Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What If New York Had Not Been Enough for Boss Tweed?

I'm watching a Mike Bloomberg commercial. Bloomberg runs them all day, on all channels, in English and Spanish. Michael Bloomberg doesn't need any stinking debates. He doesn't qualify for them because no one contributes to his campaign. He is literally out there trying to buy the presidency of the United States.

Right now he doesn't seem to figure in many polls. He says he isn't running in the first few states. You may recall that strategy did not pan out for Rudy Giuliani as he capitalized on presiding over one of the worst disasters in the history of New York City. However, Rudy Giuliani did not have virtually unlimited personal capital at his disposal

You may also recall that Michael Bloomberg did get a lot of things done. He closed scores of schools. He turned a whole lot of teachers into ATRs, a problem that still lingers now. He achieved mayoral control, effectively shutting the public out of decision making over their own communities. I don't even remember how many meetings I went to in which parents, teachers, students, politicians and clergy went to plead for schools, only to see them closed anyway, even if data was entirely wrong.

Those were the good old days at the Panel for Educational Policy. Michael Bloomberg had the majority of appointees, and fired anyone who contemplated voting his or her conscience. Michael Bloomberg had to have absolute control and could not tolerate any dissension. Does this remind anyone of an orange-skinned, orange-haired figure we read about in the news every now and then?

As for getting it done, Bloomberg was adept at that. Loathsome and reptilian though he is, he was a lot smarter than Rudy Giuliani, who was always suing everyone over, oh, the right to have his mistress come to the home he was sharing with his wife and young children, or excrement-splattered paintings, or other things that did not much affect the community at large. Though he had the same view of education as Michael Bloomberg, he did not really get things done.

After Giuliani presided over 9/11, having cleverly placed his emergency center in a high floor of a proven terror target, he commandeered an elementary school in its place, because who gives a crap about public schoolchildren. Though term-limited, Giuliani thought he needed to stay to keep up the morale of NYPD and FDNY. Once his staunch supporters, they by then hated his guts for depriving them of a union contract for years. Giuliani was unable to extend his term.

Mike Bloomberg, though, got it done. Though the voters of NYC had twice affirmed term limits, Bloomberg didn't feel like leaving. He then manipulated a one-time exception for himself. It wasn't hard to get city officials to approve it. After all, they were term-limited too. Self-interest goes a long, long way. Howard Wolfson, Bloomberg's personal propagandist, was all over Twitter saying voters repudiated term limits. However, the ostensible purpose of term limits is to keep people like Bloomberg from continually buying elected office.

Who else speaks of defying term limits? That would be our buddy with the orange hair, the one who's thoroughly amused by the title "President for Life." Of course, President Trump is a racist, displaying blatant disregard for minorities, and vilifying "the other," to wit, immigrants, Muslims, Mexicans, and anyone not in his exclusive play group.

I haven't heard Bloomberg say much about Muslims or Mexicans, but his stop and frisk policy was so blatantly racist that he's had a change of heart, conveniently concurrent with his Presidential campaign, and now says he's sorry, he made a mistake. And now, instead of condemning the Central Park Five, as he did for years, he says he can't remember what his opinion is. It's a balancing act running for President. Back when he was a Republican, it wasn't really detrimental to support racist policies. As a Democrat, that's tough.

Isn't there some other politician who has been both Democrat and Republican? Why yes, as a matter of fact, that would be President Trump. It's a lot easier to get yourself elected when you have few to no core values. Whatever it takes to get elected. Bloomberg, in fact, has been a Republican, a Democrat, and an independent. Whatever it takes to get what he wants.

And hey, just for the regular readers of this blog, let's not forget it was Mayor Mike Bloomberg who appointed Joel Klein, a man with virtually no education experience who jumped when Eva Moskowitz whistled. He appointed Cathie Black straight out of her penthouse. Anyone who attends the cocktail parties he does must be okay, so you'd best believe he'll appoint the "best people" just like, you guessed it, Donald Trump.

Last but not least, don't forget that Michael Bloomberg treated the United Federation of Teachers like something he'd just wiped off his Florsheims. A lot of people turn their heads and say, "Well, at least he isn't Trump."

But being "not Trump" was what Hillary ran on, and it's exactly what got us Trump. Actually, the whole self-important, self-serving, megalomaniacal despot thing is not working particularly well for us right now. I will say that Michael Bloomberg has a marginally better verbal filter than Donald Trump.

However, that's just not good enough. We need someone better in every way. That's most certainly not Michael Bloomberg. I'm agnostic on term limits, but Bloomberg is the best living argument for them. Giuliani didn't like them and tried to get around them. Trump doesn't like them and wants to get around them. Mike Bloomberg, true to his campaign slogan, got it done. He got around term limits, twice affirmed by his constituents.

That tells me he has little use for democracy. In 2020, such a person is what we need least.
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