Tuesday, May 31, 2011

#NY26 ... Done and done

It gives me great pleasure to know that this is very likely, almost definitely, nearly beyond the shadow of a doubt my last column in which I mention the special election in the 26th Congressional District.

It annoyed us for a few months and now it’s going to annoy the pundits and major political parties for months to come as they try to discern what it means and each side does everything they can to pretend to learn from it, while eventually overplaying their hand.

For example, shortly after the election last Tuesday, the Democrats had discerned that it was all about Medicare and have already come up with a strategy for 2012: Hang the Paul Ryan budget plan on every Republican member of Congress, as well as every candidate for everything from the presidency to dog catcher in every small town across the United States.

The Republicans, meanwhile were already attempting to claim that their stunning defeat had little-to-nothing to do with the Ryan plan and their plans to change Medicare — even before the votes were counted last week.

They went into overtime trying to downplay the Medicare effect as soon as the election was over, with Speaker of the House John Boehner saying, “When you look at what happened in this election, you’ve got a third-party candidate who spent nearly three million dollars attacking the Republican candidate. I could be somewhat critical of how the campaign was run, but the fact is we didn’t win it. And part of, the small part of the reason we didn’t win clearly had to do with Medicare.”

That’s correct, they’re blaming Jack Davis for the loss. I’ve even seen some people saying that Davis “finally got his wish” to wrest that district from GOP control. These people are either not paying attention or just plain delusional. Well, of course, they are, they’re politicians.

Both Congressman Brian Higgins and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter supported eventual winner Kathy Hochul in her bid to take the 26th District. Slaughter even said afterward that she had a spare bedroom if Hochul needed a place to stay in D.C.

Of course, Democrats support Democrats. That’s what they do. It’s like the world’s most annoying fraternity. But with redistricting coming up in the very near future, I wonder how tight their relationships really are. Odds are, the 26th gets gobbled up by Slaughter’s 28th and Higgins’ 27th, which means Hochul will end up at odds with one of her two supporters, depending on where she decides to locate in the district — unless, of course, one of them decides not to run in 2012.

By the way, there was much ado made on Election Day about the fact that Hochul doesn’t live in the district she’s about to represent. She didn’t have to. She doesn’t have to. And the fact that her residency was the GOP’s closing argument told me long before the polls closed that Hochul was going to win it.

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I hope you had yesterday off of work. I hope you enjoyed it with loved ones. I also hope you appreciated it. This country exists because of the sacrifices of brave men and women throughout our history. Their sacrifices make everything else possible.