Re­venge of the goose-killer

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

The life and times of Bill de Bla­sio, the new mayor of New York City, reads like a satire from the type­writer of Eve­lyn Waugh. His Honor could have been a mi­nor char­ac­ter in “Scoop,” Waugh’s clas­sic send-up of news­pa­per jour­nal­ism and bungling do-good­ers stum­bling across the mar­gins of the real world. He’s a per­fect fit in the scurvy precincts of Gotham’s rad­i­cal left-wing pol­i­tics.

Un­like his pre­de­ces­sor, Michael Bloomberg, Mr. de Bla­sio has never had a real job, pre­fer­ring the fun and games of po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns and hang­ing on at City Hall, where mak­ing trou­ble for peo­ple is a prof­itable way to avoid look­ing for a job. Un­like the mayor be­fore that, Rudy Gi­u­liani, who cleaned up the city and put it back on its feet, Mr. de Bla­sio does not un­der­stand how the wel­fare state, when left with­out the su­per­vi­sion and re­straint of grown-ups, un­der­mines ini­tia­tive and erases the dig­nity of re­spon­si­bil­ity.

He dou­bled down on his cam­paign prom­ises and fan­tasies in his inau­gu­ra­tion blowout, bring­ing in fad­ing celebri­ties of yes­ter­year, the likes of Harry Be­la­fonte, Su­san Saran­don, the usual preach­ers with­out their Bibles, and of course Bubba, who never misses the open­ing of a door, a su­per­mar­ket or even an en­ve­lope, if only to see what might fall out of it. He ad­min­is­tered the oath of of­fice. If Calvin Coolidge could take the oath as pres­i­dent be­fore a jus­tice of the peace, why shouldn’t a mayor of New York give his word of honor to a dis­barred lawyer?

Mr. de Bla­sio wants to be a mu­nic­i­pal ver­sion of Barack Obama, to cure “in­equal­ity,” to spread pros­per­ity un­der the su­per­vi­sion of City Hall hacks by crip­pling the peo­ple who cre­ate the wealth. He prom­ises to tax the rich to give to the poor, the in­do­lent and the layabouts, re­plac­ing the safety net and the au­then­tic com­pas­sion of the Judeo-Chris­tian cul­ture which, believ­ers or not, we all an­swer to.

Most politi­cians — most, by no means all — try to shield their fam­i­lies from the in­tru­sions of the pa­parazzi of print and tube, but Mr. de Bla­sio ex­ploits his, putting them on pub­lic view when there’s a cam­era in sight. He even pro­duced a four-minute video of his daugh­ter, a col­lege stu­dent, telling of her plea­sures and tri­als with “sub­stance abuse.” There’s a lot of crack­heads in New York City, of course, and some of them vote. Most peo­ple, in and out of pol­i­tics, wouldn’t do that to his child, but a cer­tain kind of politi­cian can jus­tify it by do­ing bad so that good may come.

His Honor, de­spite his grim and gray pol­i­tics, may be the last of the red-hot ro­man­tics. When he mar­ried the po­et­ac­tivist Chirlane McCray (whom he met when they both worked in the dis­as­trous David Dink­ins ad­min­is­tra­tion), they hon­ey­mooned in Cuba, where Fidel treated them grandly, and they dined on food from the mouths of the hun­gry mil­lions who sub­sist mostly on warmed-over Marx­ism. (There is no obe­sity cri­sis in Marx­ist states.)

The de Bla­sios, as New York­ers may soon learn, are sim­patico with the Marx­ist for­mula for par­adise, even when “for­mula” is all it ever amounts to. Af­ter grad­u­a­tion from New York Univer­sity, where he ex­celled in “the pol­i­tics of mi­nor­ity groups” and “the work­ing-class ex­pe­ri­ence,” with fur­ther “stud­ies” at Columbia, he was off to Mary­land to work for some­thing called the Quixote Center. Af­ter top­pling all the wind­mills in Mary­land, he went to Nicaragua to work for the San­din­istas, re­turn­ing soon to New York to or­ga­nize San­din­ista fronts, where much of the “work” was done sit­ting around in club houses talk­ing about what rot­ters the Amer­i­cans are.

Mr. de Bla­sio has al­ways spo­ken to, if not ac­tu­ally for, the un­em­ployed, the poor, “the peo­ple who live in sub­stan­dard hous­ing,” no doubt from sym­pa­thy and an urge to help. It’s an urge we should all cul­ti­vate. But Mr. de Bla­sio as­pires to be first a goose-killer, ea­ger to kill the golden goose who lays the eggs from which pros­per­ity comes. Geese, even those of a golden hue, can leave a mess on the lawn. But with­out those eggs, there can be no pros­per­ity. The Marx­ists know only how to leave a mess on the lawn.

Some con­ser­va­tives think they see a sil­ver lin­ing in the clouds now gath­er­ing over Man­hat­tan. “Let him have his way in New York City, and let peo­ple see what hap­pens,” says colum­nist and tele­vi­sion talker Ge­orge Will. “I give him three or four years, and peo­ple will be beg­ging for a re­turn to some­thing else.” Per­haps. But this mayor will leave a lot of stuff on the lawn in those years, with­out the eggs. Wes­ley Pruden is ed­i­tor emer­i­tus of The Wash­ing­ton Times.

Bill de Bla­sio

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