Monday, August 18, 2014

Chris Cross

Why are these men laughing? Via Capital New York.
New Jersey governor Christopher Christie, although his job as chairman of the Republican Governors Association tasks him above all things with working for GOP victories in this year's 36 gubernatorial races, is strangely reluctant to offer any support to the Republican candidate across the Hudson in New York, somebody called Rob Astorino (which would be the Italian for "little goshawk" and not, as I hoped, "little star"—twinkle, twinkle!), against the Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

That may be, according to a brilliant analytic piece by Andrea Bernstein of WNYC radio New York. because Christie and Cuomo are practically the same person:
From the very beginning, the self-described conservative Republican and the Democratic son of a liberal icon sounded an awful lot alike. “We have the highest tax rates in the nation!” Christie thundered in his first state of the state.
“We have the worst business tax climate in the nation!” echoed Cuomo a year later.
“Our benefits are too rich!” opined Christie.
“The costs of pensions are exploding!” Cuomo chimed in.
It’s a priority to “reduce and reform New Jersey’s habit of excessive government spending!”
“The state of New York is spending too much money!” 
It's really amazing how much they have in common, from being under investigation by their respective US attorneys for stonewalling anti-corruption efforts to being the butts of the same jokes on late-night TV, about which they in turn tell the same jokes in their more casual public appearances.

Not that they don't have any policy differences at all, but they are on issues where their respective parties really wouldn't allow them to deviate: minimum wage, marriage equality, gun control (the helpful breakdown of February 2013 in Think Progress uses selective citation to make them look more different than they actually are on progressive taxation, protecting the environment, and education).

There's an interest beyond party becoming continually more influential, with names on it like those of Cuomo supporters Frank Langone and Rudolph Giuliani, people who really don't care one way or the other about gay marriage or minimum wage laws, as long as it doesn' t cost any tax money, and I'm afraid they have a certain amount of pull in the Obama White House as well (though less, I continue to believe, than in the first Obama term), and it's pretty disturbing.

There's also a representative of what we used to call the Democratic wing of the Democratic party challenging Cuomo in the September 9 primary, Zephyr Teachout, who just survived Cuomo's attempt to have her declared a Vermont resident (though she's a full-time professor at New York's Fordham University and lives in a fifth-floor walkup in Fort Greene). So far it seems 78% of New York registered voters haven't ever heard of her, so we've got some work to do.

Via Daily Beast.

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