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Since it's almost certain that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will toss his hat into the 2016 Democratic primary race, it's worth noting that he could possibly be one of the most Republican Democratic governors ever.
I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd see a Democratic governor support Republican candidates for the state senate, but that's exactly what Cuomo did.
Yes, this is bizarre. Why would a Democrat support a Republican candidate in a contested election? Cuomo tried to pass it off as support because some Republicans voted the same sex marriage law in New York into effect. That would be just dandy, except as Chris Hayes points out, one of those Republicans was defeated in his primary by a Tea Party candidate, yet Cuomo gave no support to the Democrat. Why would that be?
AlterNet reported on this just before the election:
Apparently, pretty hard. What’s really going on? There’s seems to be only one plausible explanation: the Governor prefers conservative Republicans to progressive Democrats. I know it’s hard to figure. But actions speak louder than words. To Cuomo, it may be true that it is more important to keep Republicans in control of the Senate so that he never has to face strong pressure from the left. This tactic, according to key players in New York politics, is an open secret.
Were the Democrats to win back the Senate, inevitably it would mean that they would pass some bills that reflect the interests of their constituents -- against hydrofracking, for raising the minimum wage, on gun control, on school aid, on the incarceration society. That’s not what Cuomo wants as he prepares a 2016 presidential campaign in which his theme will be “I can bridge the partisan divide.” It’s baloney and he knows it. By bridging the divide, he means forcing Democrats to accept a softer, gentler Republican view of the world.
Oh, the bipartisanship fetish again. I could see some nods toward bipartisanship if we were actually dealing with a rational Republican party but there are no rational Republicans. They've run for the hills or switched to independent voter status. From the top to the bottom, the Republican party is not rational, but they are cynical, and Cuomo is playing right into that cynicism.
This kind of Democrat is no Democrat at all. Not even liberal. If Cuomo believed in the strength of liberal principles, he would push for a Democratic state senate to put those principles on display, to hold up New York as a bastion of successful liberalism instead of some bipartisan mishmash nonsense.
There's this myth that plays out in cynical ploys like Cuomo's about how bipartisan is best, yada yada. Yet the most progressive, prosperous times in this country emerged when true progressive legislation was passed with large liberal majorities. Today we have politicians like Cuomo who go all mushy at the idea that all things bipartisan are good, when in fact, this country has just said in their loudest voter voice that progress is what they want.
Cross Cuomo off your list. If he can't stand by even the most basic principles, he's not worth considering in 2016.