Republicans and Al Sharpton, Living Together—Mass Hysteria!

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When New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer made the move to the governor's office, small-government fans expected the worst from him. Surprise #1: His first big proposal is to staunch Medicaid and Medicare fraud by cutting spending and freezing reimbursement rates. Surprise #2: His biggest opponents are New York's worthless Republicans.

In the inverted politics of New York, a Democratic governor is advocating spending restraint while the Republican Party's top boss along with Messrs. Rangel and Sharpton have taken the side of the hospital industry in its battle against Mr. Spitzer. The industry is demanding that lawmakers spend hundreds of millions of dollars to roll back cuts proposed by the governor, such as a temporary freeze on hospital and nursing home Medicaid reimbursement rates.

"It shows a lack of feeling to the elderly and people in need of care. … I propose finding another way to save the money, not at the cost of human beings. It just jeopardizes the elderly to a tremendous degree," he said.

So the hospital industry is paying for Al Sharpton's* anti-Spitzer radio ads, and the Republicans are whining about how a liberal Democrat wants to leave old people on the street. Spitzer's getting support from—Surprise #3. New York's Conservative Party.

"Spitzer's on target," the chairman of the Conservative Party in New York, Mr. Long, who owns a liquor store in Bay Ridge, said. "I think he should be thinking to cut more. It has to be done because it's pretty hard for taxpayers to pay their bills as it is. Spending is really the cause of high taxes."

They all laughed last year when I suggested Spitzer was basically a federalist who'd piss off liberals with his government reforms.

New York's sclerotic state government is unlikely to make the boldest reforms Spitzer jaws about. The groups that will do the most to elect him—unions, liberals, minority voters—will blanch at the compounds Spitzer wants to mix in the New York laboratory.

One cheer for Spitzer, so far.

*who is doing his best to help elect Barack Obama.

NEXT: Florida's Forgotten Rebels

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  1. With Apologies to Jesse Jackson

    It’s on! RACE WAAAR!! Race War’s on everybody! It’s going down! Shit is going down!

  2. David, are you a god?

  3. There is no David…only Zuul!

  4. Wrong answer, Timon19. When somebody asks if you’re a god you say yes!

  5. Not unless you wanna get crucified, thoreau.

  6. Tell em’ about the twinkie.

  7. Not unless you wanna get crucified, thoreau.

    Don’t even THINK about crucifixion. Think about something good and pure and harmless, something that couldn’t possibly hurt us. Like marshmallows…

  8. Aren’t marshmallows full of corn syrup?

  9. “Everything was fine until dickless here cut off the power grid!”

  10. Ah, New York City… the city where anyone slightly right of Hugo Chavez is a wild-eyed GOP fanatic.

    NYC broke my friends. They left for New York with sharp reasoning skills, and now they sound like they have a tiny editor from The Nation co-piloting their brains. Damn you NYC!

  11. It’s been said before, but what a bunch of geeks! Me included.

  12. “Everything was fine until dickless here cut off the power grid!”

    Well, that’s what you heard.

  13. Heh, every commercial break here in WNY has at least one ad sponsored by the “NY Health Care Education Association” (ie, hospital cabal) presenting frantic nurses, bleeding patients on stretchers, and harrowed doctors predicting disaster if the cuts go through, and telling us to make Spitzer “make the HMOs and drug companies pay their fair share!”

    If they’re in such financial trouble, how do they afford to blanket all the NY TV stations with these ads?

  14. “If they’re in such financial trouble, how do they afford to blanket all the NY TV stations with these ads?”

    When did this turn into a thread about drug companies, Medicare Part D, and research funding?

  15. That’s a big damn twinkie.

  16. “Ah, New York City… the city where anyone slightly right of Hugo Chavez is a wild-eyed GOP fanatic.”

    dude, i’m gonna run you over with the mitzvah tank you keep talkin’ like this.

  17. When New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer made the move to the governor’s office, small-government fans expected the worst from him. Surprise #1: His first big proposal is to staunch Medicaid and Medicare fraud by cutting spending and freezing reimbursement rates.

    Maybe the theme is that Spitzer likes to see real economic competition, rather than that he is small-government or big-government.

    Just a thought.

  18. dhex,

    It’s both a gift and a curse.

    I’d love to tell the story of the last time I visited my friends in NYC, but without knowing the personalities involved it wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Essentially, they decided that I would be the Red State scapegoat on to which they could vomit all the NPR features from the last two years.

    They said things so stupid that if I repeated them no one would believe me. I made retorts so funny no one would believe I could have made them off the cuff.

    I wished they hadn’t been my friends so that I could have been far, far meaner to them. It was like a zombie movie. Your buddy wanders off for a little while and comes back hungering for your flesh. You feel bad about bashing them with a shovel, so you hold back a little.

  19. SugarFree | March 12, 2007, 1:03pm | #

    Ah, New York City… the city where anyone slightly right of Hugo Chavez is a wild-eyed GOP fanatic.

    NYC broke my friends. They left for New York with sharp reasoning skills, and now they sound like they have a tiny editor from The Nation co-piloting their brains. Damn you NYC!

    Your friends were weak.

    The characterization of NY as being uber-leftist is bullshit. Go to Santa Cruz or Eugene Oregon if you want leftists.

    We have the mafia. The real mafia. Being= city councilmen, unions, public authorities worth billions, that do nothing all year but rape the public teat for $$$. See = recent MTA strike.

