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Throw Fossella out

The Brooklyn Paper
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Americans are, at long last, debating the disastrous Bush administration agenda — and, in large numbers, are finding it a failed one.

But it is not ideology that is fueling voter anger on the eve of Tuesday’s crucial mid-term election. It is incompetence.

From the unfinished war in Afghanistan, to the lost war in Iraq, to the forgotten battles at home, the Bush administration has shown a mind-bogging inability to get things done.

The budget surplus has been squandered on tax cuts. The post 9-11 good will of the world has been sacrificed for an invasion of Iraq that was hyped as vital to our national security, yet has only endangered it. Our addiction to fossil fuel has not been curtailed and our environment not cleaned up. The list is endless.

But the war in Iraq, like no other issue, defines where this country is headed. During the last mid-term election season, when our battle against Taliban-backed Osama bin Laden (remember him?) was just beginning, Americans chose not to change horses in mid-stream.

Four years later, the Bush administration and the Republicans who control Congress have a record of failure on which to run. And Rep. Vito Fossella has been with the president every step of the way.

In his four-terms, Fossella has been on the wrong side of issues that affect his mostly Democratic constituents. He has called for Social Security to be privatized. He has supported the gun lobby. He has been weak on the environment. He opposes many abortion rights.

It is no small coincidence that Fossella is three times more likely to vote with the noxious John Birch Society than with the Service Employees International Union — many of whose members live in his Staten Island and Brooklyn district.

The district has changed a lot, thanks to an influx of upper middle class voters priced out of Brownstone Brooklyn. These voters would be shocked to find that their elected congressman votes like a red-state hack.

It’s too bad that national Democratic officials choose to stay away from this vital battle. As a result, Fossella’s worthy opponent, Democrat Steve Harrison, was left to fight — and raise the money needed to take on an incumbent — alone. As a result, the race has almost entirely been defined by Fossella’s campaign commercials, in which he laughably claims to be an “independent.”

Harrison is articulate, right on the issues — and, most important, would not be a rubberstamp for two more years of Bush administration failure.

We heartily endorse Steve Harrison for Congress.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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