The Accidental Governor who Became An Inconvenient Leader

May you live in interesting times is an ancient Chinese proverb. The Huffington Post is reporting that New York Governor David A. Paterson will sit down with Larry King tonight to discuss scandal rumors regarding allegations of infidelity that may force him to resign from office.  Yes, there are in fact very interesting times indeed, so interesting in fact that you think that most Americans would have caught on to it by now.  In America we no longer need to remove inconvenient political leaders via assassination, we can just cloak them in sexual scandal, feed the media lurid details of a politico’s extramarital proclivities and force him to resign.   Page Six and assorted other “news” outlets give their paramour’s their 15 Minutes, book deals and a Lifetime movie of the week.

THE DIRTY TRICKSTERS ARE DIRTIER THAN THE DIRTY PEOPLE THEY EXPOSE

Consider the curious case of Roger Stone, the Republican Operative who, as referred to by Daily Kos, as “the infamous dirty trickster of the Nixon, Reagan and Bush eras, where he worked with Rove, is well known for forging documents, planting them inside opponent’s campaigns and then immediately alerting the press.”  Roger & Nydia Stone are well known bisexual swingers and GOP Activists/Operatives who feed the media from underground sources because he and his wife go to places his more “upright” friends cannot be seen at.   Their m.o. is to run from office sitting leaders from the opposition party as well as eliminate challenges from other candidates who pose a threat to his bosses. This man’s latest above ground activity is backing a former Manhattan Madam’s bid for Governor, i.e., Kristin Davis. From his service to Richard Nixon to undermining Pat Buchanan to his being employed during the Florida recount to make sure that the guy who won the popular vote and actually had more of his votes disqualified, Al Gore, would never become President thereby handing Bush the Presidency undermining Democracy in America, to assisting in creating the scandal which led to the humiliation and removal of  Bush Administration critic, Dan Rather at CBS, to the Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal,  which ultimately led to his Spitzer’s resignation, to establishing an anti-Hillary group called Citizens United with the acronym C.U.N.T.,  Stone has worked in service of scandalizing and ultimately the removal of inconvenient leaders for the Republican establishment.  Whether he or those like him are behind the smear campaign to humiliate Governor Paterson is something to consider, especially because the Governor’s mansion in New York was cleared out a little over two years ago to create exactly the kind of power vacuum which Paterson stepped into.  So you will excuse me if the rumored expose on the lifestyle of Governor Paterson, due out any moment in the New York Times, does not make me want to join the bandwagon and run him from office; and this does not even take into account the never ending drum beat of disinformation coming from the corner of well known foot fetishist (not knocking, as I know some women with pretty feet),  Dick Morris,  who joined the Propaganda Matrix using  all he learned by having played for the other team to discredit anyone with a progressive agenda. That douchebags like Dick Morris and Roger Stone have had lucrative careers doing what they do is an embarrassment to our country.

To the contrary, while Paterson would not necessarily have been my first choice for Governor of the great state of New York, was not directly elected by the people, and seems to otherwise be operating within a power vacuum, from which it seems unlikely he can recover, I think it violates the principles our Democracy was founded upon to allow forces orchestrating a media campaign to remove him to succeed in his ouster based upon allegations that he “may have” engaged in conduct which would disappoint the average married woman. As stated by Ben Smith of Politico:

He began his new job with confessions of his own extramarital affairs, and things have gone downhill from there. His tenure has been marked by internal chaos, terrible political instincts, and recently, questions around a gambling contract issued to a key local political figure.

A primary and/or general election is the best mode for removing him or any other leader who has not violated his oath of office. Or as aptly stated by Governor Paterson at a news conference:

“The only way I’m not going to be governor next year is at the ballot box, and the only way that I will be leaving the office before is in a box.”

With all due respect to the abilities of Andrew Cuomo and with deference for his father Mario Cuomo’s service to New York as well as that of other members of his family, Paterson has, however, made some painful and unpopular choices (e.g., closing the budget gap, reform of Rockefeller drug laws and Gay Marriage) in challenging times and deserves at least the right to run in a primary. Ah you see, but there is the rub; some folks do not want Governor David Paterson to even run in a Democratic Primary. They feel and believe that it should be handed to Andrew Cuomo to avoid Paterson losing to Republican Rick Lazio. From President Obama on down the line, many powerful folks want “The Inconvenient Governor” to step aside so that the Harlem Machine, which is reportedly second guessing its commitment to Paterson, does not split in two between Andrew Cuomo and Paterson. And Cuomo, well, he does not need to open the wounds of 2002 in the black community with another Carl McCall like scenario to put a fork in his reinvigorated political fortunes, although in terms of full disclosure McCall has already come to Cuomo’s defense.  He has $16 million in the bank, high poll numbers it would appear largely from taking on Wall Street and even has some life long Republicans like Al D’Amato raising cash for him.

OPEN MARRIAGE IS NOT A CRIME

So let’s get back to this “sex” thing. If the rumored sex that the Governor was engaged in was consensual, did not involve harassment or abuse, in my estimation its largely irrelevant, except between the politician and his or her spouse.  Most Americans would not be surprised to learn that there are marital arrangements, partnerships and understandings and may be even straight up OPEN Marriage (see: Celebrity Will Smith)—-and lets be serious, how else do we explain the closely guarded relationship of President Clinton and Hillary Clinton? We are entitled as citizens to contract with one another in our romantic and life partnerships as we see fit and if it is true as it has long been rumored that the Governor has an open marriage or some kind of understanding, far be it for me to judge.  Maybe that is what made him so understanding on the issue of Gay Marriage.  Intuitively he gets that there are alternatives to the mainstream social construct which has caused as much damage as it has been good for society. Maybe that’s a stretch but one out of two heterosexual marriages end in Divorce so truth is something is going on here.

MORAL WITCH HUNTS IS NOT DEMOCRACY IN ACTION

My concern is living in a country where we run from office leaders because we do not like their sexual morality. I say  we but I do not even mean “we”—but certain folks operating in dark corners with powerful friends in the mainstream media who can use the power of the press, the blogosphere, talk radio and pseud journalistic news shows to humiliate a sitting political leader. Is this “distraction, manipulation or the reason for a Free Press and Democracy in Action?

ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLES Deserve a Primary

Again, not sure if Paterson is my choice for Governor, but if the voters don’t like or reject his LIFESTYLE they do not have to vote for him in a primary. Wake up and take a look at what folks behind the scenes are doing to deprive you of Democracy.  Who the hell knows whose fingerprints are on this purported sex scandal?  Some I have asked about this scandal of Paterson’s frat boy like behavior, have said things along the lines of   “it does not matter because Paterson is unpopular and while I cannot remember his policies aren’t some of the decisions he made really bad?” Even if that is true, my argument, unless he did something illegal or unconstitutional it does not add up to empowering the media and puppeteers operating in the shadows to remove him, and this is true even if I would prefer a return to having a Cuomo in the Executive Mansion in Albany.

On a personal level, while I have found David Paterson an engaging and personable individual and have been happy with some of his tough decisions, questions about his Chief Executive leaderships skills have dogged him from the start. Despite Eliot Spitzer’s skeletons and the exposure of his private immoral conduct, Paterson has never been able to fill Spitzer’s shoes and the expectations that propelled him into office with nearly 70% of the popular vote. Spitzer’s selection of Paterson may end up being viewed as a greater stain on his legacy than his resignation.  To even those whom remain disappointed or angered, Paterson was never quite a suitable replacement.