I am not a New Yorker but I do like that city. I have lived, at one time or another, in all three of the great cities in our country, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Each has its virtues and its downsides and all now seem to be in the hands of neo-liberal mayors who make fabulous populist promises to get the 99% to vote for them, only to come up very short in execution once they gain office.
There’s a breed of Democratic politicians today who seem to have learned from Bill Clinton and Barack Obama that high flown “progressive” campaign promises to convince the 99% to vote for them are only that – vapid promises. Such promises are like flypaper to snare votes of gullible schmucks. The politicians and their handlers just renew the flypaper periodically with feel-good rhetoric even as they embrace the 1% agenda of rampant development at the expense of the poor, school policies that rob the neediest sectors of a good education, and fiscal policies that advance the privileges of the city’s wealthiest.
It is hard for me to believe that tough-minded New York liberals are gullible enough to believe that their overwhelming endorsement of Bill de Blasio for Mayor has brought anything other than more Obama-like rhetoric. As usual, it’s all talk and no action. No action for the poor and under-privileged, that is. Plenty of action for the rich and well-connected.
After the recent fierce fight in the courts, led by the Center for Constitutional Rights, to bring under control the oppressive “stop and frisk” campaign of the New York Police Department, de Blasio’s first official appointment as Mayor was Bill Bratton, the former NYPD chief and a supporter of race-based police tactics such as stop and frisk. Next came school policy. After the Obama administration’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, noted for shifting funds from public to so called charter schools, opposed de Blasio’s first reform selection for school administrator, the newly minted mayor caved and appointed a 70-year-old caretaker to the job. Then to seal the deal as a fully functioning neo-liberal, he had Bill and Hillary Clinton officiate at his inauguration.
Mayor of the people? Hardly. Change you can believe in? Doubtful.
New York citizens threw out a 1% Mayor Bloomberg only to elect Bill de Blasio, a man who talks about a New York for the 99% even as his initial decisions favor the status quo. He clasps Bloomberg to his chest even as Obama clasped George W. Bush to his. It’s yet another case of “meet the new boss … same as the old boss.”
New Yorkers, after six years of waiting in vain for Obama to deliver, are you going to listen to the same siren song from de Blasio?
3 thoughts on ““Change We Can Believe In?” For New Yorkers, It’s Déjà vu All Over Again”
I have to say, when all this talk of de Blasio being this great “progressive” erupted in the media, it came from out of “left field” (pardon the expression) for me. I didn’t remember him from ‘Big Dog’ Clinton’s administration. The choice for Top Cop, indeed, doesn’t exactly feel like a revolution underway! Bloomberg attempted some interesting innovations, one must admit. What will his successor propose to “redistribute the wealth” in Fun City? What CAN he do, realistically? Raise local capital gains tax? Nope, that would require the State Legislature to enact for all of NY. As a former New Yorker and now occasional visitor to the city, as a pedestrian I’d love to see special taxes on stretch limos prowling those streets! But I doubt we’ll see anything that minimal, even.
Hey b. traven, is this the first appearance of the word “schmuck” on Contrary Perspective?? :-)
DeBlasio’s been mayor for only three days, come on! How can anyone credibly judge his administration after such a short amount of time?
Cmon.. thanks for your comment. I understand your concern about prejudgment but I am a ‘behaviorist” , one who makes judgments based on behavior rather than words. After his promise of “Hope & Change” the first appointments that Obama made were Geithner to Treasury and a slew of other Clinton retreads shortly followed by a troop surge in Afghanistan. Did not look like hope and change to me. And we must remember, we did not leave Iraq on our own, we were kicked out by Maliki’s refusal to allow our troops to evade Iraqi laws.
I believe that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is indeed a duck. De Blasio’s first two decisions have adversely affected two large segments of the city, education and policing. Then to ask for the blessing of the prince of accommodation, Bill Clinton, who destroyed our economy by trashing the Glass-Steagall Act was just the frosting on the cake of accommodation to misrule.
Let us revisit this issue in about six months and see if the article was an unfair judgment. But remember, populist rhetoric or excuses don’t count for action. I would hope you are right and I am wrong. Behavior will let us know.