The first in a series about government and the GOP in New York — And in Brooklyn in particular
It is long past the time for conservative minded Republicans in New York to look at themselves and ask:
HOW AND WHY DID IT ALL GO SO WRONG?
A) If you are a state-ist, in particular an Empire State-ist, and believe that New York is a big, powerful and wealthy state that requires a government that is big, powerful, growing and fully funded by the people to provide everything that its residents, commuter business people, and various categories of visitors and interlopers might need for longer, more productive and happier lives, STOP READING – you are part of “The Enemy Within...” and I am writing this and future posts in this series ABOUT YOU AND NOT TO YOU.
B) If you believe that New York is well governed and represents the interests of a large majority of its citizens, STOP READING – you are person who is so twisted and corrupted in your mind and soul, and/or benighted by some strange enchantment that your chances of recovery and rehabilitation asymptotically approaches nil.
C) If you believe that the Republican Party in New York City and/or State, as it is now constituted, is an effective force in moving national, New York State and local government in a positive, productive, responsive and responsible direction, STOP READING – you are a mindless partisan that will not be able to understand very much of what I will be saying in this and future posts in this series.
D) If you believe that the effective practice of politics by the Republicans in Brooklyn and the Republican Party in New York City and/or State requires alliances with any other parties, partisans, ideologues or political special interest groups that advocate any form of state-ism, and Empire State-ism in particular, you are a fellow traveler and agent of “The Enemy Within...”; thus, you are for all practical purposes indistinguishable from them, so STOP READING, for the same reasons as stated in "A" above.
LESSON 1 — We have been betrayed....
As Walt Kelly's character Pogo, often comically and/or satirically observed – “We have met the enemy and they are us...”
Since the 1970s, the Republican Party in New York State has gone from almost complete control of the state government to where we find ourselves today without control or even meaningful influence in the most populated parts of the State of New York. In the 1970's the Republican Party was a mix of liberal big government state-ists, moderates and newly self-identified conservatives. By the 1990's, the Republican Party in New York State had slipped badly, but still rallied to place a few self-identified conservative Republicans in key positions atop the state government. In the 1990's the GOP was a hodge-podge largely manned by crypto- big government state-ists with a handful of closet “moderates,” both of whom mouthed conservative platitudes, and an even smaller number of orthodox conservatives.
From the 1970s, through the 1990s revival, Republican principals of whatever stripe or self-identification have consistently helped to advance a state-ist agenda. Republican principals of whatever stripe or self-identification have consistently paid lip service to conservative Republican principles and for expediency have been accommodationists with liberal Democrats and other advocates of bigger and bigger government.
Look where this has gotten us. We have massive and massively expensive dysfunctional governments in New York — State, City and other localities and subdivisions. Republicans have seen their control, influence and significance diminish with each and every act of cooperation and compromise with Democrats and others that has increased the mass and scope of government. Each and every one of those Republicans’ acts of cooperation and compromise with Democrats and others seeking to advance and increase government has been a betrayal of the citizenry in general and their loyal voters in particular.
So where are we now, as Republicans in New York State ? The Governor, a Democrat, has openly said that only cooperative Republicans are welcome to stay. Most Republicans in state government generally and particularly in the New York State Senate, have largely heeded his admonition and are seeking to curry the governor’s favor. They are a bunch of betrayers.
Here in Brooklyn, we have only one elected Republican who is actually from Brooklyn — State Senator Martin Golden. He was first elected as a City Councilman in the 1990s. For his whole time in government he has largely served the interests of big government state-ists and authoritarians. Early on, he was careful to pay lip service to some conservative principles, values and notions — those bits and pieces are getting fewer and farther between. In terms of anything really worth calling conservative Republicanism, since becoming a state senator, Marty Golden has engaged in betrayal after betrayal after betrayal.
Next in the series "Lessons on 'The Enemy Within...' ” — Public Employee Unions, and how they are a threat to our democratic-republic and even to democracy itself.
* Although there was a book with a similar sounding title about certain corrupt unions by Robert F. Kennedy, the series of articles/posts “Lessons about ‘The Enemy Within...’ ” on this blog has no connection whatsoever to that work by Senator Kennedy. Even if there is a discussion in this series of the corrupting influence of certain classes of unions upon government, any possible overlap of material is merely coincidental.