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Put Us Out of Our Misery

December 18, 2014

We don’t want to be Fred Dicker-ish and go off on the Governor just because we disagree with one of his decisions. We’re not going to challenge his integrity or accuse him of some kind of chicanery.

That said, so very much of what he said and did yesterday was absurd. Start with formatting of his event. He convened a cabinet meeting that doubled as a news conference. He started off talking about the special session that apparently isn’t going to happen and then it morphed into a review of the administration’s accomplishments over the past year, then it turned into an appeal to cabinet members to provide new ideas for the State of the State, and then it became a pep talk on budget discipline and finally there was a huge fracking announcement. And it was on the same day as the casino announcements by the administration.

Was there no one in the Governor’s press office or senior staff who said: “Why are we doing all these things at once? Aren’t we going to step on our stories?”

Not having anyone to challenge the Governor is becoming a major problem. He’s totally free to say and do whatever he wants, and that includes preposterous things.

It was preposterous for him to claim that he can’t get a deal with lawmakers because they won’t accept any reforms at all. He’s playing games with them and himself on that.  The Assembly and Senate are prepared to do a number of worthwhile things – it’s Cuomo who’s standing in the way of a deal now.  The Governor is still smarting from editorial board criticism that his previous deals with the legislature weren’t good enough. You heard him carry on about that yesterday and it got to be embarrassing towards the end. “If I settle for half a loaf, I’m going to be criticized, so I’m not going to do it.”

Again, we don’t want to be ill-tempered about this, but the Governor struck us as petulant and whiney. He seemed to be advertising his ineffectuality and just bitching about the media instead of trying to be constructive.  There’s still time to get a deal that serves the state, but only if he stops obsessing about how it will be portrayed by the New York Times editorial board.

Next came a review of the administration’s accomplishments. It was fine, but interspersed were all these cutesy comments about Larry Schwartz and Joe Percoco and John Howard. Yuk, yuk.  Everybody knows the morale in the administration is poor and lot of people are leaving and they can’t find replacements, and yet Jim Malatras was acting like it’s a great big, happy family. Malatras didn’t just come up with that bullshit. It was the Governor himself. This is what he does. He uses phony silliness to give the impression that he’s not perpetually uptight and impossible to deal with. There’s a term in psychology for that – it’s called overcompensation.

Next came the appeal for new initiatives for the State of the State address. This had the feel of an idea that occurred to the Governor earlier that morning after he reviewed the first draft of the State of the State message and found it lacking. “Let’s put out a call for new ideas. Let’s tell the commissioners they need to go back to their agencies and rattle the cages for new approaches to government. Oh, and be sure to have those ideas in by Christmas Eve.” But really, how serious an effort can this be with four remaining business days before the holiday?

Next came more self-serving silliness about the state budget. Keep in mind here that we’re staunch defenders of the Governor’s fiscal stewardship over the last four years. We actually believe that he and Mr. Megna have done a very good job overall.  But we wanted to puke when we heard him blather on about how everyone wants more, more, more and he, ever so heroically, has to be the one to say no.  Come on. That’s called doing your job.

Then came the most preposterous moment of all – actually, it was a series of moments all with the same theme: The Governor had nothing to do with the fracking decision. He turned it over to Martens and Zucker. It was totally their decision. He let them decide.

To underscore that he really, really, really had nothing to do with it, the Governor asked a bunch of naïve questions:

“Joe, so what you’re saying here is that the benefits of fracking have been overstated? Is that it? Really? Wow, I didn’t know that.”

“Dr. Zucker, I was really impressed with your presentation, especially the part about how you don’t want your infant children playing near the gas well and sucking noxious fumes into their tender lungs, or guzzling fracking fluid from their sippy cups or playing hide and seek in a well shaft. Yes, that was, indeed, powerful input and I thank you for that.”

At this point, we wanted to pull out our hair and light ourselves on fire. Does the Governor think we’re all idiots?

Is this the way it’s going to be moving forward? Bogus bullshit on top of bullshit.

Oh, but it wasn’t over yet.

The Governor next insisted that he knew nothing, absolutely nothing about the reclassification of PEF positions.  “Uh, Larry what’s that all about?” he said.

Is this really going to be the MO for the next term: Stagecraft, bogus bullshit, feigning cluelessness?

If so, just shoot us. Do it now and put us out of our misery.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    December 19, 2014 1:42 PM

    BTW, Zucker doesn’t have any children!

  2. Bob S permalink
    December 20, 2014 3:26 PM

    Dr. Zucker doesn’t have any children. The fact that he was referring to not wanting his kids around fracking is the perfect backdrop to the total fraud that is Cuomo’s handling of the Upstate situation. Cuomo has spent 4 years putting Upstate into an economic stranglehold, except for Buffalo which he needed for his re-elect. Its like Stalin choking Ukraine, slow and merciless.

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