Elise Stefanik is 35 years old. As a representative from one of the most rural, but certainly not the most conservative (R+4), districts in New York, NY-21, she would have had a long career as a Republican when Republicans were a little bit more sane. Unfortunately for her and the country, Republicans are insane, so she faced a choice: go crazy with them, or kiss your seat goodbye. We all know what happened next: her actions on the Intelligence committee were essentially indistinguishable from Gym Jordan’s, and her antics made her a Fox News star.
This is old news, but I thought those of you who enjoy old school (read: good) small town newspapering might enjoy today’s commentary from the editor of the Glen Falls, NY Post-Star, Ken Tingley. I don’t want to ruin it by giving an excerpt, but here’s the background in a pair of tweets from Stefanik’s opponent, Tedra Cobb:
You’ll need to answer an annoying question from Google to read the piece, but why not put 1/10 of a cent into their kitty? I think they need it. More on local news from Margaret Sullivan at the Post if the subject interests you.
Well done, Mr. Tingley. I particularly enjoyed the push-back on the “elitist” bullshit.
Do you think Cobb (or someone else) has a shot at unseating Stefanik?
Elise also sends her thugs to Cobb’s campaign events. They don’t just show up at Elise’s town halls.
download my app in the app store mistermix
@Betty Cracker: I don’t think Cobb has a primary challenger so she’s the Democrat in the race. NY21 was redistricted after the 2012 race, so even though It’s an Obama/Obama/Trump district, and a Dem won in 2012, it’s gotten tougher for Democrats. The Green Party ran a candidate the last few cycles, which is going to take a couple of points. It’s not a lost cause by any stretch, and certainly a “DC Harvard Elitist Elise” campaign could succeed. I agree that it was fun to see Tingley flip the script.
I can’t believe she’s my representative. I mildly disliked the carpetbagging moderate Republican when she got elected. My opinion has soured considerably now that she’s joined the MAGA circus.
Dorothy A. Winsor
That’s a great response from Tingley. His anger is well clothed in sarcasm. Plus his beef with her is over his people’s safety. All he’s asking is that she denounce threats against them. What could be more righteous?
@download my app in the app store mistermix: I still don’t see Tedra beating her, but we’re seldom polled in our district so it’s hard to tell what is going on in a district as vast as NY-21 especially with the MAGAts so vocal and supportive.
Just dropped some ActBlue coin in Tedra’s coffer.
download my app in the app store mistermix
@Eric NNY: Yeah, another factor is that Stefanik has raised a shit-ton after she put on the MAGA hat.
J R in WV
Well, I’m a very long way from western NY state, but I did get an ask from Ms Cobb when she started running, and this makes me glad that we pitched in a little when she was starting out. We try to support women running for the House or Senate when they’re starting out. We don’t get everyone elected we contribute to, but given the Blue Wave and the success of Democratic women in the last cycle, it has felt very positive.
I hate Stefanik with the fire of a thousand suns.
Spinoza Is My Co-pilot
“Your Ex-Lover is Dead” by Stars, one of my favorite indie tracks from the sights. Hadn’t listened to it in a while, just put it on. Thanks, mistermix.
@Eric NNY: I’m near Ticonderoga; I give to Tedra.
I’ve gone from being embarrassed by my rep in NJ (the wimpy do-nothing Frelinghuysen) to my reps and Senators in KY (Andy Barr, Frat Boy Rand, and Yertle) to here full time now (Elise From Elsewhere).
@J R in WV: We’re actually northern NY — the true upstate region.
Where it’s been nice and cold the last few days. Keep the mice under control.
@J R in WV: How dare you, we’re Northern New York. There be snowbillies in these parts.
Hudson Falls represent
@Billcoop4: Outside of Watertown here.
Can someone ruin it with an excerpt for those of us in the European Union webspace who can’t access that local paper due to regulations too tedious for the paper to bother complying with?
On first coffee, seems as if the only way out is to get the Republican party to stop the distillation of their party into only the Plain White Tea Shits (by all the sane ones running away like their ass is on fire). Seems to me, at some point, this distillation will result in Electoral disaster in a free and fair election. Yeah, I know, free and fair, how quaint…
…and, at this point, I don’t put it past the Trumpers to pull shenanigans we can’t even imagine all across this fine land, because the alternative is being flushed like the turds they are. Only hope is to win, prosecute, and build more prisons.
ETA: When (if?) the Republicans decide the Tea Partiers need to go and play with themselves in their own party, the fun begins.
@Barney: Elise had a supporter who threatened reporters at one of her Republican hand-picked crowd town halls. She never denounced him. Local reporter wrote to her asking for an explanation. He never got an answer. Then he got a fundraising letter from her at the newspaper. He then wrote a drippingly sarcastic OP-ed detailing the whole episode while pointing out she’s done nothing to denounce the MAGAt.
Spinoza Is My Co-pilot
@Spinoza Is My Co-pilot: “from the sights”? Damn drunken autocorrect elf! From the aughts.
To the point of the post — Republican elected officials across the country (especially, but not solely, in the House) have had to decide whether to go all in on the crazy, or get primaried from someone who does and then almost certainly lose their seat.
