And the fun continues…

Shock and awe.  That has to be what the reeling ex-Mjaority Leader Malcolm Smith is feeling right now.  And it just keeps piling on..

From the latest news reports, Smith has lost it all, even if the Democrats somehow regain control of NY’s Senate chamber.  The latest indictaes that even if the Democrats retake control, Smith will be ousted from any and all leadership positions.  Even the efforts of The One’s political team are sacraficing Smith in a counter-coup bid.  The problem with this is that if the Dems do regain control, then who will be elevated to the vaunted leadership positions?

That’s the question for the Democrats.  If not Smith, then who?  Carl Kruger and Tom Stachowski are two options, but the rumor mill, from many sources, seems to point to them flipping sides to join Espada and Monserratte.  But I would venture that if Smith is sacraficed, then these two would “remain in the fold,”   especially if they are offered the top two slots as President of the Senate and Majority Leader.  However, given their generally more conservative leanings, I doubt they will be acceptable to the City-crats.  Reuben Diaz sr could be the wild card in all this.  He’s stated that he won’t switch sides, but will he support a counter-coup  if Smith is involved?  Diaz was one of the “gang of four” who threatened Smith to back the GOP back in January.

Then there’s our accidnetal governor, David Patterson.  He’s losing ground at every turn.  The latest polls show him to be the least popular governor in the nation.  That’s pretty impressive given his predecessor’s antics, and the ancilliary hubub concerning former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.  Patterson is being put to the test here, and is failing each and every time.  Is it any wonder that AG Andrew Cuomo has not weighed in on this business?  Not really, as the weaker Patterson is, the easier his time to get the gubenatorial nomination will be.  Provided Patterson decides to run that is.

But it gets worse for the “reform agenda” Democrats.  NYPIRG, the NY Public Interest Group, a noted left leaning organization, has come out in favor of the GOP’s coup. “We believe, on first cut (the new rules) are another step in the right direction,” said NYPIRG Legislative Director Blair Horner.  Ouch.  That one goes straight to the Democratic agenda.

Oh for sure some have come out vocally against this move, beyond the politicians that is.  A few hundred gathered at the Capital to voice their displeasure.  A survey of those involved, from watching the news coverage, shows the usual lunatic leftist, and a fine selection of various special interest groups who stand to have thier own agendas side lined by the loss of their political allies.

I fully expect this to end by Friday.  I doubt any serious legal action will happen, more so as AG Cuomo seems to be trying very hard to stay out of teh fray.  Going so far as to ignore Smith’s “extortion and influence peddling” charges against Espada and Monserratte.  No matter what the DNC robocalls are encouraging those involved to report to Cuomo.

Ah, NY politics.  Gotta love it.

Some reading links:

Fred Dicker (NY Post)

NY Post Coverage

Capital News 9

Joe Bruno on the events

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More fun and games in Albany

Poor, poor, Malcolm Smith.  He’s had the power in the Senate for less than six months, and now it appears he has already lost it.

Local news reports are indicating that two “rebel” Democrats have opted to side with the GOP to take the leadership positions away from Smith and his control.  Pedro Espada and Hirum Monserratte have apparently, and publicly, decided to caucus with the GOP to form a new power bloc.  While both Espada and Monserratte have declared that they are not switching parties, you can bet your last dollar that Smith, and the NY Democratic party will visit a world of political hurt on those two come election time.

So now we have Malcolm Smith (D) and Dean Skelos (R) both claiming to be Senate Majority Leader.  We also have the supposed election of Espada to be President of the Senate.  Now the wrangling begins, not only in the eyes of the public, through the media, but through the courts.  Guranteed it will happen.  Smith is claiming to anyone who will listen, that this “palace coup” was illegal, and took place while the Senate was out of session.  However, there appears to be questions as to if the session was actually gaveled closed, or if Smith just thought so when he left the chambers, or was merely informed that was the case.  Details I’m sure will continue to emerge as this bit of political theater goes on.

David Patterson, our esteemed governor, has also weighed in on the matter.  However, he failed to really make any sort of impact.  We all know he’s close friends and allies with Malcolm Smith, and thus has a vested interest in seeing Smith remain on top in the Senate.  If anything, he has only added to the rudderless confusion surrounding the state of affairs in the NYS Legislature.  Can’t wait to see what Prince Silver has to say when he chimes in, probably today.

I’d like to thank all those NY’ers who voted these prats into office.  You get what you pay for folks, enjoy it!

Obama now President elect

Barrack Obama is now the President elect of the United States.  Congratululations to him on his victory.  He got the votes, and he will be sworn in as our next Presient in January.

While I am not pleased with the outcome of the election, it is done and over.  Barring an unforeseen situation, he will become the next President.  It is now up to us, the voters, of all persuassions, to keep Obama and his cohorts in the Congress on track, and yes, in check. 

