A major fault line is opening up between New York’s most powerful Democrats. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are at loggerheads over funding prekindergarten classes. In his budget released Tuesday Governor Cuomo offered up $1.5 billion to expand prekindergarten programs, which is likely to be seen as an attempt to outmaneuver Mayor de Blasio, who said on Tuesday that he would still seek to tax the rich to pay for the programs. The New York Times took a look at what early childhood education reform means for the tension between Cuomo and de Blasio:
Mr. Cuomo, a centrist accustomed to governing by the art of the possible, is confronting a new challenge in the form of Mr. de Blasio, a staunch liberal who has channeled the impatience of a national left fed up with leaders who trade ideology for compromise.The mayor electrified liberals with his campaign promise to provide prekindergarten classes in New York City by raising taxes on wealthy residents. The governor, facing re-election in the fall, has repeatedly pledged to reduce taxes this year.
There are forces in American politics that keep any party from establishing a permanent majority and they are at work now among Democrats. The Democratic party’s left wing, utterly unelectable on a national basis, is sick and tired of playing second fiddle to the centrists. There are leftist Democrats all over America, Mayor de Blasio and Senator Elizabeth Warren among them, who feel in their bones that their hour has come and that surely the electorate is ready for serious progressive politics.Well it isn’t. Governor Cuomo would crush Mayor de Blasio in a statewide race, and that is in the deeply blue state of New York. But if the leftists pull the Democrats far enough to port, the GOP will have a major opening in 2016.