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Nevertheless, #LetLizSpeak will persist
Call it the Rule XIX gift.
Late Tuesday night as Democrats held the floor in what looks to be a futile fight against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Sen. Elizabeth Warren read the words of Sen. Ted Kennedy and Coretta Scott King to the chamber. King’s 1986 letter criticized Sessions in stark terms. The civil rights leader’s words were apparently too much for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who moved to silence Warren under a rarely used Senate rule that prohibits impugning colleagues.
“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” McConnell later said on the floor.
Warren may have been silenced for the rest of the Sessions fight but the selective enforcement of the rule found a particularly pointed coda Wednesday morning: various of Warren’s male colleagues read from the letter and received no objections from that august body.
By then, McConnell’s “Nevertheless, she persisted” line had already launched a thousand T-shirts, posters, hats. It circled the internet in an atmosphere prepped by President Donald Trump’s “nasty woman” campaign comment and activated by the Women’s March. Already a hashtag, how long until it’s the center of an Emily’s List fundraising appeal? Or a 2020 campaign slogan?
Because ‘Suozzi is Suozzi’
The National Republican Congressional Committee has released its list of top Democratic targets in 2018, 36 districts in all. There’s nothing particularly odd about it, except the note that relentlessly-on-the-attack NRCC Deputy Communications Director Chris Pack sent out along with a Politico.com story detailing the list.
Pack’s note pointed out that two NY Dems are on the list. Sean Patrick Maloney in the 18th is a target because, in Pack’s words, “Trump won this district by 2 points in 2016 and (Rob) Astorino won it convincingly in the 2014 gubernatorial.”
And Thomas Suozzi, the freshman who beat Jack Martins to replace Steve Israel in the 3rd, is on the target list because — again in Pack’s words — “Suozzi is Suozzi.”
That little phrase is actually a hyperlink, which, if clicked, leads to this YouTube anti-Suozzi clip.
Is Suozzi a reasonable target? Yes and no. The traditional wisdom is to go hard after a new representative in his or her first re-election bid because once they’ve won twice they become very hard to unseat. And the fact that Suozzi only won his race by 5.6 percent (about 17,000 votes), approximately the same margin by which Hillary Clinton beat President Donald Trump, implies it could at least be labeled a toss-up district. The fact that party registration in the district only mildly favors Democrats adds to this impression.
The “Suozzi is Suozzi” personal attack, the idea that he would still be vulnerable on his county executive record, is in some sense more an indictment of the GOP analysis and the race it just ran than the former Nassau County executive because he just whipped them good.
The snow and Cuomo are coming
Despite the threats of treacherous travel because of a snowstorm on Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, perhaps with his fleece jacket in tow, is still scheduled to visit with the editorial board to discuss what’s in the state budget for Long Island. Please share with us your questions and concerns about his funding priorities for this coming fiscal year.