Dear Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.,
You oppose gay marriage. Good. It's the right position.
Even though your fellow Democrats won control of the state Senate by a 32-30 margin on Election Day, you have a personal problem. You won't vote for Malcolm Smith as the first Democratic Senate Majority Leader in 40 years if he brings gay marriage to the floor for a vote.
Your vote is critical. If you don't vote for Smith, or one of his Democrat competitors for leader, it could throw the Senate into chaos.
Well, now. That's interesting.
You're a proud New York Democrat.
New York Democrats overwhelmingly support gay marriage. Your party has been in the vanguard of the gay rights movement.
You serve in the same party as Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, Senator Tom Duane, Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, Assemblyman Micah Kellner and Assemblyman Matthew Titone. All openly gay legislators. Your powerful New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is also an openly gay legislator.
Have you noticed?
There is a certain famous event, Ruben, that happens in your city annually. Perhaps you've heard of it.
Have you ever seen the New York City gay pride parade? Who do you think organizes and participates in that event? Who prances around on those floats? Or likes to play dress-up? And mocks and ridicules my Roman Catholic Church?
I can assure you, Ruben, they're not Republicans.
This is your party. Your Democrat party, Mr. Principles.
Opposition to gay marriage is your signature issue. It's why people who count know your name.
If you're so committed to this issue, why are you a Democrat and not an independent? Or even a Republican? I'll tell you why. You could never get elected to the Senate without the Democrat party line in your Bronx district.
Of course, you understand your career would be over if you voted for a Republican as the next Majority Leader. Remember Olga Mendez? Her career was finished once she sided with Senate Republicans. You're going to be the next Olga if you do the same, and you know it.
There is an endgame. You want something from Smith, or Governor Paterson (he's another strong supporter of gay marriage in your party, Ruben). This issue is your leverage.
You're going to do the right thing by your party and vote for Smith or Senator Jeff Klein come January. When you do, you'll have a great excuse to do so. We just don't know what it is yet. And this political farce you've manufactured will finally be over.