Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kos: Cuomo is another Lieberman

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken a drubbing from liberal activists lately, and today Daily Kos' founder, Markos Moulitsas hurls, perhaps, the most stinging insult of all -- he compares him to.... Joe Lieberman.

.... if you're looking for a successor to Obama who will be a strong Democrat who will fight for Democratic ideals and his or her party, don't be looking at Cuomo. Point to his record on marriage equality all you want. The only thing that "he's with us more than he's against us" argument proves is that Cuomo is a worthy successor to the legacy of Joe Lieberman.

That'll make him popular with the Sunday morning talk shows. It should make him persona non grata in a Democratic presidential primary.

So what's the kerfuffle about?

Essentially, a few Democrats in the New York state Senate have decided to form their own "independent Democratic conference" that will partner with Republicans; in effect, robbing senate Dems of control and giving Cuomo exactly the power-sharing arrangement many suspected he wanted.

Beginning in January, two parties — not one — will lead the New York State Senate. The Independent Democratic Conference and the Senate Republican Conference announced a "bipartisan partnership" Tuesday. The partnership will allow the IDC to be recognized as a permanent conference in the state Senate and calls for state Sen. Jeff Klein of the IDC and state Sen. Dean Skelos to serve as leaders of their respective conferences.

So what does Cuomo have to do with this?

Well, many major, New York Democratic activists like Bill Samuels say the governor never wanted the Democratic majority that was there for the taking.

Samuels doesn't so much blame the breakaway Democrats, who he once praised, as he does the Democratic governor, who has provided critical help to the G.O.P. in hanging on, by signing off on a gerrymandered district map, regularly praising the incumbent Senate Republicans and countenancing (if not openly approving) the decisions of what looks to be a total of five Democratic senators to join the opposition.

This could become a problem for Cuomo -- not in a presidential general election -- but for scoring grassroots liberal support in a primary

Both Kos and Samuels specifically make the argument that Cuomo's work on gay marriage isn't nearly enough to offset these bipartisan machinations -- something perhaps Cuomo was hoping for.