Post Morteming the Post Mortems
Where would a good gangbang be without some sloppy seconds?
As the tribal chieftain once said, “but first some bongo bongo.”
In the egalitarian spirit, the first cadaver up for autopsy will be my own.
Those who will claim last night was a loss for Vito Lopez are not without an argument.
Bob Turner’s extraordinary two to one victory in the 9th District’s Brooklyn portion (Weprin eked out a small victory in Queens) was the story of the election, but from the beginning, thoughtful observers (defined here as me and Colin Campbell) knew Turner was going to win Brooklyn.
As the coach noted in Chariots of Fire, one can’t put in what God left out.
Maybe a flawless and relentless Brooklyn operation could have yielded Weprin 40% there, but it was not going to do much better in the current climate, and would probably not have won there even in a better one.
Anyway, Vito won the races he cared about, and won them convincingly (Assembly candidate Rafael Espinal) or big (Civil Court candidate Sharen Hudson).
Billy Phelan (is he related to Roscoe Conway?) writes:
I disagree. Last night was a victory for Lopez.
Perhaps he misunderstood me when I said: Vito won the races he cared about, and won them convincingly.He goes on to opine.
If anyone should take heat for how the 54th AD race impacted the NY 9 congressional race it is the WFP and the democratic electeds that failed to realize they were pursuing a failed strategy in both districts and tying up much needed democratic foot soldiers. Leading this piece like you did is unfair to Lopez, and let's ALOT of people (WFP, Lincoln Restler, New Kings Democrats) completely off the hook.
I don’t think it’s giving Lopez “heat” to say: “one can’t put in what God left out. Maybe a flawless and relentless Brooklyn operation could have yielded Weprin 40% there, but it was not going to do much better in the current climate, and would probably not have won there even in a better one”
A better description of that sentence would be to say I was letting Lopez almost completely off the hook.
As to letting NKD, WFP and Lincoln Restler off the hook, I think I’ve been unyielding in criticizing progressives for cluelessness in their choices for allocation of resources in these races:
7/12/2011: Meanwhile, on Facebook, some of New York’s most outspoken progressives have done little but express their outrage about the candidate selection process…
Lincoln Restler (Brooklyn District Leader) (July 7): freedlander explains the 1 person democracy that is a NY State special election...and how we ended up David Weprin. The Weprin Choice, or How to Win Your Party’s Pick for a Special Election | PolitickerNY www.politickerny.com...
I have to ask, with all due respect,
WHY THE FUCK DO THE PROGRESSIVES HAVE THEIR HEADS UP THEIR ASSES?...
All of the “progressive” energy in the room seems to be sucked up by the fight to beat Vito Lopez’s candidate and elect Jesus Gonzalez to the Bushwick/Cypress Hills Assembly seat.
Although I’m leaning to endorsing Gonzalez myself, I am unimpressed by the idea that beating Vito Lopez is more important that beating John Boehner.”
7/18/2011: It’s a Gatemouth World Part Two: “Lincoln Restler Eats Crow”
Lincoln Restler: This is how Democrats ended up with Assemblyman David Weprin, widely praised for his “loyalty” to the Queens machine, rather than any variety of qualities we might hope for in our newest Member of Congress.
GATE: I don't disagree that the process sucks--no mention of runoff in the proposal Restler supports, so I'll have to withhold judgment as to whether it'd be a gift to the GOP.
Lincoln Restler: I‘ve stated publicly my support of his candidacy. I want every vote we can muster to get Nancy her gavel back
GATE: Nice if you had mentioned it--even in an aside; people in places like Sheepshead Bay read that Paper and might get a different impression, given that your prose in the article strongly implies a total lack of support.
Phillip A. Saperia: I agree with Gatemouth. David Weprin is a tested liberal with a credentialed record.
Lincoln Restler: Thanks, Phillip. I also support him in this election.
7/19/2011: I am puzzled why "progressives" who say that a Democrat accepting the Conservative line is disqualifying and makes it imperative we support the WFP candidate [in the 54th AD], cannot bring themselves to declare that a Republican accepting the Conservative line is also disqualifying and makes it imperative we support the WFP candidate (who happens to be the Democrat) [in the 9th CD] When will Lincoln Restler’s parents be sponsoring a fundraiser for David Weprin?
