Skip to comments.Is New York’s New Mayor De Blasio Really a Lefty or Just Another Progressive Poseur?
Posted on 01/10/2014 10:18:46 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Time to invite Occupy back to Wall Street.
There is no question but that New Yorks new mayor, Bill De Blasio, owes his landslide victory in the November election to the Occupy Movement.
It was Occupy Wall Streets minions, hemmed in by thug-like NYPD officers armed with sidearms, clubs and pepper spray cans, who in 2011 abruptly changed the national conversation about capitalism, introducing the concept of We are the 99%, and focusing attention on the enormous enrichment of the top 1% of Americans at the expense of the other 99% over the past several decades, as a direct result of public policies on taxation and bank deregulation.
And it was that new focus on the countrys yawning wealth and income gap that provided De Blasio with his winning campaign theme.
Its a sad commentary on the diminished influence and power of the left in America that De Blasio and Kshama Sawant, who won a little city council seat in the second-tier small city of Seattle (pop. 635,000) as an openly socialist candidate, are being hailed as the heroes of a resurgent progressive movement. (I don't mean to diminish the victory that Sawant has achieved, merely to point out the fact that the left in the US has to be pretty weak for us to see one city council seat going to a socialist as a big deal nationally.)
The truth is, its hard to know how progressive and left De Blasio really is. Certainly his background as a backer of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua beats Barack Obamas short stint as a community organizer, and there are other reasons, not least the evident lack of greed in his personal life, that suggest De Blasio may be the real deal and at least a worthy heir of New Yorks last truly progressive mayor, Fiorello La Guardia. But there are also troubling signs that he may not be all that he presents himself as. The most troubling of these is his chumminess with former president Bill Clinton -- the man whose presidency brought us war in Bosnia, the unravelling of habeas corpus, the beginnings of the war on terror (see Effective Death Penalty Act), the end to welfare as we know it, and of course, the elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act that converted banks into casinos.
Inviting Clinton to administer his oath of office was a bad sign. There were so many New Yorkers who would have been better suited for that symbolically important job -- for example Ruth Messinger, former New York City Councillor and Manhattan Borough President and a life-long fighter for progressive causes in the city, or Heidi Beghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, whose minions struggled mightily over 12 years to defend civil liberties under the onslaught of Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his riot-clad centurions. Instead of someone like them, De Blasio handed the job to a man who, like the current president, spent most of his time in office betraying whatever progressive principles the Democratic Party may have had since the time of FDR.
Bill De Blasio as a Sandinista supporter in 1988, and with his family, being sworn in as New York's new mayor in 2014.
My suggestion for New Yorks new mayor is that he make a clean break with the prior Bloomberg administration by announcing that as soon as it warms up a bit, Occupy Wall Street is invited to return to the Financial District. Instead of an army of beligerant cops, and endless harassment, denied permits and endless bureaucratic impediments, he can promise them plenty of PortaPotties and only a minimum police presence as required, not to control the occupiers but to protect them from any security goons hired by the local banking establishments. He should also promise to spend some time down there with them, maybe bringing along his family and some sleeping bags to join activists as they continue to expose and denounce the predations of the too-big-to-fail banks that populate Lower Manhattans narrow canyons.
While hes at it, De Blasio should also immediately propose legislation offering significant bounties to financial industry whistleblowers who spill the beans on any misconduct that is contributing to the citys financial struggles, or to the illegal enrichment of the citys financial elite.
Given that the mayor and the city council in New York determine the budgets of the district attorneys offices for each of the citys five boroughs, De Blasio might also put the word out to Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. that he should stop pussyfooting on prosecuting financial fraud in the banking industry. Vances office has only brought one criminal indictment against a bank to date , and that was against a tiny privately-owned Chinese bank based in New Yorks Chinatown -- one that, interestingly, boasts one of the lowest mortgage default rates in the nation. Although four of the nations largest banks -- JPMorganChase, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup -- are all headquartered in Manhattan, and are all serial criminal fraudsters, Vance has not brought a criminal case against any of those institutions and their top executives, seemingly taking his cue from the non-prosecution stance of the US Justice Department. Yet New York States financial laws give Vance the authority to go after criminality of any bank in his district. De Blasio should use the power of the purse to try and change Vances mind about his prosecutorial focus, when it comes to financial crimes.