This is just one of many signs that point out how much American electoral politics has changed from not that long ago (think of crazy fascist losers like Sarah Palin, Christine “I Am Not a Witch” O’Donnell, or Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin).
@Spinoza Is My Co-pilot: I’m sure Elise remembers the NY-21 election from the tea party year when Republicans split the ticket and the democratic party won for the first time in years.
My friends in Ithaca (different Congressional district) think Stefanik can be defeated. They think she’s gotten out in front of her district wingnutz wise and it’s hurting her. The base loves her but the base is only mid to low 30s % so…..
@Betty Cracker: I appreciate Mr. Tingley’s elegant, restrained response. My response would’ve been along the lines of an envelope of confetti and something to the effect that I do not give money to insulting beggars who demand protection money.
Of course I do not have a column and I do not want a libel lawsuit, but what else do you call it when someone praises and abets someone who threatens you and then solicits donations by insulting you?
OT: holy crap why are there so many NRA and “don’t tread on me ads” on that site?
@Spinoza Is My Co-pilot:
Let’s see, on first coffee, the chances of the most recent nominees of the Republicans on getting nominated in 2020: Reagan is 50/50, Bush the Elder is Snowballs Chance in Hell, Dole might have a solid chance, Bush the Younger … Compassionate Conservative, yeah, right, call it snowball and hell … and why waste time on McCain and Romney.
From an otherwise useless article on Political Animal:
The [Amy Klobuchar tater tot] dish tells us a great deal about Klobuchar.
download my app in the app store mistermix
I wish the Ithaca area could beat Tom Reed, but it’s a tougher district.
@Spinoza Is My Co-pilot: Live through this and you won’t look back.
@Shakti: For some reason, when I read this, I thought of the old Windshield Guy with Filthy Rag trope which everyone from NY State would remember.
when you’re looking north from brooklyn, it’s all upstate from here.
The New York Daily News has me shaking with ironic laughter today (actually, for the past several days since they published this op-ed). They call for Chuck Todd to step down as moderator of the Democratic debates not for any of the bazillion valid reasons the Jackalate can name, but rather, for stating that “supporters of Bernie Sanders are part of a “digital brown shirt brigade” this past Monday, one day before the New Hampshire primary.”
Regardless of how they are in real life, the online Sandernistas are indeed comparable to shock troops, including that group.
How ironic it would be if the truth (however unpleasantly stated) forced Mr Incompetent Moderator out where his horrid performance hasn’t.
thing is, and yeah, fuck chuck, but he was QUOTING someone from the bulwark who called them brownshirts.
too much of the maelstrom was the semantics of calling a movement led by a jew, ‘brownshirts’ instead of dealing with their BEHAVIOR.
would it have been better to call them blackshirts? no semitic connotation there and again, ostensibly accurately describing their anti-democratic leanings and disdain for the opinions of others.
according to wapo, it’s over a thousand.
I deleted my comment because I saw there is also a petition to get Barr to give Roger Stone a new trial. Since I was only half-listening, I assumed I hadn’t heard correctly.
@WaterGirl: I read that article and couldn’t decide if it was meant as a beat sweetener or just plain dreck.
@WaterGirl: And all this time, I thought it meant that she shunned heart healthy food.
@eddie blake: I had missed that he was quoting someone else. Yet another example of his incompetence (because he should have recognized the point you made). Still ironic if that’s the hill he dies on, given that it’s a lot more truthful than 90% of what he ever says.
Stefanik seems to be determined to make a fool of herself. Last week Tedra gave an interview in which she described her upbringing (schoolteacher dad, parents took in 9 foster kids on that salary) and her mom’s attempts to keep everybody fed.
Tedra mentioned something poor kids everywhere would recognize — a dish her mom called “chicken surprise” b/c if you can find any chicken in it, that would be a surprise.
So what does Stefanik do? Unbelievably, tweets a link to the article with a mocking comment about chicken surprise. I can only imagine that her isolation from not-rich people is so complete that she really doesn’t understand what it means.
Bad move, Elise.
@download my app in the app store mistermix:
Talk in Ithaca is to outlast him because we are going to get redistricted anyway. Does not help us for near term though.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
The top retweets are all dunking on her it’s beautiful:
@Bruuuuce: Did you actually read the entire oped? Do you know who the brownshirts were? If you find ironic humor in it you are a bigger idiot than the nazis who wiped out Bernie’s extended family in Poland. I’m not a big Bernie fan either but come on, read some history.
You should threaten to kill us, that’s what Bernie would want you to do (while pretending that he has nothing to do with it).
@Ralphie: I do indeed know who the brownshirts are, having lost half my family to them and their repulsive ilk, TYVM.
As I note above, it was ill-phrased, but the truth is there: Wilmer’s online acolytes are indeed a youth gang willing to go well beyond the bounds of not just propriety, but harm, and there’s a great deal of truth in Chuck’s comment that is lacking in his other statements.
You know, when a conservative who went to Harvard starts talking about elitists, the response should be to yell YOU WENT TO HARVARD at the top of your lungs. Every time they try to change the subject — YOU WENT TO HARVARD.
