Yeah, I'm a week late, but I wanted to highlight this piece by Rick Hertzberg. It really gets at the complexity of submitting to Bloomberg:
The truth is that Michael Bloomberg has been a very good mayor. The record is mixed, of course, but the mixture is largely positive. Crime is down. Public education is better, owing mainly to the Mayor's takeover of the system. The racial rancor of Giuliani Time is gone. People are healthier and longer-lived, and it would be rash to suggest that the Mayor's nanny-state initiatives--his smoking bans, his banishment of trans fats, his posted calorie counts--have had nothing to do with this happy development. He has fought the good fight for congestion pricing and gun control. His plans for a West Side football coliseum were thwarted, thank God, and his new stadiums for the Yankees and the Mets cost the city a bundle and are unfriendly to fans of modest means, but his bike lanes are terrific and his transformation of Times Square into a people's piazza was visionary, fun, and cheap.
The Mayor has ruled us well, but he has infantilized us. We are a little too much like the passive Romans of Crassus' day, when the institutions of the old republic were giving way to a despotic (and competent) imperium. "People got used to the idea of them," Edith Hamilton wrote of Crassus and his fellow-triumvirs, Pompey and Caesar, "and when four years later their powerful organization was completed and they began to act openly, honored and honorable patriots could find excellent reasons for acquiescing in their running the city. Indeed, it seemed exceedingly probable that if they did not do so there would be nobody to run it." If Bloomberg had been satisfied with two terms, he would be leaving office a beloved legend, a municipal god. He'll get his third, but we'll give it to him sullenly, knowing that while it probably won't measure up to his first two--times are hard, huge budget gaps are at hand--it'll probably be good enough. The Pax Bloombergiana will endure a while longer. But then what? Will we have forgotten how to govern ourselves?
It would all be much easier if he were more Giuliani-like.
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