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Memo from Turner: Democrats Face More Losses

by on September 15, 2011
Bob Turner

It can be fun when one’s congressional district gets national attention, even if even if one’s congressman has to act like an utter scumbag to get it. Horndog politicians often inadvertently give nationally-focused observers extra elections to dissect. Ruined marriages mean a chance to monitor precincts even when it’s not the first week of November.

For one, 24 hour political people were happy to discuss how Bob Turner is replacing Anthony Weiner, who hasn’t tweeted in awhile for some reason, as the representative of New York’s Ninth District. Or at least Republicans were. Supporters of the defeated David Weprin, namely the first Democrat to lose in NY-09 since the one who appeared on the same ballot as Warren Harding, seem more reluctant to indulge in postgame coverage.

Yet the reaction was different on the state’s other end following the selection of Christopher “Flex” Lee’s replacement in NY-26. Republicans claim that Kathy Hochul’s win in Western New York didn’t foretell of implications elsewhere, just like Democrats are dismissing Tuesday’s results as a weirdo outlier. The difference is that only one side has to worry about the effect of Obamanomics.

Still, it’s important to not reflexively assume that a single district can represent the mood of voters in 434 other races. Opinionated psychics who follow politics should be cautious about extrapolating national trends from from a local race, especially in an election that is by definition special.

The revulsion aimed at the previous lecherous office-fillers matters, too. And this week’s district in question may disappear anyway thanks to the loss of seats caused by jobless New Yorkers deciding to become employed Texans.

But Weprin won’t even get to represent it until its potential demise. His effort to impose a radical redefinition of marriage while in the State Assembly didn’t help his campaign, especially in a district with a high percentage of Hispanic and Orthodox Jewish voters.

As for the latter, they don’t care for how the White House oscillates between treating Israel like a nobody and an adversary. That’s partly why voters in Brooklyn and Queens chose a pro-Israel Roman Catholic over a pro-Obama Jew.

By contrast, Hochul’s attempt to scare your grandma about Medicare won’t hold up over time. And neither will her plurality: she won with 47.2 percent of the vote for a reason by the name of Jack Davis. The contemptible phony sucked away votes like an even more calculating Ross Perot. Republican Jane Corwin might be representing the 26th District now if not for the misconduct of the third man in.

No matter the interpretation, the fact remains that Democrats just lost and wasted resources while doing it in a district Barack Obama won by 11 points. The president’s abysmal record will doom far more candidates than Weprin, including those politicians who think we can keep doling out entitlements at present rates.

Hochul’s flimsy Paul Ryan-related histrionics will work until voters realize that the truly scary outcome would result from maintaining the status quo with spending. Her fairytale take on economics ensures that her time in Congress will be a cameo, even if her district doesn’t also evaporate.

But at least she’ll have plenty of fellow Democrats with which to commiserate. It’s true regardless of who’s replacing Weiner. Maybe he could have saved the seat if he had called just one more reporter a jackass.

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