Douglas Andrews / January 4, 2022

Good Riddance to NYC’s de Blasio

Mayor Eric Adams could hardly do worse than his lazy, woke, incompetent predecessor.

In one respect, New York City Mayor Eric Adams enters office at the perfect time. After all, a guy can’t fall off the floor. And that’s exactly where “progressive” former mayor Bill de Blasio has left the Big Apple: flat on its back, broke, and bloody.

Adams’s predecessor in Gracie Mansion had one job. One job. Not to screw up all the good work that his two predecessors, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, had done to rescue New York City from ruin and lawlessness. Instead, de Blasio took a wrecking ball to the city, undoing nearly every policy measure that had proven effective. What he leaves Adams is a city in the midst of a crime wave reminiscent of the pre-Giuliani David Dinkins era; a city that businesses and taxpayers are finding increasingly unfriendly and unattractive; a city whose charter schools have been punished for their success and their lack of unionization, and whose “gifted and talented” programs have been scrapped in the name of wokeness and so-called social justice. Oh, and a city that’s been wrecked by woefully misguided lockdowns and mask-mania. We could go on, but that’s what leftist governance will get you.

“End of an Error” blares the headline of a column by the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin. If only he’d been prescient enough to pen a column eight years ago titled “Error Apparent,” given that the people of New York City not only elected this guy but reelected him.

Not coincidentally, the city also voted 76% to 23% for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in 2020, which lends further support to de Maistre’s maxim that every citizenry has the government it deserves. Indeed, it also supports one of Mencken’s great maxims: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Hoo boy, did the people of New York City get it good and hard. As Goodwin writes of the hard-left hizzoner who honeymooned in — no joke — Communist Cuba:

Mayor Putz, also known as the Worst Mayor Ever, is unique in all the wrong ways. He inherited a remarkably safe and thriving city, the culmination of a 20-year-stretch where first Giuliani and then Bloomberg pushed crime to historic lows and ushered in a Golden Age of prosperity. Instead of following the obvious path forward, de Blasio decided to break what his predecessors had fixed. He leaves a city in such dramatic decline that many people wonder if it can be saved.

So the city is beset with problems, but solutions start and end with public order. If folks don’t feel safe in the city, folks won’t come to the city. And if public order is what’s needed, then effective policing — broken-window, stop-and-frisk, quality-of-life policing — is the means through which it’s ensured. “There was a sense of doom on the streets,” wrote de Blasio’s first police commissioner, Bill Bratton, in his memoir. “The cops on the beat wanted to do their jobs, but the brass didn’t trust them to do it. … The feeling behind many desks was that it was better for cops to stay away from criminals and steer clear of temptation than to chase them down and put them away.” Oddly enough, though, Bratton didn’t pen those thoughts after resigning from the de Blasio administration in 2016. No, he wrote them back in the ‘90s, after witnessing firsthand the policy differences between the soft-on-crime Dinkins administration and the tough-on-crime Giuliani administration.

As the Opinion Page editors at The Wall Street Journal put it: “The de Blasio era has shown that the hard-won gains of the Giuliani-Bloomberg years can easily be squandered. Mr. Adams campaigned as a practical liberal focused on results, not the illusions of progressive pieties. He’ll need that focus to set New York back on a road to genuine progress.”

Let’s hope Adams was being honest about that “practical liberal” stuff. If so, we wish him good luck. But either way, we say good riddance to the rotten leftist who preceded him.

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