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Conservatives for Cuomo?! Nah

by on August 9, 2010

As I often do at 9 p.m. on weeknights, I recently opened my hollowed-out copy of the Necronomicon, removed my right-wing decoder ring, and tuned in to Fox News Channel for instructions from High Priest Sean Hannity.  As a fascist hatemonger Tea Bag-something bigot, it’s routine behavior for me.

But I was shocked out of same habitualness on this particular night by an event on the show rarer than me agreeing with Bob Beckel: an Andrew Cuomo campaign commercial where he railed against property taxes.  He thinks they’re too high, I mean.  Huh?  I don’t have the proper one-time pad to decode this particular numbers station.

Letting you keep your money is what our fat cat-worshipping guys are supposed to promise, correct?  I’m confused.  The bewilderment continues for those who visit the web site promoted in Cuomo’s ad.

There will certainly be ample furrowed brows and confused looks caused by a political sales pitch from a New York Democrat that sounds like it was churned out by a Heritage Foundation-designed rhetoric machine.  Based upon the wording, we can call it the Karl Rovebot:

Local property taxes in New York State grew by 73 percent from 1998 to 2008 – more than twice the rate of inflation during that period.

When property taxes are measured as a percentage of home value, the top sixteen counties in the nation are all in New York State.

New Yorkers are being taxed through the roof, but we can make Albany act if we come together!

To bring relief to New Yorkers, Andrew has proposed capping property tax growth at 2% or the rate of inflation – whichever is lower. This would apply to all school districts and local governments, including fire and other special districts.

Join Andrew Cuomo and your fellow New Yorkers in calling for a statewide property tax cap – use the form to the right and contact your legislators now.

Please take a moment to pick up your jaw from the floor.  But it’s actually feasible to see this as a typically untypical 2010 moment once the shock dissipates.  Conservatives can feel heartened when good lefty Kid Cuomo feels the need to not only advertise during Fox News Channel’s red-meatiest hour but also claim that he’s out to save your wallet from Albany.

We’re in a strange, beautiful political era when New York State’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate is copying Chris Christie’s signature initiative. Will Cuomo tick off unions next?

While it would be nice if Cuomo would spend more time investigating funding for the mosque and/or “Islamic center” that’s within a rather insensitive distance of Ground Zero than selling the virtues of his anti-tax crusade, what’s important is that his anti-tax crusade exists.

Of course, it’s unsurprising that a politician of any label takes a not-quite bold stand on something popular-sounding.  Ask people if they want property taxes capped, and you’ll get very few requests for double-digit increases instead.  There aren’t many pro-confiscation rallies.

But Cuomo had the chance to take the uncontroversial Democratic-style tact.  Namely, he could have ordered his ominous voiceover guy talk about how we simply must pay teachers, pothole fillers, unicorn keepers, and other utterly indispensable public toilers.  Claiming we will be engulfed in riotous chaos following state employee layoff number one is the nice way of looking at a statist approach.

Instead, he went generic conservative-style, which is as telling an appeal to ratings as any sitcom retooling.  If people realize that they want more Fonzie, it’s best to give it to them lest cancellation sounds appealing.  In that light, can Cuomo be trusted to ditch his pro-Potsie principles and curtail levies?

Well, no.  I don’t wish to be cynical.  But I’d bet his dad starts filling in for Glenn Beck during vacations before Lil’ Andy follows through with his campaign posturing.  Even if he did, limiting property tax hikes wouldn’t be a worthwhile tradeoff if we are concurrently socked with higher sales or state income taxes.  That would be like locking the door while leaving the windows open.

But at least Cuomo thinks he has to appease Tea Partiers to win votes even in the most navy of states.  Republicans are the ones who are supposed to prove they are tough on taxes no matter how often they disappoint in reality.  But at least one Democrat is calculatingly, fleetingly switching jerseys.

Maybe the fact that Americans are recognizing the glaring effects of an insatiable federal government provoked Cuomo to pitch the virtues of acting Texasy.  Believing Cuomo is a different story.  But be amused that he is basically saying he likes to listen to Michael Bolton in a desperately humiliating attempt to keep working for the state.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping fellow anti-tax radicals Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand buy air time on Hannity, too.  It seems doubtful that Chuck Nasty and Tracy Flick would suck up to the right.  But I thought the same thing about Cuomo a few days ago.

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