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The Life And Times of Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn

September 10, 2011

These days, we all have reasons to look back at the past. For some, those reasons stem from resurfaced sorrows, loss, and tragedy. For others, it’s the memories of things that could have been, but were not.

But sometimes, when you look back, despite a lack of complete satisfaction, you cannot help but be intrigued, if not astonished, by what you’ve witnessed and by the lessons you’ve learned as a result.

I know I feel that way about my fellow writers and Brooklyn Republicans in the past few years.

Anyone familiar with Brooklyn GOP politics in recent times knows how much it has been reshaped and impacted in a manner that few county party apparatuses can be, in many ways surprising if not outright stunning those who have followed it.

For years, it came as no surprise to a healthy minority if not a slight majority of insiders that the establishment system of politics in both major county parties–Democratic and Republican–was troublingly flawed, autocratic and corrupt. For years, intra-party squabbling and establishment totalitarianism was a semi-private subject that few party foot soldiers, either blindly or ignorantly, openly engaged in. For years, the average voter could not bother to worry about these issues either.

Yet, in the Brooklyn GOP, the party establishment was entirely blindsided by the gathering storm of discontent over sickening wheeling-and-dealing, status quo politics. That local discontent was surely recognizable in a greater universe of national upset, captured in the then growing Tea Party and libertarian movements that, for better or worse, have dominated the political headlines in just the past year or so.

That discontent and disappointment in the Brooklyn GOP did not start with Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn.

In fact, the hewing of political victims in the Brooklyn GOP has been going on for at least a generation, and was almost certainly done well before that. Sometimes those victims found various niches and outlets to continue to share their voices in their neighborhoods, but they often enjoyed limited press attention and given timeshares on the ash heap of GOP history (to paraphrase Ronald Reagan).

The internet changed all of that.

Yes, to a degree, the internet is a place where kooks can run amok and say the nastiest things with limited repercussions. But it is also a transformative and critical forum for the unheard voices in any arena to exercise their free speech.

And so, Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn came along.

My fellow writers and I, who had all seen first and second-hand the failure of the party to progress and promote reform (both internally and in government at large), told you we sought, simply, “reform in Brooklyn’s Republican Party, from the bottom up, from within and from without.”

At first we were ignored by the establishment, who silently hoped we would fail and frankly did not understand the power of online media–remember, this is the same gang that kept a post about Arnold Schwarzenegger on their antediluvian website long after he sent their Lincoln Dinner a video tape of himself, let alone while he was popular.

But once Atlas started to challenge the figureheads of their poorly led posse–such as the estimable Craig Eaton, aptly mocked as “The Duke of Bay Ridge” for his self-important reign of irrelevance in the wider borough–they began pawing desperately at their keyboards and using party hacks and Vietnam era political consultants to “fight back.”

In the meantime, many of our writers became purveyors of news that had never reached a broader audience beyond the small throngs of insiders huddled in chintzy Bay Ridge political haunts. 

The establishment “powers that be” were not pleased one bit. Their deals with Democrats were being documented and dots were being connected demonstrating their egregious mismanagement of party funds and insular support of Bay Ridge locals at the expense of the rest of Kings County.

You have to understand that we are dealing with a group of individuals–termed “The Bay Ridge Cabal” on this very blog–who are not used to being questioned publicly. Why? Because it simply was not done by insiders. At the very least, people did not have the opportunity to do so in the past in any meaningful way.

In that way, Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn was novel.

It offered a variety of reform-oriented, frustrated Republicans and libertarian-minded individuals to express (and yes, occasionally vent) on what was wrong with things as they were and where things were (or were not) going. Our writers had the privilege of communicating with hundreds of thousands of visitors over the course of our time on the internet, which is truly humbling. We don’t benefit personally from this communication (no monetary or personal political benefit) beyond sharing our voices with each of you.

Meanwhile, the only thing the establishment could do was engage in petty guessing games on their own engendered hate blogs, impotently crowning which “douche bag” (not our term, theirs) was behind our Randian namesake–showing us all, frankly, what unprepared children the establishment is full of.

After tensions escalated, we’ve now transitioned into full blown civil war within the party, something Thomas Jefferson probably would think is a medicine necessary for its sound health. Bitter rivalries, both old and new, have been kindled, traitors have become friends (and vice versa), and feuding seemingly has no end in sight.

It was amidst this din that our writers took a step back from the fray, perhaps realizing just how much the civil war needed to play itself out without our voices muddling it. This did not go unnoticed.

Where did you go? many emailed us asking.

What happened? others asked.

In the interim, party loyalists were turning against their own, even taking their beloved Duke of Bay Ridge to court. Primary battles were raging and politics-as-usual reigned supreme in many quarters. Some major opportunities opened up (such as NY-9), and some groups continued to distinguish themselves. Yet, in these unseen wild times of GOP in fighting, attempts at meaningful reform were difficult for the most seasoned of veterans, let alone the average voter.

And so we arrive at today. Yes, the war within the party rages on, largely the product of the egomaniacs in that petty establishment Cabal refusing to either reform or say goodbye.

But some things just need to be said that aren’t being said right now. Some stories that just aren’t being told need to be told. And with elections in a few days, some issues that need to be addressed must be.

Revelations. Opinions. Predictions. All things you can either take or leave, as you always have.

So, in the coming days, we’ll be here as actively as we can. Hopefully, you’ll stop by…

– John Galt

  1. Lora permalink
    September 10, 2011 10:16 am

    Oh my gosh! Welcome back, John Galt! It’s been far too long!

