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May 25, 2011

“Together We Can Make Delicious Soup From The Bones Of The Poor.” ~ Harris Mercer

Photo: NYTimes

The political world is buzzing about last night’s stunning upset in a special election in upstate New York.

The seat opened up when Republican Congressman Chris Lee was exposed (literally) by Gawker: the married 46-year old was using a fake background and bio, but his real name, and advertising (allegedly for transgender women) for sex on Craigslist.

What sealed the deal on his resignation was the accompanying picture:

Photo: Gawker

Ouch.

The special election in New York’s 26th Congressional District should have been a gimme for the GOP. To give some context, in 2008, the most Democratic year in recent memory, the Republican Lee carried the district by 14 points while Obama was winning the state by 27.

But a stroll to victory by Republican Jane Corwin was disrupted when she said publicly that she would have voted for Paul Ryan’s politically disastrous kill-Medicare budget. Among the results, here’s a parody website that quickly popped up at JaneCorwin.org:

Photo: JaneCorwin.org

In a last-minute panic, outside Republican groups including Karl Rove’s creepy American Crossroads (which can raise unlimited amounts but has to disclose its donors) and Crossroads GPS (which doesn’t even have to disclose) dumped millions into the district to save Corwin. And in the final weekend, she tried to backtrack on her support for the Congressional “Path to Prosperity” budget.

But it was too late. And last night, with 99% of precincts reporting, Democrat Kathy Hochul is up by 4 points in this deep-red district.

Turns out people like socialized medicine.

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Harris Mercer is a new resident of Boulder and a native of New York City. He served as National High School Director with Students for Barack Obama at Obama for America throughout the Democratic presidential primaries in 2007 and 2008. At Bennington College in Bennington, VT he got to study both his obsessions: politics and Shakespeare. He can be reached at harrismercer [at] gmail [dot] com and wants you to go to http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com. elephant is a discussion, not a lecture: please comment below to continue the conversation with the author.

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