Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who is Writing the Obituary for the New York Republicans?

Bouldin from The Daily Gotham says the NY GOP is dying
"A serious question: is there even going to be a republican party in this state, in the sense of an organization with meaningful ability to influence public policy, after the November elections?

The signs at this moment aren't all that promising. The not-so-casual observer can isolate three flashing signs of decline.

Fragmented, low-profile leadership: The top-ranking republican in this state today is Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Skelos has virtually no statewide profile and isn't really doing much to acquire one, choosing to act very much like the leader merely of Long Island republicans, and not as the titular head of his party for the entire state. The rest of the leadership roster is similarly desiccated; Rudy Giuliani, the best-known New York leader of that party, went from Presidential front-runner to also-ran in a matter of weeks, former governor George Pataki has vanished, former Senator Al D'Amato is busy lobbying, and former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno is probably negotiating with the Feds right now over those pesky indictments. Henry Kissinger, meanwhile, has opted out of anything having to do with state politics for a very long time.

As to the next generation of leadership, if it's out there, it's difficult to detect. This stems in part from a systemic feature of our electoral system, whereby New Yorkers stick with incumbent legislators for decades (a problem that similarly affects the black political leadership, in ways that offer parallels to the republican challenges). Republicans, by choking off avenues of advancement for new stars - cf. Trunzo, Caesar, or Maltese, Serph - have disincented their young guns from seeking out the path of public service."


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