The state GOP shouldn’t screw this up.
After all, how many times do you get a political marriage made in heaven – or at least in the prosperity gospel?
When Donald Trump swooped into town on his name-emblazoned $100 million jetliner and repeated his imperious demand to be handed the gubernatorial nomination, no questions asked, it was suddenly clear he’s the perfect nominee. Who more brazenly represents all that the modern GOP stands for?
Yet state party leaders seem intent on stealth candidate Rob Astorino, the county executive virtually unknown outside of Westchester.
It’s not that Astorino does not represent core Republican Party values. After all, the median value of owner-occupied homes in Westchester is $533,300 – compared with just $123,400 in Erie County. He’s obviously a man of the people, if you count only the people who Republicans think count. But Astorino – even while inching toward a run – seems loath to embrace his political heritage. With Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo stealing the moderate middle with his trickle-down tax cuts, there’s no room in the field for another thoughtful candidate.
The GOP’s only choice: Go big or go home.
Hence Trump, whose dictum that the field be cleared for him perfectly embodies GOP imperialistic philosophy. It was best illustrated locally by one-term County Executive Chris Collins, whose disdain for the poor and working class and anybody who didn’t agree with him got him bounced after four horrific years for the have-nots.
The haves then sent him to Congress, where he’s part of a House majority that slashed food stamps, cut unemployment aid, and sent the country to the brink of default because these rich guys were so used to getting their way that “compromise” seems part of a foreign language they never learned in prep school.
It’s no surprise that Trump drew 600 to a fundraiser here. Erie County, after all, is where GOP bigwigs proudly invited backers to puff cigars and sip cognac in a swanky restaurant, as if they’d never heard about the divide between the 1 percent and everyone else. Even with Mitt Romney’s teachable moment lamenting the “47 percent,” the party always returns to its roots. And why not? After all, half the country – including much of the poorer half – supports the idea of a “deserving rich” every time they go to the polls.
So if the New York GOP is to stand any chance, it has to go all in and nominate the man whose ostentatious embrace of wealth and power most embodies its values.
Besides, if State GOP Chairman Edward Cox insists on foisting Astorino on us, Trump-lite – our very own Carl Paladino – is promising to run as a Conservative, snatch the coveted second ballot line and banish the GOP to electoral oblivion.
Add it all up, and it’s clearer than a tax break: The party that hates the inheritance tax should gift its nomination to the billionaire TV star/birther, no strings attached. Give it to him and get bureaucracy out of the way; Trump is rich enough to know what’s best.
And what of all the little people in the GOP who might want to make their opinions known in a primary? Let them eat cake – and wash it down with cognac and a good cigar.