So the NYT now thinks...Michael Bloomberg was New York City's greatest mayor?
Oh, it's got to be tough to be a typical leftie at the New York Times.
One the one hand, they advocate leftism. On the other, they get leftism, and the leftists give it to them, good and hard. So now the Times is spitballing that New York's last non-crazy leftist, the annoying Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was maybe New York City's greatest mayor of all time, citing a new biography.
No one is more closely associated with New York City's 21st-century renaissance than Michael Bloomberg. A self-made multibillionaire (current valuation: $56 billion), the Boston-born technocrat transformed the city in his 12 years as mayor. Crime plummeted, schools improved, racial tensions eased, the arts flourished, tourism boomed and city coffers swelled. Despite some personal flaws (crankiness, a tin ear), policy fiascoes (the West Side Stadium project) and his antidemocratic procedural end run to secure himself a third term, Bloomberg ranks by any fair reckoning as one of Gotham's all-time greatest leaders. I say this having voted against him three times.
Whaaa? Oh, please.
Bloomberg was famous not only for his failures described later in the piece — stadium cronyism, corporatization of the city by the Silicon Valley set, leaving lots of glassy structures in place of shops, etc. — but for stealing people's salt shakers off their diner counters and focusing so closely on micromanaging New Yorkers' Coke size that he failed to prepare the city for a devastating hurricane. And he's still a nut, as this Washington Examiner takeaway about a new book on Bloomberg indicates.
It's only the advent of Bill de Blasio that makes him look good, strictly as a comparative matter.
What's vivid here is that even the New York Times is nostalgizing Bloomberg, a man the paper hated all throughout his mayoral term. Bloomberg got elected as a Republican, using the party as a flag of convenience, and then switched to "independent" once he got what he wanted and governed as a run-of-the-mill Democrat most of time. Nevertheless, he wasn't the crazed Sandinista leftist and cop-hater that de Blasio is — only an opportunist with a nuisance streak. The Times hated him when he ran the city, but now it's calling him the GOAT.
Actually, he was just peak-left. Everything that came after him was a slide downhill.
Now that crazies are all the Democrats have now, this strange Bloomie-nostalgia might just be a signal that the left is exhausted.
New York did have a greatest mayor, all right, the one dismissed by the Times' reviewer, Eleanor Randolph, but the rest of us know who he was. He's the one who turned New York from a blue hellhole to a sparkling, livable city...the great Rudolph Giuliani.
Night. Day. And taking very little time to do it. From squeegee men, muggers, porno filth, fare-jumpers, graffiti...to 3:00 in the morning walking-around safety, bright lights, family-centric city center, zero mafia shakedowns, friendly cops, and oodles of investment and jobs. The city was transformed within the span of a year or two after Giuliani took a mop and a broom to the blue city he had inherited. Sure, he had his tyrant side, as the Times argues, but big deal — it takes a tyrant to convert the place Mick Jagger sang about in "Shattered" to the extraordinary crime-free place New York later became. You want fast service? You take a little tyranny, and actually, it wasn't much — it mainly annoyed the elite establishmentarians and the press. The little guys, who could finally get jobs and walk around Bayview and not get mugged, were OK with that tradeoff.
Bloomberg, to the extent he wasn't horrible, was just a logical extension of Giuliani, and whatever credit the Times gives to Bloomberg about low crime and investment was actually Giuliani's doing.
For that, Bloomberg wasn't the worst mayor the city ever had, simply on the grounds that he didn't dismantle all of the Giuliani legacy the way de Blasio is doing, but for sure he wasn't the best.
What we have here from this nostalgia about Bloomberg is a pretty strong signal that the Times is getting weary of all the leftwing looniness out there that has come to dominate New York's city hall as well as the broader Democratic Party. There must be a sane Left out there, and maybe the Times thinks it's time to quit pushing the Chavista envelope. All of the left-wing presidential candidates out there do, though, and they are all the same as now-candidate and absentee New York mayor de Blasio in substance.
Getting tired of it, Times?
For us, that's a sign of a still existing sane Left that knows the far Left isn't electable and wants some kind of grounding. Well, good luck with that, given the world these people have created for themselves. The sight of the Times pining for Bloomberg, a guy they hated all his term, tells you how bad it's gotten.