The more we contemplate the recent actions of Mike Bloomberg, the more we question the seriousness of his presidential ambitions-as well as the seychel of his advisers. The latest, right on the heels of his emotional defense of the GZM, is his endorsement of Joe Sestak for senator from Pennsylvania: "New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the man without a political party, endorsed Democrat Joe Sestak for U.S. Senate on Tuesday as an independent thinker who he said would put Pennsylvania ahead of partisanship.Trailing the mayor was the politically charged national debate over the proposed mosque and Islamic cultural center two blocks from the World Trade Center site, and sharp questions about the issue dominated their campaign event at the Sullivan Progress Plaza shopping center in North Philadelphia." (via Liz at YNN)
Who is Sestak? Well he's the congressman that has been accused of being too cozy with CAIR, and less than supportive of Israel. Quite the symmetry here on the heels of the mayor's mosque endorsement:
"In a statement to the Exponent, Joe Sestak said of his speech to CAIR in 2007: “I don’t just speak to groups that I support, I speak to groups that I don’t support and I think that is the job of a congressman in order to have a dialogue,” he said. “And I went to CAIR and I criticized their failure to condemn terrorists by name, Hezbollah and Hamas, and the fact that they had not dissociated themselves” from them.
Well, let’s take a look at the speech. It’s roughly five pages long and over 2,500 words, filled with glowing tributes to Muslims. It’s like Obama’s Cairo speech and his Iran video, and then some. The speech is full of this sort of thing:
Prominently recognized in the U.S. Supreme Court are 18 great lawgivers of history, including the Prophet Muhammad with Moses, Solomon and Confucius. The beauty of Baroque music comes from Islamic influence; as did the ‘Moorish’ style of some of New York’s nineteenth-century synagogues."
And Jennifer Rubin goes on to point out: "So Sestak didn’t go to CAIR to criticize the group at all. If he had intended to do that, he would have called it out for its anti-Israel rhetoric and its efforts to impede legitimate anti-terror measures. Instead, he went to flatter the group and to echo its own propaganda."
All of which makes the timing of the endorsement questionable-and the mayor and the candidate were dogged by mosque questions: "Robert Sklaroff, a physician and Republican activist from Elkins Park, questioned Sestak's judgment for speaking in 2007 to a Council on American-Islamic Relations dinner and said that the imam behind the mosque proposal had made anti-American statements on CBS's 60 Minutes...Wendell Whitlock, chairman of the holding company for Sullivan Progress Plaza, denounced reporters for their mosque questions, calling the issue "contrived political crap" unrelated to the economy or other matters that affect people's lives."
Given the congressman's record-and he recently signed on to a letter asking Israel to ease up on its Gaza blockade-having the Defender of the Mosque come in to endorse, was not good timing, and it smacks of desperation on his part. Recent polls find him trailing his Republican opponent Pat Toomey by 9 points; and with close to 70% of Americans opposing the mosque site, how could the Bloomberg shout out be helpful?
But Bloomberg remains clueless to all of this-no matter how high priced the bad advice he's receiving. And Jonah Goldberg nails the failure of the mayor's leadership on the mosque issue: "Bloomberg isn't only the mayor. He's also a billionaire with vast sway in the city's media, finance and cultural institutions. Moreover, the Big Apple is a Hieronymus Bosch hellscape for landlords and developers. Rent control, historic preservation, zoning, environmental impact, community protests, union delays -- not to mention plain old red tape and corruption -- offer enough tools to stop any project before it starts. (Heck, Ground Zero is still a gaping hole, and everyone has wanted that land to be developed, fast.) The notion that Bloomberg couldn't have quietly stopped this in New York is like saying Satan is powerless to do anything about the heat in Hades. He could have kept the molehill from becoming a mountain with an afternoon's worth of phone calls. The center would be built, just not so close to Ground Zero; no big deal."
But Mike's as clueless as Obama when it comes to the sensibilities of the average citizen: "But instead of quietly extinguishing a controversy, Bloomberg said it was as important a "test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime." He also insists that opponents should be "ashamed" of their bigotry, even though he expects "special sensitivity" from the mosque's backers. Apparently, it's only shameful to think Ground Zero requires "special sensitivity" if you oppose the mosque. Bloomberg apparently needs a tutor to pass his own church-state test."
But, in the end, when we look to examine the mayor's tone deafness. it is revealed to be all about him and his out sized ego. Here's the real reason Bloomberg headed south yesterday: "Sestak has displayed "leadership, independence, and results," Bloomberg said. He cited as an example of Sestak's independence his support for closing a loophole in federal law that allows sales at gun shows without background checks."
Whatever you feel about the mayor's gun crusade, the fact that it motivates him to ignore much more pressing international questions and concerns, tells you all you need to know about the solipsistic mayor of New York.