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January 27, 2009


Once again, welcome to the real world.

Last time I checked, David Paterson was the governor of the entire state of New York, which includes plenty of conservative areas, not just the governor of liberal or progressive areas like New York City. Jonathan Tasini (whoever that is) may think that Paterson's appointment of Gillibrand was an "affront to the people of New York," but I'm betting that Paterson, far from being "legally dumb," made a legally smart appointment that he figured would please the majority of the people he governs and, yes, would help him in his next re-election bid -- a consideration which is not illegal and, in the real world rather than the world as you would like it, is mundane politics.

Gillibrand would not have been my choice as I abhor her positions on guns, gays, and other such issues. As such, I have no problem with your being critical of her Blue Dog policies. But that's quite different from accusing Paterson of being "legally dumb." Paterson's job is to represent the interests of New Yorkers -- all New Yorkers -- and my guess is that he knows what New Yorkers want better than do you.

Oh, and last time I checked Paterson works for the state of New York, not the federal government or President Obama.

As someone who was born in NYC and grew up on Long Island then lived in Western NY for almost twenty years, I think you need to give Kirsten some time. Yes, she has a high rating with the NRA. Believe me, many Democratic Party members north of Yonkers own guns or know someone who owns a gun and hunts. At the same time, she opposes No Child Left Behind, opposes privatizing Social Security and supports stem cell research. I also remember her stating support for a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. So Kirsten Gillibrand is a complicated mix, pretty accurately representing her House district. If nothing else, respect her for taking out that nasty piece of work John Sweeney. So give her a chance. The noise you hear from back East is the downstate/upstate arguments that have been going on for 200 years.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that someone who has no problem making ridiculous and ignorant criticisms of Chomsky or Zinn might never have heard of Jonathan Tasini (to whom I donated during the run-up to the last NY senate election).

I recommend that when right-of-center readers can't identify a person to their left that they learn how to use a thing called a search engine rather than blurt out their ignorance.

Paterson seems to me to be emblematic of the new, improved hegemonist/corporatist Democrat. Obamamania will shield many from the knowledge that their party is moving steadily to the right, but those who have been paying attention will not be surprised.

Hmmm. You know, I like political "leaders" who actually lead rather than pander to their constituents. I get kinda tired of pols who base policy on votes merely to remain in office, as they do in the "real world".

Gillibrand may be a complicated mix, Eamon, but really, do you think she's fit to represent the entire state of New York?

One person's "pandering" is another persons "representing," as in representing the interests of constituents.

Of course leadership is important and a good political leader will occasionally, maybe even frequently, forge new policies and try to get voters to follow those policies. But the leader who gets too far out in front of voters' wishes will be ineffective.

Ultimately, elected officials are elected to represent the interests of their constituents. There's a word for that -- it's called democracy.

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