Obama and the Democrats have now been handed the keys to the Kingdom.  Now we shall see what they do over the next two years.  You see, two years is all they can count on, as the next Congressional elections will be in 2010.  Obama and the Democrats will have to work a lot of miracles over those two years, or face the wrath of an electorate that will turn their cyicism on them like the did the GOP in 2006. 

A person on a message board I regularly post on was worried that expectations may be too high for Obama and the Democrats, and she is an ardent Democrat.  Of course the Obama campaign was already laying the ground work for “reduced expectations” several weeks ago.  But a great mahy of Obama’s supporters have extremely high, and unreasonable, and unrealistic expectations of what will happen. 

Two years.  Everything will have to go perfectly for Obama and the Democrats over those two years if they hope to carry on beyond that.  The economy will not only have to rebound, but accelerate.  There can be no international crisis, especially not one of a violent nature.  Al-Qaeda will have to remain silent (web videos don’t count).  They will have to meet every voters wants and desires.  If they don’t, the electorate will turn on them.  They’ve done it before, they’ll do it again.  Americans are fickle, self indulgent people, who only care about “what have you done for me lately.”  With control of Congress, and the White House, the Democrats will have no one to blame if things don’t go as well as expectations.  It’s put up or shut up for them.

The word mandate is being bandied about in some quarters.  Sorry, but no, this is not the case.  The numbers don’t support that concept.  For that matter, very few Presidents have ever had a mandate, the last being Reagan in 1984 (and maybe Johnson in 64).  I have not yet poured over all the numbers as yet, mainly because they’re not all available as yet, but a mandate is not indictaed.  Too many close races, too many states were close (vote wise, not percentage wise) that a mandate cannot be concluded.

“Always in motion is the future.”  Yoda said that.  Even though it came form a muppet in a movie, it still is true.  We cannot control the future.  We can’t even predict it much (all you Edgar Cayce fans just go away now please).  Even so, I will get a smug smirk on my face when things don’t suddenly become all wine and roses (or is that Rojas?) next January.  The excuses as to why should be entertaining as well.

We have a Winnah! (Sort of..)

According to several news outlets, Barrack Obama has secured enough delegates to get the Democratic nomination for President.  Hillary is still hemming and hawing over what she will do next.  Politico.com is now reporting that she will drop out tomorrow (Friday, 6/5).  My guess is that she and her camp are busy calling super delegates, checking with those declared for her, and the “uncommitted” ones, to see which way the wind is blowing, and if she has a chance to gain the nod in a convention battle.

If Hillary does drop out tomorrow, and cedes the nomination to Obama, then his real work will begin.  Obama has so many issues to deal with, he may be in a bit of a self dug hole to start.  In order to over come some of these problems, he’ll need to start his VP search immediately.  For Obama, the VP slot will be far more important than it is for McCain.  Obama will need someone who is strong on policy, mainly foreign policy and military matters, and is more centrist than he is, preferably from a big battleground state like Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Indiana, or New Jersey.  Hillary as VP would be a poor choice for Obama and the Democrats.  While some activists are salivating over the possibility, and Hillary has even been open to the idea of late, it would actually weaken the ticket, not strengthen it in a general election. 

I haven’t seen a solid list of possibilities for the Democratic VP slot yet, so I’m not clear on who’s up for it.  A few names have been kicked around, like Jim Webb of Virginia, but none of them would be a canidate that would bring something to the ticket to cross political lines.  Obama’s selection could make or break his chances.

Now that the primary season is over, Obama will have to come up with something more than his “change” mantra.  He’ll need some specifics, and probably to distance himself from the Senate leadership (which Rolling Stone magazine called a “failure”).  He will need to allay the fears of many independent voters on many of his positions, from Iran to the economy.  Even so, he faces an uphill battle.  Unlike many out there, his race isn’t the issue its being made out to be.  It’s his policies, and lack of any sort of plan, other than “change,” that are hurting him the most.  His past associations, from ex-Weathermen to Rev. Wright, to his revolving door of foreign policy “advisors” (many of whom have resigned for dealing with terrorists), are also significant weaknesses.  His lack of experience, and lack of knowledge on many key issues will also come into play, as his “bidy of work” is less than extensive. 

Perhaps Obama’s biggest challenge will be to maintain the support he generated in the primaries.  Given teh trend since “super Tuesday,” this may not happen.  His “buzz level” has significantly decreased, as has his organizational energy.  In addition, his main support has come from 18-24 year olds, which are a notoriously unreliable demographic in elections, not to mention a poor source of campaign funding.

Lastly, Obama will need to make peace with the Clintonistas.  Not necessarily Hillary, but her big money backers and fund raisers.  He may not be able to bring them all onboard however, as Harold Ickes implied in his statements during the Rules Committee meeting, and the expressed thoughts of others like Gerladine Ferraro.

It should be interesting to see how this all plays out.  A lot could change tomorrow with how Hillary couches her “concession.”  Then again, maybe nothing will change as well.