the wilderness. Hillary is certainly an old-line progressive. Her enemies could begin to paint “Same Old, Same Old” signs on her back. They will remind die-hards: Obamacare crippled the party’s fortunes. It grew out of Hillarycare.
The young Turks would want to push the party away from old progressives like Hillary. And back toward the center. Where guess-who would be standing: Andrew Cuomo.
This scenario is plausible. ‘Tis certainly possible the party could take a licking in November. If it does, the entire progressive wing of the party will lose credibility. Who will want to listen to the guys who ran the ship onto the shoals?
Pendulums swing. Progressives have pushed the party further left for decades. Can you imagine the party saluting JFK’s proclamations today? “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” The progressives pretty much endorse the opposite.
I suggest you Google JFK tax quotes. He pushed for tax cuts to excite the economy. Then imagine Hillary or Obama mouthing them. Their aides would think Karl Rove had hacked their teleprompters.
Back to the Gov. Cuomo may be catching a whiff of some of the above. He may be planning beyond November. He may be loping down a few back streets hoping to end up in front of the parade. If and when it turns in his direction.
‘Tis possible. Lyndon Baines Johnson is often portrayed as a guy who saw politics as the art of the possible. He certainly knew how to get in front of the parade.
From Tom...as in Morgan.
Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and TV show. For more information about him, visit his website at www.tomasinmorgan.com