Last week in a Village Voice blog post, Wayne Barrett ridiculed the idea that Mort Zuckerman could be petitioning for a place on the Republican line in order to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand-particularly after toadying up to Barack Obama for most of 2008: "The News endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 and, if there's one editorial in Mort's paper we can guarantee he personally approved, it's this one. It said that the Republican Party "ran the U.S. onto the rocks." The Bush presidency "enriched the wealthy over the working and middle classes with excessive tax cuts, gorged on spending; failed to address America's energy needs and global warming; undermined the credibility of U.S. military power, and got blindsided by the Wall Street meltdown, thanks in part to deregulatory zeal."
Hey, Mort, why not primary the junior senator instead of pretending you're now a grass roots kind of fiscal conservative? But there was more from the mordant Barrett to the mortified Mort: "The Republican Party has precious little credibility in laying claim to continued leadership," said the editorial, which is supposed to express the opinions of owner/publisher Mort. The state party committee that may soon be asked to consider Zuckerman as its candidate will also be happy to hear that his newspaper declared in the Obama endorsement that it's "a solid idea to raise the low tax rates enjoyed by the wealthy."
Just the man to lead the upcoming tax revolt, no? But why stop there. This is after all, the same guy who has shamelessly fronted for the faux Republican of all time-Zuckerman's favorite pig, the one and only Mike Bloomberg; never once challenging his big government philosophy, or his giveaways to the city's public sector unions. In the current political climate, where independents are becoming more of a force, Zuckerman is exactly the wrong person to challenge an unelected Democrat.
And with grass roots activism on the rise-with the Tea Partiers looking to get engaged to tackle the onerous federal, state and local tax burdens-Zuckerman, the guy who led the charge for the overturning of the term limits referendum, is the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.