Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Huge numbers of New Yorkers are Left Behinds readers

How else to explain George Pataki's precipitous drop in favorability in the last two months?

Governor George Pataki saw his favorable/unfavorable rating drop dramatically to 38 percent favorable, 55 percent unfavorable (from 53-40 percent favorable in March).

What happened between March and today? That's right, on April 12 I gave Georgie the beatdown he so richly deserved.

Oh, and he vetoed the budget for no coherent reason.

Now, because today is "What The Fuck Is The Times Thinking!?" Day (apparently), I can't move past this poll without quoting Michael Cooper's utterly bizarre take on the situation.

But, for all the heat he is taking, Mr. Pataki's budget vetoes have given him a shot of steroids just when the Legislature had written him off as the weakest of lame ducks. Now the Senate, for all its fury, needs something from Mr. Pataki. And they are the ones facing New York voters in November, not him.

Mr. Pataki, who will step down from office in eight months, can afford to look at a very different audience: the national Republicans he will have to win over if he decides to run for president.


[A]s Mr. Pataki navigates the rest of his final legislative session, he is being buffeted by competing political impulses. He can try to improve his approval ratings in New York and make friends with the Senate and with the health lobby by reopening the budget and spending more. Or he can hold out and try to salvage a reputation for fiscal conservatism that has been eroded by the near-doubling of the state budget during his three terms in office.

It is not necessarily an easy choice. No governor interested in higher office wants dismal poll numbers in his home state, which could prove an embarrassment.

That's just...weird. He's empowering himself by fucking over Senate Republicans because he's playing to a national audience? You know what's even a bigger embarrassment than bad approval ratings in your home state, as you run for President as a Republican? Completely destroying your state's Republican party. Turning it into an endless slapstick routine. When the end of your tenure as Governor sees your state's Republican party lose just about everything, do you really think you can go to Republicans in other states and claim you can win anything? (One could blame the NYGOP's impending disaster on New York's ongoing realignment away from Rockefeller Republicanism and George Bush's own tanking approval ratings--except Michael Bloomberg just cruised to reelection in the most Democratic part of the state, a couple of months after Hurricane Katrina.)

Michael Cooper could be entirely right, I suppose. Pataki could be just that moronic. To take another example of his political ineptitude (because Gatemouth happened to write about it today):

As a state legislator, Pataki was a near-perfect “Right to Lifer”. As Governor, he was nearly perfect in the "pro-choice" position. Now that he’s running for President, he’s felt a need to pander to the right. But, finding himself with a record supporting even the least popular "pro-choice" positions, and not really understanding the issue’s moral dimensions, he’s grabbed the first pander he could find, and vetoed a bill facilitating easier access to emergency contraception. So, George Pataki now finds himself virtually the only politician in America who supports Medicaid abortions, but opposes access to emergency contraception. With this veto, George Pataki has managed the neat trick of really actually being “pro-abortion” and “anti-choice” at the same time. Pataki's position on emergency contraception would be a stunning example of baldfaced opportunism if it weren't so pathetically wrongheaded.

I think that last line is probably the best summary of Pataki's political instincts I've ever heard. You could pretty much apply it to anything he does between now and whenever he gives up his delusion of being President. You could apply it retrospectively to just about anything he's done in the last year. Gatemouth, you da shit.

But only one of us produced a 30 point net swing in favorability in a month.


Tags: New York, politics, George Pataki


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