Literally do not let them finish a sentence.
@Eric NNY: Thanks – that got me thinking, and I remembered – you can ask the Wayback Mahcine to archive URLs and you get them immediately – so I tried that, and can read it that way.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Yes. I’m actually shocked that somebody on her team didn’t clue her that families routinely stretch the food budget by way of “creative” casseroles.
That was just a very stupid mistake.
OT, but I had to share this gem from Rick Wilson:
Bullshit. There are plenty of Republicans who just hold their nose and vote with the party without turning the whole thing into a MAGA carnival show.
She wasn’t forced to take this path. She chose to do it because she wanted to be a FOX news MAGA star.
@hitchhiker: punching down is NEVER a good look. This woman is horrid.
So here’s the thing. I’m not a big fan of Sanders and even less of his most rabid supporters. But comparing a Jewish person to a Nazi is… not something that should be done lightly. It’s like comparing an African-American to a slave owner. I’m not even completely comfortable with it when someone like Steven Miller is the target of the comparison, though if any Jewish person in modern American politics deserves such a comparison, it’s Miller. (I’m also not particularly comfortable with comparing these people to kapos, many of whom were motivated by factors such as trying to secure favourable treatments for their families, and all of whom were facing awful situations that scumbags like Miller very well may never have to deal with.)
I’m moderately less uncomfortable with comparisons like this when the person making the comparison is also Jewish. Which Todd is. Which makes this whole thing more puzzling, since Todd should be well aware of just how nasty such comparisons are. And Todd was merely quoting someone else who made the comparison – fine. I’ll allow that the use/mention distinction is a thing.
But it still bothers me. An entire branch of my family probably didn’t survive WWII, unless they got out of Austria (or Poland – we don’t actually know) before the worst happened – but I’ll also probably never know for sure. Godwin’s Law is essentially dead in some contexts now – Mike Godwin himself has said he’s fine comparing Trump’s most obnoxious supporters to Nazis. But that doesn’t extend to all contexts. Sanders is not Trump (and that comparison is itself moderately offensive, since Trump displays clear signs of being an anti-Semite).
What bothers me even more about this comparison is the lack of historical knowledge and imagination it displays, though. If you’re going to compare Sanders’ supporters to historical mobs, take context into account! Maybe the left-wing paramilitaries in Weimar Germany. There was actual, protracted violence between the left and the centre-left, which was a major factor that ultimately allowed Hitler to come to power – not to mention the short-sighted “Nach Hitler, uns” (“after Hitler, us”) attitude of communists in the country at the time. The left and the centre-left didn’t trust one another… and their distrust wasn’t entirely unwarranted, based on their past history. But their inability to put aside their differences in the face of a greater foe resulted in Hitler’s appointment as chancellor, and we all know what followed that. History may not repeat itself, but it rhymes. (Anyone who hasn’t read Richard J. Evans’ The Coming of the Third Reich ought to do so immediately. If there is a more essential book for our times, I’m not aware of it.)
Anyhow, this comparison probably wouldn’t even make the list of the top fifty most obnoxious things Chuck Todd has ever done, if I were to waste my time making such a list. (The top ten would probably all be from his coverage of 2016, and that goes for most similar pundits.) But it’s still obnoxious, and I’m not particularly bothered that he’s drawing heat over it. If nothing else, it displays a stunning lack of either self-awareness or historical knowledge on his part to just casually repeat such a gross comparison.
Cēterum cēnseō factiōnem Rēpublicānam esse dēlendam.
@(((CassandraLeo))): You are right, of course. The Nazi card is the easiest one to pull out because they are such the archetypical fascist mob and any other historical analogies are usually too obscure. But the “you don’t dare call us fascist because we are Jews” card also gets pulled out way too much by the right anytime anyone voices the slightest criticism of Israel too.
But yes, Chuck Todd and the others like Tweety are being ridiculously hysterical. A Sanders regime would be much more likely to be filled with purity ponies doing ineffective and incompetent lefty poser shit for show rather than lining up their political enemies for persecution like Trump is doing.
Which was my original point: that for the NYDN to single this out as a reason to depose him from the debate host’s chair is a headdesk, at best.
I note that while the comparison was of his online followers, it did NOT include the Senator, himself. Which is, not so much a saving grace as an iota of redemption.
I’ve never lived in NY-21, but I have roots there; my dad grew up in Whitehall.
I have no difficulty imagining my Whitehall-raised cousins loving Stefanik.
That district is going to be a tough get.
J R in WV
So… does this mean Mike Pompeo is ALSO a Russian tool?
Can’t help but make that comparison, meeting secretly with the Russian Foreign Minister!! Seems to work for me!
Interesting — “Russian journalists wrote about the meeting afterward,” but apparently Politico doesn’t know what they wrote??? Well, I grasp at any indication that we are not going to be nuking Moscow tomorrow, but then my paranoia kicks in and I wonder why Pompeo would say, “Good luck,” to “the people gathered in the hallway outside.” Who were those people and why were they gathered?