Nixon Unites Albany

One of the craziest political stories in the country over the last few years was the story of how Republicans effectively controlled the State Senate in deep blue New York State because of some crazy animal called the Independent Democratic Conference.  The IDC was a group of Democratic State Senators, elected by Democrats in their districts, who caucused with the Republicans in the Senate rather than their own party.

You may ask how such a thing could happen in a bluey, blue state with a Democratic governor allowing that to happen and continue.

There is no good answer. But it seems to been ended, over a steak dinner.

Two warring factions of Democratic lawmakers have agreed to reunite and end seven years of infighting, a significant political realignment that ends an arrangement that had helped give Republicans a foothold of power in Albany.

Those rogue Democrats thought they were strengthening their individual power with their game playing.  What did the Governor get out of elevating the power of Republicans and allowing the fracture of Democrats?  Nothing good for the people of New York, I can tell you that.

Last week when the state budget was being negotiated, the Senate Democratic leader (State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins) was not allowed in the room.

Ms. Nixon noted the accord came less than a week after lawmakers struck a deal on a $168 billion budget, when the state’s priorities were set. Ms. Stewart-Cousins had been excluded from those discussions.

“I would have the leader of the Senate Democrats in the room negotiating,” she said.

This went on for years, until this week.  Credit the campaign of Cynthia Nixon and the pressure it is putting on Cuomo to finally put an end to it.

In a brief phone interview, Ms. Nixon said “Andrew Cuomo can’t have it both ways” — claiming he was powerless to corral the I.D.C. for years and then taking credit for it disbanding on Wednesday. She accused Mr. Cuomo of working from the “old playbook” of centrist politics.

“He is trying hard to evolve,” she said, “but I think it’s a little too late.”

You know how big a factor the Nixon challenge was in all this?

Asked about Ms. Nixon’s role in the unity deal, Mr. Cuomo said, “It had nothing to do with it.”

Yeah, spoken like a governor afraid he might not be able to keep his phony-baloney job.  Cuomo probably still thinks he could be president – just shit on Democrats relentlessly while claiming liberal bona fides and play footsie with Republicans.  He’s a New York governor that’s been playing a national strategy for so long he needed Nixon to remind him what state he’s in.  It’s that big blue one in the northeast that wants gun control, legal cannabis, universal health care, etc.

Later on Tuesday evening, at a fund-raiser for a Democratic Senate candidate in an upcoming special election, Mr. Cuomo said that “we have achieved political clarity” in watching Republican rule from Washington, D.C., for the last year.

“The clarity is this: Everything we are for, they are against. It’s that simple,” he said. “The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are an antithesis, one of the other.”

Hallelujah for Cuomo reaching clarity, conveniently in an election year.  He just better hope Democratic voters of New York haven’t likewise achieved “clarity” or we’ll be inaugurating Governor Nixon next January.

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