Monday, November 01, 2010

Revisionist History

We've commented on the mayor's about face-more like an out of control dreidel-on term limits, and now the NY Daily News weighs in to encourage us plebes to vote Yes on a renewed two term limit: "There is no doubt as to how New Yorkers feel about term limits for the city's elected officials. The public demands them and will have a fresh opportunity to hammer home the point at the polls on Tuesday. The ballot includes a proposition to restore the maximum to two terms for newly elected officials rather than the limit of three that now exists. Our recommendation: Vote yes, despite the proposition's flaws."

And one of those flaws-in our view, but not, of course, in Morticia's-is that the measure isn't retroactive. The News continues to justify its abrogation of principle in this matter: "Then, in 2008 - famously or infamously, depending on your perspective - the Council and Mayor Bloomberg upped the limit to three terms by enacting a law. We supported the move to give him a shot at continuing his stewardship through grueling economic times. Given that 60% of New Yorkers view him positively, according to a Wall Street Journal poll, that was the right call."

Notice the sleight-of-hand here? The mayor was boosted by the three local papers because of the grim economic environment-a monumental crisis that transcended even 9/11; a time when the stalwart leadership of Giuliani wasn't enough of a rationale to get all three local paper clips to call for boosting Rudy for another go at it.

In the past year has Mike Bloomberg been our savior? Has he implemented strong austerity measures that counteracted his eight years of profligacy? Has he helped the struggling small businesses by reducing their tax and regulatory burdens-not unless you think that devising a letter grading system is helpful to the local eateries.

But the News, with no argument to support its original call for a reprise of the Bloomberg leadership, falls back on a public opinion poll. We'll remember that, and see if  popularity is now a benchmark that the paper will continue to live by when it editorializes.