Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mike Bloomberg and His Planned Coronation







On paper, the former East Germany had four political parties, aside from the governing Socialist Unity Party. They were the Christian Democrats, the Liberal Democrats, the Free Democrats the National Democrats and the Democratic Farmer's Party. Although they all had authentic ideological roots, under the harsh realities of Soviet dominated East German life they became silent partners and puppets of the ruling Socialist Unity Party. China has a similar system, in which sham political parties provide a simulation of parliamentary democracy.

More and more each day, New York's political parties are taking on the rubber stamp character of the political parties in East Germany. They offer little substantial opposition to Mike Bloomberg or his highly debatable policies.

Under the mayoralty of Mike Bloomberg, New York citizens who are immigrants from formerly communist countries have even less reason to be homesick for their countries of origin. Mike Bloomberg has created the closest approximation of socialist political life on American soil by making a sham of the ideological boundaries of New York's political parties. The Daily News reports as follows on Bloomberg's latest dance across party lines for his own convenience.

"Mayor Bloomberg will run for reelection as a Republican this fall, after successfully courting the party to let him back on its ballot line two years after he left it.

"Mayor Bloomberg and I have had healthy disagreements over issues at times, but I know he is the right person to lead this city forward," said Jay Savino, chairman of the Bronx GOP, who followed his Brooklyn and Staten Island counterparts to become the third county chairman to back the mayor."

The prevailing wisdom has long been that Mike Bloomberg found the Republican nomination to be cheaper to secure than that of the Democrats, who have ruled four of the five boroughs with the tacit consent of the Republicans, who put little or no energy into mounting effective opposition to the ruling party. Although New York is considerably to the left of the rest of the country, Bloomberg does not even score well as a moderate Democrat. Whether it is gun control or abortion, health care or the nanny state, Bloomberg sounds far more like a patronising liberal who loves the working class so much that he expects them to shut up and do what he says for their own good.

At first, Bloomberg supported term limits. Now he has successfully led a campaign to repeal them so he can run a third term. The only consistent principle that has ever governed the deliberations of Mike Bloomberg has been ....Mike Bloomberg.

There are a lot of issues that trouble New Yorkers. Regressive taxes, skyrocketing costs of tickets for parking and sanitation have made it a pain to live and do business in New York. The widespread perception of rapidly rising crime does not seem to be reflected in official statistics. In the midst of New York's ethnic and economic diversity, there is enough constructive difference of opinion to fuel lively and constructive debate. Unfortunately this is not reflected in our political system and seldom in our news media, which hands Mike Bloomberg fawning and uncritical coverage.

Mike Bloomberg was blindsided like all of us by the massive recession that has hit our economy. Despite this, he continues to promote the idea that only he has the wisdom and means to lead us in the troubled times ahead.

I can't fault Bloomberg for using his political skill and economic clout for hanging on to the office of mayor. but there are real issues that need real debate. We need a Republican Party that will speak up for its values. We need Democrats who will also stand up on issues of principle. There is a massive disconnect between the dinner table discourse of average New Yorkers and what is discussed in the media and corridors of power.

According to the laws of the city, Bloomberg has a right to run as many times as he wants for mayor. That's fine. But let him run in a genuine race and not swagger to his next coronation. We may deserve better. But we have to demand it.


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1 comment:

bullmoosegal said...

Just listened to an interview with him by Cafferty (CNN). Apparently he's not content with the rule of New York, and is now moving on to VA. He said he's deliberately trying to influence the outcome of the state's upcoming gubenatorial race, through the state's internal debate on potentially changing their gun laws.