A year ago, the pro-gun people in Yates County had me out to speak at their pig roast.
I had done it for a few years in a row, back a decade or so ago, but the assemblyman who ended up killing himself wanted to do it, so he did, until circumstances changed.
And when it came around last year, on a Saturday at the end of August, they had me back.
And it went pretty well. There were a lot of great people, I got to figure out who I wanted to support in the DA race down there, and I gave a pretty good talk.
At least I thought I did.
But one of the politicians didn’t.
In fact, when he got up, he went on a profane tirade about me, shouting and cursing, denouncing what I had said.
He was a Republican state senator. And I guess he was angry that I pointed out that Republicans in the state Senate had done nothing for upstate conservatives, especially for gun owners. I pointed out that the Republicans in the Senate had backstabbed a pro-gun upstate legend in the race for majority leader in order to give the seat to a downstate liberal who voted for Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act.
I pointed out that it was a series of upstate senators, who loved to sing the praises of the Second Amendment, who turned their back on their constituents and gave their vote to the downstate gun banner and Cuomo enabler, in exchange for committee chairmanships and perqs.
I said with friends like Senate Republicans, who needed enemies.
And I said that it was time for upstate conservatives to demand something in return for their bloc voting. We give the Republicans control of the Senate, I said, shouldn’t they give us something other than the shaft?
And that pissed this guy off.
And apparently that had an impact.
Because I didn’t get invited back.
Maybe in November, Senate Republicans will learn what that feels like.
Maybe in November, the turncoats will be turned out.
If they are, they’ll have earned it.
In the cesspool that is Albany, Senate Republicans are just a different brand of turd.
I’ve watched them for 30 years, and the only unifying theme I’ve heard out of them is: “Vote for us, or the Democrats will take over.” Just the other day, at the State Fair, a member of the GOP Senate leadership gave me the same old spiel. Democrats are crazy, they’ll do crazy things, they’ll take all our taxes, they only care about New York City.
I’ve heard it a million times. And I usually buy it. I’ll probably buy it again this year.
But it’s a piss-poor battle cry.
Especially when New York has turned into the least-free, highest-taxed, most economically depressed state in the Union with the Republicans firmly ensconced in control of the Senate. If Senate Republicans are supposedto be a check on the Democrats’ socialist excesses, they are a complete failure.
Every advance of the Democrat agenda has required the acquiescence of the Senate Republicans.
In many instances, Republicans have been a better legislative ally for Andrew Cuomo than the Democrats have. That’s not accommodation, that’s betrayal. It’s a middle finger in the face of upstate conservatives who are promised each two years that the Republicans will do just the opposite.
If the Senate Republicans are so crucial to the interests of upstate, why are some of the counties they represent among the poorest in America? Why did the pro-Second Amendment caucus select a pro-SAFE Act senator to lead it?
And why, just this year, did the supposedly pro-business Senate Republicans originate a bill that creates a three-month paid bereavement entitlement for any employee of any business, no matter how small?
With friends like this, who needs enemies.
Senate Republicans take upstate conservatives for granted, and it seems to work for them. We line up every election day and vote for them, no matter what.
And this year won’t be any different.
Except that a seat here or a seat there may go a different way and the Republicans might be pushed back from the leadership trough. That’s what has them squealing. They are worried about their pay and their privilege. If the Democrats take over the Senate, some Republican politicians are going to lose money.
So they are cracking the whip, spinning tales of Democrat evil, telling us that the sky is falling, and that only they can save us.
It’s what they say every two years.
And it might work again this year.
Either way, we’re screwed.
From the standpoint of upstate conservatives, there’s only one thing worse than a Senate Republican, and that’s a Senate Democrat.
It’s like deciding if you want to get stabbed or if you want to get shot.