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Moderates? Not in my party!!

November 3, 2009 - John Stack

Moderates? Not in my party!!


            The last 2 special ‘elections’ in the North Country seem to show just how out of touch both national parties are with their constituents. I am talking about Kirsten Gillibrand being appointed Senator to replace Hillary Clinton, and the current race with Hoffman in the 23rd congressional district.

            Gov Paterson had to fill one of our senator’s positions when Hilary was named Secretary of State. I believe he made a great choice in choosing Gillibrand. She’s definitely no liberal left Democrat. Her somewhat conservative views on financial aspects as well as her support for gun rights doesn’t exactly fit in with the Sheldon Silvers and Caroline Maloneys of New York and their ideas of a good liberal democrat. For us upstaters, this seems like a win-win. We get a senator who seems to share the values that we share. But, also because of this, a  big part of Paterson’s poor approval ratings slump can be traced to this pick. The very liberal Caroline Kennedy seems to have been the choice of the establishment from day one. No one seems to be able to admit how that disaster really went. But, Paterson ended up picking Gillibrand of course to the downstate liberal leaders. Many NYC democrats could stomach someone who cared for gun owners rights. Living on an island about the size of greater Saranac Lake with 6 million people, I’d guess most hadn’t ever grown up on a farm or enjoyed ‘hunting season’. So, although NY luckily has a moderate Democrat in the Senate, this is not sitting well with the powers that run the Democratic Party.

            The media has been playing up the idea that the GOP is the party of non-inclusiveness. The Hoffman campaign has only fanned the flames of this idea.

            The Hoffman campaign seems to have spent more time tearing down Dede Scozzafava calling her  an ‘ultra liberal’. After Dede dropped out of the race, the spinmeisters of the Conservatives and the GOP claimed this was not an example of the lack of inclusiveness in the Republican Party. That statement is kind of hard to swallow as millions of dollars were thrown towards Hoffman by the national GOP leaders to someone who is as far right and Conservative as one can get, with Dede getting outspent by leaps and bounds on her opponent by her own party. Make no bones about it. The GOP deserted Dede Scozzafava. And for what? She holds 2 socially liberal positions. She is pro-choice and is a gay rights supporter. Otherwise, she is a solid Republican. Yet she was thrown under the bus for an unproven right wing nut who has absolutely no chance of affecting anything substantial in DC and supports a completely unviable flat tax system.

            So, its no surprise to most that the far left and far right lead our 2 national and state parties. Unfortunately, it also seems they have no desire to increase their base and include those that may have ideas that aren’t as far left or right as theirs.


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