Thursday, June 11, 2009

Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right. . .

Standing Upon The Shoulders Of Scoundrels

With Dean Skelos -- the Dean of the NYS Senate -- once again elevated to the exalted position of Majority Leader, you know he's gotta be thinking, "How the f- -k did I get stuck between these two degenerates?"

Pedro Espada, next in line to the Gubernatorial throne (hope he doesn't try to auction it off), and Hiram Monserrate (don't put any broken glass in his hand), aren't exactly examples of the lofty principles to which we'd like to think State Senators are held. Then again, this is Albany, where, in less than a week's time, dysfunction has disintegrated into nonfunction.

Time was, the NYS Senate was a respected institution, not a mental institution, its members as esteemed as its chambers is ornate.

That venerable body, along with every Senator who serves, has lost quite a bit of that luster of late, reducing the Senate -- nay, the entire State government -- to little more than a laughing stock, the likes of which have not been seen in these parts since Roger Corbin tried in vain to become the Majority Leader of the Nassau County Legislature. [All right. Maybe that Spitzer scandal, but we're thinking legislatively here.]

Surely, had the option availed itself, Dean Skelos would have chosen better bed fellows. [Frankly, bed bugs and an occasional louse would likely have been preferred.] But a coup d'etat rarely affords one to choose one's allies, the enemy of your enemy being your friend.

One has to wonder what happens to this coalition of the willy-nilly should Mr. Monserrate, now under indictment, be convicted, or worse yet, change his mind (again) and decide to stick it out with the Democrats.

And could an indictment of Mr. Espada, in effect, the State's Lieutenant Governor, be far behind, his shady financial dealings now under scrutiny by the NY County District Attorney?

Will the reforms, to date -- bringing all votes to the floor without predetermination of outcome, open proceedings, and at least the aura of bipartisanship -- hold?

And what of the ambitious Mr. Skelos, whose tenure in the State Senate is going on 30 years? [Yup. That's reform.]

Well, Dean is no dummy. If nothing else, he's given himself the limelight once again, with the help of the Bert & Ernie of the NYS Senate. Why, Dean Skelos has even become a household name in the faraway northern and western tiers, where everybody is talking about the coup that changed Albany. Eureka!

Hey, that's the stuff that running for Governor is made of, right?

Somebody alert the Attorney General.

All things considered -- and if the new order in Albany holds (at least until tomorrow), a Dean Skelos/Andrew Cuomo match-up could well be in the offing.

We're not handicapping this one (as concerns Albany, all bets are off), but that's the 2010 race for Governor as we see it -- today.

Of course, who are we to decide? These matters are best left to those who make the ultimate decisions in matters of state and politics. Say, Tom Golisano?
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