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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not a popular guy on this blog. But when I leave the Kos echo chamber I find that he is very popular among people who keep up with politics. I live in San Francisco, which is very blue of course, but also has a strong libertarian streak running through its newer transplants. A pol like Cuomo is speaking their language.

Pretty scary if you are a progressive.

Yet New York progressives now worry that the party's future lies not with the city's mayor — but the state's governor. Though Andrew Cuomo is frequently described as a centrist or a moderate, that's too simplistic. On social and cultural issues, the governor has fought hard for progressive priorities, and managed to win groundbreaking new laws on same-sex marriage and gun control. Indeed, he may have achieved more on those issues than any other Democratic governor in office today.
On gun control especially, it really did surprise me how forcefully he fought.
On economic issues, though, Cuomo has blazed a very different trail. Repeatedly, Cuomo has tried to cut taxes, particularly for the wealthy. He's cut the estate tax, repealed the state's bank tax, capped local property taxes, and reduced an existing tax on millionaires. He's stymied de Blasio's attempts to raise New York City's taxes on the rich and to increase the city's minimum wage. And he's consistently been skeptical about the value of government spending, and proven willing to cut billions from health and education. "He's adopted the philosophical and political posture that the problem with government is overtaxing and overspending," former assemblyman Richard Brodsky tells me. "How is that different from a Tea Party conservative?"

Many New York progressives think that Cuomo has made a bet on what Democrats truly care about — that if he gives activists what they want on social issues, he can get away with giving the wealthy what they want on economic issues. Worse, they fear the combination might be politically irresistible to the Democratic Party: as the rich get richer and the Supreme Court systematically dismantles limits on money in politics, what if a Democrat who pleases the wealthy becomes the only kind of Democrat who can win an election?

The capping of property taxes is where I really disagree with him. That is as local as it gets.
Really hurts schools. As for social issues, we have to admit at some point that we care about those as much as the GOP. We raise hell about income inequality during off years, but as soon as it is time to vote, our pols bang the abortion drum and we dance, myself included. My for support for HRC is mainly because of the courts. Sad huh? I was hoping for a Warren run up until earlier this year, when I accepted that she isn't running. Income inequality has to be the centerpiece of a campaign in order to draw attention to it. Warren can credibly do that. No one else can. So the courts and social issues are the glue that binds us, and Gov. Cuomo knows that.
Meanwhile, on social and cultural issues, Cuomo was rapidly becoming a progressive hero. During his campaign, Cuomo had pledged to enact a same-sex marriage law. As he took office, only five states in the country had extended that right — all were far smaller than New York, and most did so after a court ruling spurred action. The most recent push for a New York bill took place in 2009, when both houses of the legislature were controlled by Democrats. But the state Senate voted down a marriage bill 38 to 24, in a dispiriting defeat. Since then, the GOP had taken control of the chamber — and not a single Republican state senator backed marriage equality.

Though the challenges looked stark, Cuomo embraced the issue as a centerpiece of his first-year agenda. "We believe in justice for all — then let's pass marriage equality this year once and for all," he said in his State of the State address. Cuomo's strategy was to keep the Democrats united, and peel off a few crucial GOP moderates. He called representatives of several gay rights activist groups into a meeting, criticized them for internal rivalries and disorganization, and told them to unite under one banner — which they soon did. Richard Socarides, a former Clinton administration official and same-sex marriage activist, was in attendance. "The governor looked at me and said, 'I'm gonna fight harder for this than anything I have ever fought for,'" Socarides recounts.

Cuomo made good on his promise. He relentlessly lobbied moderate Republican senators. When they told him they feared a backlash from voters in their districts, Cuomo's solution — as in the budget fight — was money. He met with three hedge fund billionaires, and convinced them to commit hundreds of thousands of dollars for ads defending the vulnerable Republicans.

On June 24, 2011, the late-night vote came down to the wire — but four Republicans chose to cross party lines, and the bill passed 33 to 29. Cuomo walked onto the Senate floor minutes later and raised his fist to the sky, as supporters cheered. Just over an hour later, he went up to his office on the second floor of the State Capitol, and signed same-sex marriage into law. "What this state said today brings this discussion of marriage equality to a new plane," Cuomo said. "That's the power and the beauty of New York. The other states look to New York for the progressive direction. And what we said today is — you look to New York once again!"

I have to admit. pretty fucking impressive!!!!

