This week in the Republican Idiot Brigade, we look at George Pataki, Rand Paul, and Rick Perry. A couple of these candidacies are exercises in futility, but they’ll give us great material.
George Pataki: I’m not really sure why he’s running; he doesn’t seem to inspire anyone in either party. He’s what’s known as a “Vanity Candidate“, someone with virtually no chance of winning, who runs anyway. The field of candidates for the 2016 GOP nomination is full of them. Even though he’s not a viable candidate, I’ll spend a little time on him since many readers may not be familiar with him. Pataki was governor of New York for 3 terms, from January 1, 1995 – December 31, 2006.
As NPR reports: He’s the oldest of the presidential prospects on the Republican side… If elected, he would be the oldest person to take the oath as president. The former governor of New York was born in June of 1945, so he will be 71 on Election Day 2016.
In Pataki’s last term as Governor of New York, the New York Post wrote a piece titled: “GOOD RIDDANCE; WHY PATAKI WON’T BE MISSED“. Not the kind of note one would want to end on, but seemingly justified. As the author Fredric Dicker writes:
AFTER 12 years and three terms, Gov. Pataki leaves state government far worse then he found it: Albany is scarred by notorious dysfunction, afflicted with pervasive corruption and marked by a torpidity unprecedented in modern times.
…it’s long been clear to those who negotiated or worked with the governor that little of what he said publicly was true and much of what he said privately was unreliable.
Friends calculated Pataki averaged about 15 hours a week of real work.
He further alienated many in the press and political classes by walling off historically public hallways at the Capitol. This “Fort Pataki” served to deny public view of the stream of lobbyists, political consultants and other special interests that regularly trooped into the governor’s office.
* He held no more than three Cabinet meetings during his entire 12 years in office. He frequently didn’t know the names of his commissioners and occasionally mispronounced them, even in public.
* Pataki broke virtually every political promise he ever made.
Some of that sounds much like Mitt Romney’s Governorship of Massachusetts. In announcing his candidacy, Pataki claimed:
When I took office, we had every poverty program government could think of. Yet one in 11 of every New York state resident was on welfare,” he continued. “But after 12 years of my conservative policies, we replaced dependency with opportunity, resignation with hope mere existence with dreams, a welfare check with a paycheck.
Pataki also seems to have used the same shell game as Governor Mitt Romney when it came to taxes. While Pataki likes to tout his Tax cuts as Governor (he cut the personal income tax by 25 percent), The New York Times reported in 2005:
New Yorkers are now feeling the impact on their pocketbooks: the governor’s tendency to use incremental increases in fees and assessments — taxes by other names — to help close budget deficits.
In a 2006 National Review post titled “Goodbye George” they write:
“Among his leading first-term accomplishments were his $3 billion, 25 percent income-tax cut and a substantial cut in the capital gains tax and inheritance tax,” states the Cato Institute’s “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2006.” However, in his second term, Pataki “raised the cigarette tax to $1.50 per pack. He raised taxes on net, by more than $3 billion his final term in office.”
Under Pataki, the state budget has soared 79.5 percent — from $63.3 billion in 1994 to $113.6 billion in 2006.
And on a possible 2008 run for President they write:
“Pataki is prepared to give the nation what he gave New York: out-of-control spending, corruption, political favoritism, and neglect,” warns Hudson Institute president Herbert London… “To suggest that the last 12 years of his leadership were a failure would be a grotesque understatement.
Nope, old George won’t be getting the nomination.
Rand Paul: Rand Paul is a strange little guy; at first glance he’s not easily pidgeon-holed into any particular “type” of candidate. Unless of course you’re talking plagiarists, which the GOP seems to have an abundance of. Eventually you realize that whatever he calls himself, he’s just another Conservative, with the same baggage.