The Coming Great Rift Between Progressives And Democrats May Be Beginning In New York
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo once earned plaudits from liberals for his tough talk on gun control and success in legalizing gay marriage in the state. But, lately, he's found no shortage of frenemies to his left.
In the past month, liberal protesters outside Cuomo's office have dubbed him "Governor 1 Percent"; a prominent progressive activist has suggested that he run for reelection as a Republican; the head of a major labor union has called for someone to challenge the governor in the Democratic primary; and a series of behind-the-scenes feuds between Cuomo and other top Democratic officials have spilled out into public view.
The proximal cause for the infighting during an election year, when parties typically put aside their internal differences, is the state's recently concluded, highly contentious budget process, which ended many Democrats' hopes for sweeping ethics reforms this year. On fiscal policy, Cuomo aides insist the budget is "very progressive," but the labor-backed Working Families Party, which endorsed the governor in 2010, is reconsidering its support this year, saying that Cuomo "chose inequality over progress."
Progressives have been involved in a deliberate, decades-long takeover of the Democratic Party that has mostly been hallmarked by patience. The current occupier of the Oval Office has increased their expectations, however. Any Democrat who won't smash the tax piggy bank and give them ALL THE THINGS will be found wanting and, dare I say, targeted.
One of Cuomo's sins is that he doesn't worship at the altar of Big Labor all of the time.
"This is not a minor shift, but it comes after a slow burn that started in 2010 ... and finally just exploded in the past week and a half," says Bill Samuels, a New York City Democratic fundraiser and activist. "There was probably no one who liked Andrew better than me.…. He lost most of us permanently. And I mean permanently. I don't have one friend who is a Cuomo supporter."
At its root, much of the animosity lies in some Democrats' suspicion that Cuomo is not really one of them. Richard Brodsky, a former Democratic state senator who is now a senior fellow at the think tank Demos, has dubbed Cuomo's worldview "progractionary"—a mix of "progressive" and "reactionary." On social issues, the governor is a textbook liberal, but on economics, he's embraced tax cuts and is skeptical of labor unions.
Perhaps Cuomo is skeptical because Big Labor gets rejected in every place it isn't forced upon workers by mandate. Labor proponents will have us believe that every workplace in America will immediately morph into a sweatshop from 1894 if Big Labor has any of its power diminished or if people are allowed-wait for it-the right to choose whether they want to join a union.
The reality is that Big Labor's fairy tale isn't working anymore and people know that most labor unions (especially public sector unions) are all about political lobbying for things that will line the bosses' pockets and have nothing to do with workers. And, as we have seen in Wisconsin, they can't always win by throwing all of the money they have at an election.
It's not that Cuomo is actually moving towards the center, his psychotic gun grab alone should prove his leftist bona fides. He is merely centrist compared to someone from the "leans commie" end of the spectrum, like Bill de Blasio:
Against this backdrop, there was bound to be conflict between Cuomo and New York City's new mayor, who struck an emphatically populist tone in his campaign. Days after Bill de Blasio's inauguration, an education-policy battle erupted that typifies the opposing wings of the party the two men represent. De Blasio wanted to fund a universal prekindergarten program with tax increases on the wealthy and to rein in some of the city's charter schools; Cuomo vociferously opposes tax hikes and is a staunch defender of alternative public education.
You know who hates alternative public education?
The ideological battle for the soul of the party that the MSM loves to say is happening in the GOP is actually happening on the other side of the aisle. Like all things MSM and Democrat, it's merely projection for what is happening with them. Yes, Republican moderates and conservatives are in the midst of a very necessary fight for some direction, but we are used to such infighting and this squabble isn't quite as new as many would believe. It does get heated but nobody is really going with a scorched earth approach...yet.
The hive mind on the other side brooks no dissent however. One or the other has to win because that like-mindedness is what the Democrats have been using to win elections lately and the whole thing hits one of their planet saving low-flush toilets in a hurry if there's a family fight.
There is no level of government spending on phantom issues that satisfies progressives. They are economically challenged non-thinkers who are fueled by mutually exclusive beliefs. On the one hand, they think there is a finite amount of capital in the world and any financial success in the private sector comes at the expense of someone else. On the other, they believe that these same rich people who are stealing from the poor have an infinite amount of wealth which can be taxed to support government largesse. Once those are reconciled in someone's head, the brain short-circuits and renders any future logical thought impossible.
One side has to win this battle outright. If Hillary Clinton does end up being the nominee for 2016 it will definitely escalate the fighting, as she is practically a Reagan Republican from the leftist perspective of the progressives. Elizabeth Warren is their Golden Girl and many progressives are murmuring about her seeking the presidency, even if Fauxcahontas herself denies that she wants to.
The academics who have been indoctrinating college youth for decades are all on the whacko left and sowing seeds that could very easily blossom into a mobilized electorate. We've already seen the first glimpse of that with the Occupy crowd. Those weren't poor, oppressed American youth fighting to get to the middle class. They were college kids with iPhones who thought their education should be "free".
There is no level of taxpayer gouging that satisfies progressives. They always want more. When one of their schemes predictably fails, the excuse is always that it was because there wasn't enough money spent on it.
More, more more.
No, no, no.