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The Big Apple's Turn Left
Townhall.com ^ | November 6, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 11/06/2013 11:34:01 AM PST by Kaslin

The new mayor of New York City is a Red Sox fan. According to the rules of the New York I grew up in, I'd expect to see the Hudson turn into a river of blood and Zabar's to close due to a locust infestation before that happened.

But if De Blasio's remarkable rise proves anything, it's that the rules can change. A liberal's crazy liberal, De Blasio still waxes nostalgic about the noble struggle of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, for whom he raised money in the 1980s. He violated the ban on travel to Cuba for his honeymoon with his formerly gay wife, and he often talks as if he's handing out literature in Union Square for the former left-wing New Party, for which he used to work.

For conservative pundits, he's the Austin Powers of pre-Rudolph Giuliani urban liberalism, a near perfect throwback thawed out for our amusement. Social justice is his bag, baby.

But for those of us born and raised in pre-Giuliani New York, he can also conjure images of Charles Bronson in "Death Wish," the gritty vigilante flick that symbolized the city in that era.

Vincent Cannato, a historian at the University of Massachusetts, wrote the definitive book on John Lindsay, the mayor of New York from 1966 to 1973. Cannato's book "The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York," tells the story of liberalism's now-forgotten golden boy. Charming, improbably handsome, resolutely liberal and Republican (until he switched parties), Lindsay had the dubious distinction of overseeing much of New York's horrific decline into legal, fiscal, racial and moral chaos.

Lindsay's defenders are legion in New York. In their minds, everything was going great and then, suddenly, when Lindsay left office, the place went off a cliff overnight. Cannato says that whenever he appears at an event to discuss his book, the Lindsayites swarm to defend their hero. One of their primary talking points is the fact that Lindsay fulfilled his vow to "throw open the city to producers from Hollywood," ushering in a renaissance in New York filmmaking.

And it's true. But just look at the movies born of Lindsay's efforts: "Taxi Driver," "The French Connection," "The Prisoner of Second Avenue," "Panic in Needle Park" and other films depicting a rotting Big Apple -- a "voluptuous enemy" with "the stench of Hell," to borrow a phrase from Pauline Kael's review of "Taxi Driver."

Hollywood may have exaggerated the extent of New York's Stygian gloom, but you can only exaggerate the truth. And anyone who lived in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s can recognize that while "Death Wish" may have been a caricature, like any good caricature it captured the likeness better than the subject would have liked. When I was a kid, street crime was a given, rationalized by many liberals as the price one had to pay to live in such a wonderful metropolis.

De Blasio comes from a wing of liberalism that looks nostalgically on the days when New Yorkers were immeasurably worse off but urban liberals had more confidence. He has promised to get rid of the "stop-and-frisk" policies that helped make New York City the safest large city in the world. (There was an average of more than six murders a day in 1990. This year, the city is on target to average less than one.)

He talks as if all of New York's problems stem from the fact the rich find it too hospitable. This despite the fact that city spending went up nearly 50 percent on Michael Bloomberg's watch alone, fueled by ever-higher tax burdens on the city's wealthy (the top 1 percent account for 43 percent of city revenues).

Maybe a De Blasio mayoralty will be constrained by the successes of the last 20 years and the expectations of New Yorkers. But there's an irony here. A city with a better memory would still surely be liberal, but it would not be defrosting someone like De Blasio. He would be impossible without the successes of the Giuliani administration (and Bloomberg's willingness to sustain them), just as Giuliani would have been impossible without the accumulated failures of his predecessors.

De Blasio's success proves the one eternal rule of the game in politics: Victory is never permanent, nor is failure.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: New York
KEYWORDS: deblasio; michaelbloomberg; nycitymayor
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1 posted on 11/06/2013 11:34:01 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
A liberal's crazy liberal

That grossly understates it.

Bill DeBlasio is a Communist.

2 posted on 11/06/2013 11:35:52 AM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: Kaslin
He violated the ban on travel to Cuba for his honeymoon with his formerly gay wife...

He must be a hell of a man... or maybe not.

3 posted on 11/06/2013 11:36:08 AM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: TBP

Aren’t liberals in general communists?