9/6/2011: The idea that Vito Lopez, however bad he may be, is somehow a greater evil than John Boehner, Eric Cantor and the Tea Party is just unfathomable to me, as is the thought that a race between three candidates who will vote the same way 97% of the time is somehow worth more effort than the chance to make a difference in a race between a moderately liberal Democratic and a Tea Party Republican, which if we lose, will be a right wing propaganda victory of monumental proportions to be used across the nation as a bludgeon against Health Care Reform and Same Sex Marriage.
9/10/2011: Hamilton notes that Gonzalez is backed by ”The New Kings Democrats,” and however much NKD are rich white outsiders, they are also genuinely reformist, if sometimes painfully out of touch (NKD Leader Lincoln Restler recently wrote about the special election selection process with such vitriol that one practically had to put a gun to his head to get him to admit that David Weprin was preferable to Bob Turner).
In fact, I was so outspoken about “progressive” apathy in the 9th that I provoked not one, but two responses from the Albany Project—the second one a mea culpa admitting I was right and urging “progressives” to work for Weprin.
That all being said, Mr. Phelan is correct that the article should have noted the lame efforts of both Lopez and “progressives.”
Let me be clear, NKD, a local club, Restler, a local District Leader, and Lopez, in his capacity as a local District Leader, were perfectly within their rights to focus their efforts on a race in their neighbor’s neighborhood. Restler earns special criticism only because he went out of his way to insult Weprin, while his protestations of support were delivered sotto voce.
However, the WFP, and Lopez, in his capacity as County Leader, are a different matter. Both made conscious choices to deploy their resources to the detriment of Weprin by putting them towards a race which meant far less. I would not criticize Lope for deploying his club and other local supporters on behalf of Espinal.
However, I do criticize Lopez for deploying his resources from around the County in the Espinal race, and not for Weprin.
The same, in even larger measure goes for the WFP, who made the wrong choice both based on the importance of the issues involved, and in its cost benefit analysis of what it could accomplish.
In both cases, election day was not the real sin. Weprin seems to have had a pretty adequate election day operation. It was the lack of troops throughout the campaign where both Lopez and WFP failed Weprin and the national Democratic Party.
And, in that measure, the WFP was worse, as Lopez was providing Weprin with some support, and then pulled it, while the WFP basically did nothing at all.
There is also this from Teddy S:
Not just because she has better hair and no moustache, but Melinda Katz would not have lost this race. No way.
But they were just too afraid that after she won, she would not
I have to wonder why Teddy believes that Orthodox and Russian Jews who beat Weiner in the 45th and 48th ADs and had voted for Dioguardi, Donovan, Wilson and the opponents of Nadler and Towns, among others, were somehow going to come through for Katz, in the aftermath of the latest economic down turn and Obama’s latest Israel pronouncement, when last year they could barely tolerate a popular seven term incumbent running under somewhat better circumstances.
Weprin had thrown piles of money at these communities, had run missions of mercy to West Bank settlements and did not have two single-parent test tube babies, or Alan Hevesi connections which would have made for some really nasty campaign fodder. Or perhaps, Katz had some special appeal to Breezy Point Irish.
However more presentable and better on her feet, it seems hard to fathom that the economy and Israel were not going south for Katz as well.
Moving on to other writers, Colin Campbell sees ominous rumblings in the results for Lew Fidler’s future race for state Senate.
Sez Fidler: “A lot of the people who were working for Bob Turner have already donated to my campaign…I have a very strong track record with those same constituencies.”
Sez Colin: David Weprin also had a very strong track record with the Orthodox Jewish constituency though — having funded them regularly from the City Council and being an Orthodox Jew himself. That didn’t seem to help him one iota last night.
Sez Gatemouth (a heavy Fidler contributor): Ouch.
Fidler is smart, and takes nothing for granted, but this cannot be said to be one of his best days. Not a great day for John Sampson either.
Amplifying my point about “progressives” is “progressive” Mole333 at the Daily Gotham. While Mole makes perhaps too big a point about Orthodox opposition to same sex marriage (which I think was important among the Ultras, but not so much among many of the more Moderns) as opposed to Israel, he accurately reflects an anger among many Democrats which will not inure to the Orthodox community’s future benefit.
Further, Mole is unstinting in laying into both “progressives” and Lopez for finding the race between “three pretty unqualified people” in the 54th more interesting than the race in the ninth.
Celeste Katz, reporting on the Wasserman/Schumer excuse fest, reports:
"I've never heard the 9th C.D. referred to as a bellwether," Schumer said. "It's among the most conservative districts in New York City.
