A blog about Hudson, New York

Race to the Middle

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Chis Gibson, Republican            Sean Eldridge, Democrat

Mid-term elections in recent years have made Halloween genuinely ghoulish for most of the last two decades, just about ruining the holiday for me. This year is no exception, with our Republican incumbent, who votes the Tea Party line far more often than not, masquerading as a moderate and gaining substantial support from 41 percent of Democrats. Moderation is quite a  costume for the congressman. What shocks me is that this is the same area where registered Democrats voted overwhelmingly for the liberal Zephyr Teachout over Andrew Cuomo (who would be regarded as more than liberal enough by most of the nation), and they seem to have bought the Gibson act hook, line, and sinker. According to The New York Times, Democrats interviewed said they liked Gibson “because he’s down to earth,”  “a good man” and “because he’s run a positive campaign.”

Frankly I can only attribute this impression to the local public radio station, WAMC, and the obsequious treatment of Mr. Gibson by the station’s president and omnipresent host, Alan Chartock (“WAMC: all Chartock all the time”). Chartock, who is someone  I generally admire, concur with politically, and also find very annoying to have to listen to all day, is notoriously unctuous to politicians from all parties, but, during a recent interview, what he did with Gibson had me switching to Shostakovitch in a heartbeat. Essentially he let Gibson play the “reasonable non ideologue” role to the the hilt, and — at least for as long I was able to listen –not once challenged him on his voting record: no on the Affordable Care Act, of course but also anti- Planned Parenthood, abortion rights, same sex marriage and a sundry other pieces of legislation, including stopping the government altogether, just to ruin President Obama’s day. In reality, his worthy Democratic opponent, Sean Eldridge, would win any sensitivity contest, but it’s doubtful that doing so would be of any help at this point. –Scott Baldinger

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