Bill Clinton put liberals on the sidelines for eight years (maybe longer) by using many of the tactics that Gov. Cuomo is using. Just because he is unpopular here, we should take him seriously as a pol. If for some reason Hillary doesn't run, watch out. He can raise the money; has a dynastic name and is very right on social issues. Outside the Kos bubble, we are not the mainstream of the party.

Last exceprt:

Ten years ago, Thomas Frank's book What's the Matter with Kansas? was published. In it, Frank argued that the Republican Party appealed to rural, white, low-income voters with social issues — God, guns, and gays — so they'd accept economic policies that go against their own self-interest and benefit the wealthy. Since then, Frank tells me, "The table has really been turned on a lot of those social issues. On gay marriage, public opinion has shifted so dramatically that it's actually Democrats who are bringing it up whenever they can, and using it as their own successful wedge issue." Meanwhile, economic issues have come increasingly to the forefront among Republican voters and activists.

Could the Kansas strategy now be adopted by the Democratic Party? "I think that's probably true to a certain degree," Frank says. "There are a certain number of Democrats who don't really understand why people are upset over the fate of working class America, but gay marriage and other culture war issues are very resonant to them." And, importantly, that's the group that has the money. "Democrats are supposed to be the party of the workers and the poor, but they're also the party of the professional class, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the universities," Frank continues. "And until 2008, they thought of themselves as the party of Wall Street — they used to celebrate it as where innovation was happening. The Democratic Party that exists today isn't interested in doing anything substantive about inequality, because it would be costly to all those Democratic donors."

Take the time to read the article. It gives a perspective of this guy that you will never see here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

    by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 04:50:38 AM PDT

  •  I'll read the article but already (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, NancyWH, greenbell, seabos84

    decided to write in some other candidate or vote Green.

    •  No progressive should ever vote for this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrooth, greenbell, terrybuck

      guy if there are other options. This article, along with conversations I have had, really caught me off guard. Most of the info I get on him comes from prog blogs. My fault I guess.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:05:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Howie Hawkins (0+ / 0-)

      Got enough votes 4 years ago to get the Greens on the ballot without having to petition. Watch them do something stupid like nominate Ursula Rozum, but she's splitting Maffei's vote in NY24...

      In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

      by boriscleto on Sat May 17, 2014 at 08:46:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Popular among people who keep up with politics ... (5+ / 0-)

    Why be so insulting and condescending?

    •  Reading too much into it. I run into a lot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo

      of people in my everyday life who do not keep up with politics the way we do. Among those that do, it surprises me that they like him. That's all.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:07:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. I guess I was also thinking of the echo.. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NancyWH, tardis10, Just Bob

        ...chamber reference and the "bubble" remark. It makes it appear you have a low regard for DKos in general as well as for those who post here. Anyway, thanks for your response.

        •  Not low regard, just shocked sometimes at (0+ / 0-)

          how news if filtered/ignored on this blog at times. There are days when I work 12-14 hrs and my only news outside the financial world will come from here. If I visit Huff Post or NPR the same day, it like entering a different world. And those are not right wing outlets.

          By the way, I love my Kos bubble! I poke fun at the bubble. I just have to diversify more.

          New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

          by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:24:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  In tenor,tone and language (6+ / 0-)

    that Vox article is very much like what has been written at DK. (No surprise,duh)
    That Cuomo is bought and paid for by US oligarchs and that some think that is A-OK is also not particularly surprising. Should HRC not run for the presidency,I imagine we will see quite a contest in 2016. If Cuomo emerged as Democratic nominee,I believe he would lose. California fauxbertarians and Frank Langone notwithstanding.

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:28:15 AM PDT

    •  He would definitely lose the general. (0+ / 0-)

      The article does go into detail about the gun and same sex marriage battles that you don't see here.

      I was living in London in 2010 when he ran and didn't keep up with the details of his race. He ran as a fairly moderate Dem and still seemed to win the base.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:38:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NYS had the lowest voter (0+ / 0-)

        turnout out of all 50 states in 2010 even though it was a year with not just the governorship,but both senate seats in play. Of course,the GOP ran buffoons and none of these elections were actual contests,so folks were even less motivated to bother to vote in a non-prez year than usual. IOW,hard to accurately judge Cuomo's popularity among base Dems. I would not exactly say he ran as a moderate (whatever that is),he ran as the anointed Democrat in a very blue state.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:04:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From the article: (0+ / 0-)
          As Mario's son Andrew announced his own gubernatorial candidacy in May 2010, it was clear he'd learned from his father's fate. He said immediately that he'd oppose any tax increase, freeze state worker salaries, and cap state spending and local property tax increases. It was a time for austerity. "You're going to have to cut where the money is," he said. "The money is in education. The money is in health care." This was a far cry from Mario's rhetoric. "He is pledging to wreak some serious havoc on his father's legacy of big-government generosity," Jonathan Mahler wrote in the New York Times magazine. Andrew won the general election by nearly 30 percentage points.
          I was being nice by saying moderate. You could almost say Blue Dog/Conservative Dem.

