Is Nita Lowey the next Eric Cantor?

 

Screenshot from News12

Screenshot from News12

By now, the historical Republican Primary defeat of House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, has been thoroughly dissected, scrutinized and analyzed in a political feeding frenzy, prompting a titillating shelf life of a story that those in the media pray would happen every day.

The reasons for Cantor’s defeat have ranged from a lecture by Anne Coulter – “Cantor loses by 11 million votes”  where Ms. Coulter reasoned his willingness to discuss amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens generated a huge backlash in his strongly Republican district; to his status as one of the high profile players of a dysfunctional federal government. Along the way, Cantor, who had been in Congress a decade, had been criticized for becoming your quintessential “politician,” speaking in platitudes, not to, but at his constituent base; all the while working overtime on fundraising.

His challenger, David Brat, hammered away at his immigration position, along with championing term limits. Maybe, some liked Mr. Brat’s credentials as a professor of economics, since the American economy is an issue that never has and never will go away. Then there was the fact that this was an open primary, meaning registered democrats could vote. In a primary that had an abnormally high turnout, the theory that democratic voters eagerly turned out to humiliate their hated rivals, and rid the country, in their minds, of an obstructionist, has bounced back and forth. Who’s Zoomin Who – to borrow the title of the Aretha Franklin hit of 1985 – is questionable, since replacing Cantor with Brat only pushes another GOP House vote farther to the right.

I prefer to subscribe to the argument that it was most likely a combination of all of the above. One pundit promulgated that most Virginians are in favor of immigration and that was Cantor’s undoing, the complete opposite of Coulter’s analysis; but immigration reform is not amnesty, and like all issues there is 50 shades of gray in these blanket statements.

So is there any correlation between Nita Lowey’s re-election bid and Cantor’s defeat? Should Nita Lowey be concerned? Probably not; and probably will not; are probably the short surface answers; but hold on a minute – before we go much further – give Nita a dime so she can call Obama.

Cantor was defeated in a primary, Lowey is running in a general election where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans. No comparison there. Cantor and Brat were wrestling with one major national issue, Rockland has a myriad of parochial problems that need to be addressed, and it is those parochial problems that weigh heavily on the mind of the average voter; to some extent much greater than the national ones that a member of Congress and can frame an election around. Cantor was in a leadership position, thrust into the national spotlight, while Lowey has largely flown under the radar for most of her career, easily able to tap dance around the fine line between constituent concerns and national interests. For 26 years Nita Lowey has led a comfortable existence, doing what congressmen and women do, showing up to vote and issuing press releases afterwards; voting shamelessly along partisan lines, and working on pet issues, doling out their fair share of earmarks to keep the natives happy. Like most in Congress she has ridden a strongly tilted (Democratic) district to victory during that time. Her website is the usual braggadocio, laced with I did this, shepherded that, co-sponsored this. In other words, what she is supposed to do.

Speaking for myself as a voter, this election revolves around two issues for me; amnesty and the East Ramapo School District, one at the national level and one at the local level; neither one good, one worse than the other. It’s the perfect blend for a congressional candidate to campaign on.

Immigration reform is code for comprehensive amnesty.

Our immigration process and laws have worked fine for over a century. The argument that Americans will not do certain jobs is just too convenient and overstated. Keep in mind that employers bear most of the burden for hiring illegal aliens, but that’s another discussion.

There is something extremely disturbing about the logic of simultaneously granting legal status to millions of people who have taken advantage of our good fortune, generosity and graciousness, especially our health care system. It is impossible to separate those who want to be part of America from those who want to take a part of America.

A cornerstone of the foundation of this country is the rule of law and making a mockery of our own laws and values clearly sends the wrong message. Amnesty will be met by public praise worldwide, but laughter behind closed doors. Moreover, rewarding bad behavior never achieves its intended goal, only spawning more bad behavior, to wit; emboldening a new generation of illegal aliens. A decade of indecisiveness has already manifested itself in Texas.

Too much has been invested into this country to devalue the privilege of citizenship. Nita Lowey has consistently voted against strengthening immigration efforts and protecting our borders. She would enthusiastically vote for comprehensive amnesty and will spend the next several months masking her position.

The defiance of the East Ramapo School Board is an affront to society as a whole.

I have a very dim view of school boards to begin with and believe they should be eliminated at the local level; either consolidated at the county level or abolished entirely and administered by the state. There are no qualifications required to sit on a school board and the representatives are chosen, in most cases, by a microscopic voter turnout that generates about as much enthusiasm as a Chris St. Lawrence bobble-head night at a Boulder’s game. You can cast aside all the histrionics and rhetoric and charges of discrimination that have become synonymous with the East Ramapo Board. What it boils down to is a board that has performed poorly, long since losing the confidence of the public. Budgets that end up with large shortfalls and excessive legal fees are generally indicative of bad management. In the private sector this board would have been removed by the shareholders; possibly subjected to a class action suit. The appointment of a fiscal monitor by Governor Cuomo is a few years late and millions of dollars short. It is a confidence game of voter roulette being perpetrated on the public. Nothing short of full removal of the entire board is warranted.

Congresswoman Lowey has evaded this issue since being reapportioned into Rockland. Her specially targeted press release praising the appointment of the fiscal monitor is shabby window dressing, the ultimate display of taxpayer dollars allocated to incumbents to self promote their re-election.

Nita Lowey has been in Congress for 26 years. No one should be in Congress 26 years. In a generic mid-term match-up of Yesteryear (as opposed to a presidential year) she wins Rockland by roughly 10,000 votes. But this is not Yesteryear and generic match-ups are the false positive of political prognostications. The electorate in Rockland is angry, extremely angry, and it is not going to change by Election Day, no matter what Ms. Lowey says or does.

Nita Lowey and Eric Cantor have that in common, if nothing else.

About Charles Falciglia

Charles is a former Suffern Village Trustee and 2013 Mayoral Candidate for the Village of Suffern.

About the Author
Charles is a former Suffern Village Trustee and 2013 Mayoral Candidate for the Village of Suffern.

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