As Digby says, everybody thinks their state is the worst. But New Yorkers are wearing a particular shade of red these days, in shocked embarrassment at the depths of our state government. Aspects of the Republican coup in the upper house of the New York State Legislature seemed to be more the province of imaginations like Jon Swift's, rather than any kind of statecraft. Since two Democrats crossed the aisle in a power grab apparently motivated by billionaire Tom Golisano's hurt feelings over being ignored by a new Democratic majority whose victory he helped to finance, the State Senate has been in a state of comic gridlock, highlighted by comic declarations about having the right key to get into the chamber.
No one looks good. The Democrats, led by an accidental Governor boasting approval ratings lower than Elliot Spitzer's after the call girl scandal, feature an astoundingly weak line-up outside of Assembly boss Shelly Silver and Attorney General Cuomo. The Republicans, used to holding onto the Senate by winning in barely-populated districts to counter the electoral might of New York City - and through an unwritten 30-year deal to share power in the Legislature - have always taken the obstructionist route. On both sides of the aisle, perp walks are almost as routine as fundraisers.
Now a State Supreme Court judge has given the warring Senate parties until Monday to strike a deal on power-sharing and legislative structure, so that the state's business can proceed. Good luck. We may as well hope for an early budget and cuts to the legislators' salaries and perks. As Ballon-Juice blogger DougJ says, "No matter how cynical I get about New York State government, I just can’t keep up."
Meanwhile, if you want the latest on one of the traitorous Democrats, Senator Pedro Espada, the Bronx blog BoogieDowner is going wall-to-wall with Espada coverage.