Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Political Realism

I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.
-- Dan Quayle (1947 - )

One of the problems in dealing with the current realities is that it is often not pleasant. A Hobson’s choice comes to mind. But, as we all know, not making any choice at all is giving way to a degree of pessimism that makes this blog seem positively serendipitous. Remember, though, if we can’t get what we want, we may get what we need.

There is no secret, for example, that Bloomberg, who is both arrogant and narcissistic (basic requirements for politicians) is probably qualified to lead in these parlous times. Of course, he’s not the only one. Tony Avella is an activist who inspires trust. Bill Thompson is the Comptroller for God’s sake, he knows numbers. Weiner is a hard worker.
Even Chris Quinn, who helped Bloomberg and may now regret it, seems a hell of a lot more human than he does. She’s tough, talented and real.

The fact that Hi-Rise Mike is worth only $11 Billion now instead of $20 Billion that he was approaching during the bubble, simply means that he is feeling a bit more human. But, why bother running again? Oh, right, the narcissism.
There’s also the problem that, as one insider described, “he’s a prude.”
Nightclubs are closing as a result of phoney drug busts, Disney has moved in, Dominatrices have been arrested or moved out (courtesy of Feinblatt who runs the Mayor’s Task Force) – and Sin City is now Disneyland East. Convictions are easily obtained because the money dictates, along with his underling Ray Kelly's corrupt cops, just who gets real justice. In two recent busts of NYC Dungeons, for example, the cops who “investigated” and extensively surveilled each had four sessions of roleplay on the taxpayers dime before they arrived with a battering ram and made off with $100K in cash. Apparently, to Feinblatt, the cop who receives the attention of a young lady in leather is entitled to "hazardous duty" pay scale for numerous visits.
A well-known principle of Criminal Justice, were you to ask a reputable defense lawyer, is that cops perjure themselves but judges accept anything they say in State Court. But even deep pockets do not ensure Justice when the prosecutor is holding all of the cards.

So, the money has cleaned up Manhattan and soon the Death of Fun will be our new moniker instead of Fun City. But Manhattan used to be, well, Manhattan. Now, Daffy Duck will excite the tourists from Idaho.
The real problem for all of us is that what we used to accuse the Mob and criminals of doing (lying, stealing, cheating and making a mockery of justice) – is now what prosecutors and the cops do when politicians want something accomplished quickly. They go directly from political decisions to fait accompli – no constitutionality or messy legal questions in between.
Giuliani was bad but at least he had charisma. His father was a mobster and he understood.

So Bloomberg will now be re-elected because he has managed the media situation and can afford to cram it down our throats. And, never expect to get past Ray Kelly’s dislike of bloggers for press credentials. Once on the ballot, the PR and the pressure will continue and we’ll have four more years to sanitize Manhattan. We all know that we’ve been managed.
But, let’s not allow each other to believe that this is anything more than a high-level con job. In The Grifters, it was called “the long con.”

A footnote to the Kennedy Senate matter brings us to a few salient points.
First, the fix was in once the Kennedy clan supported Obama and no doubt contributed to putting him over the top. That negotiation was clear.
Caroline may not be the most experienced candidate but, irrespective of the royal family fantasy, she wants the job, is bright and connected and is also NOT corrupt. We should appreciate the clean linear quality that is far from Joe Kennedy but not so far from Robert Kennedy. Idealism was their hallmark. While the brothers paid the price for moving off Joe’s script, and contrary to Henry Stern’s opinion, Robert was not a New Yorker and knew little about our state when he ran. It was simply an available Senate seat. It was a vehicle and he almost immediately became a national figure who did little for our state. Of course, most of us didn’t mind since he was going to replace JFK for many of us.
The notion that Bloomberg is a Kingmaker in this matter is insulting. He may be waiting in the curtains (perhaps arranging a late curtain call when Caroline moves up the ladder) but Teddy sealed the deal earlier on.

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