I guess I'm supposed to be mourning Ed Koch, but my eyes are dry. He was a Trump-like egomaniac, and as mayor he divided the city racially like Rudy Giuliani a decade later. He won praise at the peak of his popularity and power from folks like George Will:
[Koch] has withering things to say about affirmative action, public employees' unions, "poverty pimps" (our mayor is a phrase-maker) and especially what he calls in conversation "arch-white-liberals" -- a splendid contribution to social categories. If Reagan were an East Coast urban ethnic Democrat, and in an uncharacteristically rotten mood, this is what he might sound like.Koch endorsed George W. Bush in 2004 ("The Democratic Party just doesn’t have the stomach to go after terrorists") and he endorsed Republican Bob Turner in the race to succeed Anthony Weiner ("'I disagree with [Obama] on the way he views the state of Israel,' Koch said Monday at Turner's Howard Beach campaign office"). He backed Obama last year, but -- in one of his last interviews, with the New York-based Algemeiner newspaper -- he attacked Obama for nominating Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, describing it as an Obama betrayal of Israel:
... "Frankly, I thought that there would come a time when [Obama] would renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel," said Koch, adding, "it comes a little earlier than I thought it would."So he thought Obama would betray Israel, but still endorsed him?
"It's very disappointing, I believe he will ultimately regret it," Koch said, "and it undoubtedly will reduce support for him in the Jewish community, but I don't think he (the President) worries about that now that the election is over." ...
"I'm sure that the Arabs are drinking orange juice and toasting Hagel's good health," Koch said.
"I believe it will encourage the Iranian program. I believe it will encourage the jihadists. They will say 'ah, we are winning the battle. America is beginning to desert Israel,'" he added.
... "I did what I thought was warranted and intelligent," he said, "He was going to win! There was no question about it. I thought it would be helpful to have a Jewish voice there, being able to communicate."As Koch subsequently told Michael Goodwin of Fox News:
The Mayor says he has no regrets, "it wouldn't make any difference. The Jews were going to vote for him no matter what. And that's the nature of the Jews. They are always very solicitous of everybody else except their own needs and community."
"I don't regret supporting him. I believe it bought time... I'm just sorry it was so short-lived."That was Koch: he endorsed Obama, but then said he always expected Obama to prove himself an Israel-hater, and added that he, Ed Koch, postponed Obama's betrayal of Israel with his endorsement. (That was the Trump-style egomania.)
Feh. He's gone. I won't miss him.