Monday, November 02, 2009

Politics You Can Vouch For

The inanity of the Bloomberg campaign slogan-"Progress, Not Politics"-is being brought home constantly by the mayor's actions. Which only underscores the wisdom of the old saying of watching what people do, but not what they say. The latest example can be seen in a column by Dave Seifman in yesterday's NY Post.

Seifman examines the Bloomberg about face in the matter of a certain voucher program that effects Orthodox Jewish schoolchildren: "Two weeks before the election, Mayor Bloomberg told Orthodox Jewish leaders in a private meeting that he planned to restore $8 million in day-care vouchers that the administration had pulled just months earlier as the city braced to cope with the collapsing economy. "They are a huge help to many families, especially in the Orthodox community," the mayor said at the Oct. 22 session in Borough Park, Brooklyn, which wasn't listed on his campaign schedules. That was a 180-degree flip from what Bloomberg had said before."

Now, do we think that this is a major scandal? Of course not-but it dramatically reveals the hypocrisy behind Bloomberg's sloganeering; and demonstrates, in our view, the basic dishonesty that underlies the Myth of Mike that has been propagated, not just by Bloomberg himself, but by his retainers in the editorial rooms of the city's tabloids.

The reality is the Bloomberg has been a consummate politician-and has aggrandized this political skillfulness with the use of a private fortune that has been, until now, unheard of in NYC politics. In fact, as the election draws near, this city has never seen the ingathering of so many pigs at the trough as we are seeing now; from black ministers to Orthodox rabbis, no one has been as skillful as Mike Bloomberg at bringing disparate groups together. Let's praise the cash nexus, pass the collection plate and, all together now, say: "Hallelujah!"