4 posted on 11/06/2013 11:37:04 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

It may soon Join Detroit in ruin.


5 posted on 11/06/2013 11:37:30 AM PST by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: Kaslin

OK . . . when did the Big Apple turn right? It’s always been an experiment in big-government leftism, for centuries even.


6 posted on 11/06/2013 11:37:59 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Kaslin

We’re taking NYC all the way back to pre-1980s level. I’m betting NYC becomes uninhabitable in 10 years.


7 posted on 11/06/2013 11:38:04 AM PST by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Kaslin

I’m growing less and less sympathetic to cities and city dwellers. It’s like choosing to live below an active volcano.


8 posted on 11/06/2013 11:38:20 AM PST by ryan71 (The Partisans)
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To: TBP

Call him by his real name, Warner Wilhelm.


9 posted on 11/06/2013 11:38:33 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: TBP

It’s 11:59 on Radio Free America; this is Uncle Sam, with music, and the truth until dawn. Right now I’ve got a few words for some of our brothers and sisters in the occupied zone: “the chair is against the wall, the chair is against the wall”, “john has a long mustache, john has a long mustache”. It’s twelve o’clock, America, another day closer to victory. And for all of you out there, on, or behind the line, this is your song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az5DBgVzdxc
Wolverines!!!!!!


10 posted on 11/06/2013 11:39:28 AM PST by itsLUCKY2B (?Borders, Language, and Culture.?)
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To: Kaslin

Please! They turned left when Bloomberg the phony republican was elected, then when the council removed the two-term limit. They deserve everything they get. I won’t be visiting, probably ever.


11 posted on 11/06/2013 11:39:56 AM PST by cotton1706
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To: Kaslin

Say hello to the Dinkin’s Days, New York...

You really do deserve what is coming, while all those “Evil Wall Street Millionaires!” the TV has told you to hate so much will be safe and comfy in the Connecticut or Upstate homes, you will be stuck in the hell you created, unable to walk down a street without fear.

How long until the Adult Bookstores and Movie Theaters begin popping up again in Times Square? I’m old enough to remember when open-air drug-dealing was the biggest market in that area.


12 posted on 11/06/2013 11:40:33 AM PST by tcrlaf (Well, it is what the Sheeple voted for....)
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To: Kaslin

“The new mayor of New York City is a Red Sox fan.”

Aha, there’s the problem right there. Anyone with sense was rooting for America’s team, the Cardinals. ;-)


13 posted on 11/06/2013 11:40:47 AM PST by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: ryan71

Well, not really, unless you count cities like Hilo (Kilauea and Mauna Loa), Naples (Italy—Vesuvius), Seattle (Mount Rainier), Catania (Mount Etna), etc.

But along that line of thinking, the first man to build cities after the Flood was Nimrod, who also established the first postdiluvian pagan system. Pretty much all cities after his (save Jerusalem IIRC, established by Melchizedek) follow Nimrod’s pattern.


14 posted on 11/06/2013 11:42:54 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Kaslin

it turned?


15 posted on 11/06/2013 11:44:25 AM PST by Farnsworth (Now playing in America: "Stupid is the new normal")
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To: Kaslin

Had I any doubts about never going back to NYC before, they’re gone now.


16 posted on 11/06/2013 11:44:42 AM PST by Da Coyote
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To: rarestia
We’re taking NYC all the way back to pre-1980s level. I’m betting NYC becomes uninhabitable in 10 years.

Escape from New York will look like an optimists view of what it could become with some improvements.

17 posted on 11/06/2013 11:45:39 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Everyone get online for Obamacare on 10/1. Overload the system and crash it hard!)
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To: Kaslin

New York elected a Communist as their mayor..be proud New York, your the laughing stock of the country..but I guess in order to find out how really bad Communism is they have to experience it themselves, so for those New Yorkers who voted in this Commie schmuck, choke on it and enjoy


18 posted on 11/06/2013 11:46:26 AM PST by Sarah Barracuda
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To: Pearls Before Swine

ON THE ROAD TO SERFDOM - 73% OF NEWYORKERS PUT THEIR DESTINY IN THE HANDS OF A COMMUNIST

“Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.” - John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams, 1777

“When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.” AYN RAND

Obama/de Blasio’s fait accompli – Under de Blasio New York will suffer a worse devastation than 9/11.