          New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

          by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:08:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually,he was mimicing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Just Bob

            the WH circa 2009/10 on all of that. Remember the federal pay freeze? the Obama admin's fascination with Grand Bargaineering? Education deform ala Ms. Rhee? Neoliberalism salad days writ large.
            These core ideas haven't gone away....they just are usually hidden under populist talk during election season. But in 2010,Cuomo could be more upfront than usual.
            So it goes.  

            "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

            by tardis10 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:25:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's a poor article imo (4+ / 0-)

    It overstates Cuomo's social issues accomplishments (Cuomo was not the genesis of the marraige equality movement) and overstates Cuomo's standing on the national stage.

    I found it poorly researched and poorly argued.

    •  But it gives a perspective that you don't see (0+ / 0-)

      on progressive blogs. I didn't realize that he ran so openly as a moderate in 2010 (I wasn't in the states). In blue New York State. Hopefully his margin of victory will shrink enough that it will kill any prez talk if HRC doesn't run.

      How does it overstate his standing on the national stage?

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:04:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He would not be a frontrunner (4+ / 0-)

        if Hillary did not run and he will not be one afterward .

        He has a huge problem oin the Eft with no comparable national standing, a la Hillary and Bill clinton.

        He has all the DLC baggage without the positives.

        He'd get destroyed in a primary..

        •  Okay. (0+ / 0-)

          New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

          by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:33:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There's good reason you don't see that (5+ / 0-)

        perspective on progressive blogs. It isn't progressive.

        What if this approach — mobilizing the wealthy to achieve progressive change on social issues — is the only way to be an effective Democrat in this post-Citizens United, post-McCutcheon landscape? If so, Cuomo's rise would in fact mean a redefinition of progressive politics — an inevitable one.
        The Third Way has taken over the Democratic Party and has distorted the definition of the word "progressive", but not so much that they don't get push back. Consider the "Progressive Policy Institute". Using the word "progressive" in their name does not make them progressive. That's the Joe Lieberman branch of the Democratic Party.
        http://www.sourcewatch.org/...

        I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

        by Just Bob on Sat May 17, 2014 at 08:26:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A lousy, poorly researched, omission-plagued... (0+ / 0-)

        ...diary gives a different perspective?

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:50:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  No teacher will vote for him. Ever. (4+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:10:12 AM PDT

  •  Should Hillary decide not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew

    to run, Cuomo likely will. And as governor of a large and important state, and with the name Cuomo, he'll be a competitor. He might not be our ideal candidate from a policy perspective, but he has a very legitimate chance of winning the Democratic nomination should Hillary drop out. We should criticize his issue positions where appropriate, but refrain from attacking the man in personal or vindictive ways. Should he be our standard-bearer against a GOP candidate for president, he will look MUCH better and we will support him 100%, so let's not say things today we'll regret later.

    •  That's why wrote the diary Doc. (0+ / 0-)

      For the last couple of months, my info on this guy has come mostly from here, Kos in particular. My fault I guess. But this guy could win the nomination if HRC doesn't run. The fact fact that he ran in 2010 as moderate borderline conservative dem on economic policy and still win by 30 was shocking.

      He has some Bill Clinton in him. We should not take him lightly.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:51:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Impossible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrooth

      The name Cuomo means NOTHING outside of New York and even when it does it means that other guy who couldn't win the nomination.  

      Cuomo has no charm whatever.  If Hillary doesn't run, the race will be contested.  You think Cuomo can win in Iowa?  Could he find Iowa on a map?  

      Brown, Ohio, that's all you need to know.  

      Unless there's an enormous change in demographics, Democrats can't win without the northern Midwest and you have to go back no further than Romney to know how well stiff northeast types do there.

