Too Cute, Again
Andrew Cuomo makes a point of refusing to engage on the topic of Carl Paladino. He insists that he does not know Paladino and, therefore, “I don’t think my characterization (of him) is all that relevant or appropriate…”
A model of restraint and probity, Andrew is.
The only problem is that his people are frantically trying to jazz up supporters to say that Paladino is racist, sexist, anti-semitic and, well, you know, wacko, crazy, nuts, unfit for office, dishonorable, appalling and bestial. (Yes, there is a real bestiality connection, they say. It has to do with his the famous emails.)
Rather than addressing issues that affect working families, Cuomo wants the focus to be on Paladino’s personality. The thought is that if you can really rough up Paladino in the media, he’ll get frustrated and angry and will then say something intemperate and embarrassing.
And the media – from the New York Post to Anderson Cooper to Rachel Maddow – are playing along and are now part of the Cuomo campaign.
In a CNN interview last night, all Cooper wanted to talk about was Paladino’s position on abortion, his idea for a boot camp for welfare recipients and his famous emails. (Paladino was perfectly composed throughout the interview.)
We’re going to say something that will shock and probably disappoint our progressive friends: We simply don’t care about Paladino’s positions on these matters. Nor do we care about charges of racism, sexism and anti-Semitism. (Inhale, please.)
We think this discussion is a digression from the issues that matter most – which is fiscal and economy policy. We think the Democrats just are practicing their version of “wedge issue” politics.
Let’s consider it all in a different way: What if Paladino really was a bigot? He claims to have an excellent record on minority hiring and community building, but let’s assume that it is a complete lie. So we elect a person who hates blacks, women and Jews. Then what happens? Is he going to act on his prejudices as Governor and harm us? Are the members of the Legislature going to go along with it? Are the courts?
The thought is absurd. And so is all this hyperventilating about Paladino’s supposed dark side.
We should be talking fiscal and economic policy in this campaign. We should be insisting that both candidates tell us in specific terms what they will do for our families.
Cuomo, whom we all regard as the better man and the next governor, should leading this effort, but he and his team are not. They are too busy scaring people.