If you were paying attention to New York state politics last year, you might remember a fellow named Carl Paladino. He was running for governor of New York against Andrew Cuomo on the Republican ticket. He won the GOP nomination. He’s the same guy that threatened to “take out” a New York Post reporter. He’s also that guy who sent a bunch of “Obama is a monkey” and hardcore pornographic email messages. The porn included actual bestiality with a personal message from Carl about which he liked the best.
Paladino won New York’s 26th district last year. He lost the election to Cuomo, but the voters of New York’s 26th district went to the polls and said, “Carl Paladino should be the next governor of New York.”
Well many of those same voters turned out to the polls on Tuesday and said, “You know what, let’s elect Democrat and Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochu.”
Since 1853, the residents of New York’s 26th have elected four Democrats to represent them in the US House of Representatives. Hochu makes it five.
The beltway media, and Democrats, are saying that this election proves how unpopular Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare really is. They might be right about this one. Hochu’s Republican opponent Jane Corwin said early in the campaign that she would vote for Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare.
Democrats and Hochu slammed Corwin for that position and it paid off at the polls on Tuesday.
Some pundits, Republicans ones, say that Hochu won because of a spoiler candidate – Jack Davis a self-proclaimed member of the “tea party.” But Davis only pulled in 9 percent of the vote in one of the most radical right-wing districts in the country, at least on the east coast. And it’s not as if Davis was giving stump speeches defending Medicare.
The broader issue of Democrats using Ryan’s Medicare plan to beat up Republicans is obvious. Democrats are going to land one body-blow after another against the 98 GOP House seats up for grabs in 2012 regarding their stance on Medicare. That’s going to happen and it’s going to be reasonably effective.
But the tea party phenomena is almost more interesting. What the tea party represents is a schism in the Republican party that is tearing it apart. As the GOP moves from the Baby Boomer to Generation X, GOP leadership is seeing that the new Republicans are not at all like the old ones.
They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. But they don’t seem to realize what exactly it is they’re mad about it – they’re just mad. The problem is that the new Republicans, or tea party Republicans, is that they appear to lack the intellectual ability to formulate effective policies that the American people will accept — maybe that’s why they’re so mad.
The new tea party Republicans are good at getting people riled up, but when it comes to actually winning elections, governing and putting forth an agenda for the future, voters turn away. The few tea party Republicans that made it into office last year are proving this almost every day. Just look at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott. Voters are regretting their decision to elect these people. And what’s with all the Scott’s anyway.