Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony of Bill deBlasio, formerly Warren Wilhelm, Jr., as New York City’s 109th mayor marked a number of firsts in the history of the Big Apple.
Those firsts include but were not limited to the fact he is the first Democrat to hold that office in 20 years, the first city Public Advocate (ombudsman) to become mayor, the first mayor to be sworn in by an impeached American president, the first mayor to be introduced by a cleric who compared the city to a slave plantation, the first mayor who admitted to being a Communist sympathizer, and the first mayor who fathered a confessed drug addict.
And de Blasio and his wife, activist and reputed poetess Chirlane McCray, are also the first interracial couple to ever live in the official mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion.
Mayor de Blasio touted himself and his candidacy as “progressive” in the mold of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, the popular, dimunitive Republican who was more a Democrat than a Republican half a century ago, and he repeated that ”progressive” mantra in his inaugural address in which he pledged to make NYC “a fairer, more just, more progressive place” after 12 years of Michael Bloomberg’s administration.
It’s hard to imagine a more “progressive” town than New York City unless we compare the city with Democrat-run, “progressive” towns like Detroit, Chicago, and San Francisco where politicians are so “progressive” they have driven their municipalities to historic levels of corruption and bankruptcy, to murderous mayhem in the streets, and to blind tolerance of virtually every depravity known to man.
Loosely defined as “moving forward,” when applied to politicians the term “progressive” takes on whole other complexities and nuances involving everything from civil rights and justice, border security and war, health care and education, wealth and poverty, and labor unions and even religion.
Ironically, the man de Blasio has replaced at City Hall, the man repeatedly smeared at his inaugural, the 12-year mayor, Mike Bloomberg, was almost as progressive as the new mayor.
A lifelong Democrat, the billionaire Bloomberg switched parties in 2001 to run for mayor as a Republican, won a second term in 2005, left the Republican Party in 2006, pressured the City Council into changing the City Charter on term limits, and was elected to a third term in 2009 as an Independent. The chief philosophical distinction between him and de Blasio is that Bloomberg believed in and adopted very reasonable and highly effective law enforcement procedures to reduce crime and preserve the lives and safety of New Yorkers.
Indeed, abolishing those procedures, the misrepresented NYPD “Stop, question, and frisk” approach to interdicting criminal activities by stopping and questioning suspected miscreants, and, if deemed necessary, patting them down to determine if they were armed with deadly weapons, was candidate de Blasio’s principal campaign plank.
New York City has never before endured a “progressive” Democrat administration equivalent to de Blasio.
The ineffectual Abraham David Birnbaum, aka Abe Beame, at least turned a city budget deficit of $1.5 billion deficit into a modest surplus of $200 million in four years. David Dinkins promised racial healing yet fostered racial division but did reduce the black crime rate to some extent.
Bill de Blasio is a Democrat mayoral horse of a whole different color.
The negative effects of what will happen in New York City as a result of his plan to end “Stop, question, and frisk” far exceed the effects of his “progressive” plan to tax the rich in order to fund his scheme to pay for educational reforms and initiatives.
Crime and violence rates will undoubtedly skyrocket as criminals come to realize de Blazio won’t let cops do what should be done but, as bad as that expected scenario is, does the new mayor seriously expect the majority of the rich to succumb to his “progressive” demands? Or, would they sooner reside in Westchester or Connecticut or some place in Montana rather than submit to his legalized thievery and thereby abandon the city?
Bill de Blasio may not turn out to be the worst mayor in New York’s City’s last hundred years since Mayor John Lindsay has that undisputed designation but “progressive” Bill could win that dubious award when NYC devolves into an eastcoast version of Democrat Chicago and when he blames it all on those devious Republicans who somehow managed to bankrupt Democrat Detroit.
To whom will he turn when New York becomes the nation’s newest “progressive” bankrupted crime and murder capital? The king of “progressivism,” President Barack Hussein Obama?