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By What Theory?

September 8, 2014

Mario Cuomo isn’t part of the current debate. He’s not in the game any more, and out of respect, we ought not to invoke his name.

But we will, and the reason is because we heard Zephyr Teachout do it this weekend.  She was claiming that her agenda is more consistent with Mario’s vision than Andrew’s, and that she’s the rightful heir to his legacy.

We obviously don’t speak for Mario or his son. But we know one thing: If this were happening only a few years ago, Mario would have a lot to say about it. He wouldn’t have the same restraint as his son. No, he would have undressed Teachout and Wu.

Interestingly, he wouldn’t have initiated it. He would have waited for just the right moment.  For example, a reporter might ask about the possibility of rapprochement with Teachout after the primary, and he would have paused and then said something like this:

“By what theory would that happen? What’s the construct?  How, exactly, would we stand up with her and smile and make nice?

How would we do that and not have the question come up again: “So do you still think the Governor is corrupt?”

And what would she to say at that point?  “Well, I didn’t really mean it.”

Oh, really? Was it like: Oops, you said the worst thing you could ever say about a person in political life, but you didn’t mean it?

You said that at every turn, in every interview, but it was really a mistake. It was: “Oops.”

Or maybe she’d say: “Well, I thought so then, but not now.”

Hmm. OK, so what changed your mind? Were you able to finally look into our hearts?  And what? Now we’re not so corrupt? Or, maybe we’re just a little corrupt, but not so much that it prevents you from making nice. Is that it?

But that doesn’t make any sense. That’d be disingenuous. That’d be cheap.  Nobody would believe it. No, it would have to be something else.  You’d have to say exactly what it was that changed your mind.  

Was it the fact that you were defeated at the polls?  Was it because the people knew better and rejected you and your insults?

And having been rejected in the assertion, what would you say? Would you say: “Never mind. It was just politics.”

And how would that square with the basic theme of your campaign that you’re not a pol? Isn’t that actually the worst kind of pol — somebody for whom the words mean nothing?

A few days ago, you were saying that the governor should resign because he’s corrupt, but now, suddenly, you think everyone should make nice. More than that. You think the Governor should do something for you. Give a nod to your issues. Commend you for your passion and ideas. Embrace you in the name of party unity?

And that’s the theory – party unity, right?

And under your party unity theory, you don’t say you were wrong and apologize. Instead, you detract from everything we did over the last four years and impugn our integrity and call us corrupt. After all of that and more, we’re supposed to commend you for it?  And say you’re terrific?

Well, that’s some theory you’ve got. And you know what? You can keep it.”

Yeah, that’s what Mario would have said.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 27, 2015 6:43 PM

    This article makes no sense. Your theorizing about what someone would have said about what someone else said in regard to a third person? A person says something that bears with it the convenience of fact and for some reason its worthy of scuttling criticism? Mario was smart enough not to over analyze motives, just tactics. What’s the point of this article? It sheds no light on any of the issues she’s raising. Isn’t that the point of why she said this? Where is any of this going?

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