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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Right of center, tensions worth watching

A salient point is made in this Politico posting about current divisions on the right -- and the challenge for Republican efforts to harness the energy of tax protesters without alienating more center-ish voters nationally in upcoming elections.

Sounds for the most part like the perennial party tension of Rockefeller v. Goldwater, Reagan v. Ford, or, strictly in NY state, the old Conservative Party v. the defunct Republican-Liberal combination.

Locally, the financial sector is an employer so important and influential that it parallels oil interests in Texas and auto makers in Michigan. Our political dynamic is skewed and shaped by the presence of a currently shell-shocked Wall Street, on which so much government funding, and candidate contributions, depend.

So you have -- for example -- veteran Long Island Republican Bruce Blakeman sitting with the stock brokers, and veteran LI Republican Rick Lazio coming from JP Morgan Chase, to run for senator and governor on a tide of modest-taxpayer discontent.

They will have to fend off blue-stater charges that they are purveyors of a discredited economics-as-usual. Party strategists know that populistic and maverick right-wing candidates are liable to eat their lunch -- not the Democrats'.

Flag-waving and sentimentally-correct appeals can help keep the GOP coalition intact -- drumbeats on terrorism, deficit, stimulus, etc. But this has its limits. The Democrats know this and will try -- competently or not -- to work with that division. In that light, take a fresh look at Bill Murphy's posting here from Tuesday in Hempstead.


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