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  The making of a rubber stamp: N.Y.'s new senator is suddenly lockstep with left-wing Democrats
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Contributorkarin1492 
Last Editedkarin1492  Apr 20, 2009 09:58am
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CategoryOpinion
MediaNewspaper - New York Daily News
News DateMonday, April 20, 2009 05:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionFrom the moment Kirsten Gillibrand was named to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, Democratic rivals and advocacy groups criticized her as insufficiently liberal for this deep blue state. They need not worry any longer.

In a makeover that is as disturbing as it is rapid, Gillibrand is turning herself into an über-liberal zealot. In less than three months, she has gone from a center-right representative of an upstate district to a supporter of every position embraced by the national party and its favored leftist interest groups.

Facts and her previous positions are dumped overboard in the rush to win election to the seat next year. The pandering is nothing short of breathtaking and includes a public pitch that President Obama put an Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court, an oddly timed idea since there is no vacancy.

Her previous objection to Obama's plans for income tax hikes on Americans earning more than $250,000 has been shelved. She now supports the hikes, even while acknowledging the taxes will exacerbate the problem of New York shipping billions more to Washington than it gets back.

These and other headspinning changes emerged in an hour-long meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board last week. Her contorted switches on gun control and illegal immigration especially illuminate her incredible conversion.

Gillibrand and the National Rifle Association formed a mutual admiration society during her one term in the House. She endeared herself to the NRA by voting to repeal gun laws in Washington and to restrict law enforcement's ability to trace guns used in crimes.

But already in the Senate, she has taken the opposite side in the D.C. issue and says she now supports eliminating the tracing restrictions, positions favored by Mayor Bloomberg and most top Democrats.
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