Schumer represented roughly the same area from 1980 to 1998. (He groomed his successor, Weiner, to take over as a liberal voice -- who ended up taking a hawkish stance on Israel and crime.)
Schumer gave a bunch of stats to explain why Turner's win was an aberration and why no one should extrapolate on what happened here for New York City, New York State or the country:
He noted that Obama had won only 55% of the vote in NY-9 in 2008, even as he got between 60 and 90% in neighboring districts.
While Schumer won big in his own re-election race last year, saying he won 68% of the vote statewide, he said two of his worst election districts were in the Ninth District. (He did note that he was still able to break 50% in the EDs.)
Reporting on the same event, Liz Benjamin notes that “Schumer, who represented NY-9 for 18 years, insisted the district is about 75 percent the same today, geographically speaking, as it was when he was in office, but drastically different when it comes to demographics. There are more Orthodox Jews, he said, and also more immigrants, making the district skew even more conservative than it had been back in his day.”
I made all these points last December, but all these points just beg the question, “If you knew this, why did you sit on your hands and treat this as a safe seat until it was too late?”
Colby Hamilton, who never tries to hide his politically correct brand of liberalism, seeks to absolve the President and put the blame entirely on Weprin.
I think such wishful thinking stems from an inability of Democrats to accept they are in trouble and why that is. The Public Policy Polling Survey indicated Weprin’s numbers were much better than the Presidents, actually they were a net positive.
As PPP noted: “Over the last few years there have been very few races we polled where a candidate had a positive net favorability spread and still lost. If Obama's approval in the district was even 40% Weprin would almost definitely be headed to Congress. He's getting dragged down by something bigger than himself.”
Hamilton also says Weiner would have won. Weiner happen to be the one Democrat who polled worse than Obama in the PPP survey.
Ben Smith’s piece on the Jewish vote includes this angry quote from an Orthodox Jewish observer: “Of course the DNC chair has to downplay the NY9 result, that's her job. But you would think that she would do so in a way that's about politics by addition rather than subtraction. Chair Wasserman Schultz seems to be suggesting the Democrats should write off Orthodox Jews, rather than reach out - which is rather surprising since she has a sizable Orthodox community in her own Florida district."
Allow me to refute: you nominate an Orthodox Jewish candidate whose staunch support of Israel includes supportive appearances at West Bank settlements, and who’s been responsible for delivering so much government money to Orthodox groups that he’d be given a seat by the Eastern Wall in any Synagogue in the City, and he gets clobbered in his own community. This, after similar rebukes to such stalwart allies as Jerry Nadler and Ed Towns in the last election and Orthodox Jews playing crucial roles in the defeat of Joe Sestak and the victory of Allen West against Ron Klein, and you think we’re going to keep throwing good money and effort after bad?
The default vote among Orthodox Jews is now GOP. In particular races, they may very well become an appropriate target for effort, but in general, they are going to fail triage. And from there, will surely flow other consequences.
With his usual gift for words, Gary Tilzer asks:
The People of the 9th CD Has Spoke Will Albany Pols Try to Silence Them By Redistricting Their District Out of Existence? . . . Where the Respect?
Of course, the people of every other Congressional District also has spoke, and two will still need to be eliminated.
Yet Tilzer still opines: If You Think Only Dictators Silence Free Speech Think Albany Redistricting. Every clueless reporter is repeating the same line how everyone expects the 9th CD to be redistricted out of existence. What those reporters who just what other reporters and bloggers are says have not done is ask a leader in Albany if they believe in smashing the strong message and voice of the voters who sent yesterdays message.
Apparently, it’s not dictatorial to eliminate some other district, as long that district is one that disagrees with Gary Tilzer—notwithstanding that fact that every voter will still get to vote in some district of exactly the same population as all the others.
Finally, from Ben via Maggie Haberman, what Hesh Rabkin called “the single dumbest explanation of why Turner won I have read. They are really saying voters are not listening to Cuomo or Schumer because they are national figures unlike Rudy.” Actually, what Maggie is saying is that Democrats no longer elect Mayors, so they lack endorsers of stature, like Giuliani and Koch.
She then comes up with an excuse for dismissing Cuomo and Schumer, who would negate her theory if she considered them. .
The argument is not really on point, because Cuomo and Schumer, who recorded robos, did not campaign the way Koch and Giuliani did, so there’s really no basis for comparison
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