    Most native citizens of NYC (i.e. born in the city) are pretty conservative because we end up paying (taxes) for all this unionized highway robbery. It’s the fucking yuppie 20 somethings (a large share of the Manhattan pop) like your friends that want to Create Diversity etc….

    Read the Post… which is 80% of what working class people in this city think. Liberal, it aint. I seem to recall a strong sentiment on the street that we should Nuke Mecca following 9/11.

    Oh yeah, and go fuck yourself. Hows that for liberal.

    JG

  20. GILMORE,

    Sorry, but I only really interact with the transplanted liberal arts majors that have shattered dreams of fame.

    Also, I will gladly go fuck myself if you promise to deal with the bunker mentality that causes you to over-react to an innocent anecdote.

  21. There’s a kernel of truth in what GILMORE says. NYC is in the grip of an “activist” city council that doesn’t accurately reflect the majority opinion. Voter apathy means that the loudest interests (i.e. the unions) win. And as the 70s proved, it could get a lot worse before it gets better, which means it will.

  22. They said things so stupid that if I repeated them no one would believe me. I made retorts so funny no one would believe I could have made them off the cuff.

    I’m willing to bet you’re half right.

  23. SugarBaby says

    Also, I will gladly go fuck myself if you promise to deal with the bunker mentality that causes you to over-react to an innocent anecdote

    Hey man, 2 points to understand =

    1) We(NY’rs) get shit on by the whole country, constantly, for a wide variety of reasons. Your comment was consistent with this attitude that NYC is the symbol of all things wrong with…well, not the boring bland midwest. It’s a symbol mostly for people who see it as some kind of ‘dirtier san francisco’. The passive tolerance of this view should be strongly discouraged through immediate execution of all whom express John Rockerism in public.

    2) Bunker Mentality? ppppptt. We actually DO get bombed here. Or at least people fly planes into us. And the ‘mafia’ (aforementioned civil authorities, unions) happily siphon off any money that might improve or secure the subways. Money odds are on NYC getting hit again. Excuse the minor sensitivity to your disparaging remarks.

    3) Around here, Go Fuck Yourself is translatable as, “I humbly beg to differ”.

    4) I’ll offer a similar innocent anecdote. “Hey you, you know, that place you were born, your home? It’s a piece of shit.” Chew and that and let me know how it tastes. Or, put another way – You dont want to hear it, then keep your obnoxious anecdotes in your pie hole.

  24. sorry, I just managed to make 2 points look a lot like 4.

    We Newyaawkas cant count

  25. GILMORE,

    Kentucky is a piece of shit, but at least most of us admit it.

    I made a humorous hyperbole, and you’ve dragged in 9/11, the Mafia, MTA, and the unions in order to what? refute it?

    Okay, I withdraw my off-handed remark. New York City is a wonderous bastion of doctrinaire conservative and libertarian thought. It is, in fact, the Libertopia of which we all dream. Oh, and New Yorkers NEVER hold disparaging opinions about non-New Yorkers. They hold every other place in the country in the same high esteem they show for themselves.

    The sad part is: I love New York. I go as often as I can and only family commitments keep me from living there. But don’t let that get in the way of your stumbling rush to be the rude asshole arguing New York City exceptionalism that is the stereotype here in the “bland, boring midwest.”

    Feel free to hurl some more abuse. That’ll convince me.

  26. Surprise #3: Weigel writes yet another post praising a statist Democrat and attacking Republicans.

    SHOCKING

  27. We(NY’rs) get shit on by the whole country, constantly, for a wide variety of reasons.

    And the #1 reason is the rest of us who don’t live in New York are sick of fucking hearing how it it OMG THE BESTEST PLACE EVAR and the rest of the country is “boring bland,” espically us worthless fuckers in ‘flyover country’.

    Most native citizens of NYC (i.e. born in the city) are pretty conservative because we end up paying (taxes) for all this unionized highway robbery

    I believe that when I start seen pols who are, you know conservative or libertarian, getting elected.

    Current political leaders with their power-base in NYC: Chuck Schumer, Hilary Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, and Michael Bloomberg.

    Yeah, those certainly seem like they are an accurate reflection of the conservative majority opinion in NYC.

  28. Yes, it’s true. This man has no dick.

  29. The real tragedy is that voters might fail to realize the hospital fight is being waged not by workers but by millionares defending their greed-inflated salaries from Spitzer’s reforms. Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, was the man with the money behind the recently-pulled ads, who got the attention he wanted and is now sending workers to the front like so many puppets. Ask yourself: How often do real workers with a grievance have the money to blitzkrieg a newly appointed governor with TV ads? Why has it taken so little time to move from silence toward Pataki, a corrupt governor who hired his own nephew to rebuild the Javits Center and helped destroy affordable housing in New York, to outrage toward the first pro-worker reformist we’ve had as governor since Cuomo? Where were the ads for the American Airlines workers cheated out of their retirement? The answer: nowhere, because the real poor can’t afford them. When have you ever seen such a well-orchestrated campaign emerge so quickly against an actual threat to wages and patients’ rights? Never, because real workers are caught scrambling for their pittance. And why would workers not have arisen against Pataki before Spitzer? Could it be that the wealthy are once again spinning negative publicity to further their own incredibly selfish ends? It’s time to realize that the anti-Spitzer campaign is yet another case of anti-progressive sabotage, a way to counteract the effects of a free election. The real motive is to keep Spitzer from redirecting money away from wealthy bosses and toward better patient care, and perhaps to stop the man we elected from doing precisely what we elected him to do.

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