Nationally, both parties struggle with various branches of ideological intent: some are traditionalists, others are reformers. A Republican Party in New York City (or any major city for that matter) needs to lean to its reformist element. This party has to be one of ideas, with traditional virtue riding shotgun.
The reason why the Queens GOP story, as it unfolds, is important is because Queens is the most diverse, and most centrist, part of the city. This is an opportunity for the party to embrace ideas that many of its members already talk about.
For too long, they have been burdened solely with trying to get people elected. That philosophy worked to some degree, but it risks losing the dialogue with the rest of the electorate. Build the party, and electoral victories might follow.
The party can issue a platform of ideas that it stands behind, regardless of how many people it sends to the City Council or the State Senate. It can re-introduce itself to the city with a platform of ideas on education, taxes, and economic growth (or other issues). It has to prove that it is bigger than the names that appear on its line.
This is the only way to move forward. In the end, both the Democrats and Republicans have an obligation to provide the city with robust parties that work for and against each other to ensure legitimate checks and balances.
This is an opportunity to reset priorities for a party that is still useful to the city. There are active members of the party that have a lot to say regarding new ideas, they should be helping to write the next chapter in Queens politics. Does this sound too optimistic or fanciful? Well, it should not. This is the only way to grow a party, in any district or city.
How Would Weiner Govern?
This question is far more important than why the former congressman was Tweeting whatever with whomever.
With Anthony Weiner all but declaring that he is entering the primary race for mayor, nobody is talking about what he would like to move quickly on if he actually was mayor. The public is so infatuated with how somebody might win, that they neglect how they might govern.
All we really know about Weiner thus far is his congressional record and what he campaigned on the last time he ran for mayor – eight years ago. Of course Weiner is going to play his hand close to the vest, since the more he says about public education, pensions, taxes, etc., the more he can be criticized.
But many in the press have seemingly no interest in what this man (who is polling second) might do as mayor of New York City. This city has experienced reduced crime to the tune of 60 percent in the last two decades. Continuing some of these successes should be something that we want.
Another factor that matters is how a Mayor Weiner would staff City Hall. This is a congressman who was notoriously difficult on his Washington team. That might be okay for a small congressional office, but how would that work in the largest local bureaucracy in the country?
Bloomberg has been able to manage City Hall relatively well. One might assume that Weiner has already outlined who would be his go-to people in education, the NYPD, etc. After all, he has had his sights on this for a long time.
We are getting closer to the primary, but these are real questions that have gotten overshadowed by cyber-gossip.