Hear the one about the mayor who speeds around town in several SUVs to execute and support his various environmental, biking and pro-mass-transit initiatives? The mogul who thinks he's the one to save the city from an economic crisis partially created by the technology he sold to the Wall Streeters? The zealot who insists we all eat well even as he wolfs down junk food with piles of salt on it? The populist who goes out of his way to make sure the people don't have a say in the running of the city? The self-professed anti-politician who attains offices by whoring himself out to the political party that will most quickly expedite his re-election?
Everything Bloomberg does seems rooted in the most flagrant hypocrisy and do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do self-delusion. A new example of this can be seen in an article in the New York Times today (which paper recently endorsed the would-be third-termer. Remember when one of the purposes of journalism was to bring discomfort to the comfortable?). Bloomberg's people are bemoaning the low turnout in the recent primary and runoff elections, and are determined to get the vote out next week.
“At the end of the day, every election is about one thing: making sure your supporters get to the polls and vote,” Lenny Speiller, the campaign’s get-out-the-vote director, declares on the Bloomberg Web site.
Recalling the record-low turnouts in last month’s primary and runoff, Mr. Speiller exhorts Bloomberg volunteers to shift into overdrive. “Our efforts have been and will continue to be the most expansive and effective grass-roots operation this city has ever seen,” he said in a blog post dated Friday. “Tonight we will knock on our 1,500,000th door, make our 550,000th volunteer phone call and hand out literature at our 4,000th transit stop and high traffic location — and if you think that’s impressive, you haven’t seen anything yet!”
Admirable. Let's put aside, for the moment, the ridiculousness of a campaign that has spend more millions than any other in New York City history calling itself a "grass-roots operation," and focus on what the Bloomberg camp seems to be missing. That is, if there is widespread apathy among New Yorkers at present, the Mayor created it. When an election is hopeless and corrupt, voters react in two ways: some get angry and fight, joining the opposition; but most throw up their hands, give up and walk away in disgust.
Most New Yorkers presently feel as though they have no say in how their City is run; no power whatsoever. Bloomberg's end run around term limits hollowed out voter will. We're all empty hulls now. Why go to the polls when it was clear long ago that Bloomberg had decided he was going to be Mayor as long as he liked, no matter what we said, thought or did? We can't stop him. That he wants our vote seems absurb and unnecessary. He's already King; does he really need us to act like serfs? If he can thwart voter will by overturning term limits expressly to serve his career and ego needs, can't he stuff the ballot box and otherwise fudge the results as he sees fit?
You can either run an honest and fair race, or you can have voter interest, Mike. You can't have both. If you don't give a fuck about us, a lot of us aren't going to give a fuck about you.
(Thanks to Restless for the picture.)