Friday, July 10, 2009

Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here

Apparently, what goes around comes around-and we have, in Yogi Berra's words, "déjà vu all over again." The Gang of Four reigns supreme-after a month of turmoil and uncertainty. As the Politicker reports: "Malcolm Smith spoke first at a press conference announcing Democrats had regained control of the fractured State Senate, but the amigos spoke the longest. And the message was clear: They're in charge. "The four amigos stand here once again today, proud and tough, supporting our communities, but most importantly, in friendships that didn't even exist before Election Day," Senator Carl Kruger, the old ringleader of the renegade Democratic faction, said. "They've been strengthened, they've been hardened, they've been galvanized and they've been solidified. So today is a day when we can claim victory for all New Yorkers."

For how long, though? We been so battered and bruised by the tumult that we're getting gun shy. Imagine how the principals must feel? Maybe, just maybe, we can all get back to governing-and wasn't it fascinating last night to see a bill come to the floor, and be defeated? As Daily Politics tells us: "There was a rare occurrence in the Senate chamber late last night - something akin to an Ivory-billed Woodpecker sighting. A bill was defeated. Yes, you read that right. Flat out defeated. Voted down, 28-34, with cooperation from senators on both sides of the aisle. The bill, as EJ McMahon described it, would have allowed local governments to amortize a potentially large portion of their pension contributions for six consecutive years, starting in 2011, as a means of off-setting what is expected to be a big hit."

So, maybe we get reform out of necessity; and a more open governing process that empowers more of the rank-and-file. As Senator George Winner commented: "I do think that's potentially a new state of events here," Winner said. "(The Democrats) have been talking about that all along in the new era of so-called reform, that when it comes to bringing bills to the floor it really shouldn't matter if something is guaranteed to pass or not."

But we'll see if this new day turns out to be something different when the majority gets its second wind. But right now we appreciate any semblance of normalcy-and even the strange sighting of the unusual. But who can predict what will happen next?