Thursday, September 22, 2005

"Bloomberg Tacks Left"

The headline alone is priceless. Patrick Healy's piece yesterday morning in the NY Times about the mayor's lurch leftward underscores what has been obvious to some of us for a while: Mike Bloomberg really has no core beliefs. He is, in Tom Lehrer's immortal description of Werner Von Braun, "A man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience", and, as the Times' use of "tacking" indicates, someone who would be at home in John Kerry's lycra windsurfing bathing suit.

So now, faced with an apparently united Democratic Party, the mayor is trying to distance himself from his Republican marriage of convenience. The first sign was Miguelito's foray into legal scholarship and his negative review of Judge Roberts' qualifications for the Supreme Court. Yesterday Bloomberg discovers some problems with the minimum wage waivers in the Katrina relief effort. All of which is patently transparent, somewhat like the spontaneous show of support in the 1,000 house parties arranged for the mayor's reelection.

This nimbleness of the mayor opens an opportunity for Ferrer. No, not just the reinforcement of Bloomberg's faux Republicanism. The opportunity lies in aggressively demonstrating that the mayor, like any run of the mill pol, will say or do anything in his own interest. The best example is the mayor's 2001 pledge to not, unlike that liberal Mark Green, raise taxes. Another is the mayor's failure to even mention that he planned to turn over economic development to an Olympics-crazed czar who would in turn look to turn over public property for a song to his billionaire friends.

Which brings us to this election. Clearly the mayor, with no core beliefs and contempt for the average citizen, simply cannot be believed if he decides to finally tell voters what his plans are for the next four years. The average homeowner and small businessman should be frightened indeed. If another budget crisis hits watch for taxes to skyrocket, fire houses to close, and enforcement actions to escalate.