June 2, 2014  By Jack Jodell.

A major political development occurred over the past few days involving an incumbent governor of a large state, his future political ambitions, his party’s state convention, and the way in which this governor was forced by a growing and very vocal third party to publicly endorse a much more progressive economic policy than the one he had been following.

cuomo rIt has been fairly obvious to many political observers that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has been trying to position himself for a future run at the White House. He has used a methodology that many Democratic politicians have used in recent years to gain office and maintain power: court those to the left with big social promises, while delivering tax breaks for the wealthy to obtain funding and support from fat cats and the business community.  Cuomo is well aware that a huge majority in his bid for re-election this fall would greatly aid his chances of receiving a   giant electoral majority. A recent poll shows him leading his closest  GOP challenger by a sizable 57% – 26% margin, yet he wants to increase this lead even further.

Cuomo first won election in 2010 by defeating his Tea Party challenger in a landslide. He managed this victory in an otherwise extremely successful year for the reactionary Tea Party by winning a huge and nearly universal majority WFPof votes from New York’s boldest and most progressive third party, the Working Families Party.  This third party was originally begun by a grassroots coalition of neighborhood activists and community organizers, with a large backing from  organized labor. It came into being because of voter disgust with the way that corporations and big money have come to corrupt and basically own both major American political parties, making it virtually impossible for the poor as well as for working and middle class Americans   to receive the fair electoral representation to which they are guaranteed by the Constitution. Whereas the Democratic Party used to be the proud party of the poor and working Americans, to many this is now no longer the case. Voters have seen far too many Democrats position themselves barely a degree or two the left of an ever-increasingly conservative and even reactionary, backward-thinking Republican Party, and they have steadily lost economic ground to wealthy corporatists as a result. Due to this abandonment of working class needs and wants, parties like the WFP are beginning to roar into existence.

Support for Cuomo began disappearing soon after he took office. WFP voters saw that, while he was doing a great job on cultural issues like gay rights and gun control, on economic issues he had all but abandoned Main Street in pursuit of policies designed  to primarily benefit the wealthy and Wall Street instead. Many former supporters began to view him as a traitor, and some cuomo leven began “Dump Cuomo” movements. As a number of WFP voters were also members of Cuomo’s Democratic Party, these angry, disaffected voters began to threaten to split the party, something Cuomo wants to avoid at all costs! For a time, they were threatening to put up a WFP member to actually challenge Cuomo for the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor. Cuomo, aware of the perils that could result from this, quickly took notice and became alarmed. He saw that polls showed that, were a WFP candidate to enter the race, that candidate would grab an astounding 20 points off Cuomo’s comfortable lead, and would reduce it to a shaky plurality of Cuomo 37% to the GOP challenger’s 24% to the WFP challenger’s 22%! It is clear to see from all of this that New York voters, much like many other parts of our country, are strongly rejecting the reactionary Tea Party philosophy of using obstruction to block much-needed legislation and imposing ridiculously harsh austerity budgets on a public still smarting from underemployment, meager job creation, and low wages. Even more importantly, though, they are rejecting politicians who are placing their own political advancement well in front of the constituents who elected them.

Even more striking is the anger more and more voters are starting to feel with weak-kneed, overly cautious Democrats, whom they correctly believe have all but abandoned them to placate wealthy, uncaring plutocrats! This blogger, and many others, shares their dismay with the way the Democratic Party has shifted far to the right of where it once proudly stood prior to the conservative / reactionary sludge slide that began with the Reagan administration of the 1980s. We have HAD IT with wimpy “Blue Dog” Democrats who have become “Republican Lite” corporatists  instead of pushing for a fairer, more progressive political and economic agenda!

New York is one of those unique states where a single candidate can appear on an election ballot with more than one party’s endorsement. Cuomo, of course, appeared on the 2010 gubernatorial ballot under both the Democratic Party’s and the Working Family Party’s heading, If a voter cast a ballot for him under the Democratic Party’s label, the Democrats would get credit for that vote. And, were a voter to cast a ballot under the WFP heading (as many voters did that year), that party would get credit for the vote, Because so many voters voted for Cuomo under the WFP banner, it gave them enough votes to be listed again on this year’s ballots. With the real possibility of the WFP running their own candidate for governor becoming a very real possibility, Cuomo began to see the handwriting on the wall quite clearly, and knew it was time for him to swing hos campaign more to the left to avoid losing this very significant bloc of progressive voters.
cuomo cavesSo, to avert a potential disaster, Cuomo  publicly issued a statement calling for all disaffected Democrats to unite behind him and begin to push for a more progressive agenda going forward. For, while New York’s statehouse is dominated by Democrats (on paper, at least), a number of these Democrats tend to side with Republicans often to block progressive legislation. It is hoped that, as a result of this call for unity, Democratic majorities will overwhelmingly swell to the point where truly progressive legislation can actually be passed and signed into law.  
It is still too early to tell if Cuomo will actually keep his word, but the potentially encouraging thing is that the Working Families Party may have actually succeeded in forcing a major Democratic governor into reestablishing traditional Democratic Party policies into his governing agenda – only time will tell.      

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
This entry was posted in commentary, conservative Republicans, corporatist, Democratic Party, economics, extremists, labor unions, Politics, Progressives, reactionary Republicans, Tea Party, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republican Party, wealth disparity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Hello Jack,
    I was just thinkung how Bishop T. D. Jakes parable, “The Giraffes and Turtles”.

    He starts off with, “To get to the core of who you are, you need to understand what you are”.

    Now as I see it, progressives have the viewpoint of the giraffes, and conservatives have the viewpoint of turtles.

    Think about this: giraffes eat from the tops of trees, and turtles eat from the bottom. Neither is better than the other, but they just don’t relate.

    They may occupy the same state, the same space, but they don’t have the same worldview. A giraffe can’t explain to a turtle their worldview because the turtle cannot conceive the perspective.

    The giraffe can be in the same geographical location as the turtle, but the giraffe eats from the tops of the trees and the turtle moves through the grass. The giraffe has the larger panoramic view but the turtle’s view is just blades of grass and tree trunks. (I would also add, maybe some giraffe droppings)

    The point is to eat on your level. If you’re a giraffe, be that. If you’re a turtle, it’s OK to be that. What ultimately happens in the lives of all people is that we eat on the level of our vision.

    When you are a giraffe, and you get criticism from turtles, the turtles are just reporting from the view of the level they are on.

    When you are the giraffe, be confident in who you are, and don’t let the turtles tell you what you should be to bring you down to their level of vision.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      LOL, thanks Engineer of Knowledge, for that hilarious but true parable! My only concern is that it doesn’t cover the possibility of a lowly turtle rver being able to climb up to a giraffe’s level, either through eating some of those giraffe droppings and growing, or by simply crawling slowly up the giraffe… 🙂

  2. Well Jack,
    Thanks through Corporate funded millions of dollars to propagate misinformation, the lowly turtle is indoctrinated and propagandized to refuse to admit that there is EVEN a tree top level….even if they could see it with their own eyes…..Kind of like Global Warming denial. 🙂

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