Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bill de Blasio Rules .... Soon.

The Mayor who came in from nowhere... this story is getting better and better!

"Mr. de Blasio, whose last remaining rival for the Democratic nomination conceded this week, enjoys support from 65 percent of likely voters, compared with 22 percent who back Mr. Lhota, according to a WNBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released on Tuesday." 
De Blasio Has Huge Lead Over Lhota, Poll Finds  (New York Times

Friday, September 13, 2013

Elites Shiver, But Progressives Are Elated at Bill de Blasio's Primary Win

With Obama's hope wilting like last weeks roses, progressives are seeking solace in Bill de Blasio's victory in the New York City's democratic primary. Paul Krugman writes in today's New York Times:

Take, for example, the proposal by Bill de Blasio, who finished in first place in Tuesday’s Democratic primary and is the probable next mayor of New York, to provide universal prekindergarten education, paid for with a small tax surcharge on those with incomes over $500,000. The usual suspects are, of course, screaming and talking about their hurt feelings; they’ve been doing a lot of that these past few years, even while making out like bandits. But surely this is exactly the sort of thing we should be doing: Taxing the ever-richer rich, at least a bit, to expand opportunity for the children of the less fortunate. Some pundits are already suggesting that Mr. de Blasio’s unexpected rise is the leading edge of a new economic populism that will shake up our whole political system. That seems premature, but I hope they’re right. For extreme inequality is still on the rise — and it’s poisoning our society.
Peter Beinhardt sees the victory as the expression of a new generational shift to the left in The Rise of the New New Left, a long and very interesting essay for the Daily Beast.
The deeper you look, the stronger the evidence that de Blasio’s victory is an omen of what may become the defining story of America’s next political era: the challenge, to both parties, from the left.


The deeper you look, the stronger the evidence that de Blasio’s victory is an omen of what may become the defining story of America’s next political era: the challenge, to both parties, from the left. - See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/12/the-rise-of-the-new-new-left.html#sthash.8AhRQzJP.dpuf
The deeper you look, the stronger the evidence that de Blasio’s victory is an omen of what may become the defining story of America’s next political era: the challenge, to both parties, from the left. - See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/12/the-rise-of-the-new-new-left.html#sthash.8AhRQzJP.dpuf

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Yorker columnist on Bill de Blasio: “Let’s give him a shot.”

The New Yorkers' John Cassidy on why he voted for Bill de Blasio.


Bill de Blasio back in 2009. Copyright: Hans Sandberg
There’s no doubt that electing de Blasio, who doesn’t have much executive experience, would be a progressive experiment based upon optimism and, to some extent, suspension of disbelief. As a recovering realist, that’s the mindset I’m adopting. New Yorkers, after years of watching their city being transformed by aggressive policing, changes in migration patterns, and corporate-friendly development policies, can afford to push back a bit. De Blasio is hardly another LaGuardia, but he has presented a vision of the city as a vibrant, multi-racial place, with progressive values and a bit less inequality. Pulling the lever today, I said to myself, “Let’s give him a shot.” If it doesn’t work out, we can always switch to Thompson or Quinn or somebody else in four years, or even call Bloomberg out of retirement.

Nervous Elites Await the Arrival of the Anti-Bloomberg

Bill de Blasio is in many ways the opposite of New York's billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has done a lot of good for New York, but has been aloof when it comes to social issues and the rising inequality.
Mr. de Blasio, a white Brooklynite who frequently showcased his biracial family, built a broad coalition of support among nearly every category of Democratic primary voters on Tuesday, according to the exit poll by Edison Research. His critique of a city divided between rich and poor — tried in the past by other candidates in New York and nationally with little success — resonated.
“I love his message about the tale of two cities, the big inequality gap,” said Jelani Wheeler, 19, a politics student at St. John’s University in Queens.
“We can start correcting many important issues the city is facing, issues often ignored by the Bloomberg administration,” he added. (De Blasio First in Mayoral Primary; Unclear if He Avoids a Runoff)
New York's financial, political and media elite seems very uncomfortable with Bill de Blasio, who in many ways is the anti-Bloomberg, the anti-establishment candidate. Here is another clip from today's NYT: 
They are startled and unsure how to react. “Terrifying,” is how one banker put it.
Many in New York’s business and financial elite, stung by the abrupt ascent of Bill de Blasio, an unapologetic tax-the-rich liberal, are fixated on a single question: What are we going to do?
The angst, emanating from charity galas and Park Avenue dinner tables, has created an unexpected political opening for Joseph J. Lhota, the Republican nominee, whose once-sleepy candidacy is now viewed by players in both parties as their last, best hope for salvaging the business-friendly government of the Bloomberg era.
Even before his victory speech on Tuesday night, Mr. Lhota was moving quickly to exploit his newfound role. He planned to speak on primary night with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose blessing could confer credibility with the Manhattan establishment. (Lhota Hopes to Capitalize on Elite Dismay Over a Liberal Tilt)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Does Bill de Blasio's Rise Foreshadow a Progressive Turn in U.S. Politics?

Bill de Blasio has upstaged the democratic primary in New York City, and it now looks like he will be the democratic candidate.

What six months ago looked like the longest of long shots suddenly looks plausible. Can a Progressive Make It to Gracie Mansion? Matt Taylor, a Brooklyn-based writer asks in the latest issue The American Prospect:


Bill de Blasio running for New York City
Public Advocate in 2009. Photo: Hans Sandberg
"A self-styled movement progressive with a biracial family from Park Slope, Brooklyn, de Blasio has seized the mantle of change in a city where many residents appear to crave it after a decade under billionaire incumbent Michael Bloomberg’s cold vision of financial capitalist technocracy. With just a few days left before the September 10 Democratic primary, de Blasio is way out in front of his rivals; in the latest Quinnipiac poll, he crossed the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a run-off and advance directly to the November general election."
Mayor Bloomberg has been a strong leader and pushed Health and Green issues, but he has not touched the Power and wealth he shares with his fellow plutocrats.
"His signature campaign pledge is to raise taxes on those earning more than $500,000 annually to fund universal pre-K and expanded after-school programs for middle schoolers, which the latest research suggests is one of the best ways to reduce income stratification."
What happens if de Blasio wins the primary and then really becomes the mayor of New York City? If he fails in that job, he will be seen as an anomaly, a nice guy who couldn't deliver. But if he succeeds?
"De Blasio, then, represents the inevitable turn leftward in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans six to one—and where the new candidate of hope and change is charged with the task of making up for the shortcomings of the old one," Taylor concludes.

Also read: Eric Alterman's take on de Blasio in The Nation magazine:

Bill de Blasio and the Rebirth of Economic Liberalism

Hubble Telescope Images