Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Sarah Palin of our own

I didn't know until she was all but announced just how awful Kirsten Gillibrand was.

Gillibrand has described her own voting record as "one of the most conservative in the state." She opposes any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, supports renewing the Bush tax cuts for individuals earning up to $1 million annually, and voted for the Bush-backed FISA bill that permits wiretapping of international calls. She was one of four Democratic freshmen in the country, and the only Democrat in the New York delegation, to vote for the Bush administration's bill to extend funding for the Iraq war shortly after she entered congress in 2007. While she now contends that she's always opposed the war and has voted for bills to end it, one upstate paper reported when she first ran for the seat: "She said she supports the war in Iraq."

The pick only makes sense in terms of cynical political calculation by Paterson. He flatters upstaters, women, and Republicans in one fell swoop, making his '10 campaign against Ghouliani or whomever that much easier. I don't generally have any problem with cynical political calculation, but I sure hope this particular call backfires on him.

Gillibrand comes from a Republican-leaning district, which she won because the incumbent John Sweeney imploded spectacularly in 2006, so, as an added bonus, her selection creates a nice pickup opportunity for the GOP.

It also probably means that she'll try to tack left as a senator, which she's already started doing with gay marriage. But what I'd like even more than a Blue Dog who makes insincere efforts to make herself palatable to actual Democrats is an actual Democrat, and I look forward to volunteering for whichever one primaries her in 2010.

In the meantime, we're just going to have to put up with this clown. Ugh.

Lawrence O'Donnell is also unimpressed: "This is the hack world producing the hack result that the hacks are happy with.”

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