The Best of Atlas: Atlas Contributors Choose their Favorite Posts of 2009 – Francisco D’Anconia
As you all know, I tend to be the most critical of the bunch here on Atlas. As such, of all the pieces on Atlas that have been published, I think my favorite one has to be the story about the “Bay Ridge” GOP’s garish Holiday Party. My colleague Dagny Taggart, usually more reserved in her judgments, was so horrified by the way the party aggrandized themselves at the expense of its donors and candidates by squandering so much on something so petty.
Her piece was quickly the most read piece on Atlas when it was published, with well over 1000 having read the story so far.
It serves as a reminder of how superficial the party is, the lengths it will go to distract from its failings, and the abject stupidity of the leadership and its priorities.
“Bay Ridge” GOP Holds Holiday Fest: Room Full of Patronage Workers With Their Eyes All Aglow in Golden Prince’s Manor
by Dagny Taggart
350 people showed up at the bread line on a cold winter’s night in this recession.
Food was freely given. Drinks were poured. Hands were sweaty from having been shook ten shakes too many.
But this was not a soup kitchen or the Salvation Army.
This was the Brooklyn GOP’s holiday party, and if you weren’t there, allow me to paint a picture.
Firstly, you should know the Brooklyn GOP posted the information about their party very quickly after it took place (thanks for the photo guys! ).
The room was warm and cozy and full of Board of Election workers, proving again, as around the time of the county committee convention, what patronage is really worth to this party: a hungry mob of folks devoted to jobs rather than values.
The picture shows all of the sweet old ladies who showed up to receive a kiss from Santa Marty (no, despite what the picture shows, they did not hold the party at a senior center).
As you surely guessed, Craig “The Duke” Eaton and his Prince, Sen. Martin Golden, were in attendance.
Naturally, the party was hosted at the Bay Ridge Manor. We all know what that means… (Mr. Chairman, if you want to give money to your overlord, why didn’t you just stuff the money in Marty’s pockets? I guess giving it to his family owned business is just as good? Just a thought.)
Now, every holiday party, someone “special” shows up. At a previous holiday party, it was The King of New York, Mike Bloomberg, who was hosted. This year, State GOP Chairman Ed Cox was in attendance. Likely he was invited by Golden to “prove” to him that the Brooklyn GOP has not devolved into the chaos that everyone in the surrounding boroughs and elsewhere has learned it truly is. A few of the candidates that lost this go round were in attendance, as well as some prospects looking to be political and playing nice.
Thank God free food still fills a room or two!
(Chairman Cox, please note: Bloomberg came to a recent Holiday Dinner before the Brooklyn GOP Civil War broke out this year—what did that get him in Brooklyn this past election? Nothing. My Atlas colleagues have asked me to warn you not be fooled by frivolity and antics that amount to meaninglessness.)
It must have seemed so great! All those people huddled around the tables spearing meat and swiping rolls. Such festive cheer!
Meanwhile, the price tag of the dinner is expected to be in the thousands (it costs a lot of money, what with all the fatted calves being slaughtered to feed the fatted pigs!).
My colleague Hank Rearden will be releasing a story soon detailing how the Brooklyn GOP has cleared out its bank account and, after this party, will be left with far less what Bloomberg paid to the county party to gift wrap a Wilson Pakula for him. This should come as no surprise to those who took note of Atlas’s earlier detail of the Brooklyn GOP’s stunning mismanagement of party funds.
Now, I’m no Grinch. I love a good party!
But, at a time when the economy has soured and so many have lost, the Bay Ridge Cabal is spending money like Michael Jackson on holiday.
They have no clear vision of what to do in the future, so they hope that by inviting a bunch of their subsidized hacks to a big dining hall they’ll create a smokescreen to distract from the ruins all around them—ruins that were the result of the very Shore Road Syndrome and dissention that they themselves have fostered.
In light of the true state of the party and with important events on the horizon, we are left to ask the question: where is the reconciliation promised by Marty Golden? We heard during the period around the convention from sources that The Golden Prince promised unity and togetherness after the convention regardless of the outcome.
Has he fallen asleep? It is Christmas time, after all–a time for healing and good will.
The Golden Prince has one of the most important election years in the Brooklyn GOP’s history coming up, and he’s content to let divisions rule the party?
Either he’s brain-dead or drank too much of the eggnog at the holiday party!
Wake up Senator! You currently lead what’s left of this party! You are responsible for what becomes of it just as much as Eaton is.
It should be clear by now that The Duke of Bay Ridge has no intention of pursuing any true reform. I mean, look at the Brooklyn GOP website if you don’t believe that. The site is speckled with misspellings and the same “talk down to you” tone that starting ruffling feathers when he first came on the scene. Frankly, the website is trash (I’m embarrassed that the party’s name is on it, as a Republican), and hundreds of people have expressed their resolute discontent over its poor design. It is just a symbol of the even greater problem with the Brooklyn GOP: it has no message and no vision for the future.
Look at the alienating tactics he took after he was reelected under a cloud of controversy.
Look at his inability to organize and lead any effective political event (that does not involve free food).
Eaton isn’t cutting it. So what do you do if you’re Marty Golden?
You do want to win, don’t you, Senator?
If not, your GOP constituents and friends expected better from you.
Irrespective of Golden’s designs (or lack thereof), I find it very telling that the Brooklyn GOP, in their desperation, is turning to parties as the source of their ability to impress what shriveled base they maintain in this borough.
But those devoted to true reform and progress are not distracted by such revelry. But while they cast the pieces for their Golden Calf, we know you are waiting on the mountain for the law to come down. We have long-term goals and higher aspirations. Petty trivialities don’t win elections—good platforms and donations do.
The Brooklyn GOP lacks both in the worst way.
And what good will this holiday party do for them next year when the same divisions that existed in September thaw out of the snow in spring?
We know that the barricades are still up. We know the wounds are still fresh. We know because we see the evidence of this everywhere.
And so, after a night of heavy drinking and stuffing faces full of figgy pudding, what is this holiday party worth?
What good will it do for our party when we desperately struggle to gain ground in areas of Brooklyn in which the leadership has made no attempt to gain a foothold in recent years?
What good will it do for our party in the 13th Congressional District, which is a must-win this year?
What good will it do for our party when it has no message to offer the voters and an empty bank account?
Lesson to Bay Ridge Cabal: superficiality pays no dividends in the future.