Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dead Man Walking

The struggle over control of the state senate has apparently caused a fatal schism between the governor and his allies in the legislature. As the NY Times reports: "While the governor does not have the unilateral authority to order state troopers to round up truant senators and force them to come back to the Capitol, he can go to court and ask for an order compelling senators into session. If such an order is issued and they refuse, Mr. Paterson said, the State Police could be called in. The stalemate in Albany has not reached that point yet, but the situation on Wednesday continued as a back-and-forth of political shots. After Mr. Paterson issued his ultimatum, Senator Kevin S. Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat, criticized the governor and complained that he had not done more to defend fellow Democrats in their leadership struggle with Senate Republicans."

But Parker went on to further challenge Paterson in strong language: "He’s a coward,” Mr. Parker said. “His idle threats about holding our paychecks and those other things, which he certainly has no authority to do under either the Constitution or any other law, is mean-spirited and without basis.” Mr. Parker then took a shot at Mr. Paterson’s low job-approval ratings: “He will not be returning as governor, I’m fairly sure.”

So, it looks as if the governor's going to try to take a page out of Harry Truman's book-and run against the, "do-nothing," legislature. Only problem that we see, is that it's hard to be the "do nothing governor" running against the "do nothing legislature." The Paterson persona doesn't come close to that of the feisty Truman; and we don't believe this kind of testosterone display-so late in the game-will prompt a wave of electoral support for Paterson.

So the senate will return today to, do what? Calls for pay garnishing and criminal probes notwithstanding, it's unlikely that a quick resolution of this mess will be soon at hand. Paterson's desperate display of executive power is, however, too little, too late.