Monday, October 18, 2010

EMPIRE STATE OF MIND. I'm watching the New York State Gubernatorial Debate, and I must say it's fascinating to see seven candidates with a wide spectrum of viewpoints represented -- hell, I'm even enjoying the Libertarian, and I think libertarians are full of shit.

Of course, the libertarian, Warren Redlich, has competition in the Cut Mah Gummint sweepstakes from the Republican Paladino and the Anti-Prohibition Kristin Davis. (It's fun to hear them defend hydraulic fracking in the teeth of public opposition.) And they also have to countenance something resembling actual leftist positions from Charlie Barron, Green Howie Hawkins, and the man I voted for last time, Jimmy McMillan, bravely demanding "my own cable company." So unlike at the tea party Republican events, there's a wide cross-section of populist ideas here -- not just the screw-the-poor POV, but also the screw-the-rich. It's very refreshing!

By and large, if anyone is watching it, this is going to help Cuomo -- whose MOR viewpoints are at least familiar to voters -- more than Paladino, who appears as usual to be in the middle of an unsuccessful anti-depressant switch. Also Redlich is funny, promising to solve the problems of the state with a couple of guys with "a six pack and a pizza," making him a more attractive Cut Mah Gummint candidate than Paladino. He's even stumping for the Republican candidates whom Paladino's campaign is hurting (bless him, there's one libertarian who's not even pretending there's a difference!) Sorry, Carl, that's show biz.

UPDATE. It sort of delights my cynical old heart that National Review's Brian Bolduc is trying to capitalize on McMillan's sudden popularity by noting his admiration for Ronald Reagan and his antipathy to the "business-as-usual crowd." Look, he's a Tea Party person -- except black! I doubt McMillan's demand for a rent freeze fits with their small-gummint philosophy, but the important thing is that he's angry, and angry is in this season.

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