Cuomo Is More Of A New FDR Than Obama Was
By Thomas Hoffman
Before the 2009 inauguration, Time magazine featured a cover with Obama wearing Franklin Roosevelt’s clothes. Time could very well reissue a new cover with Governor Cuomo in FDR’s clothes. Governor Cuomo is about to prove himself to govern much more “FDR style” than Obama.
Just as FDR ended prohibition, Cuomo is about to end the prohibition on marijuana. This is not the only free market idea Cuomo is implementing. Legalized gambling has led to the creation of a new resort and casino in New York.
Furthermore, Governor Cuomo has joined Governor Jay Inslee of Washington and Governor Jerry Brown of California in forming an alliance that defies Trump and ensures that their states remain in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Cuomo governs in a way similar to the way President Clinton did after the 1994 revolution. In 1994, House Minority Whip, Newt Gingrich led his “revolution” where the Republicans re-took Congress for the first time in decades. The Republicans won 54 House seats and eight seats in the Senate. Newt Gingrich became the Speaker, and set his own legislative agenda. Some have argued that the 1994 Gingrich revolution actually helped President Clinton in the long run. Clinton was able to benefit from the conservative financial policies. Many Democrats were disillusioned with President Clinton for working with the Republican controlled Congress, and for moving to the political center. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow once referred to President Clinton as a “Republican President.” Compared to a lot of other Democrats, Clinton was in fact a Republican. Clinton cooperated with Speaker Gingrich and the Republican controlled Congress. Throughout most of Clinton’s presidency, he allowed the GOP controlled Congress to set a conservative economic agenda, but thwarted a lot of the GOP “moral agenda.” Some have argued that a Democrat president with a GOP Congress is best for the country because the country would benefit from the conservative financial policies without the Christian Right “moral agenda” along with it. Cuomo is unifying the state of New York with a centrist agenda of his own.
President Obama took the Democratic Party back to its pre-Clinton stance. During his presidency, Obama and the far left created a new kind of “moral agenda.” First Lady Michelle Obama took the “war on obesity” to the next level and truly implemented the principle that the government had the right to control what the public ate or drank. While Bush blurred the line between separation of church and state, Obama blurred the line between separation of food and state. Cuomo did not participate in the war on obesity to the same extent that many other Democrats did. In 2010, then Attorney General Cuomo opposed then Governor Patterson’s 2010 soda tax.
Obama also took a weak, far- left stance on Homeland Security, at least at first. Obama originally treated one of the 9/11 masterminds, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as an ordinary criminal. Obama wanted to allow Mohammed to be tried in New York, an idea Cuomo staunchly opposed from the start. This is another example of Cuomo implementing true progressive change to the economy without being too liberal on other issues like crime or foreign policy.
Cuomo may be what Rachel Maddow describes as a “President Clinton 2.0.” What’s great about Cuomo is you get a “New Deal;” legalization of marijuana, gun control and gay marriage without being overly-progressive. Unlike Clinton, Cuomo is at the political center without a GOP controlled Congress, although the State Senate is GOP controlled. However, even if it was controlled by Democrats, Cuomo would unlikely be doing anything differently. Unlike Obama, Cuomo pursues a progressive agenda without a side of extreme liberalism, a nanny state, a war on obesity, and weakness on crime and foreign policy. Cuomo is truly helping New York recover from the recession and move into the 21st century. He is taking on the real issues, and implementing the kind of New Deal the country really needs. Cuomo is ending the war on drugs, rather than starting a war on bake sales. And unlike Clinton, he doesn’t need a GOP congress to do it.
Photo by Pat Arnow (Andrew Cuomo) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons