Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, June 02, 2021

I have to ask: Has it never rained in this city before today?

I mean, c’mon. An hour or two of midafternoon Florida-like deluge rain, and the subways get washed out?

From the MTA: Due to weather conditions, E, F and R service is currently suspended in Queens. V service is suspended in both directions. 2 and 3 service has resumed with delays. 4, 5 and 6 service has resumed with delays. There is no 1 service south of Chambers Street.

Yeah, I was stuck on one of those trains, making my usual commute about twice as long as normal. Nothing like sitting in an overstuffed subway car on a Friday evening — the grumpiness was palpable. And the small relief gained from when the car finally — after several fits and starts — arrived at my stop dissipated when faced with the human congestion between platforms, as all the delays and rainy weather led to crowding all around.

Quite the way to close out the week. I had been kicking around a night of clubbing, but the immediate post-work experience took the life out of the notion. Sucks.

Seriously, from what I saw, I can’t believe this relatively brief rainfall would have been enough to disrupt the transit system. If that’s all it takes, it’s a wonder the subway can run during winter.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/02/2021 06:17:21 PM
Category: Weather, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback (3)

In a pre-mortem on New York State’s Republican Party and its expected poor showing this November, GOP strategist Nelson Warfield contributed this insightful assessment:

“In the last dozen years, the [New York] Republican Party has largely become all about Pataki. The governor never focused on trying to establish a farm team within the party, and now, as his era ends, it is apparent that the party has not prospered under him.”

Interesting, because that’s a similar summation of what sort of shape the national Democratic Party was left in after Bill Clinton’s presidency:

The Clintons’ Democratic Party was great for the Clintons but disastrous for the Democratic Party: during the 1990s, they lost the House and the Senate and a ton of governorships and state legislatures, and eventually, with nothing else left to lose, they lost the presidency. Clinton’s heat left the party so parched for talent they had no successful governors to run for president and were forced to turn to a stiff hack weathervane senator in the hope they could so damage Bush they could drag their boy across the finishing line.

Extending the comparison further, both Pataki and Clinton got to their chief executive posts by persuading an otherwise incompatible electorate. New York State leans Democratic by a 5-to-3 margin, and the country as a whole runs more conservative to the point where only disaffection in that base presents openings for more centrist/left candidates. Thus the perpetual operating mantra for the NYS Republicans is to never appear to be as conservative as the national party, which is perceived to be the only hope of succeeding in a statewide race. Same dynamic, with reversed ideology, on the national level for Democrats.

So it was that both men had to build their political capital by simultaneously running under their party label while pulling away from its rank-and-file. That left personal success for a seeming standard-bearer at the top, but an ineffective shell of a party apparatus below.

On the darker side, this suggests the need to create something of a cult of personality to achieve ends. The primacy of the individual candidate over the old-style party machine has been fact for half a century, but do Pataki’s and Clinton’s examples highlight an uncomfortable outgrowth of that trend?

That both a Democrat and a Republican pulled the same trick suggests this mechanism has more to do with American political culture, than with a particular party’s orientation. Fascinating mechanics.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/02/2021 05:30:03 PM
Category: Politics, History, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback