Sunday, August 23, 2009
No, Dave, It's Not Because You're Black...
The unpopularity thing you mentioned in a Friday interview???
It's because you're blind!
No, wait, that's not it either. It's because you're stupid, disorganized and politically inept.
It's because you said that New York's budget crisis shouldn't be solved by raising taxes -- like a millionaire tax, except as a last resort.
And that spending had to be controlled.
Then you passed a budget that included a huge tax hike: The so-called "millionaire" tax actually covered increased taxes on people making as little as $200,000.
And the total budget was $10 billion more than the previous year.
Oh, and you completely screwed up the senate replacement of Hillary Clinton -- humiliating the one member of the Kennedy family that least deserved it, Caroline.
The state Senate chaos that occurred partly because you helped create a power vacuum also contributed.
Admitting -- over the course of your first week in office -- that you slept around on your wife and snorted cocaine probably didn't help either.
Not only is Paterson's statement generally foolish, it's particularly stupid in terms of Democratic Party politics: A recent Quinnipiac poll showed Paterson's likely rival for the nomination last year, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, beating Paterson 4-1 and 2-1 among African American voters.
Far from being a statement that attemptes to intimidate either the media or other Democrats into getting behind him, this racial flap looks like one more Paterson tactic that has backfired in a major way.
Not surprisingly, the White House came down on Paterson like a ton of bricks. After Obama's own racial misstep last month int the Henry Louis Gates/Joe Crowley episode, the White House wants nothing to do with this insane line of argument from Paterson.
And Deval Patrick hardly appreciated being mentioned either.
The circumstances for all three men are quite different: For one, Paterson became governor upon the resignation of his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer. New York residents never had the opportunity to take the measure of the man, when he was running for lieutenant governor. It's not surprising that they would turn on him so quickly. Literally no one voted for Paterson for governor in 2006. Patrick's numbers have collapsed, but its only partly due to the economy -- even as he did raise over a $1 billion in new taxes, to tackle the latest budget deficit. But even before that, Patrick got off on f the wrong foot by extravagantly redecorating his and his First Lady's offices -- on the public dime.
And the president's poll numbers have dropped as a direct result of the political capital he's bled on the health care plan. (The Gates-Crowley "stupid" flap was an added unforced error.)