November 12, 2001



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Last week, lifelong liberal Democrat Michael Bloomberg defeated lifelong liberal Democrat Mark Green, to become the next mayor of New York City. I should mention that last year, Bloomberg switched parties to become a "big-tent" Republican, but more on that later. As it is, Hillary Clinton has been a resident of New York longer than Bloomberg has been a Republican.

In one sense, this is cause for rejoicing, since never before have two Republicans been elected consecutively in the city's history. And, even though Tammany Hall lost influence in New York politics ages ago by not supporting FDR (one of the few good moves that machine ever made), generally speaking, earning the Democratic nomination was as good as being elected in this city, where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans five to one.

One can speculate on whether Bloomberg would have won if the 9/11 attacks had not occurred. He did spend nearly $60 million of his own fortune on the campaign. Moreover, his opponent Green, a career political hack, occupying a job--public advocate--that defies explanation by any New Yorker I asked, came across as an obnoxious, clueless jerk. He was able to earn the enmity of the Blacks and Hispanics, and since both candidates are nominally Jewish, all he could hope for was some split of that ethnic group.

No one reported any exit polling on Michael Savage's legendary upper east side women with hysterectomies, but I'd say that this Jewish, perennially liberal Democratic group had the toughest decision to make. Green, after all, was the Democrat, and the dyed-in-the wool crowd would go his way. Remember, they voted for Clinton, who, in 1992, was about as far as you can get from NYC sophistication--that Arkansas hick! Others would be drawn to the financial success of Bloomberg, who (wink, wink) only changed parties to give himself a better chance, maintaining all of his liberal bona fides.

As a big-tent Republican, Bloomberg can still be that mythical social liberal/fiscal conservative, that so appeals to the GOP leadership types. And, from their point of view, which mostly means raising lots of money from more people, while not standing for anything, it could work for awhile.

The key component in this philosophy, softened up though it may be, is a strong pro-abortion element. Now that the Black and Hispanic vote are no longer a sure thing for the Dems, what better way to inspire the white folks than the implication that widely available abortion will curtail the out-of-control breeding of these welfare prone groups? And, what better city for that kind of message to resonate than New York, with its decades long history of massive welfare?

Now, add to the mix the disasters of 9/11. Whom would YOU want to run your city during an unprecedented crisis? A shopworn ward heeler, or a billionaire businessman and proven leader? The only mystery is why Bloomberg's margin of victory wasn't much larger.

As far as moral issues, polarized ethnic groups being sold out by their "leaders," a disastrous public education system, significant unemployment, and endless bereavement, only time will tell. But catapulting to office, on a cynical philosophy based on death, is not an auspicious first step.


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