Trump-Supporting Cornicelli Takes on RINO in New York Primary - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Trump-Supporting Cornicelli Takes on RINO in New York Primary
by
Robert Cornicelli (YouTube/The Joe Cozzo Show)

The showdown looms on Aug. 23, the date of the 2022 New York congressional primary election.

In New York’s 2nd District out there on Long Island, incumbent Republican RINO Rep. Andrew Garbarino is facing a challenge from the Trump-supporting retired Captain Robert M. Cornicelli, a decorated veteran who has served two branches of this country’s military. Cornicelli has served in both the United States Navy and, later, the U.S. Army National Guard. Later still, he would go on to serve in the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency from 2013 to 2017.

The showdown between the two has become a classic example of the furious battle in the Republican Party between Trump-supporting populist conservatives and “RINOS,” the Republicans in Name Only.

Garbarino did decline to vote for Trump’s impeachment, but in saying that, also said that when it comes to the events of Jan. 6, “I believe the President bears some responsibility.”

To which Cornicelli has replied as follows:

The truth of the matter is that the events that occurred at the Capitol took place without any directive from President Trump. In fact, in his speech made that same morning to a crowd of supporters, he told the thousands of patriots this: ‘I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard’.1 In no way did he incite or encourage the actions of the protesters that day, and he had made it a point to tell his supporters to be peaceful in their demonstrations.

Later on, President Trump – publicly – urged the people at the Capitol to go home and to go in peace: “I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. But you have to go home now, we have to have peace. We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order.

Garbarino, in the classic RINO mold, has taken on another issue — climate change in this instance — and simply accepted the leftist approach with mere moderation as the apparent goal.

Over there in the Washington Examiner was this headline:

Freshman Rep. Andrew Garbarino seeks to restore ‘depleted’ Republican ranks of the climate caucus

The story reports this:

Freshman Republican Rep. Andrew Garbarino of New York is preparing to take on a more high-profile role at the forefront of the GOP attempt to shift its positioning on addressing climate change.

Garbarino, 37, recently became co-chairman of the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group started in 2016 to collaborate to address global warming. The caucus, the ranks of which once included more than 100 members, has struggled to regain its footing after it suffered huge losses of Republican members in the 2018 midterm elections. Republicans in the group, many of them relatively centrist, lost their seats to Democrats in left-leaning swing districts.

In his role as co-chairman of the climate caucus, Garbarino held a recruitment event in September where he and officials from the Chamber, Microsoft, and oil and gas companies Chevron and Exxon Mobil, among others, encouraged Republicans to support climate policies.

“The government is behind business on this,” Garbarino said. “Republicans always hear the argument that addressing climate is bad for business. Now, business is actually doing it and making money doing it, and successfully doing it.

The congressman seems unaware of how the Left plays the game on issues.

The best description of how that works was written by the late conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In her memoir, The Downing Street Years, Thatcher wrote this of her Tories, the Conservative Party:

The Tory Party was more ambivalent. At the level of principle, rhetorically and in Opposition, it opposed these doctrines and preached the gospel of free enterprise with very little qualification. Almost every post-war Tory victory had been won on slogans such as ‘Britain Strong and Free’ or ‘Set the People Free.’ But in the fine print of policy, and especially in government, the Tory Party merely pitched camp in the long march to the left. It never tried seriously to reverse it. Privatization? The Carlisle State Pubs were sold off. Taxation? Regulation? Subsidies? If these were cut down at the start of a Tory government, they gradually crept up again as its life ebbed away. The welfare state? We boasted of spending more money than Labour, not of restoring people to independence and self-reliance. The result of this style of accommodationist politics, as my colleague Keith Joseph complained, was that post-war politics became a ‘socialist ratchet’ — Labour moved Britain towards more statism; the Tories stood pat; and the next Labour Government moved the country a little further left. The Tories loosened the corset of socialism; they never removed it.

Compare this description of Thatcher’s “socialist ratchet” with this from that Washington Examiner story about Garbarino:

Freshman Republican Rep. Andrew Garbarino of New York is preparing to take on a more high-profile role at the forefront of the GOP attempt to shift its positioning on addressing climate change.

Garbarino, 37, recently became co-chairman of the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group started in 2016 to collaborate to address global warming.

… Garbarino was one of 13 House Republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law by President Joe Biden this month. A Long Island man was arrested this week after making a death threat toward Garbarino because he voted for the bill, which he viewed as a noncontroversial measure to build roads, bridges, ports, and power lines.

Garbarino noted the bill contains record funding to address climate ‘resilience,’ federal money directed to protect against floods, reduce damage from wildfires, and even relocate communities away from vulnerable places. The legislation also contains funding to commercialize a host of clean energy technologies, including long-duration energy storage, advanced nuclear reactors, carbon capture, and direct air capture.

Which is to say, Garbarino was one of only 13 Republicans to sign on for the socialist ratchet that was the “bipartisan” infrastructure bill. Or, as referred to by Thatcher, this is the American “style of accommodationist politics.”

This is precisely the type of thinking that, in Garbarino’s case, has drawn primary opposition for Garbarino in next week’s New York primary from Cornicelli.

Whatever happens next week, it is crystal clear that this battle between establishment Republicans and the Trump-supporting base is not going away.

In fact, the raid on Mar-a-Lago by the FBI has done nothing but seriously rile millions of Americans who have come to believe their own government has turned not just on Trump but by extension themselves.

Safe to say, Captain Robert Cornicelli agrees.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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