Why So Many US Democrat Cities Are Paralyzed, by John Rubino.
Sympathy for America’s big-city mayors and their allies is evaporating –- generally for good reason. Portland and Seattle, for instance, seemed willing to give rioters a free hand before belatedly stepping in. And of course there’s the amazing quote from Chris Cuomo, the brother of New York’s Governor : “Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful.”
The worst-run cities will pay a huge price for this indecision when rioters finally leave but shoppers and merchants don’t come back. …
Factor 1: They’re irredeemably broke because of previous left wing policies.
It’s easy to forget that less than a year ago – when the national economy seemed pretty strong and people were borrowing and spending with abandon – the unfunded liabilities of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and a long list of other venerable cities were already out of control and threatening those governments’ solvency. …
Today’s big-city mayors are just the latest in a long line of leaders who bought labor peace and public sector votes by paying teachers, police, and firefighters way more than was mathematically possible in the long run. But the way can-kicking works is that the people who start the game get out with their reps and fortunes intact while the people in charge at the end get all the blame. In other words, today’s mayors were in deep trouble even in a normal business cycle. …
Factor 2: The self-image of a Democrat mayor is of an activist leading the protests. But the protestors reject them.
Most big-city mayors are liberals, which isn’t surprising given the voting patterns of urban populations. And not just any old liberals, but hard-core, all-in civil-rights-obsessed liberals who remember (or grew up on tales of) the civil rights movement of the 1960s and have modeled their political lives accordingly.
Most of them fantasize about being this generation’s Marin Luther King, leading a massive march on Washington that forces historic changes in how the least among us are treated.
They thought they’d finally gotten their chance when the current protests erupted, and gleefully tried to get in front of the crowd, no doubt hoping to not just encourage it but lead it.
That’s an admirable goal. But this is not Martin Luther King’s movement.
When, for instance, the mayor of Portland showed up expecting to be welcomed with open arms — he was one of them after all — the reaction was just slightly different. [They rudely wouldn’t even let him speak at the protest.]
Now Portland and Seattle look like the set of a Mad Max film, and their mayors, along with many others across the country, are confronting not just riots, but a repudiation of their life’s work. If they’re not civil rights leaders, what are they?
That – not their supposed hard-core Marxism — explains the mayors’ indecision: They know they’re required to protect their small businesses and peaceful citizens. But to do that they have to cross their people, who, until just a couple of weeks ago, defined the mayors’ political careers. They’d sooner arrest their own children.
Put another way, big-city Democrat mayors have gone from being — in their own minds — exactly the right people for this historical moment to being exactly the wrong people. They have no idea how to reconcile their self-image and life’s work with this baffling new world, and they’re paralyzed.
Rejected by the protestors, the Democrat mayors are suddenly finding they are the man. A man with impossible debts inherited from others, who has to cut people’s benefits and city services. They are so screwed. Like all of the current short-sighted Democrat leadership.