Monday, October 18, 2010

Danger: Artist at Work

Whatever you might call what Carl Paladino's doing, it is not a "campaign" in any discernible sense.   At this point it is best understood, we think, as an elaborate piece of performance art.   As Henry Miller said, "The artist is the opposite of the politically-minded individual."

Our home-grown artiste's latest move, presumably designed to reveal how utterly to destroy a major party candidate's chances to win, was to request that all minor party candidates participate in tonight's debate with Andrew Cuomo.

As other great masters work in clay or marble, Paladino works in his chosen medium of political malpractice.   Tonight's debate offered the last, best chance Paladino would have had to get out his message, unimpeded by his string of gaffes and missteps.   The last chance to connect with voters, to credibly call out Cuomo as a pretend-reformer, not a real one.

By including the minor candidates, Paladino has forsaken 80% of the time he would have had to make his points in the debate; 80% of his opportunity to draw the contrast between true reform in New York and Cuomo's phony sloganeering.   Instead, for most of the debate we'll hear from people like the candidate of the "Rent is Too Damned High" party, and the proprietress of the call-girl ring favored by Elliot Spitzer.

Of course this is exactly what Andrew Cuomo wants:   to appear as a willing participant in a debate where he'll only be on the hook for a few questions, with no opportunity for serious follow up to his answers.

Behold the true artist at work!   And, as with all great art, creating it in ways that baffle mere laymen.

After drafting this post, while researching the minor candidates further we came across a reference to Rachel Maddow opining last week that Paladino "may be a performance art project."   Credit to Ms. Maddow for coming up with it before us; that we did so independently merely underscores what Paladino has made of his candidacy.

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