MOSHE HILL OPINION COLUMNS FEBRUARY 07 2024
The eyes of the nation will be looking at Long Island next week, as residents of the third Congressional district in New York will be headed to the polls to determine their next representative. Republicans’ razor-thin majority in the House will be put to the test, while Democrats are hoping that this election could be a bellwether for their 2024 prospects. Voters need to determine if they want to give Joe Biden more allies or if they want to stand against his policies.
The choice between Mazi Pilip and Tom Suozzi is really a choice between continuing the insanity of the Democratic agenda of the past three years versus attempting to bail out water off the sinking ship. While the Democrats control the Senate and the Presidency, there’s not much House Republicans can do to implement the changes necessary to right the ship. Maybe they can get a concession here and there, but any legislation they pass that will actually fix the problems Americans are having – like meaningfully securing the border by forcing Biden to do his job – will die in the Senate. If the Democrats manage to get back into power, however, then all bets are off.
This would be true for any Republican candidate, but the third district is extremely lucky. Mazi Pilip is more than just another Republican vote. Her background and life experience are absolutely vital in today’s geopolitical climate. We have multiple members of Congress who have a blank check from the media to say and do whatever they want because of their ethnicity, skin color, and gender. No one on the Republican side of the aisle has that kind of cache. That’s because Republicans, in general, do not factor that in when choosing candidates (for good reason). Fortunately, the best candidate for the job is also someone who can stand toe to toe with the Squad and beat them at their own game. The Squad currently has eight members, but when they go against Mazi, they’ll need to add some more to make it a fair fight.
Tom Suozzi’s campaign has been a hodgepodge of mixed messages and lies to his voting base. His slogan alone is hilarious for any political observer. “Let’s Fix This” is quite the statement for a candidate from the party that’s been in charge for over three years. What is he trying to fix? The border is broken because of Democratic policies. There are wars in Ukraine and Israel, and Americans are being killed on our bases because of Biden’s weakness. Inflation has jumped 20% in the last few years. What is Suozzi going to do to fix any of that?
He claims that he will be a bulwark against the radicals in his party (despite previously claiming he wants to be a member of the Squad), yet he won’t acknowledge that all the radicals are in the leadership. When Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, Suozzi voted with her 100% of the time. He has never stood up to his party while they were in power.
In fact, the only time he’s ever shown to be in disagreement with his party is during this campaign. When asked if he wants Joe Biden, the sitting President of the United States, to campaign for him, he responded with a resounding “No.” When the DCCC put out an ad claiming Mazi was “handpicked by MAGA,” Suozzi was reportedly upset because he thought that would galvanize the Republican base, not dissuade voters. Suozzi ads also claimed that Mazi attacked Social Security, something that is impossible to do while sitting on the Nassau County Legislature.
So the question remains: Is this going to be a bellwether for how 2024 is going to go? Well, it is and it isn’t. Don’t forget that this is a deep blue state, and Democrats have deep pockets. According to CNN, Democrats have spent $4 million more than Republicans on tv ads alone. Democrats have brought in operatives from all around the country to knock on doors for Suozzi. Local Republicans, meanwhile, are accepting some help from the national party but are doing the bulk of the work on their own.
In a deep blue state like New York, Trump has no shot of winning the electoral votes, even if Mazi has a landslide victory. The question is about the rest of the New York delegation to the House. 2022 was a bad year for Republicans nationally, but a great one for the New York GOP. Republicans won 11 of the 26 seats. There are two major changes coming for the November elections. First, Trump and Biden will be on the ballot. Second, the Congressional lines are likely changing again, depending on what happens in the courts. The New York Republican delegation will have their work cut out for them. So a Mazi victory will go a long way towards telling the country that the bluest of states is fed up with these policies. At the same time, a Suozzi victory will be seen as a rebuttal of the George Santos scandals.
When voters go to the polls, they are sending a message to the country. What message are they looking to send? Business as usual under the banner of “Let’s Fix This,” or actually fixing the country by voting for Mazi Pilip? Let’s hope it’s the latter.
Moshe Hill is a political analyst and columnist. His work can be found at www.aHillwithaView.com and on X at @HillWithView.