Is NY Gov. David Paterson channeling Oliver Cromwell? If you listened to his state of the state speech you might think so. Patterson is not as flowerly in his damnation, but the spirit is the same. Here is an overlay of Patterson's speech from a NYT article with Cromwell's speech to Parliament in 1653:
In a strikingly blunt State of the State address, Gov. David A. Paterson chastised the lawmakers seated before him . . . saying they had spent the state into near-ruin and stood by as a plague of political corruption destroyed New Yorkers’ trust in their government.
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Their reluctance to make hard decisions and rein in its own excesses had plunged the state even deeper into crisis. “You have left me and other governors no choice. Whether it be by vetoes or delayed spending, I will not write bad checks, and we will not mortgage our children’s future.” . . . “No longer are we going to run New York like a payday loan operation,”
“Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth
“Prosperity hides all manner of sin, but no longer. We have to rise to the highest expectation of our people and bring them the lasting change they have long, long fought for and desired.” New York is facing a fiscal crisis decades in the making and a $7 billion shortfall projected for the coming year. Last year, buoyed in part by federal stimulus aid, state officials increased total spending by nearly 9 percent, even as the economy faltered and revenues plummeted.
Lawmakers had too often bowed to the wishes of powerful special interests, feeding an “addiction to spending, power and approval” and plunging the state into economic catastrophe. The moneyed interests — many are here today as guests — have got to understand that their days of influence in this town are numbered.
“Ye sordid prostitutes, have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd; your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse the Augean Stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings, and which by God's help and the strength He has given me, I now come to do.
“Some say that we will not succeed — that the story has already been written and the ending is ordained,” Mr. Paterson told the lawmakers, . . . “But story lines change, and people change.”
- - - Gov. David Patterson, State of the State Speech, 6 Jan. 2010
“I command ye, therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. You have sat here too long for the good you do. In the name of God, go!”
- - - Oliver Cromwell's speech dismissing Parliament, 20 April 1653
Not a bad speech at all by Gov. Patterson, though it would have been far more dramatic if he had just dusted off Cromwell's and finished by tossing the lot out into the street at bayonet point. But, this was at least a good start.