CARL PALADINO'S CANDIDACY REFLECTS NEGATIVELY ON REPUBLICANS by Rock Hackshaw
As a political-commentator, it is never advisable to make predictions that can be seen as “out on a limb”, but many of us do it anyway. The fact is that even a supposedly safe prediction can backfire and undermine one's credibility in just a single special-election, far more a whole national election-cycle. It's probably always better to couch your predictions a bit: a lesson I learned again recently.
You see, a few months ago I appeared on a BCAT cable-television program in Brooklyn, with Tom Robbins (staff writer/ The New York Village Voice) and Tom Tracey (The Brooklyn Paper). We were discussing the then upcoming primary elections. I am sure one can “Google” and find the show on the Internet. In that discussion I told the viewing audience that Carl Paladino was going nowhere fast. I essentially felt back then -and still do now- that he is totally unfit to be the governor of New York State. I thought Rick Lazio was going to clean his clock in the Republican primary: boy, was I wrong!
I remember Tom Robbins cautioning me that Republican primaries are different animals when compared to primaries held by democrats. Tom Robbins felt that Paladino's chances in the primary were being underestimated: Tom was right. I felt then that Robbins knew more than he was letting out: maybe he is just a damn good political analyst.
On election night, many from the political-circles in which I travel, were utterly shocked by Paladino's victory. In fact, a few were appalled. To many people I know, Carl Paladino is all of these: racist, chauvinistic, immoral, homophobic, radical, sexist and vulgar. They see hints of a right-wing extremist in an all-white robe. They see an insensitive man, who is not only inarticulate, crude, profane and unpolished, but also primitive in his thought patterns. They see an unsophisticated political wannabee with no clue as to government's functions, responsibilities and obligations, beyond facilitating and rewarding his private real-estate business interests and schemes. They see a man void of new ideas; an empty-suit of sorts, cashing in on the anti-incumbent mood temporarily sweeping the country. They see an eccentric tea-bagger with no tea leaves in his bag, and no hot water in his kettle either.
Paladino's comments to date help make a good case for limiting the amount of money any one individual could spend on his or her own political erection: and on any other election too. Without his own dollars -mostly scavenged from rummaging through government troughs- Carl Paladino couldn't even run for the dog-catcher of Elmira. And if he did, he would lose. He is an egotistical loud-mouth with no clue as to what reforming Albany means. During past years when many a political activist clamored for reform, Mr. Carl Paladino was nowhere in sight. Even Rudy Giuliani openly stated that he had no clue as to who Paladino was. What he did to deserve this nomination is as mysterious as what he did while serving in the US military; obviously this guy walks around with as much luck in his backpack as cash in his back-pocket.
The shame of Paladino's candidacy is that it was rewarded by thousands of New York Republicans with the party's gubernatorial nomination. It shows how badly this party has devolved. In a state of around twenty-one million people, you want to tell me that the Repugnicans couldn't come up with a better candidate? Nelson Rockefeller must be rolling in his grave at the sight of this nominee; so too Jacob Javits, Frederick Douglas and Abe Lincoln. This has to be the worst gubernatorial candidate in the history of New York's republican party. I challenge any historian to find one worse. Remember, there were governors of New York who went on to become president; and at least one other was vice-president of this great country. Do you really see Carl Paladino in equal light?
Look, the quality of this year's national republican nominee-crop is the worst I have seen in my 37 years living in this country. You have Nazi-sympathizers and wannabee-witches; crooks, thieves and scoundrels; whore-mongers and adulterers (accused adulteresses too?); homophobes and racists; misogynists and liars; and not one major national republican-figure beyond Colin Powell, willing to stand up and condemn some of these folks without capitulation and fear. Too many of the republican nominees are hypocrites -this time around, much more so than their opponents -and in my estimation, hypocrites from both parties go unpunished too often- given previous election-night results. I can only hope that voters all over the nation, thoroughly scrutinize the candidates before they vote this year: I am hopeful they will do this; but I am not too optimistic.
Paladino attacks pornographers but disseminates porn over the Internet, showing women indulging in sex acts with farm animals. Apparently, he doesn't see the contradiction. He says his philosophy is “live and let live” and yet he attacks the gay-pride marches of New York, with absolutely no sensitivity as to why they occur; and with apparently no compassion for people (GLBT) that many in our society continue to hurt. He says he isn't racist but he casts aspersions on young blacks relative to policy-change ideas running around the marbles in his brain. He also sends out e-mails that are patently offensive to blacks and all women without even blinking an eyelash: while jocularly thinking it's okay.
I believe that Carl Paladino will lose the election next month. I expect Andrew “Status” Cuomo will be the next governor of New York. However, I have a sneaky suspicion that Paladino will do much better than he objectively should: and that's because too many folks quietly harbor his outlandish views (unfortunately). This was clearly evident when the results of the republican primary came in last month: shame on the New York republican party.
If by some political-cataclysm or by some freak of nature, Carl Paladino were to win this upcoming election, then heaven help us all.
Stay tuned-in folks.