Good riddance to NYC’s worst mayor ever – Bill de Blasio: Goodwin

The results of de Blasio’s sorry act are inescapable. The surging crime, the hatred and routine disrespect for police, homeless encampments and roving maniacs, filthy streets, failing schools, boatloads of money wasted on stupid ideas — these are the consequences of the Worst Mayor Ever.

In his novel “Anna Karenina,” Tolstoy writes that “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Something similar can be said about New York City mayors: Successful ones share policies and leadership traits, while the failed ones chart individual paths of doom.

Over the last five decades, Gotham has experienced both. The successful mayors — Ed Koch, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg — stand tall because they took office in times of crises and turned New York’s fortunes around. They had their warts, but each left the city better off than when he started.

Something the late Sen. Pat Moynihan said of Koch could be said of Giuliani and Bloomberg, too. “He gave the city back its spirit,” Moynihan told me.

It was a key insight that illustrates the fact that while policies matter, the best policy without an infusion of indomitable optimism and determination will come to little. A zeal to succeed can also overcome policy mistakes.

Conversely, two of the three failed mayors — Abraham Beame and David Dinkins — had their spirits crushed by the problems they faced. Beame, during his time as comptroller, helped to create the fiscal crisis that swamped his mayoralty, and Dinkins was largely paralyzed as violent crime and disorder soared on his watch.

They were decent men, but lacked the right stuff to master the chaos they faced. As a result, the city was worse off when they left than when they began.

All of which brings us to Bill de Blasio. He is a failure, too, but on such a large scale that he belongs in a category of one. Mayor Putz, also known as the Worst Mayor Ever, is unique in all the wrong ways.

He inherited a remarkably safe and thriving city, the culmination of a 20-year-stretch where first Giuliani and then Bloomberg pushed crime to historic lows and ushered in a Golden Age of prosperity.

Instead of following the obvious path forward, de Blasio decided to break what his predecessors had fixed. He leaves a city in such dramatic decline that many people wonder if it can be saved.

De Blasio’s determination to be a wrecking ball was apparent at his inauguration.

The ceremony was laced with insults aimed at the city’s advances and Bloomberg, seated in the front row, was treated like a dog treats a fire hydrant. Harry ­Belafonte called the city’s justice system “Dickensian” without acknowledging that incarceration rates plummeted by 36% under Bloomberg as crime also ­plummeted.

Later, Sanitation Department Chaplain Fred ­Lucas Jr. called the city a “plantation,” an outrageous slur magnified by de Blasio’s comment that he had no problem with the inflammatory remarks.

Alas, it was all downhill from there, as New Yorkers soon discovered that the new guy harbored a trifecta of enormous ­defects.

A corrupt mayor would be trouble enough, but de Blasio’s shortcomings didn’t stop with his dicey schemes with donors and unions. He also is glaringly incompetent, which, paired with the dirty deals, put the city behind the 8 ball for much of the last eight years.

To top it off, Mayor Putz is spectacularly lazy, working half-days from Gracie Mansion or a coffee shop in Brooklyn, where he liked to loiter after police chauffeured him to a gym. As time wore on, he failed to show up at City Hall more often than not — even before the pandemic struck. Being mayor was never a part-time gig until de Blasio got it.

n numerous crucial moments, he couldn’t be bothered to make tough decisions. Insiders describe a man who views the nitty-gritty details of management beneath him.
Key policy questions, whether on homelessness, hospitals, education or crime, were left hanging for months because he wouldn’t devote the time to hear competing arguments and make the final choice.

To the extent de Blasio is motivated, it is by a hazy fascination with far leftist ideology. He was so besotted that he and wife Chirlaine McCray snuck onto the prison island of Cuba for their honeymoon. What fun!

Unfortunately, he never grew out of a crush on the Castro brothers and spent most of his mayoralty trying to redistribute other people’s money. Perhaps the most memorable thing he ever said was that “Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.”

He said that in 2019, six years after he first campaigned on the theme of a “tale of two cities.” Rhetorically, at least, he was consistent.

If the city had any good fortune during his reign of error, it was that de Blasio’s avoidance of actual work meant he leaves with most of his agenda incomplete. For this and this alone we are deeply grateful.

Indeed, his dreamy language and sketchy plans made it seem that the Putz had one concern — crafting an image as a card-carrying progressive so he could someday get another government job. The fantasy was exposed when he ran for president in 2020 and barely registered in any polls.

A likely run for governor next year will almost certainly lead to a second landslide defeat.

Oddly, de Blasio never seemed to like New York and has no passion, love or hate, for the five boroughs. As one observer puts it, “You don’t get the sense he even cares about the city.”

One sign is his absence from civic life. Unlike all the other mayors before him, de Blasio often failed to show up for the city’s big moments.

Whether it was a tragic event like a police shooting or major accident where a mayor should appear to show a steady hands-on leadership, he mostly wasn’t there. He also avoided glamour events like the Met Gala that celebrate the city’s cultural richness.

He was a no-show at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. He didn’t stroll neighborhood streets and talk to people, nor did he hold town hall-style meetings.

Of course, when he did appear, he was often late, evidence of a lack of respect for the job and the public itself.

Even the perpetually cranky Bloomberg, who grumbled early on that he wouldn’t waste time on ribbon cuttings, soon discovered that the public expected that their mayor see and be seen.

The results of de Blasio’s sorry act are inescapable. The surging crime, the hatred and routine disrespect for police, homeless encampments and roving maniacs, filthy streets, failing schools, boatloads of money wasted on stupid ideas — these are the consequences of the Worst Mayor Ever.

There are numerous candidates for his biggest failing, but the most consequential was his handcuffing of cops, which was most dramatic during the riots and looting in the summer of 2020, and has continued ever since. Growing out of the protests over the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the mayhem and destruction had nothing to do with police reform and everything to do with crime.

In many ways, his decision was a continuation of de Blasio’s ice-cold relationship with cops that began when he campaigned against the NYPD in 2013. His provocative statement that he advised his biracial son, Dante, on how to behave if police stopped him, rightly infuriated cops.

At the end of his first year, on Dec. 20, 2014, Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were assassinated while sitting in a patrol car in Brooklyn. The murderer, a career criminal who committed suicide as cops cornered him, had vowed revenge on police over the deaths of several suspects, including Eric Garner in Staten Island.

The belief by most cops that the mayor helped to create the anti-police, pro-criminal climate led most to turn their backs on de Blasio at the murdered officers’ funeral.

Later, the Putz signed on to the defund the police movement. Although the $1 billion cut in the NYPD budget was less than met the eye, he had again signaled his animus to the men and women who risk their lives to protect all New Yorkers.

His successor, Eric Adams, is a former cop who takes office with the promise of cleaning up the mess de Blasio leaves. He pledges to tackle crime, cut budget fat and show America how to run a city.

Godspeed to Adams and a word of advice: In the face of almost any problem or decision, try to imagine what Mayor Putz would do.

Then do exactly the opposite!

Idi na VRH
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