by Seth Barron
Friday, 20
May 2022
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15:16

Keep out of Congress, Bill de Blasio

After eight years tearing apart New York, he's not fit for office
by Seth Barron
He’s definitely running (Scott Heins/Getty Images)

New York’s former mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed to represent the city’s 10th Congressional District, covering lower Manhattan and a swath of Brooklyn, in Washington DC. From his lofty perch in a hotel suite near Brooklyn Bridge, where he and his wife are residing while his Park Slope home is renovated, de Blasio has called on wealthy real estate developers — his primary constituency — to drum up support for his campaign.

De Blasio has been keeping busy since he left the mayoralty five months ago. He recently wrote an article for The Atlantic, in which he offered himself to Joe Biden as an example of what not to do as a chief executive. “When it comes to being unpopular, I’m unfortunately somewhat of an expert,” he began.

He has never spoken truer words. However, in the manner of someone in a job interview saying, “my main flaw is that sometimes I’m just too much of a perfectionist”, the former mayor is humble-bragging. He explains that his number one problem as mayor was that he failed to “present a clear, sharp message and repeat it incessantly”. It’s hard to imagine anyone who’s lived in New York in the last eight years failing to find this amusing.

According to de Blasio, his biggest failure as mayor was that he was too busy solving the city’s problems, focusing on “real policy,” and so he “let a focus on individual initiatives, no matter how noble or substantive, distract [him] from offering an overarching vision for the future.” In other words, he didn’t talk about himself enough. Which is odd, as many New Yorkers seem to remember that that’s all he ever did.

Bill de Blasio took a prosperous, secure city and cut out its heart —  public safety — leaving its residents to the mercies of criminal thugs. He oversaw a wholesale sabotage of quality-of-life law enforcement, put the NYPD under a federal monitor, pushed for the reform of bail laws, and signed legislation that destroyed effective policing. He left the city with a murder rate 50% higher than before the pandemic.

He developed and pushed through an absurd plan to cap our city’s jail population at 3,300 by closing Rikers Island and building “community-based” jails that nobody wants. In turn, this has made our streets and parks filthy and dangerous, and enabled drugged-out zombies to overdose on our boulevards.

But the rot began within his own office. He allowed “consultants” — who simultaneously run political campaigns and work for major business interests — to turn City Hall into the equivalent of a payday-loan/check-cashing storefront. Their communications with him were of course shielded from the public by his insistence that they were “agents of the city”.

But de Blasio, apparently, remains oblivious to these errors. The problem, in his view, is that like an abusive spouse gaslighting his victim, he simply cared too much. Listen to this self-serving, sanctimonious twaddle:

I encountered crisis after crisis during my eight years as mayor of the nation’s largest city: crumbling public housing, dysfunctional jails, tensions between police and communities. I tried to address each in great detail, but in the process went days or weeks without tying these efforts back to my original mission: making New York better and fairer for everyone.  
- Bill de Blasio, The Atlantic

De Blasio is, for want of a better expression, gaslighting New Yorkers. We were too shallow to see all the great stuff that he was doing — that he was doing for us. President Biden hasn’t responded publicly to de Blasio’s offering in his self-appointed role of free advice merchant. Maybe New Yorkers can follow Joe Biden’s lead and ignore de Blasio’s offer to represent us in Congress.

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