I've never been a fan of term limits. I think term limits have always been built into the system; it's called voting. You don't like someone, vote him out. There: his term has been limited. No additional law is needed.
But term limits have been approved by New York voters twice in the past several years. It's what they want. But it's not what power-coveting, attention-loving, law-flouting, two-faced Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants. In the past he has supported term limits. He has even called the idea to revise the term limit law "disgusting." But that when the law applied to others, not to him. Now that it applies to him, he wants that law GONE.
Our mayor is a hypocrite. Our mayor is a double-dealer. Our mayor is 66 and is the richest man in the City, one of the richest in the nation, and yet it's not enough. He needs to be a civic savior, a man of power and consequence, Mr. Popularity. And since nobody wanted him to be President, and nobody asked him to be Vice-President, and Governor Patterson is looking more and more formidable an opponent with each passing day, holding on to City Hall is the only way he can stay in the papers, the only way reporters will still listen to what he has to say about the environment, the future, affairs of state and trans-fats.
The rationale that is being put forward—and it's as cynical and opportunistic as Giuliani's was back in 2001, when he said the events of 9/11 demanded he stay in power—is that, as the Times put it, "the worldwide financial crisis — with its potentially severe impact on New York City — demands his steady hand and business experience."
Uh huh. Excuse me, but that financial crisis happened on Bloomberg's watch. Unless I missed something, he was mayor during the years in which the mortgage bubble grew and grew. I don't remember him warning us of impending danger. I don't remember him berating Wall Street, the Fed, the SEC and Treasury Secretary for their reckless behavior. I think, instead, he said a lot of stuff about how the economy was robust and the city was doing well. Bloomberg's a Wall Street guy. He knows all the players. I'm sure he lunches with them, gets them on the horn every day. He did nothing to avert this disaster. He was an enabler.
The Times wrote, "In the business community, however, the idea of a Bloomberg third term is popular. At charity balls and on golf courses, executives like the financier Steven Rattner, the developer Jerry I. Speyer and the media mogul Rupert Murdoch have encouraged him to seek a third term." Well, of course they do. Bloomberg has handed over the city to business interests over the past seven years. He is fecklessly pro-business. That's why we have a corrupt DOB.
A few months ago, I thought the Times and other papers were beginning to see through this petty megalomaniac. But now the Daily News and the Post are encouraging him to run again. On Oct. 1, the Times will print an editorial asking the term limits be abolished. What is going on? Is Bloomberg buying everybody off? Why do people so easily let his political machinations slide?
If he gets his way, we can add political crisis to the other crises New York is currently suffering.