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The Mayor Needs a History Lesson

June 24, 2019

Mayor de Blasio, in his quixotic campaign for president, was the shrillest of his progressive rivals to lambast Joe Biden for saying he had worked successfully with segregationist senators to pass legislation.

“At least there was some civility,” said the former vice president. “We got things done.”

But de Blasio, who’s near the bottom of the presidential polls, couldn’t resist. “It’s 2019 and Joe Biden is longing for the good, old days of ‘civility’ typified by James Eastland,” de Blasio said, referring to the late Mississippi senator and segregationist. “Eastland thought my multiracial family should be illegal and that whites were entitled to the pursuit of dead n—rs.”

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD ConfidentialIn case you didn’t get it about his family, the mayor posted a photo of his black wife, Chirlane McCray, with their mixed-race son Dante and daughter Chiara.

Apparently the mayor never heard of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Or Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society. Both presidents made deals with racist southern lawmakers to pass landmark legislation. How does de Blasio think Roosevelt passed the Depression-era New Deal in the 1930s? How does de Blasio think Johnson passed his civil rights and anti-poverty legislation in the 1960s?

De Blasio was joined by at least four of his progressive Democratic colleagues — Senators Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren — in criticizing Biden, though none of them approached the mayor’s stridency.

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard LevittBooker, also riding low in the polls, said, “I’m disappointed he [Biden] hasn’t issued an immediate apology for the pain his words are dredging up for many Americans.”

Sanders said he agreed with Booker. Harris said that Biden’s remarks “concern me deeply.” Warren said, “It’s never OK to celebrate segregationists.”

What infuriates — and frightens — many moderate Democrats is the moral superiority and intellectual purity of de Blasio and the party’s progressive wing. Biden may be a wet dishrag of a candidate, but should de Blasio or one of his like-minded Democratic colleagues capture the party’s nomination, we could have four more years of Donald Trump.

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD ConfidentialIronically or hypocritically [chose your own adverb here], de Blasio has made deals with people whose philosophies he claims to abhor. Take Bill Bratton, de Blasio’s first police commissioner, who instituted a “zero-tolerance” policy 25 years ago under Mayor Rudy Giuliani when homicides in New York City topped 2,000 annually. Progressives now consider zero tolerance racist because sending so many black and Hispanic males to prison sundered innumerable black and Hispanic families.

Bratton’s appointment served both de Blasio and Bratton well. Bratton returned to a job he loved. And his law enforcement credibility gave de Blasio a certain credibility as well — credibility the mayor squanders tilting at windmills as he campaigns.

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Copyright © 2019 Leonard Levitt