Nadler Mourns the (Temporary?) Death of the Progressive Agenda in Albany

Representative Jerry Nadler said late yesterday, optimistically, that it is entirely possible that the two Democrats who enabled the Republican

Representative Jerry Nadler said late yesterday, optimistically, that it is entirely possible that the two Democrats who enabled the Republican takeover of the State Senate will be gone from the chamber by the time new congressional districts are drawn. But either way, he said, he feared that the progressive Democratic agenda that was supposed to be in the works in Albany is likely to be a casualty of Tuesday's coup.

"As I get this story it's [Hiram] Monserrate and [Pedro] Espada who did this," said Nadler. "And both are quite possibly going to be out as felons pretty soon, and when you have those special elections it could flip back again. So I don't know what's going to happen."

Still, he said, it is never too soon to worry.

"I don't know if it's premature to think about it," he said. "The truth is that all of us in Congress think about it from the moment after the last redistricting. But it's too soon to know what effect this is going to [have], if anything."

Nadler said redistricting has always been contingent on which party will control the Senate after the 2010 election. Even before the coup, with a margin of just 32-30, Democrats never necessarily had a lock on the majority.

"Putting the redistricting aside—and by the way, do we have a Democratic or Republican governor [in 2010], which is another minor question for redistricting—putting that aside, this is an unqualified disaster for progressive policies in housing, and civil rights, and everything, and social services and budgeting," he said. "I mean we have been waiting for a Democratic Senate for 40 years to do things."  

Nadler said that gay marriage will now probably be set aside (though it was unclear if it ever had the votes to pass), and that hopes for tenant landlord-reforms will probably be dashed.

Asked if anything good could come of this, Nadler said that his father told him about a rabbi in ancient times who always told his followers "this too is for the best," no matter how terrible a calamity befell them.

"He said, 'Look for the silver lining.' So I'll spend all night looking for the silver lining. I don't know if I'll find it." Nadler Mourns the (Temporary?) Death of the Progressive Agenda in Albany