    Kiss kiss…

  2. George Bruce Cortelyou permalink
    September 10, 2011 10:23 am

    “…small throngs of insiders huddled in chintzy Bay Ridge political haunts.” Instant classic 🙂

  3. O Mio Babbino Caro permalink
    September 10, 2011 10:49 am

    It can’t be denied. Atlas Shrugs really was a trend-setter in GOP politics in Brooklyn. Not only could the GOP leaders not escape its watchful eye, but everything they did to “counter” it either flopped or was obviously a response to this blog. Whether it was the self-funded joke that was Brooklyn GOP Radio (that still features the pathetic lives of David Storobin, Gene Beer-and-Deli, and Russell Shallow) or the pretty lame subterfuge of “The Jig Is Up Atlas,” the hallmarks of Atlas’ influences on the party cannot be missed, even today.

  4. Sexy Republicana permalink
    September 10, 2011 10:50 am

    • Save Some For Later permalink
      September 13, 2011 12:14 am

      Gene Beer-and-Deli needs another hero like he needs another hemarroid. Oh wait…that’s
      Strorobin on Gene’s butt.

  5. Bad GOP Website permalink
    September 10, 2011 11:29 am

    It’s something else, but during one of the busiest times in GOP politics with Bob Turner and all the primaries, the GOP’s website is as sad and decrepit looking as ever. I remember their old website wasn’t exactly a gem, but this one is actually sadder. And even though they advertise for it on Urban Elephants, probably to try to erase the number of hits Atlas has gotten there, they still haven’t improved it at all.

  6. welcome back permalink
    September 10, 2011 11:34 am

    Welcome back atlas, although you were away, its amazing that the Brooklyn GOP is the same..a laughable blog, a chairman who tries to stay relevane- he endorsed Perry in the NY Post (I wonder how his committee members and GOP electeds feel about that), still no wins, and more fluff than substance.

  7. Things Sound Much Better in Klingon permalink
    September 10, 2011 12:08 pm

    Fantastic writing, JG!

  8. ATLAS JUDGE permalink
    September 10, 2011 12:10 pm


  9. Scott from Park Slope permalink
    September 10, 2011 12:18 pm

    A well-deserved hiatus and an apt moment to stir the pot, if not shake it entirely. A warm welcome back to Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn!

  10. Velma Mavis Palmiero-Chumputzky permalink
    September 10, 2011 10:02 pm

    I am deeply hurt and offended.

    I won’t let myself be treated this way…

    The last laugh is on you, becuase you have left me with your child, whom you will never see grow up. With the way you have acted these last few months, you are not a proper parent.

  11. Marcus permalink
    September 11, 2011 1:40 am

    Welcome back!

    Missed you ASIB!

    Keep the pressure on the Barrister Duke of Bay Ridge and his motley crew!

  12. Velma Mavis Palmiero-Chumputzky permalink
    September 11, 2011 10:01 am

    To: Those at Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn
    Fr: Velma Mavis Palmiero-Chumputzky
    Re: My earlier comments

    I was mistaken about who runs this blog.

    Thanks to your kind assistance, I realize that I should have directed my comments to “The Jig is Up Atlas” and one it’s sponsors on the Executive Committee of the Kings County Republican Party.

    So sorry if it cause you undue concern, thank you for your Email.

  13. Long Ears permalink
    September 12, 2011 6:24 pm

    I’ve heard that members of the local media can’t stand Craig. Who could? He’s a nasty curmudgeon. That much is public knowledge.

  14. Alfred M. Wood permalink
    September 12, 2011 6:37 pm

    Such a travesty this Brooklyn GOP leadership amounts to. Truly the burlesque of political machines.

  15. why never quoted permalink
    September 12, 2011 8:28 pm

    Good point about craig. He is rarely quoted in local press despite his endless press release claiming credit for the sun rising every day.. Then he frets as the egomanaiac he is that someone else was quoted- be it an actual elected official or Gerald Kassar, or anyone else..

  16. Gunga Din permalink
    September 12, 2011 11:52 pm

    Every day I go and feed the owls living in Jerry Kassar’s afro. They are kind. A crumb makes them very happy. Then, if I have time, I’ll go and feed the pigeons living in Fran Vella-Marrone’s afro. They are vicious.

  17. Harry O'Brien permalink
    September 14, 2011 6:13 pm

    Welcome back!

  18. Don't Foget "THE GOLDEN PRINCE OF BAY RIDGE" permalink
    September 15, 2011 8:22 pm

    State Senator Martin Golden again is doing a flip-flop-flip-flop-aw-shucks-shuffle on Mayor Bloomberg.

    What’s up with our “Golden Prince of Bay Ridge”? It looks like the gun-control Micro-Stamping Bill all over again.

    According to the September 14th New York Post’s “Taxi ‘hail’ storm – Mike’s all-borough plan near crash” by David Seifman and Jennifer Fermino :
    “Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to let livery cabs pick up street fares in the outer boroughs has hit a major speed bump…. Golden… the sponsor of the Bloomberg-backed bill in the state Legislature — now wants to change the measure in a way that would please the powerful taxi industry, which strongly opposes Hizzoner’s plan….”

    According to the Post, Golden’s boss, Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos might be behind Golden’s about face. “Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has been in no rush to send the bill to Cuomo, said the source, because the deep-pocketed taxi industry is pressuring him to let it die.”
    Read more:

    Let’s put it out there in a way that Golden’s Republican supporters would clearly understand, “The question begs, is your man, Martin Golden, again selling out his patron, Mayor Bloomberg; this time for a little something from the yellow cab operators?”

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