Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Bill de Blasio was sworn in as mayor of New York today, and the Very Serious People are collapsing on the fainting couch:
[De Blasio] used the word "progressive" seven times [in his inaugural address] ("New York" got eight mentions). He invoked the Occupy phrase, "The One Percent." And he ... promised to stay true to his detailed and ideological agenda.

"I know there are those who think that what I said during the campaign was just rhetoric, just political talk in the interest of getting elected. There are some who think now, as we turn to governing -- well, things will continue pretty much like they always have," the new mayor said. "So let me be clear. When I said we would take dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities, I meant it. And we will do it."

... Bloomberg's top political aide, Howard Wolfson, retweeted an Israeli journalist's take:

More from CNN's Jake Tapper:
He gave a very muscular argument in favor of what he wanted to do. But I have to say there is another reaction. A lot of times, inaugurals are times when people, when presidents or governors or mayors can reach out to critics, reach out to those who maybe didn't vote for them. This was not that.
Yeah -- remember how magnanimous Ronald Reagan was to his predecessors in his first inaugural address?
We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.

Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, human misery, and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending....

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
And previous New York mayors? Shockingly, in their first inaugural addresses, they've been known to say that they would do things differently from their predecessors. Rudy Giuliani, 1994:
Change in many forms is coming to our city. But it must be built around respect for the law and justice. American cities can't survive as we know them if they remain so violent. Our priority must be to reduce the violence.

I'll place a much greater emphasis on stricter enforcement of the law to reverse the growing trend of ever-increasing tolerance for lawless behavior. I'll work for changes in policing and in criminal justice that will redress the balance that I believe is now out of balance....

If we have, in the words of Senator Moynihan, defined deviancy down, now we will instead raise standards and have greater expectations for the behavior of or people.
When you say, in your first speech as mayor, that you intend to place "greater emphasis" on something, you're saying your predecessor or predecessors placed inadequate emphasis on that something. Rudy Giuliani, replacing David Dinkins, did that in 1994. And nobody got the vapors.

The same goes for the now-revered conservative Democrat Ed Koch in his first inaugural in 1977:

I know, I know: Koch took office not long after New York City nearly went bankrupt. Giuliani took office not long after the worst of a crack-driven crime wave, and just after the first attack on the World Trade Center. Reagan became president in a deep economic downturn, and just as the Iran hostage crisis was ending.

Well, for a lot of non-posh New Yorkers, the recent past has been just as profound a crisis. It's a struggle to be a have-not in a city that increasing extends a welcome only to haves. So why can't de Blasio stand on economic principle?


Never Ben Better said...


Because the new mayor is punching up, which threatens the bloviator class, who are just fine with punching down.

aimai said...

I really love the way you follow this stuff, Steve, and bring it to the surface for us. Christ on a pogo stick but these guys get the vapors and fall on the couch at the lightest suggestion that there is anything other than a straight plutocratic agenda in the works. diBlasio isn't exactly responsible for binding up the wounds of a Civil War that has just ended. He's been hired to do a fucking enormous job of work for the people of New York, the great majority of whom belong to the lower half of the two cities. He's entitled--and they are entitled--to five seconds of their Mayor championing them and laying out a vision of what he will do for htem. If thats partisanship then devil take the hindmost and let us make the most of it.

Ten Bears said...

Like Obama stuck to his (professed) principles?

Victor said...

NY's probably going to be hit with a big snowstorm tonight, going into tomorrow morning.

If the new Mayor's folks do a great job, then the cities bloviators will say that de Blasio was lucky that Bloomberg's people were still around.

And if a terrible job is done, it will be the fault of de Blasio, and Progressivism.

Steve M. said...

Exactly right, Victor.

Ten Bears said...

I will laugh uprourously if this storm turns out much adeau about nothing. What with the rescued Antarctic research team and the poor pitiful hundred thousand hockey fans stranded by cancelled flights the anthropogenic atmospheric disruption denial in the multi-millionaire mainstream media is particularly thick this morning. Though not quite as noxious as the PPACA racism.

Fifty-five degrees out here, sun is shining, not a lick of snow... at four thousand feet above sea-level just miles from a ski resort built upon what was once a prolific glacier close enough to the forty-fifth parallel to call it half way to the North Pole. Didn't used to be that way, we should be seeing sub-freezing if not sub-zero temps with fifty to sixty inches of snow on the mountains and ten or twelve here. Winter of 78/79 went ninty-seven days below freeze, sixty-two beow zero.

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Fear me.

Professor Fate said...

I live in NY and this AM as I walking to my subyway stop by the Tribrough Bridge -there were 4 snowplow trucks parked - full of sand right by the bridge. I found this in massive contast to the last storm where Mayor Bloomberg's wanted everybody to know that the Broadway shows were open while a lot of streets in queens - weren't plowed yet. And of course afterwards Bloomberg blamed the whole mess on the Sanatation workers.

Batocchio said...

Remember, any election won by a Democrat (let alone an actual liberal) is inherently illegitimate. (Also, the "centrist" version of "compromise" means "total capitulation to conservatives.")