Does Cynthia Nixon understand her own universal rent control plan?

Ever since New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “gaffe” this week when he said that America was never that great to begin with, a stir has arisen on social media. Could this be it? Is this the silver bullet that finally pierces the political hide of the normally Teflon Cuomo family dynasty? And could it mean that the door is now open for Cynthia Nixon to swoop in and claim the upset victory in the primary? Last night on Twitter, James Woods certainly seemed to think so. (Unless he was kidding. I’m not entirely sure.)

I couldn’t resist contributing my own bit of snark and prognostication to the discussion.

Frankly, I don’t see this moving Cuomo’s numbers one iota. But since everyone enjoys a good round of hypotheticals in politics, let’s just imagine for a moment that it’s true. Cuomo takes a nose dive in the polls and Cynthia Nixon is the next governor of the Empire State. What would that look like? We might have gotten a taste of that particular future when she was caught this week like a deer in the headlights trying to explain her own “universal rent control” program. (New York Post)

Cynthia Nixon may be an accomplished actress, but she apparently has a big problem handling material that’s not included in her script.

In Brooklyn on Thursday, the gubernatorial candidate and her running-mate, City Councilman Jumaane Williams, tried to tout “universal rent control,” a pet proposal of their party’s rising socialist wing.

But when reporters asked just what that policy means and how it would be enacted, the pair found themselves in over their heads trying to explain.

In fact, Nixon couldn’t offer much of anything in the way of details — or, more important, cost figures: Asked how much rent increases would be limited to under her plan, she replied: “Well . . . it depends on what would be passed in that cycle.”

That’s the beauty of socialist theory. All you need is a series of proposals which promise free stuff to the masses without offering any details. You say the rent is too high in the Big Apple for the little guy to be able to afford to live there? No problem. The government will artificially cap the rent rates so you can afford it. What effect that has on the real estate developers who established the properties is “somebody else’s problem.” Everyone loves free stuff and too few care to wonder precisely where the money tree is planted that’s paying for all of those promises. The only problem arises when some reporter has the temerity to show up and ask you for specifics. Then you’re left mumbling and stalling while you try to figure out a smart sounding answer to a question you’ve not yet even considered.

It’s much like when Chris Hayes of MSNBC fame tried to bail out Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by saying the correct answer as to how to pay for your program is to say we’ll figure it out later.

When asked how much housing this new rent control policy would apply to, Nixon and her running mate said basically all of it, including new projects which haven’t even been built yet. Their next proposal needs to be a way for the municipal government to force people to go into construction because nobody is going to build any new housing with that threat hanging over their heads.

Of course, I still maintain that this is all just a fun exercise in speculation. Andrew Cuomo saying America “has never been that great” isn’t going to derail him. The cloud of corruption surrounding him in the form of aides and lobbyists currently being sent to prison hasn’t put New York Democrats off the idea of voting for him. One gaffe (in this case, probably a literal Kinsley gaffe) certainly won’t do the trick either.