Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Michael Powell: Lhota Has Jumped The Shark

Michael Powell in the Times:

“Mr. de Blasio’s involvement with the Sandinistas didn’t happen in 1917” — This is a reference to the Bolsheviks’ storming of the Winter Palace and not the last time the Jets won the Super Bowl — “it happened 70 years later when the cruelty and intrinsic failure of Communism became crystal clear to anyone with a modicum of reason.

“Mr. de Blasio’s class warfare strategy in New York City is directly out of the Marxist playbook. Now we know why.”

With this statement, Mr. Lhota not only jumped the shark, he rode a Great White bareback through New York harbor.

It’s hard to know where to start.

As a resident of haute bourgeois Park Slope and the owner of a rapidly appreciating row house, the middle-aged Mr. de Blasio seems unlikely to embrace property expropriation. As a former Little League coach, he also seems not likely to turn Prospect Park’s baseball fields into collective farms, although if he does, organic kale might be found on every plate in the city.

His children, it’s true, appear to have attended the Park Slope Child Care Collective. But the tykes favored “Baby Beluga” over the Red Army anthem.

He is a Boston Red Sox fan, which may or may not be in that Marxist playbook but is perhaps cause for immediate suspicion by Yankee fans. He once self-identified as a democratic socialist, which would put him in the same ideological column as Golda Meir, Moishe Dayan, Willie Brandt and François Mitterrand.

And more or less all of those social democrats stood up to and argued vociferously with the hard left, including Communists.

Lastly, as to those Sandinistas: This was a complicated revolutionary movement. A remarkably diverse coalition at first, it overthrew a cruel dictator. The leadership included some Communists, as well as social democrats and priests.

Some of its key leaders harbored unfortunate authoritarian tendencies. They stood – a touch reluctantly – for two elections deemed fair by many foreign observers. After it was defeated in that second election, in 1990, the movement shifted into the democratic opposition. Whatever their failings, the Sandinistas did not impose a repressive regime on their impoverished Central American nation. There was no mass jailing of opponents nor mass execution of opposing soldiers.

Quite a few liberal-left students and young people in the 1980s supported revolutionary movements in Central America. They may have been more than a touch naïve about the nature of these movements, but they at least realized that these nations had suffered terribly at the hands of United States-supported dictators.

As Powell notes in the Times column, Lhota has a whole 178 words devoted to policy on his website.

NYC Educator wrote in a comment:

 Wow. 178 words is maybe a blog. How often do you and I come up with something like that?

More than Lhota does, that's for sure.

Unless he's accusing de Blasio of being a Red, that is.

Then he finds it easy to hit his 178+ word count.

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