Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Arrogance of Power

Mayor Bloomberg has managed to avoid most of the ugly, petty scandals that dog so many politicians. His money and popularity, for years, kept him above reproach. But his popularity has plummeted and his share of problems have increased (Cathie Black, the snowstorm, City Time, etc.). Now, for the first time in his decade in power, Bloomberg's has been revealed to be just another politician.

Last month, Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith resigned, allegedly because he wanted to go back into the private sector and because he was ill-suited for the job. He is widely blamed for screwing up the December snowstorm response and he seemed more interested in fancy ideas instead of the nuts and bolts of governing. So when he resigned it was shrugged off by Bloomberg and the press as, "Oh well, it seemed like a good idea at the time but it just didn't work out."

But that wasn't true. 

Turns out, Goldsmith resigned because he was arrested in DC in July for domestic violence. Now that's bad but what made it worse was that Bloomberg covered it up! He lied to the public at the time, said basically, "The guy's resigning because he's unhappy in the job and we don't like him anymore." Bloomberg NEVER revealed the real reason and it dribbled out in the most sleazy manor.

And what's Bloomberg's response now that scandal has been revealed? Total indifference. He basically says "Oh, I didn't want to embarrass the guy so that's why I didn't reveal it. But I liked him and would have kept him in the job anyway." Bloomberg flunked the basic lesson of Political Scandal 101: it's not the crime but the cover-up. Had he just said at the time the real reason why Goldsmith resigned, then there would be no scandal. It would be out he goes and that's the end of it. Shameful.

This shows you who Mike Bloomberg really is at his core. He is supremely arrogant man. And this is the arrogance of power in action: protecting your friends, and yourself by extension, by deceiving everyone else. It's wrong -- and our mayor should be ashamed of himself.    

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