Today is Congressional Primary Day in New York State. Since NYC is such a Democratic town, most the action is in the various Democratic Congressional Primaries taking place across the city.
The primary with the most historic importance is the one that will choose Congressman Charles Rangel's replacement. Rangel has represented upper Manhattan since 1971 and he was on the Watergate Committee (voted to impeach Nixon which is pretty cool) as well as on the powerful Ways and Means committee. Believe it or not, this area has only had TWO congressmen since World War II - Adam Clayton Powell and Rangel. So whoever wins this primary will be stepping into the shoes of giants.
Just south of Rangel's district, however, is a lower profile primary that is actually very scary.
Congressman Jerry Nadler has represented western Manhattan since 1993 (I grew up in this district) and he's done a fine job. (This district runs oddly shaped, running down the westside of Manhattan from Morningside Heights to Lower Manhattan and then hopping across New York harbor into inner Brooklyn. Honestly this district lines defy logic but it is what it is.) Anyway, Nadler is being challenged by a young man named Oliver Rosenberg. I wasn't paying any attention to this race until yesterday when, on WNYC radio, Nadler and Rosenberg debated. And. It. Was. Nuts.
Nadler is your typical Congressman -- on message, disciplined, touts his accomplishments, and takes about policy. He's not an exciting guy but he's clearly experienced and knowledgeable. This guy Rosenberg is ... obviously insane. Listen to the debate. He begins by yelling about his sadness that H&H Bagels no longer exists -- he literally shouts "We want our bagels back!" -- and then blames Nadler for gentrification (which I hate too but is not really a Federal issue) as well about how Nadler is "all talk and no action" and on and on and on. And he quotes Hamilton -- not the man but the musical and apparently he can't tell the difference between either. (Rosenberg also doesn't know that H&H closed down, not because of gentrification, but because the owner was a criminal). Rosenberg's main beef with Nadler is that Nadler supports the Iran Nuclear Deal which Rosenberg opposes. Okay, but Rosenberg, instead of giving a clear policy critique, yells about how horrible the Iranian regime is which isn't really the point. He's incoherent and evasive -- and nasty.
Rosenberg is clearly mentally unhinged and unfit to serve in any office -- he's basically a Donald Trump clone -- not to the mention the fact, as Nadler clearly exposed in the debate, Rosenberg is actually a Republican who's nostalgic for President Bush (!) and he's not even from NYC, but from California. Rosenberg talks about how he used to be a Democrat trapped in a "Republican body" and that he felt family pressure to conform -- until, apparently, the age of thirty.
Voters in Nadler's district -- please, please, please, for the love of God and everything that is holy, go out in droves and vote for Congressman Nadler. This is not a primary between equals, not a choice between two compelling candidates -- this is between an experienced, well-regarded congressman and a certifiable loon. Don't take it for granted that Nadler will win -- go out and vote!