After Statewide Rebuke on Primary Day, Establishment Leader Cox Rolls into Brooklyn “Spinning”
Political spinmasters: genuflect. Just a little bit.
Those reading the Daily Eagle’s coverage of New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox‘s arrival in Brooklyn this week, must have felt as though they were in an alternate reality. After seeing his first gubernatorial pick excoriated by Republicans and his second gubernatorial pick trounced in the primary (along with nearly every other major establishment candidate), Cox has the audacity to roll into the five boroughs and tell us how he plans to “take back New York.”
That’s meant to be a joke, right?
At this point, the only thing that I wish Ed Cox would take back is the slew of bad decisions and failures he has made during his tenure.
Let’s not forget, this was the state chairman who attempted to force a Democrat–Steve Levy–down the throats of GOPers without consent. Doing so was certainly one of the major factors which, in my view, hamstrung the Rick Lazio campaign from ever building momentum (not that Lazio’s campaign didn’t fall apart of its own accord eventually) and inadvertently gave strength to Carl Paladino, who is now falling in the polls.
Oh, and even though his son is no longer a GOP candidate for Congress in Suffolk County, one wonders whether Father Cox’s support for Steve Levy had anything to do with the fact that Levy is the county executive of Suffolk county.
One can speculate…
Whatever the case, when all is said and done, Ed Cox embodies “The Establishment” Republican voters have rejected this year.
Let’s be honest. The man comes off as a wealthy, detached WASP who is not in touch with the base of his party.
Given that, I found Cox’s little establishment gathering at Third Avenue and 86th Street in Brooklyn rather amusing. There he was, standing with the two leading figures of the Bay Ridge Cabal–Sen. Marty Golden and The Duke of Bay Ridge (our GOP Chairman)–telling you and me a fairy tale. Harold Egeln of the Eagle told it this way:
“The people of New York state are hurting,” declared New York state Republican Chair Ed Cox about the state government’s economic crisis and the need for jobs. He stood at the corner of bustling Third Avenue and 86th Street with candidates for federal and state office as well as Brooklyn GOP Chair Craig Eaton. “The last four Democrat state budgets have increased spending, taxes and fees. That’s not acceptable,” he said.
Saying that a revitalized GOP has solutions, Cox, son-in-law of the late President Richard Nixon, called for the election of Republicans to bring fiscal responsibility to Albany and Washington, D.C. He predicted a Republican majority in state and federal government.
Of Brooklyn’s lone but influential Republican elected official, southwest Brooklyn’s state Senator Marty Golden, Cox said that he “is going to be a leader as part of that majority. We’ll be able to get enough ideas and an assembly so we can get the budget done on time.” He also promised to get Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver ousted as majority leader.
Is he also promising us to pay all of our rents for the year? To cure world hunger?
First of all, even if I believed any of what Cox said (which I don’t), he doesn’t have the credibility to deliver the message he did. As leader of “The Establishment,” Cox represents the failed thinking of self-interested GOP “leaders” whose candidates were rejected by an angry Republican base last month. Now, I agree Cox is obligated to come around and try to work toward the best outcome has our party’s “leader,” but his lack of humility after the recent primaries is, frankly, stunning.
Second, if anything is going to get those goals Cox articulated accomplished anytime soon, it will require a popular uprising, much like the kind that Mr. Paladino, to his credit, has fostered. But not just with Republicans. With all New Yorkers.
Currently, the Republican establishment has not demonstrated they are capable of taking back even the State Senate, let alone the Assembly. That’s because the fundamentals of their approach are deeply flawed.
No where else is that more evident than here in Brooklyn, where intra-party warfare has been in full swing for over almost an entire year.
Our Brooklyn GOP Chairman has literally failed in every single election he has overseen. He has not orchestrated any pickups during his tenure and has actively undermined GOP candidates that had the opportunity to win against the opposition. And this year, given recent polling, even those hopeful that the 13th Congressional race would be in play are beginning to have their doubts. I still believe it is in play, but if it is, it is solely due to the Grimm campaign’s activity and has nothing to do with the Brooklyn GOP establishment.
This should not be surprising.
Our local party routinely turns to hacks like Gerry O’Brien, The Merlin of Malice, a sometimes GOP strategist, who has been accused of using every dirty trick in the political playbook but seems to only win races for Democrats (Kevin Peter Carroll comes to mind).
They impotently deify Marty Golden, who has racked up so many political mistakes this term (from missing key votes to banding with ACORN), rather than reign him in and set him right.
They work covertly with corrupt Democratic boss Vito Lopez through a mysterious PAC and then have nothing more to say about him. Indeed, I cannot recall the last time I heard (if ever) the GOP Chairman or Sen. Golden say anything bad about Vito Lopez. After all, this is the man one would think the GOP is trying to undermine. Why then have I heard so few establishment leaders in Brooklyn voicing their opposition to Assemblyman Lopez?
Again, one can speculate. I believe the facts that our blog has covered in the past speak for themselves.
Given examples such as these, it’s no wonder our party leaders have not earned the respect of their constituents. And, let’s face it, it’s not like the average Republican or voter even knows who many of these people are.
I mean, when media figures don’t bother to get the candidate’s name right, you have to wonder just how relevant they are. Even veteran reporter Harold Egeln could not be bothered to spell Phyllis Carbo (“Phyllis Crab”) or Joseph Hayon’s (“Joseph Hayden”) names correctly in piece I sourced above.
In case you didn’t know (you’re not alone), they are running for the State Assembly.
And who could forget CBS’ Marcia Kramer referring to GOP Duke Eaton as “Craig Easton”? This woman sat in a room with him, interviewed him, and still got his name wrong. Another veteran reporter, no less.
Again: more irrelevance.
These are the problems plaguing our party–not just locally but statewide, too. We are not delivering a real message, putting up candidates targeted toward the districts in which they are running, or promoting ourselves in any way that makes us relevant to the media.
We are not thinking outside the box, being innovative or taking advantage of the political climate as well as we could. Indeed, if the Tea Party, which came from the grassroots of the state, has given us our best chance to win anything this year, what does that say about the establishment that has had so long to try and do the same thing but never succeeded?
That just says it all.
But when the fundamentals the establishment has fostered are so poor, how can you expect a different result?
If this party is going to win anything in the coming decades, it will be on a reform agenda that provides a full and complete plan for addressing our city and state’s woes. It will take courageous leaders who can lead the charge against the forces of status quo in City Hall and Albany. It will require a popular movement of average New Yorkers–not just Tea Party activists or “Carl Country” folk–who are looking for results from a party that can deliver them.
Under Ex Cox, that party is not our current state GOP. Nor is it locally under Golden or Easton.
But with new leadership and a genuine platform, it certainly could be.