Albany reaches peace ... for now
You always have to add that phrase to any discussion of politics in Albany. For now.
Pedro Espada Jr., the volatile pol whose penchant for party flipping has made the state Senate look even more ridiculous than usual, pulled a screeching U-turn Thursday, declaring that he has found it in his mixed-up heart to realign with the Democrats.
For firstname.lastname@example.org://twitter.com/HenicanGod only knows what tomorrow brings. Espada, who represents a district in the Bronx but actually lives in Westchester, could be a Whig by then. Or a Scientologist. Or a vegetarian. Actually, scratch vegetarian. Espada is far too much of a carnivore animal, human, political, whatever to deny himself any opportunity to feed off the sagging flesh of other creatures.
Its always chomp, chomp, chomp till Pedros had his fill, regardless of the consequences for the Senate, the state, basic decorum or his own constituents. The crucial calculation remains the same: Whats best for Pedro for now?
Do not think for a moment that his latest swerve has anything to with philosophy or ideology or a quest for public service. This move, like the last 47, is simply a matter of weighing the competing bribery. The Republicans are offering more today? Then Espadas with the Republicans. The Dems are? Put a capital D next to his name! None of this makes the competing parties look good.
The Democrats are regaining their grip for now because they could offer Espada something the Republicans could not: a leadership position in a party that would be indisputably in control.
Of course, nothing in Espada is temperament, brain power, sanity, integrity or loyalty remotely could be described as leader-like. But he possessed a crucial vote the 32nd and that, he and the Democrats calculated, was worth the title of majority leader of the New York state Senate. For now.
What does all this mean for maybe-Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, for the power-sharing arrangement Republicans and Democrats were negotiating, or for Espadas claim earlier in the day that no such deal was in the works?
No one knows. For now.
Follow at twitter.com/Henican.