Down In the Weeds: New York

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Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

In 2018, the GOP lost the state senate and many federal Congressional seats they had no business losing.  The problem is the New York GOP had become a fossil and had become staid and stodgy.  The New York apparatus was dominated by Rockefeller Republicans who were restrained and strategically cautious to a fault.  They also tended to come from urban areas who relied on conservatives in the hinterlands to actually deliver the votes.


And so it came to thankfully pass that Edward F. Cox stepped aside as party chief in July after leading the party to ruin in the Empire State over the past ten years.  Cox undoubtedly got the job since he was the son-in-law of former President Richard Nixon.  In events that have brewing since the 2016 GOP convention in Cleveland, he graciously stepped aside in favor of Nick Langworthy.

This is significant on several levels.  In 2016 at the convention, Buffalo businessman and gubernatorial candidate Carl Palladino openly pushed for Langworthy to take over the helm of the New York GOP.  Both Palladino and Langworthy were early supporters of Trump in 2016.  According to many sources, it was Trump who openly endorsed some change in leadership and Langworthy saw his opening.  Cox is being retained in the leadership as a key fundraising coordinator in the state for Trump.

What do Trump and Palladino see in Langworthy?  The first thing they saw in Cox was what Palladino described as being “silk stocking.”  He was viewed as a patrician who led the GOP to obscurity in New York.  Langworthy, on the other hand, is the son of a bar owner and factory worker, who saw factory jobs leave the country.  He is more comfortable passing a hat for donations in Ulster County than he is at a fancy fundraiser in Manhattan.  Palladino and others are betting that Langworthy, himself quite charismatic, will lead the average person to the Republican Party.


Some have argued that the only way Langworthy can get a GOP victory in a statewide race is to run a moderate against any Democrat to succeed Andrew Coumo.  For his part, Langworthy does not seem closed to the idea as he has endorsed moderates in the past.  And he also realizes what he is up against as party chair in New York and views the GOP as at their nadir with nowhere to go but up.

About 40% of the state’s registered voters reside in New York City and immediate suburbs not named New Jersey.  The vast majority of them are Democrats making any attempt at a statewide GOP victory that more daunting provided there is ample turnout.  Registration numbers are one thing, but registration forms do not cast actual ballots.  Overall in New York, Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2:1 margin.

Now that the Democrats have seized the state senate and house and have the governor’s office, Cox and Langworthy are banking on the fact that Democrats often overplay their progressive hands.  Cox recently said: “There’s a sense now that they have complete power in Albany. They blew it once; they’ll blow it again. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.”  That may be true, but it is not a good strategy for winning now or in the future.

In Coumo’s reelection bid, the GOP did run a “qualified” candidate against an increasingly unpopular governor embroiled in some scandals around his administration.  Still, they could not get within 20 points of Cuomo.  That signals a deeper dysfunction that has to be overcome if the GOP is to be successful.


Some have described the Langworthy ascendancy as the “Trumpification” of the New York Republican Party apparatus.  To illustrate how the Democrats will use this to their advantage, the battle over the Metropolitan Republican Club, a local watering hole in Manhattan frequented by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Nelson Rockefeller, George Pataki, Newt Gingrich, and Trucker Carlson among others recently had a change in leadership.  In February, Ian Walsh ousted the much older Robert Morgan as president of the club charging Morgan of being insufficiently supportive of Trump.

Morgan’s supporters cried foul and claimed Walsh took advantage of the election rules.  Apparently, anyone can vote provided they pay the $75 fee for membership.  In the run-up to the election, Milo Yiannapolis had urged followers to pony up the $75 and vote for Walsh.  Jump ahead to October (the election was in February) and the Club made national news after Walsh invited Gavin McInness, founder of the Proud Boys, to speak at the club.  This drew Antifa protesters and both sides clashed in the street.

The local media in Manhattan (that is, Democrat propagandists) described this in dire terms, that the Proud Boys had been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, that its founder- McInness- spoke fondly of Trump, and that the battle for control of the Club was a microcosm of the hate, bigotry and misogyny of “Trumpification.”  They did admit that acts of vandalism prior to the appearance were “uncivil,” before qualifying the statement with inviting McInness was, itself, “uncivil.”


Regardless of what happens at some GOP watering hole in Manhattan, it was becoming clear that the days of domination by the Rockefeller Republicans in New York is thankfully waning.  Langworthy hails from the conservative hinterlands that Rockefeller Republicans relied upon, but let down so many times.  Whether there is nowhere to go but up for the New York GOP, or whether Langworthy is the man to lead the GOP out of the New York wilderness remains to be seen.  This writer thinks they are on the correct path.

Next: New Jersey


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