Even given the fact that Rick Lazio is a dull and uninspiring candidate, the whopping victory of Carl Paladino in the Republican gubernatorial primary is stunning. Shocking.
New York Republicans have nominated a man to sit at the top of their ticket who has a history of sending obscene and racist e-mails to his "friends." At least one of these e-mails used the n-word. He shrugs it off and blames it on his own wacky sense of humor. This is just unbelievable.
All over the country, Tea Party candidates with peculiar resumes have been beating the Republican establishment picks. But I can't think of one with a history as offensive as Paladino's. Add to that the fact that whatever policy positions he actually has don't make sense.
Paladino is a lazy, irresponsible candidate running on "anger" without taking the trouble to come up with serious suggestions for how to improve anything. And the Republican Party of New York is now officially dead. Replace it with something better. Greens, Libertarians, Socialists, Whigs --- they can't be any worse.
The turnout was ridiculous, but even so, more than a quarter of a million New Yorkers voted for this jerk. It's appalling.
On the Democratic side, voters have for all practical purposes given another term to Charles Rangel, target of multiple ethics charges in Congress who has also been hoarding a pile of rent stabilized apartments that virtually anybody in his district needs more than he does. The only argument you could make for keeping the 80-year-old Rangel in Congress for another term is that his main opponent, Adam Clayton Powell, doesn't seem like much of an ethical improvement, and has the additional disadvantages of being much dumber and younger.
In the Bronx, the party did get rid of state Senator Pedro Espada. The combined and Herculean efforts of the Democratic organization, labor unions and government reformers managed to topple a guy who created a state funded health care empire that he used as a slush fund for everything from jobs for his relatives to sushi deliveries to his home, which is actually in the suburbs.
Well, at least it's something.