Its great to be optimistic, and Im happy to see De Blasio, a man of modest means, in Gracie Mansion, and billionaire Bloomberg, Americas 10th wealthiest person, taking his leave (albeit with his net worth of $31 billion now somehow almost eight times the $4 billion it was when first won election in 2000!).
But as Ronald Reagan famously said during his nuclear weapons negotiations with the Soviet Union, it should be trust but verify. I want to see hard evidence that New Yorks new mayor is a real progressive, and not an impostor like the man who swore him in, or like the man now in the White House.
There are good ways he can prove his leftist bonifides, and Ive named a few of them here.
He is a self proclaimed communist, what more do we need to know?
That photo of Kaiser Wilhelm taken in 1988 is rather shocking, he looks like a hippie from 1968. They can shave off their beards, take a bath and put on a suit and tie, but they’ll still be the same Communist totalitarian pig underneath.
This writer obviously thinks the way he does due to white privilege.
I think it was really smart of him to not ask Ray Kelly(Effective Police Commissioner)how to effectively control the city and poll prisoners and ex-cons on how to do so. No sarcasm here. I can’t see Bratton lasting long.
He is a self proclaimed communist, what more do we need to know?
He is not the only one.
As of today, the second most powerful job in the city, Speaker of the City Council, traditionally a check on the power of the Mayor, has gone to Melissa Mark-Viverito, amid reports of unusual strongarm techniques by Mayor de Blasio to get her the job.
One of the founders of the Progressive Caucus on the city council, Melissa Mark-Viveritos entire career has been devoted to the hard left and International Communists.
She took a leadership role in efforts to release the Cuban Five, intelligence operatives of the Cuban Government who infiltrated the Cuban Exile group Brothers to the Rescue.
She actively lobbied for the pardon and release of the FALN terrorists responsible for the Faunces Tavern bombing the largest terrorist attack in the USA before the Oklahoma City attack.
She was coordinator of the movement Todo Nueva York con Vieques (All New York with Vieques to get the US Navy out of that Puerto Rican training area), and president of Mujeres del Barrio (Women of the Ghetto)
She had previously been a paid organizer for the hard left SEIU labor union, and a union paid for her trip to Ecuador in 2009 to help Marxist candidate Evo Morales in his recount effort to take power in that country.
She is a total Communist, and she was elected unanimously. No one dared to diverge from party discipline in the City Council today. The party seems firmly in the control of the Bolshevik wing.
They may spend a few more weeks consolidating power and packing operatives into top positions, but soon the disastrous policies will begin to emerge, and those who can will begin the flight of brains and capital out of the City. The political old guard got the message today with party discipline that would fit right in, downtown in Pyongyang.
They will bankrupt the treasury, enrich their cronies, tax the productive, swell the welfare rolls, corrupt the justice system and compromise or completely destroy the anti-terrorist capabilities of the NYPD.
We have had such subversives in Government before, but now they are at the top of the ticket.
The Circus Train has crashed
Leftist, Progressive, communist. All the same thing, Dave.
If Blaz takes this advice, the new headquarters of all those evil Wall Street wolves will be Hoboken.
Tell him not to worry, DeBlasio’s a communist. And from what I read today he strong armed the City Council to put his gal in as Speaker (I think that’s the title, too lazy to double check). She’s a commie too.
Good luck NYC!
This typist pinned the idiot meter with his first sentence.
The Occupy Movement has affected absolutely nothing except the stores that went out of business because of the smelly hippies sleeping on their doorstep.
De Blasio is mayor because he was the most leftist candidate in a city that is 80% lefty and too stupid to remember all the way back to the Dinkins years.
Don't need them.
In 2-3 years when New York returns to it's former crap-hole status before Giuliani, they will be able to claim it is because Blasio wasn't a true progressive. Just standard procedure, nothing to see here.
Here again we see word gymnastics to cover reality. Left you say, why can’t you call him what he really is - a dyed in the wool communist?
So they are basically a slightly-harder-Left version of the Administration in Washington.
That is ALL I need to know.
No trips to the big apple fer this ole country boy.
OK I never planned any trips there anyway.
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