For months, there've been rumors, leaks, and half-heard reports of all sorts that the renegade Democrats who've handed control of New York's state Senate to the GOP were brokering a deal whereby they'd rejoin their mainstream counterparts—since, after all, Democrats control a majority of seats in the chamber. Now the wayward members of the so-called Independent Democratic Conference, in a joint statement with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, want the world to believe that they are in fact coming back:
[Bunch of b.s. about how great the IDC is.]Note a few things of things here. For one, the IDC isn't saying they're definitely going to return to the Democrats—no, they're hedging, saying only they "agree to work together" to form a new coalition. That only means the IDC has agreed to work amongst itself on the concept of rapprochement. Hooray!
"Therefore all IDC members are united and agree to work together to form a new majority coalition between the Independent Democratic Conference and the Senate Democratic Conference after the November elections in order to deliver the results that working families across this state still need and deserve."
That leads us to the next thing: the timetable. The IDC isn't saying it's rejoining the Democrats now, which it easily could if it wanted to. They're just promising to possibly do something in the future, after the elections. The statement mentions November, but the real issue here is the September primaries, where so far two IDC members are being challenged by real Democrats: Sen. Jeff Klein (by Ollie Koppell) and Sen. Tony Avella (by John Liu). The IDC is just trying to undermine these challengers, to give voters less of a reason to fire their senators by making vague pledges that they'll be good. Some day.
That brings us to the final key point about this statement—specifically, what's not in it. The mainstream Senate Democrats didn't sign it—only Cuomo and Klein did. That means there's no actual deal here, nothing of substance. Again, it's just an airy-fairy promise about something that the IDC might do months and months from now.
And no one should ever trust any promise made by Cuomo, considering he started walking back his pledges to the Working Families Party scarcely a day after he earned their endorsement less than a month ago. No one should believe Klein, either, who's spend years trying to convince everyone that he's furthered the cause of progressivism by allying with Republicans.
So in the meantime, we all need to keep our eyes on the ball. The IDC's promised nothing, and it still needs to go. Please donate $3 to help John Liu and Ollie Koppell take a bite out of the IDC's hide.