Leaving Out Extremists

I have not been following the news closely, so I did not know what all the fuss was about when people started writing letters to the editor about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reported statements that there was no place in New York for extreme right wingers. He meant those who oppose abortion, support gun rights, etc. My wife explained to me that Cuomo was right. The conservative press and politicians, however, are taking this to the bank, that is, they think it is good material for rallying their allies. Even the centrist press thinks that Cuomo made a mistake in saying this. The Mayor of New York, however, supported Cuomo. He observed, and I think there is little dispute about his accuracy, that most New Yorkers support a woman’s right to abort a pregnancy, and oppose the easy access to firearms that we have. I wondered if Cuomo had made these statements in his official speech the other day about the State of the State. So I looked up the text for the word “extreme” and found it in just one place, where he was talking about “extreme weather”.  This of course is something that conservatives deny has anything to do with policy; still it is hardly offensive. In other places in his speech, he talked about welcoming all sorts of people to the state, regardless of their race, religion, or wealth. Nothing controversial there, I hope. Continuing to search for articles,  I learned that the remarks about “extreme conservatives” took place during a radio interview. So, maybe they were a slip-up on Cuomo’s part. On the other hand, maybe they reflect a shrewder calculation. Cuomo is not what I would call a really liberal Democrat. For example he is proposing huge tax cuts that will benefit wealthier New Yorkers. He needs to rally the left a bit, but without giving them much on policy. The Mayor of New York City, Bill DeBlasio, is a liberal Democrat, who wants to put a surtax on the rich people in the City to pay for kindergarten schools. And he is supporting the Governor in this affair. Hey – that fits with our theory!

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