Delightful, Delovely, DeBlasio
Tuesday evening, we were transfixed in front of the toob, watching the returns from several states on MSNBC. It was a nail biter, but the outcome was so positive, we were cheering by the end of the night. You can read this, which was posted before returns came in, to get an overview of what was at stake on this election day:
The tall, lanky, mild mannered, some times even goofy DeBlasio is a very different kind of leader for NYC, and one who has clearly been underestimated. He maneuvered himself brilliantly in a campaign that stayed on message about his ” Tale of Two Cities,” and stuck it to pretty much the gamut of political power in New York – from Bloomberg, to Governor Andrew Cuomo, to the media – from the manipulative NY Times to the rancid NY Post.
First and foremost, let me give a major shout out to my man, Bill DeBlasio. How great is it that NYC will finally have someone who wants diversity, and at least will try to put the city back on a course of three of more classes being enabled to live and work together in the best place on earth. I left NY in the 90s and could not even afford my own coop today. There is something very wrong when the cheapest mouse-trap rental is thousands per month. I celebrate NY’s glitterati but not to the point that I want to see Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens become the world’s largest ungated tax haven. Here is what he is facing:
Deblasio brings all the right qualities: man of the people, Brooklyn resident, post-racial, devoted husband and father, calm brilliance (did you watch him while Alec Baldwin grilled him coupla weeks ago? Bill handled it like a champ). He has aplomb and certitude without being arrogant or aloof. And what is it he wants to do? Provide universal pre-K, halt profiling on our streets, tax the super rich to bring fresh revenue into the city, improve schools, not by unidimensional testing, but with teacher support and better salaries as well as capital improvements to crumbling structures, and provide middle income housing — something that has literally disappeared in four of the five boroughs. In short, DeBlasio wants NY to represent a cross section of humanity, the way it did before the Giuliani-Bloomberg coalition drove out the ordinary resident. And, DeBlasio is committed to keeping crime on the downswing. I didn’t dislike Bloomberg, he just doesn’t understand the middle class.
Look at his brand spanking new Transition site that was emailed to me first thing this morning; there is more than one place where he invites ideas to be sent directly to him:
Best of all: DeBlasio shows that progressives are finally back on the ascendant. Go Bill! We’ve got your back and by the way, I won’t hesitate to give you my unvarnished opinion, because I know you will consider all our voices. Thank you for being willing to tackle this prickly job for us.
The most intriguing trend to watch concerns the fate of Tea Party Republicans. Will the GOP’s corporate-sponsored, business-minded establishment (or Democrat centrists fitting that bill) vanquish Tea Party upstarts is the questionpundits are tracking. A mix of high- and low-profile races will be watched to determine that answer.
The Virginia governor’s race means something different to me. Firstly, I love Terry McAuliffe. Talk about reverse snobbery! The far right is mad at him because he knows how to raise money, is rich, is a progressive, and smiles a lot (for heaven sake!). He is also a Clinton loyalist. No arguments from me on that score! Bring back the Clintons and the prosperity of the 90’s, I say. Look at what a wonderful family man the guy is too. If he were a Republican, they would probably make him King. The fact that they hate him, shows their hypocrisy.
Defeating Kookinelli meant slapping back the extremists in the Tea Party cabal. Amen! I am so sick of these people. Not only that, but that 19th century Confederate Dean Young who ran for the House in Alabama was rejected. Finally, even in the south Americans are waking up to the destruction this Koch-brother’s puppet group is causing our country. Cuccinelli has some of the most archaic, backward, regressive ideas that we have seen in 60 years. He is anti birth control, anti gay, anti women in the workplace, anti equal-pay, anti divorce, anti reproductive rights, anti climate change, anti science, anti health care for the working poor. In short, Cuccinelli is simply antediluvian.
There are a number of local races in presidential bellwether states where the Koch brothers’ libertarian political operation, Americans for Prosperity, has been aggressively backing candidates with anti-tax messages, the Times reported. Citing races in Ohio and Iowa, the Times said that AFP was testing the political waters for 2014. Notably, other candidates in the races they profiled said they deeply resented the Kochs’ meddling.
I want to say something about Chris Christie. I did not want him to win, of course. I don’t like overbearing, bloviating bullies. He hasn’t done much good for NJ, including he has dragged his feet actually making reparations to thousands of families still displaced by Hurricane Sandy. He happily accepted billions in Federal aid and has mysteriously witheld two thirds of it, which was meant for people whose homes were destroyed, one year ago. What he does do is talk a great line, and like a lot of self-impressed people, he has almost preternatural confidence.
Why oh why would the people of deep blue New Jersey re-elect this guy in a landslide? I think I figured it out last night. New Jerseyans are some of the most pessimistic people I have ever met. I don’t know whether it is in the water or the soil, or they self select when they move there. It is such a beautiful place with so much natural bounty, including the beaches, dunes, pine barrens, forests, lakes, rivers, and dark fertile farmland — really it is a blessed area, nature-wise. But Jersyites go around with a cloud over their heads. I think they like Christie’s energy and strength. He quells their deep seated fears. They are so hungry for a Dad to take care of them, that they would elect this far right wing conservative. He pretends to be the every-man, who gives hugs when the cameras are rolling. I really thought Barbara Buono was terrific. She is smart, experienced, strong, articulate, poised, in the pink of health — obviously fit and lithe for her age. Yet this Santa Claus figure was able to smoke her.
You gotta give it to this guy and his ‘real talk’. Christie put together a staggering coalition. He got a third of the Dems in the state to vote for him and a huge percentage of Latinos. Christie cleverly attributed all the educational problems in the state to the Unions. He is really shrewd and noisily espouses pragmatism, so he can disguise his covert extremist ideology.
People in NJ want someone to lie to them and tell them it will all be OK. Even when it isn’t. He hasn’t kept any of his campaign promises, in fact he has done the opposite. He must think they are stupid, because that is how they are currently acting. Quashing the tunnel project and sending all those potential jobs down the drain, rejecting gay marriage, failing to properly fund the schools, attacking teachers (hard working people! who sacrifice personal lives for children), giving no-bid contracts to his cronies, sending his kids to private schools, spending 25 million dollars on a special election, starring his family in splashy self-congratulatory, expensive TV ads and then yelling at any one who questions him, Jersey fell for it all. NJ has a terrible unemployment problem. The guy voted against a meager $1.00 raise in the minimum wage. The corrupt Dem bosses in the state struck a self-serving deal with Christie. Then he puts his arm around a few props, planted at his press conferences, and poor, down at the mouth New Jersey weeps in gratitude. I lived there. It sickens me. I think he will be revealed during the 2016 run-up and then the jig is up for him for good.
Here was another useful analysis of what happened in this bell-weather election:
The tide is turning in this country as the demographics change and these fearful, angry, retro cohorts are diluted to a minority and we are finally able to make some real progress.
Meanwhile, go New York! Go Virginia! You are awesome!!
Images: washingtonpost.com, action.terrymcauliffe.com, newyorktimes.com