19 posted on 11/06/2013 11:46:40 AM PST by Dqban22
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To: Kaslin
Aren’t liberals in general communists?

You're very close to the mark. What else is a very liberal liberal but a communist? And communism always has a ruling elite.

20 posted on 11/06/2013 11:46:58 AM PST by luvbach1 (We are finished.)
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To: Kaslin

NYC will not be just ungovernable, it will be unlivable.......................


21 posted on 11/06/2013 11:47:11 AM PST by Red Badger (Proud member of the Zeta Omicron Tau Fraternity since 2004...................)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

ON THE ROAD TO SERFDOM - 73% OF NEWYORKERS PUT THEIR DESTINY IN THE HANDS OF A COMMUNIST

“Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.” - John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams, 1777

“When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.” AYN RAND

Obama/de Blasio’s fait accompli – Under de Blasio New York will suffer a worse devastation than 9/11.


22 posted on 11/06/2013 11:47:35 AM PST by Dqban22
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To: cotton1706

Bloomberg was a demonrat before he ran as a republican in 2001, and the reason why he changed his party affiliation was that he had no chance to win as a rat.


23 posted on 11/06/2013 11:47:36 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Maybe she’s still gay, and its like the Clinton marriage.


24 posted on 11/06/2013 11:47:50 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

Maybe he’s a bit ambi-sextrous, too.


25 posted on 11/06/2013 11:51:00 AM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Kaslin

I just checked the Census Bureau website.

Only 33% of New York City residents are non-Hispanic whites.

I’ll guess that number is about to go down.


26 posted on 11/06/2013 11:51:36 AM PST by zeestephen
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To: Kaslin

NYC can’t fall apart until after May of next year.

I have tickets to see Kristin Chenoweth in concert at Carnegie Hall (front section, center!) then.


27 posted on 11/06/2013 11:56:45 AM PST by Kip Russell (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ---Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Olog-hai

Well, he is the first Democrat to be elected Mayor in 20 years.


28 posted on 11/06/2013 11:57:46 AM PST by Nero Germanicus
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To: Kaslin

These STUPID SCHMUCKS deserve whateverthehell this commie does to them. For starters, I hope he jacks their taxes through the freaking roof just before he invites the criminals back to town and...

Oh wait. They’ll all be living down at City Hall.

never mind


29 posted on 11/06/2013 11:58:03 AM PST by Dick Bachert (Ignorance is NOT BLISS. It is the ROAD TO SERFDOM! We're on a ROAD TRIP!!)
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To: rarestia

"Snake Plisskin, please pick up at the white courtesy phone!"


30 posted on 11/06/2013 11:58:06 AM PST by The Duke
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To: driftdiver

Highest cost of living cities by rank..
1. NY (Manhattan) 2. NY (Brooklyn) 5. NY (Queens) from the Huff Post/Business.
Don’t want to hear about any poor and underprivileged in NYC.. Scrooge ‘em they chose to live and vote there so let them reap the impoverished results with a smile. Tote the vote.


31 posted on 11/06/2013 11:59:56 AM PST by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: Kaslin

We’ve begun raising our second generation since the end of the Cold War. That’s two generations of people who have no clue what Communism is or why they should fear it.

Hence the polling of Millennials indicating that they are totally agnostic on their preference in economic systems.


32 posted on 11/06/2013 11:59:58 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

They haven’t been taught or exposed to our Constitutional Principles or the writings of our founders. Leftists have purposely uneducated them so they are easily manipulated by lies and deceit.


33 posted on 11/06/2013 12:03:33 PM PST by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: Nero Germanicus

Not really. Bloomberg was definitely Democratic in heart still, having been a member of that party up until 2001 and switching to the GOP to ride Giuliani’s coattails.


34 posted on 11/06/2013 12:05:14 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Kaslin

You new Yorkers voted for him.... Live with the consequences..
Don’t come crying when your world turns to one of the pits of hell.


