Wednesday, July 18, 2018

New York Note

Our very good blogfriend Jim Tarrant asked, in a comment on yesterday's post,
Sorry, not from NY. What’s the WFP? (White Freedom Party?)
I thought I'd share the response up front here, for the instruction of all you out-of-staters:

Sorry about that! It's the Working Families Party, a hopefully leftist NYS group (to which I've contributed, full disclosure) whose strategy is to offer ballot endorsements in return for policy endorsements from the candidate. It's worth talking about because it's generally been a good example of what a third party in the American system can do to exert progressive pressure on the election process. Generally they endorse the Democrat after the primary, and it's nice to vote on their line instead of the Democrats' to let the latter know you're not pleased with them at the national level.

They need to be very careful about endorsing candidates at the primary level, because they'll make somebody angry, and in 2014 they did this in a huge way, allowing themselves to be pressured into endorsing Andrew Cuomo over progressive hero Zephyr Teachout and enraging about three quarters of their voters and a hell of a lot of their contributors (I wrote it up here). This year they did the same thing, endorsing the Democrats' machine candidate, Joe Crowley of Queens, over the wonderful progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx, only worse, because she won.

Now Crowley—

who has handled this with absolutely admirable class, I should say, a true Democrat in spite of all the bad things we've been saying about him, giving the winner his very warm backing and being in every way totally different from Joe Lieberman that time he lost a Senate primary, started his own skunk "Connecticut for Lieberman" party (showing his own priorities weren't Lieberman for Connecticut), and won in the damn general election basically by getting virtually all the Republican vote (the official Republican got less than 10% of the total)

—is going to be on the ballot in November as the Working Families candidate while AOC is the official Democrat—lunatic New York State rules mean he can't simply take himself off the ballot. It looks incredibly stupid for WFP to be in this position, and there was no need for them to endorse anybody at all. A ridiculous own goal, I said, all het up from the World Cup.

So in today's Wall Street Journal who should show up on the Op-Ed page but the very same Joe Lieberman who helped George W. Bush win in 2000 by being such a terrible candidate (rather than resigning from the Senate to run for the vice presidency, he ran harder for the Connecticut seat than the national ticket), urging New Yorkers to vote for Joe Crowley, even though Crowley has made it very clear that he's not running. (I won't link WSJ, but here's Ed Kilgore's report). The aim is clearly not to elect Crowley but to contribute to the phony "war" that is said to be dividing the Democrats.

Lieberman's an irremediable asshole, as ever, but the WFP is to blame for the injudicious move that allowed it to happen.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.

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