Friday, August 17, 2012

It's About Winning the House of Representatives

A local resident raises some good questions about Julian Schreibman in a letter to the editor in today's Freeman:
Although Julian Schreibman has prevailed over Joel Tyner in the 19th Congressional District’s Democratic primary, serious questions remain about the victor’s credibility.

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?
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.

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.


  1. Just so I understand,Schreibman "supporting" the Pelosi platform is okay, but Gibson "supporting " the Republican platform is "Kowtowing". Wow, you are some piece of work. However, your wordsmithing is quite good. Would love to hear from some of my co-readers about how they feel about electing a PELOSI democrat.? In my opinion, that is frightful, very frightful. The poster girl for plastic surgery as speaker ...again.

  2. You almost had me till the Pelosi part that is a big turn off

  3. Well, in 2008 we all had alot of hope. Hope that our government would work for everyone. However, I am a middle class worker and feel that all the change is negative. I work hard for my money and do not like the direction of change that we got. Money (including mine) has been given away to banks, solar companies, car manufacturing etc. with no repayment regulations. The welfare entitlement programs incourage people to be lazy. As far as Medicare, I for one would like a choice. I am under age 55 and have some medical insurance knowledge. If I had a choice today, I would chose a voucher plan. My point is, multitrillon deficit and more government control was not what I had hoped for but seems to be what I got. I can not vote Democrat this year.

  4. LOL! Gibson "kowtows" to the Tea Party in your opinion despite his voting record of being among the least partisan in the entire Congress. But it will be OK for Schrubman to vote straight D all the way down the line, doing whatever Nancy Pelosi tells him. You really sound foolish here. People are most tired of the partisan bickering, yet you want your representative to always vote straight partisan. Pretty pathetic.

  5. I think most Democrats feel the same way about Boehner, 5:09.