35 posted on 11/06/2013 12:06:05 PM PST by baddog 219
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To: Red Badger
I seriously doubt that de Blasio Wilhelm will even be as brave as Bloomberg was in terms of riding the subway train to work.
36 posted on 11/06/2013 12:06:50 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: baddog 219
The New Yorkers who voted for Lhota also voted for de Blasio Wilhelm?
37 posted on 11/06/2013 12:07:32 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: baddog 219

You new Yorkers voted for him.... Live with the consequences..
Don’t come crying when your world turns to one of the pits of hell.
Oh I forgot... Don’t come to Texas.... We don’t want your sickness.


38 posted on 11/06/2013 12:08:59 PM PST by baddog 219
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To: baddog 219

The city has an income tax, maybe he could pull a Hollande and jack it to 75%


39 posted on 11/06/2013 12:16:06 PM PST by GeronL
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To: Kaslin

Lindsay was incredibly naïve and incredibly infatuated with himself. I remember when he walked into the Harlem riots, which was a nice gesture, but unfortunately then he spent his entire time after that trying to suck up to people who were ruining the city. And I don’t mean the black hoods on the streets, but the “radical elite,” such as Leonard Bernstein, who went way outside of his musical competence with his stupid political dinner parties (one of which include Black Panthers).

The horrible De Blasio is a flat-out Marxist. I can’t even begin to imagine what made people vote for him, except possibly that they were tired of Bloomberg’s rich man’s obsessions: his weight and his health, which he imposed on all New Yorkers. De Blasio will maintain all of these things, and then will go on to drive out every productive person who lives in the town and turn it back into the hell-hole that made me leave it in the 1970s.

I came back for awhile, moved away again for other reasons, and was considering going back at least on a part-time basis. But now? No way. No way at all.


40 posted on 11/06/2013 12:18:16 PM PST by livius
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To: Olog-hai

He’ll probably demand a bomb-proof limousine and fully automatic armed security in Black Marias in front and rear............


41 posted on 11/06/2013 12:21:41 PM PST by Red Badger (Proud member of the Zeta Omicron Tau Fraternity since 2004...................)
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To: Pearls Before Swine
"with his formerly gay wife..."

I thought this was IMPOSSIBLE according to leftists.

NOBODY can ever stop being gay, and there are laws against even attempting to talk to someone about "conversion therapy".

42 posted on 11/06/2013 12:29:49 PM PST by boop (I had no IDEA I'd be paying for Obamacare. I thought it would be a rich guy.)
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To: Kaslin

They elected Hillary to the Senate twice.

They are capable of anything when it comes to electing communists, socialists, one-worlders and other democrats.


43 posted on 11/06/2013 12:44:51 PM PST by Iron Munro (When a killer screams 'Allahu Akbar' you don't need to be mystified about a motive.)
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To: Olog-hai

In 2001, Bloomberg was the Republican nominee and defeated Democrat Herman Badillo.
In 2005, Bloomberg was the Republican nominee and defeated Democrat Fernando Ferrer.
In 2009, although changing his party affiliation from Republican to Independent in 2007, Bloomberg decided to run again as a Republican and was uncontested in the Republican primary. Bloomberg defeated Democrat Bill Thompson.


44 posted on 11/06/2013 12:45:22 PM PST by Nero Germanicus
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To: Kaslin
Anybody remember the old 1981 film Escape From New York?

DeBlasio is just the guy to make it come true.

45 posted on 11/06/2013 12:47:29 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

ENJOY... DEMOCRATS FOR KARL MARX PRESIDENT IN 2016

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0azojPPRhw


46 posted on 11/06/2013 12:47:49 PM PST by Dqban22
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To: Nero Germanicus

Doesn’t make him a Republican.


47 posted on 11/06/2013 12:50:26 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Nero Germanicus

Mark Green was the Democrat that Bloomberg beat in 2001.


48 posted on 11/06/2013 12:58:46 PM PST by only1percent
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To: only1percent

You’re right, my mistake!


49 posted on 11/06/2013 1:00:10 PM PST by Nero Germanicus
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To: Vigilanteman

The title looks familiar, although I don’t recall having seen it


50 posted on 11/06/2013 1:24:49 PM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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