Paterson’s crucifixion is cruel and unjustified

The crucifixion of Governor David Paterson continues. This is really something. I would certainly hope that everyone reading this will at least try to put themselves in the place of David Paterson. While you are doing that, you might reach back into your past and try what actors call “The Method.” You have to go back in time and remember some really painful experience when you were really screwed. Yes, try to remember a time when someone – a teacher, a principal, a policeman, a friend -did something so heinous and incomprehensible that you never really forgot it.

From day one, Paterson has tried to play it straight. He warned us about the fiscal crisis and was pooh-poohed by the Legislature who didn’t have the courage or the guts to see what was coming. They fought him to a standstill. They insisted that he was overreacting. But, he kept his calm. Paterson told the truth about his somewhat wild personal life. He didn’t gild the lily. He told it all. He talked about wine, women and drugs. He properly recognized that it would all come out and he wanted to be the one to spill the beans. I respected that.

Meanwhile, his enemies bided their time until they could go after him. They revved up their negative research teams and somehow the information that Paterson had disclosed himself became fodder for pathetic “investigative reports.” Disgusting. It didn’t stop there. Reporters, ranging from those working for the worst tabloid papers to the best of the best broadsheets, chose to focus on Paterson but not on his political rivals. Does anyone really think that if the New York Times as well as all the bottom feeder journalists had wanted to do the same thing to Andrew Cuomo or Kirstin Gillibrand or Chuck Schumer they couldn’t have done damage? Think back to everything you’ve done that you’re not particularly proud of and ask yourself whether a newspaper couldn’t make you want to jump out of a window.

There can be no question what this is all about. It’s about getting David Paterson to drop out of a potential primary for governor. The last thing the big wigs in the Democratic Party want is an open primary. From the White House to Chuck Schumer to Rahm Emanuel to Barack Obama to Andrew Cuomo, they all have an interest in keeping Paterson out. How about The New York Times? Are they committed to a “liberal” Democratic victory in the next round of elections? Hey, I’m a liberal and I know my newspapers. If the Times wants Paterson out, let them go to their editorial pages and tell him to get out. This crucifixion is a whole other matter. It is cruel and unjustified. When Paterson fights back against this phalanx and says that a coalition of senior politicians and press and interest groups want to see his political demise, the pundits say he’s paranoid. Of course, he is anything but that. His poise, his ability to stay in there is terrific. I wish I could say that I have that kind of courage. I don’t think I do.

So what will happen when the smoke clears? Paterson will insist of a fair fight. He will go into a primary. Andrew Cuomo will undoubtedly follow his sense of Manifest Destiny on his way to his father’s office and may well win. Things will get dirtier and dirtier. The Schumer-appointed U.S. Attorneys will announce “investigations.” The pressure on Paterson will double and redouble. The Saturday Night Live writers will be encouraged to continue to make fun of the blind man and the paid columnists will contribute their columns. Murdoch’s Post and Zuckerman’s Daily News will participate in the crucifixion. One after another, this crowd will have a piece of David. Someday, honest historians will come along and chronicle what happened here and their judgment will not be a pretty thing to read. As for me, now that I’ve written this I’m going to the mattresses.

Originally Published in the Legislative Gazette, 2/22/10

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5 Comments on “Paterson’s crucifixion is cruel and unjustified”

  1. J Says:

    Thank You…..this is the first article I have read in regards to our Governor that is honest and informative. Thank you, Alan!!!!

  2. Kostya Says:

    Glad you went to bat for Paterson. Even amid the smoke rising from the NYT bombshell, even noting that it was Paterson who virtually handed the bomb’s explosive heart to the Times (if not the timer and detonator), it is still true that many behind the scene forces were working to dethrone the accidental governor. Many things can be true at the same time.

    Joseph L. Bruno, Hiram Monserrate, Eliot Spitzer and now David Paterson look like a murder’s row of NY State politicos. We should remember it is only Bruno who’s story clearly exemplifies the most important problems in Albany.

    Maybe the answer is to only allow castrati to run the government.

  3. jason M. Says:

    I find Alan Chartock’s continuous defense of Governor Paterson an outrage. As a Democrat I am outraged by the conduct of Paterson’s inept administration. He is not qualified to serve as Governor and has little control over those who serve at his pleasure. The recent New York times article is testimony to a Governor “missing in action” who simply self-absorr\bed with his personal pleasures. As a media represenatative Chartock should cover political figures objectively versus trying to win favor by being in the supposed inner circle. Putting lack of leadership skills aside, the Governor’s personal failings are very serious matters. O’Donnell’s resignation today is the final straw. I am convinced crimial activity took place to cover another one of Patterson’s unqualified cronies. This Governor is in over his head and should step down. Running for Governor? What a joke. It scares me more that Chartock can continue tosinf the praises of a Governor who is clearly incompetent. Does WAMC endorse violence against women? This recent incident is alarming–contacting a victime of a crime to influrence what she might do next. Wake up Chartock–you are out of touch, hence why I stopped contributing to WAMC.

  4. Jim Bintz Says:

    So the White House, the DNC, and the state Democratic Party get what they wanted, and what do we get? The man who, as head of HUD, created the policy that turned Wall Street into a derivative casino leading to the worst financial and economic crisis in 80 years. This the the man who is going to fix the Empire State’s budget woes — with that legislature? If you believe that, I have some oil shale under the Montezuma Marsh you can have cheap.

  5. Michael Says:

    Thank you Alan…the treatment Paterson recieved from all sides in his short time as gov. has been appalling. He has been the only person in Albany to show any backbone at all. NY’s dems abandon him months ago and the state senate and assembly republicans that should have been backing him at least on fiscal issues were nowhere to be found.

    I mean this sincerely, it amazes me how we as voters send the same do-nothings to the senate and assembly every election and then cry about nothing changing in albany. At least Paterson was honest with us, look where that got him.

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