Editorial: Who we like next Tuesday

Cecilia Tkaczyk. (Photo by Dan Barton)

(Editor’s note: The Ulster Publishing editorial board consisted of Woodstock Times editor Brian Hollander, who wrote the above endorsements in consultation with the other board members; Kingston Times editor Dan Barton; and Ulster Publishing columnist and reporter Hugh Reynolds.)

It’s been a tumultuous election season, one where it appeared that the president was headed for an easy cruise to four more years until he about screwed the pooch with his terrible performance in the first debate. He made Romney look so good that the press must have felt hoodwinked that it had bought all that stuff about Romney being so bad.

And for the first time since 1992, the area has experienced a congressional race for an open seat, with the retirement of Maurice Hinchey. It has pitted a former tea party incumbent struggling to go straight in a suddenly left-leaning re-districted district against a novice with a campaign-in-a-box.

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The newly gerrymandered lines have taken longtime state Sen. John Bonacic out of our area and given us two candidates from up-yonder counties, continuing the streak of non-locals in the state Senate going back to Arthur Wicks in 1956.

And a real contest has emerged for the state Supreme Court, where, for decades the nominations were brokered between parties to avoid confrontations.

So let’s begin.

President

It seems to us that, regardless of who is president, the economy is slowly recovering. Part of it has to do with cycles, not that they can’t be interrupted by inept action. Nudge it — usually the boldest action to help doesn’t end up being more than a nudge — correctly, and the next president could end up a hero.

But President Obama kept us from a depression, no doubt about it. And he’s correct in saying that Mitt Romney, despite his debate and post-debate departures from previous stances, ends up being in much the same place as George W. Bush, who squandered the American fortune making war, deregulating marketplaces and enriching his cronies. Obama’s $787 billion stimulus spurred economic growth, created nearly 4 million new private sector jobs. The health care reform will create insurance coverage for more than 30 million, and require people to take care of themselves, rather than us having to pay for their emergency room visits. The repeal-and-replace argument of the Republicans is a fantasy and would allow an out-of-control health insurance industry to govern itself in the most profitable, yet least beneficial, way. Obama has us drawing down in Afghanistan, searching for an end to a war that began in incredible anguish, but without clear goals. Getting out of there is a diplomatic miracle. He also, as promised, ended the war in Iraq for the United States in as clear a way as possible. And Bin Laden is gone and dead.

Other items: A successful auto industry bailout; repeal, as promised, of “don’t ask, don’t tell”; reform of Wall Street, a battle that was engaged with Dodd-Frank regulations; expanding Pell Grants for college students; and creating an educational Race to the Top …the list is quite long (and thanks to Nick Kitt for his insight on this), and includes boosting automobile fuel efficiency standards, tightened sanctions on Iran, and protecting two liberal seats on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jonathan Capehart the Washington Post called Romney “ideologically promiscuous.” The formerly liberal Republican governor of Massachusetts, who had a “no regrets” policy for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, that promoted regulations similar to cap and trade, became the “severely conservative” candidate of the Republican primaries, the guy who bemoaned the 47 percent who allegedly just sponge off of the government. He wants to get rid of Obamacare, except he did the same thing in Massachusetts. Flip-flopped on abortion twice in a day. Wanted to make life so miserable for immigrants that they would self-deport. Said in the primaries he wanted a constitutional amendment to say marriage was between a man and a woman. Then said “individuals should pursue a relationship of love and respect and live the life they choose.” It’s been a litany of being on both sides, depending on who he has been talking to. We absolutely can’t go along with Romney, or anyone who appears not to be true to his beliefs.

Obama for president. Without a doubt.

Congress

The latest poll from Siena University says that Julian Schreibman, the democrat vying for the 19th Congressional District seat in the House, replacing Maurice Hinchey, is only five points down to incumbent (although in a far different looking district now) Chris Gibson. That’s narrowed from 16 in a previous poll.

This race can be vexing to figure. Both visited our office, and we’ve watched them perform a couple of times around.

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