Friday, August 08, 2008

Bloomberg the Poseur

You know there's nothing quite as fascinating as watching someone of great wealth suddenly discover political principles, only to just as suddenly turn around and jettison these principles when an issue of class interest reasserts itself. So it goes with Mayor Mike; yup the same lovable character who morphed unexpectedly last year into the Jolly Green Mayor.

Now, however, these congestion concerns-concerns underscored in the announcement yesterday that certain New York Streets will be car-free in the summer-run smack up against the siren call of large scale real estate development. So the mayor, hocking everyone incessantly about the need to reduce traffic congestion, twists his principles, pretzel-like, and comes out four square for a Costco store that will absolutely gridlock the Far West Side if it were to be built on 11th Avenue between 59th and 61st Streets.

To us, real principles are those that you hold even when they are inconvenient to self-interest or class bias. The same holds true for the fact that the mayor has yet to say boo about the potential closing of a Key Food store in the Bronx, even though he and his health brigades have been hectoring one and all about the lack of access to fresh fruits and veggies in certain poorer city precincts. In the case of the Soundview Key Food-a neighborhood targeted for its lack of such access-the mayor and the health commissioner are simply silent.

Do you think the fact that the landlord of the Key Food shopping center, Vornado Realty and Distrust, is a favored nation of the Bloombergistas plays a role in the silence that envelops the administration on this issue? Once again, it appears to us, principle is sacrificed for principal. It's time for the focus to shift from the bad landlord to an administration that seems ready to modify that old Giuliani slogan: "One City, One Standard-The Double Standard!"