      •  Again the perception of him on DKos doesn't match (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2

        the reality outside of the blog. Does the venom directed at HRC on DKos represent the mainstream Dem view of her?

        Could he win Iowa with no HRC in the race? I have no idea.

        Of course Brown is my number one if HRC doesn't run, but I'm also much more liberal than 90% of the party.

        New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

        by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:13:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope I totally get why Bush was elected (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, chancew, scribeboy, schumann

          He could do the folksy white guy thing to perfection.  I get why Obama won.  He could mobilize record turnout of minorities.  I get why HRC might win.  She has the potential to mobilize suburban women.

          Who does Cuomo mobilize?  He doesn't appeal to the guys with pickups crowd, suburban women or minorities.  What's your demographic for this guy?   Besides people in flyoverland don't like arrogant New Yorkers telling them what to do.

          •  All simplistic opinion. Time will tell. (0+ / 0-)

            New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

            by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:32:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  John Kerry is the only Democrat to lose Iowa (0+ / 0-)

        in the general election since 1984.  

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Sat May 17, 2014 at 12:49:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nope, it's all identity politics now (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrooth, tardis10, chancew, schumann

    The party will find an Hispanic Cuomo for us.  Cuomo is too obvious and has the combined charm of Romney, Kerry and Dukakis.

  •  Well, Jeez, NY State is running ads in Floorduh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrooth, terrybuck

    pimping that businesses should relocate to NY. Are they now another right-to-starve state? How much lower than FL can NY go?

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:01:45 AM PDT

  •  Standard Clinton/DLC/Third Way politics. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, greenbell, dfarrah, schumann

    He's using the same playbook as Hillary Clinton. It's exactly why Democrats lost so much ground in rural America and the Midwest during the 90's and 00's. It's why progressives were angry enough to give Nader a sizable vote in 2000. It's why I saw bigger campus Green chapters than College Democrat chapters until '04 and '08 when the party started to shift left again.

    It's not the future of the Democratic Party. It's a return to the 90's approach that nearly destroyed the party. It's a good strategy for raising money, but it's not a good way to build a winning coalition outside urban coastal states.

  •  When the article starts like this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck, Willinois, greenbell

    You know you're in for a huge fucking heaping of bullshit.

    On social and cultural issues, the governor has fought hard for progressive priorities, and managed to win groundbreaking new laws on same-sex marriage and gun control. Indeed, he may have achieved more on those issues than any other Democratic governor in office today.
    All you have to do is look next door in CT to find a Democratic governor who has achieved more.  Malloy didn't win groundbreaking new laws on same sex marriage because CT already broke that ground several years prior to NY jumping on the bandwagon.  But Malloy took it a step further by protecting transgender people as well.  We're STILL waiting for Cuomo to catch up to us.

    Gun control?  Sorry but CT broke that ground too.

    Can you name anything else?  No because Cuomo hasn't done jack shit on any other social and cultural issue.

    Meanwhile Malloy decriminalized marijuana and passed a paid sick leave bill, raised the minimum wage, expanded voting rights (same day registration etc), abolished the death penalty, expanded union rights, allowed DREAMers rights to go to college at in state tuition rates, allowed illegals to get drivers licenses to name a few things off the top of my head.  And god knows Malloy is NO progressive champion.  If DLCer Malloy is achieving more on social and cultural issues than Cuomo, then you know the bar is set REAL low.

    Cuomo may be appealing to libertarians because he's deregulating and cutting taxes for businesses but last I checked libertarians are not progressives.  Most progressives I know have a first hand glimpse of who the real Cuomo is and we all fucking hate him.  Gun control and same sex marriage?  Those were merely crumbs to appease the liberal base while he fucking rips New Yorkers off.  Nobody is fooled.  His budget?  A complete and total fucking rip off and NY teachers are pissed.  Even upstate NYers who are as republican as they get are fucking pissed at Cuomo and not from the right, they're pissed at him from the left because he's selling them out to for profit non union charter school corporations.  Outside of Eva Moskowitz and her cronies there are no teachers who support Cuomo.  Cuomo's base is the same as the Republicans base, basically the rich selfish 'I got mine, fuck you' crowd.    

    Frankly I'm even embarrassed that this Cuomo loving drivel is even being lauded here.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:29:18 AM PDT

    •  If everyone is as pissed as you say, (0+ / 0-)

      his election should be a real squeaker. We will see. He won by 30 in 2010 running as an economic conservative.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:09:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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