The Republican Party in New York is dead. There’s no coming back. A stake has been put through the heart of the GOP cadaver and the coffin has been nailed securely shut.
Yes, years of moral, intellectual and financial corruption have finally caught up with the GOP and now the state is deep dark blue.
The final humiliation was the loss of the last bastion of GOP hegemony, the State Senate.
Since the election of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, the Republicans have controlled the Senate 63 of the past 66 years.
But, come January — no more.
When the 63-person legislative body convenes in 2019, there will be only 23 Republican — the lowest party representation in the past century.
Even in the depths of the Great Depression, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt carried New York in a landslide and had long coattails, the GOP managed to hold on to 25 seats in November of 1932. That was out of a total, back then, of only 51 seats.
Why have the Republicans reached such electoral lows?
The seeds of destruction were planted during the administration of the last Republican-elected statewide, Gov. George Elmer Pataki.
Pataki beat Gov. Mario Cuomo in November of 1994 because he ran on a conservative platform.
And the first three of his twelve years in office were pretty good. He engineered significant reductions in spending and unprecedented tax cuts.
But over time, privileges of the office came to mean more to Pataki than a conservative governing philosophy. Hence, his will to permanently change Albany’s tax-and-spend mentality dissipated and he and his staff concluded that holding onto power — for its own sake — was the top goal of the administration.
In the end, the Pataki years were not much different from the Mario Cuomo years.
When Pataki announced he would not seek a fourth term in July 2005, the right-wing New York Post concluded:
"He veered sharply leftward on a range of issues—and in a way that did considerable damage to New York’s financial and economic health. . . .
"[Pataki’s] budget proposals became increasingly irresponsible, failing to control discretionary spending and repeatedly relying on dubious fiscal gimmickry.
"And his administration developed an air of cronyism, complete with contracts handed out to politically connected bidders, that has been breathtaking even by Albany’s terminally cynical standards."
Following Pataki’s lead, the Republican-controlled State Senate, desperate to hold onto their power and perks, became Democratic "lite." Moving to the left on fiscal and cultural issues, they mistakenly believed that editorials by The New York Times complimenting them for "having grown" would make them look "broad-minded"and protect their dwindling majority.
That approach not only did not work; it actually hastened their decline. They never understood that Republicans can never out-do the Democrats when it comes to advancing a left-wing agenda.
The 2018 election results proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the fool-hardiness of their strategy. One-third of the Republican Senate delegation was rejected at the polls.
Take the case of Nassau County which once had the most powerful Republican organization in the nation.
For decades, every Nassau senator was a Republican. Now there will be none.
That’s right; not one of the five Nassau Senate seats will be held by a Republican.
That’s a disgrace.
Don’t expect the GOP to have a comeback in the State Senate, or for that matter in its Congressional representation.
That’s because in 2020 the Democratically-controlled state legislature will redraw district lines to ensure their majority rule.
The Republicans only have themselves to blame. Years of insouciant leaderships, mismanagement, arrogance, incompetence, and corruption have reduced them to a politically impotent force in New York politics.
New York Republican Party — requiescat in pace.
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." He is chairman of Aid to the Church in Need-USA. Mr. Marlin also writes for TheCatholicThing.org and the Long Island Business News. To read more George J. Marlin — Click Here Now.
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