Andrew Cuomo and the Estranged Left

cuomo2Andrew Cuomo, today being re-elected Governor of New York, is admired, feared, respected, hated. In his recent book, All Things Possible, Cuomo writes:

At the end of your career, the only thing that matters is the lasting effect of your actions. Otherwise, what’s the point? You have to be willing to incur opposition if you actually want to get something meaningful done. All the difficult issues are controversial, by definition. But that’s the point of public service and what separates the statesmen from the journeymen in my opinion.

There is no reason to believe this is just idle rhetoric from a future presidential candidate. Coming in the context of eulogizing the political career of a Westchester County executive who helped him early in his career, this statement both reflects and attempts to justify Cuomo’s well-known ruthlessness. And hey, what’s wrong with being ruthless when it’s the only way to get the job done (especially in Albany)? “Be realistic—you can’t please everyone on your way to getting shit done.” That seems to be the motif of All Things Possible and the motto that drives Cuomo’s career. Keep reading →

The Powerlessness of the Powerful

jackhammerA Governor’s Story: The Fight For Jobs And America’s Economic Future by Jennifer M. Granholm and Dan Mulhern. PublicAffairs, 2011. 312 pp.

Many Americans who follow national affairs superimpose the plight of Detroit – once the symbol of American manufacturing and exporting prowess – on the state of Michigan. After the adoption of neo-liberal free trade agreements in the 1990s, jobs began to leak out through the cracks of an antiquated industrial framework that had not adapted to new technologies or management theories. Jennifer Granholm was elected to Michigan’s highest office as this leak burst into an outright flood. Keep reading →