Elections 2014, and New York District 21 Is Looking Weird

Elections 2014, and New York District 21 Is Looking Weird

Candidates Stefanik, Woolf, and former candidate Funiciello

Okay, this is just strange. A former GWBush official is running for Congress in an upstate New York district, and polls show the race as close. Admittedly, the official in question–Elise Stefanik–was only a minor official under Bush, and New York’s 21st District does not number among those suffering worst from the invasion of Iraq. Stefanik was still in prep school at the Albany Academy for Girls when George W. Bush got the White House after the non-vote count of 2001. She was barely out of college–a Harvard grad–when she went to the Bush White House, where she worked for the Domestic Policy Council under Karl Zinsmeister and for Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten.

But the struggle continues. More recent items on the plummy resume include this kudo from her alma mater, “Elise Stefanik (SAC 2006) has joined the Foreign Policy Initiative as director of communications and external affairs.”

FPI: The new PNAC

The Foreign Policy Initiative, for those of you keeping tabs at home, is the newest avatar of the former Project for the New American Century (PNAC), long since designated as a cyberspace ghost town but in its heyday the think tank that brought us the Iraq invasion with its consequent ills. Founders and directors include Bill Kristol and the other head cases who worked feverishly, for years, to make terrorism the new communism; committed to revisiting their palmy days in the Cold War, they went the old military-industrial complex one better, by working ceaselessly to make a cold war hot. This is the leading edge young, up-and-coming GOPers want to associate themselves with?

To coin a phrase, have these people no shame?

Other items on the resume include work for 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, where Stefanik was titled Director of New Media and Deputy Policy Director. Stefanik also founded an entity called “American Maggie,” now defunct.

But be it noted that the valid criticism here is not of small-time efforts or even of failed efforts. The criticism is of awful efforts.

The late great poet Adrienne Rich was right: amnesia in the public discourse is a continuing problem.


One in a series of short posts on especially soul-destroying 2014 races.

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