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:
As outside observer, hard to understand the bitter partisanship at De Blasio ceremony. There's a time for everything, and this isn't it— Chemi Shalev (@ChemiShalev) January 1, 2014
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.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:
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.
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.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.
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.
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?