A Profile in Weakness:
Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm Smith was being blackmailed by three "Democratic" senators who threatened to caucus with the Republicans (giving them control of the body) if Smith did not promise to keep a bill legalizing gay marriage off the floor for a year AND reward them with plum committee assignments. Lacking any backbone or common sense, Smith caved, inviting every craven malcontent to threaten a Lieberman any time they want anything. As a fifth grade teacher I know that a sure fire way to invite temper tantrums like the one this so-called "Gang
of Three" was throwing is to cave into the demands of the insolent child.
In caving, Smith has invited dissension, insulted loyal Democrats AND bumped
more senior Democrats from upstate from chairing important committees. During the campaign, Republicans argued that giving Democrats control of the Senate would give disproportionate power to Downstate interests. Smith has proven them right.No committee in the new senate will be chaired by an upstater. No one from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Rome, Utica, Watertown, Niagara Falls, Jamestown, Utica, Binghamton, Ithaca, Elmira, Corning or points in between will yield a gavel. This is a sure-fire way for the Democrats to lose their tenuous hold on the senate by condemning these seats to the Republicans in future elections.
Smith should step aside and let someone with balls (or ovaries) take over the caucus.
PS: If anyone knows of serious Democratic challengers looking to primary the scumbags from the "Gang of Three" let me know so I can give a shout out. New York Dems have been pretty good in cleaning up their caucus in recent years.