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The Big Apple’s Left Turn - De Blasio’s victory wouldn’t be possible without Giuliani’s successes...
National Review Online ^ | November 6, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 11/07/2013 3:12:08 PM PST by neverdem

De Blasio’s victory wouldn’t be possible without Giuliani’s successes and liberals’ short memories.

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 owing 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 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 wanted. 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 that the rich find it too hospitable. This even though 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.

— Jonah Goldberg is the author of The Tyranny of Clichés, now on sale in paperback. You can write to him by e-mail at, or via Twitter @JonahNRO. © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since its initial posting.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: Massachusetts; US: New York
KEYWORDS: billdeblasio; deblasio; massachusetts; newyork; newyorkcity

Charles Bronson in the vigilante classic, "Death Wish 3."
Photo: Reuters

Bill de Blasio & ‘Death Wish’ NY

NY Post title and pic for the same essay.

1 posted on 11/07/2013 3:12:08 PM PST by neverdem
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Liberals are idiots. What’s to explain?

2 posted on 11/07/2013 3:21:39 PM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: neverdem

NYC elected an unrepentant Red Sox fan whose name used to be Warren Wilhelm Jr. until he changed it when he was 41 years old. Married to a once Lesbian who changed to an *apparent* Out-and-Proud Heterosexual.

Yikes NYC - Good Luck - you’ll need it...

3 posted on 11/07/2013 3:40:45 PM PST by libertarian27 (FreeRepublic Cookbooks 2011 & 2012 - Click Profile)
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To: neverdem

It’ll take this leftist less than a year to turn New York into a sewer of crime.

4 posted on 11/07/2013 3:44:37 PM PST by SCHROLL
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To: neverdem

I don’t know much about NY politics, so here is my naïve question: If Warren Wilhelm de Blasio had run as an admitted committed proud Communist, would the outcome be any different?

5 posted on 11/07/2013 4:00:44 PM PST by Zuse
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To: cyborg; Clemenza; Cacique; NYCVirago; The Mayor; Darksheare; hellinahandcart; Chode; ...
Stopped, Questioned, Nixed - An appeals court rightly throws a biased judge off the city’s policing lawsuit.

FReepmail me if you want on or off my New York ping list.

6 posted on 11/07/2013 4:05:06 PM PST by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: Zuse
If Warren Wilhelm de Blasio had run as an admitted committed proud Communist, would the outcome be any different?

Probably not, but I don't know.

7 posted on 11/07/2013 4:22:22 PM PST by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: libertarian27

There was a typo in the article about DeBlasio being a “Red Sox” fan.

It should have red (intentional misspelling), “DeBlasio is a Red fan”.

He is not a liberal, not a “progressive” (except as a cover word for a “marxist”), and not good for New York.

While NYC might have once been “The Big Apple”, it will now become the “Rotten Apple”.

In fact, NYC will soon, like DeBlasio, be comparable to a Red Delicious apple 6 months after it was picked - “Red on the outside, rotten on the inside”.

And his wife is like John Kerry, flipflopping, “she was a lesbian red before she became a liberal red” (but perhaps I’m being redundant).

For a hint of what is really going on inside NYC’s “Democrat Party”, get and read Trevor Loudon’s newest book, “The Enemy Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the US Congress”.

You’ll see that some of NY City/State’s congressional representatives are just as “red” as De Blasio, if not more so. And the book a dealt only with the present bunch of reds in Congress, not those of the past including Bella Abzug (covert CPUSA member; Ted Weiss, suspected CPUSA member and definitely a knowingly Communist Party supporter through their fronts; State Senator Seymour Posner; Manhattan Borough president Percy Sutton, significant record of supporting CPUSA and SWP fronts and causes; NY City Councilwoman Miriam Friedlander (id. CPUSAer); NY City Councilwoman Ruth Messinger (CPUSA and SWP fronts, Democratic Socialists of America, the new major marxist movement in the country)., etc.

Not only is NYC rotten to the core, it has been “red to the core” for decades.

And 70 percent of the people who voted, voted for this communist shit for mayor.

Take at look at Detroit today (the product of the horrible marxist policies of their late mayor and CPUSA member Coleman Young and their City Council leaders, both marxists - Maryanne Mahaffey (CPUSA fronts, KGB fronts, and DSA) and Erma Henderson (same), to name only a few.

IT is the New York City of tomorrow. Reds running a major city into ruin. Lesson NOT learned. Regarding the stupid voters making this possible. “Low education voter” is actually a praise term for them instead of a realistic descriptive term.

The new “progressive electorate” - communists/marxists, dumbass liberals (who can afford to live in protected environments); dumbassed blacks who still have the “plantation slave” mentality and addiction to welfare and Obamaphones (i.e. freebies); a probable majority of uneducated, low educated welfare mentality Hispanics, plus illegal immigrants, and a growing underground Red Chinese influence unknown to almost everyone.

Sorry to speak the truth but my mama told me never to “lie” to people.

Take a look at NYC today, the way the votes went and from which ethnic/political areas, and tell me that I am wrong.

I dare you. Double secret dare you!

8 posted on 11/07/2013 5:10:55 PM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: neverdem
What we need is a way to invest in NYC's selling it short. Bring back lots of violent crime, union thugs, crushing taxation.

NYC is for scum. Let it rot.

9 posted on 11/07/2013 6:31:09 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping!

10 posted on 11/07/2013 7:08:18 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: libertarian27

Truth is once again stranger than fiction

11 posted on 11/08/2013 4:55:12 AM PST by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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