Although Julian Schreibman has prevailed over Joel Tyner in the 19th Congressional District’s Democratic primary, serious questions remain about the victor’s credibility.I've never been comfortable with the huge clandestine budgets of our spy agencies. And not just the CIA. There's a whole alphabet soup of agencies and departments doing our spy work, and I often wonder whether we can control something over which there is very little public scrutiny.
Schreibman, D-Stone Ridge, boasts that as assistant counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency he successfully prosecuted four al-Qaeda terrorists. In the primary contest, he proclaimed that, if elected to Congress, he would continue to serve as a "watchdog" on behalf of his constituents, to protect our rights, our liberties, our security. But does his record support such a proclamation? What else did he do during his employment at the Central Intelligence Agency? And what was the CIA doing?
But I still support Schreibman. The reason for this is that American politics, as they currently exist, is a zero-sum game. The two major parties have huge institutional advantages over any third party, advantages that are unlikely to disappear any time soon. What this means is that we will be sending either a Democrat or a Republican to D.C. There are sometimes third choices, but in New York those third choices are frequently the same candidates endorsed by the major parties. It's either/or.
And at the end of the day there is no way that a good progressive should support the current GOP platform. It's anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-union, anti-Medicare, anti-Social Security. I could go on.
On the other hand, the Democrats (in the House, particularly) have continued to support issues important to working folks, LGBT folks, African-Americans, Hispanics, union members (though they've been a little mushy on this one in recent years), etc. There is simply no contest when you compare the two.
And this election will be about which party controls the levers of power in D.C. A Schreibman victory is very important if we want to give the speaker's gavel back to Nancy Pelosi.
While I understand the writer's feelings, the choice is clear. Schreibman, imperfect though he may be, as a freshman will support the Democratic platform, and Chris Gibson will have no choice but to continue to kowtow to the Tea Party, despite the fact that he wants to run away from them now.
This election is about which vision you prefer.