The 1994 Republican Revolution’s Lesson for New York Republicans
Lessons to Be Learned
It must be difficult to be ensconced in an entrenched minority. Day after day, year after year - toiling away, knowing you may never see the majority light of day. It would be understandable if certain psychological results result.
Stockholm Syndrome is a possibility: “(A) condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.” Defeatism can very easily set in. You embrace being the minority, and find ways to enjoy it - even revel in it.
The quintessential political example of all of this and more - is recently deceased former longtime U.S. Congressional Minority Leader Bob Michel. Michel in 1981 took the helm of a House Republican caucus - that had been in the minority since 1952.
Michel from all appearances was quite comfortable being down and looking up. He never rocked the boat, or the Democrat majority - and remained as Minority Leader for fourteen more minority years. And Democrats and the Left loved him for it.
Then arose Newt Gingrich and his conservative insurgents. Tired of being in and accepting the minority, Gingrich and his gaggle led a 1994 revolution against Republican Michel-esque apathy. And parlayed Democrat comfort and corruption - remember the House banking scandal? - into the Congress-rattling Republican Revolution. Delivering the Republicans to the Majority promised land for the first time in forty-two years.
What was once considered impossible - now seems nigh eternal. With the exception of a four year anomaly (2007-2011), the Republicans have held House sway ever since. And from all appearances, will continue to do so for decades.
The moral of the story is: Don’t get comfortable - get restless and active. And take advantage of the opportunities with which you are presented.
A moral New York Republicans should take to heart.
In a New York state House that seats 150, Republicans currently face a crushing 105-43 seat deficit (with two vacancies). The state Senate (63 seats) is actually split - 31-31, with one vacancy.
But Empire State Elephants have been presented with a Congressional-banking-scandal-esque Democrat scandal - and they should shake off their minority apathy, rise up - and use stopping the Donkey corruption as a path to much better electoral representation.
That scandal is Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ridiculous crony bailout - disguised as a ridiculous “green energy” plan: “‘The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) earlier Monday passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods, ranging from solar and wind, as well as hydro and nuclear power.’….As of 2015, New York only generated 11% of its energy via renewables. A tally it has taken them decades - and tens of billions of subsidy dollars – to attain. And now they have mandated a nearly 500% increase - in only fifteen years. Predicated, again, upon energy sources that require massive, ongoing government cash infusions – and in most instances take more energy to produce than they provide.”
That takes loads of government coin. Cuomo has that covered: “(T)he Public Service Commission also included a new (energy) tax worth $8 billion.”
But wait - Cuomo already has in mind a crony destination for all that coin: “(The tax) money will go to plant owner Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues of over $34 billion.”
Taking billions from average New Yorkers - and shoveling it into the accounts of a huge crony company. Seems like a plan rife for Republican majority making. Which is where we need some Empire State Republicans to step up and speak out.
Starting with state Senator Joseph Griffo. A Republican - and a member of the state’s Conservative Party. Get that? He’s a Conservative. And he is Chair of the Senate Energy (and Telecommunications) Committee - one certainly germane to Cuomo’s crony insanity. He should be leading the charge against it.
Griffo should absolutely be joined by the likes of Senators Kemp Hannon and John Flanagan. Who also posses dual citizenship - in both the Republican and Conservative Parties. And conservative (though not Conservative) Senators Elaine Phillips and Kenneth LaValle should too be clambering on board.
This display of leadership - in numbers - could be the spark that leads to a statewide Republican wildfire.
This is a magic moment for New York Republicans. The national mood - best exemplified by the presidential election of Donald Trump - is a desire to “Drain the Swamp.” Cuomo’s crony “energy” plan - is exceedingly marshy.
It’s time for Republicans to pull the plug.
This first appeared in Red State.