An unprecedented revolt sparked by two renegade Democrats yesterday ousted Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and returned Republicans to power in the state Senate, rocking the Capitol and dealing a severe blow to Gov. Paterson.
With two Dems switching sides, the Republicans have effectively taken control of the New York State Senate. To be fair, the two legislators (Democrats Pedro Espada Jr. of The Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens) who announced their intention to caucus with the Republicans are in it for their own self-interest, with Espada voted President of the Senate immediately following the announcement, to serve beneath new Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-LI).
Ex-Majority Leader Malcom Smith (more on him later), who ran a bitterly partisan Senate, apparently was hell-bent on bringing the gay marriage bill to a vote, which may have worried both Espada and Monserrate, as their black & Latino constituents are notoriously less tolorent of gay marriage than the white liberal elites (remember California!). The switch will surely eliminate the possibility of the "marriage issue" arising in the statehouse, allowing many members to avoid an uncomfortable vote.
So is liberalism the undoing of the liberal party? This, from Monserrate , is ironic:
"After today’s proceedings, I am proud to form a bi-partisan coalition that has elected the first Latino President pro Tempore of the New York State Senate, my colleague, the Honorable Pedro Espada Jr. We look forward to conferencing with fellow Democrats to ensure that real reforms become a reality in the state of New York.”
Hmmm....So it takes a Republican majority to give Latinos a chance, and to be trusted to rule in good bi-partisan faith? It takes a Republican majority to assure the meaning of marriage is not warped by contemporary trends? Well, that's interesting, and a lesson to many who may be watching...
All this, while the Left howls in furious, hypocritical indignation. Remember Jim Jeffords, who left the Republican party in 2001 in frustration with George Bush, and handed over control of the Senate to the Democrats? He was a hero, unlike today's protaganists. Former Majority Leader Smith speaks:
"This was an illegal and unlawful attempt to gain control of the Senate and reverse the will of the people who voted for a Democratic majority."
Later, Smith said, "I would hope that the public is outraged. The Senate majority is still in Democratic hands and will be in Democratic hands."
Governor Paterson also said he still recognizes Smith as the Senate Majority Leader.
Maybe Bush should not have recognized the Democratic Senate in 2001-02. h, but that would have been wrong, wrong, wrong....
Meanwhile, the left side of the media is outraged, of course:
Coup plotters have always rationalized their devious plots as necessary to realize the will of the people.
The Republican-led junta that seized control of the state Senate yesterday was no exception.
The Republicans saw a chance to overturn last fall's election results, which put Democrats in the majority for the first time since 1965. And the GOP pulled it off - with all the stealth and precision of an "Ocean's Eleven" casino heist.
Where were you in 2001? Cheering Jim Jeffords, of course.