Bloomberg’s pathetic pander

Bloomberg’s pathetic pander on ‘stop and frisk’ will fail

By Thomas Lifson

Michael Bloomberg has lost whatever respect I had for him as someone who would fight for what he regarded as right, even when he was wrong. Yes, it’s obnoxious to tell people what to eat and drink, but at least Bloomberg acted out of conviction and stuck to his guns.

But now, apparently desperate to make progress toward winning the Democrats’ presidential nomination, he’s gone and prostituted himself to curry favor with black voters, whom he recognizes are essential to any Democrat winning the Oval Office, Bloomberg has apologized for the “stop and frisk” policing policies that have saved thousands of lives of New Yorkers. Speaking at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center, he abjectly apologized for focusing on saving lives.

“Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong. I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand that back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I was totally focused on saving lives, but as we know, good intentions aren’t good enough. Now, hindsight is 20/20. But, as crime continued to come down as we reduced stops, and as it continued to come down during the next administration, to its credit, I now see that we could and should have acted sooner and acted faster to cut the stops. I wish we had. I’m sorry that we didn’t. But, I can’t change history. However today, I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong, and I’m sorry.”

It’s not going to work. New York Times op-ed writer Charles Blow is scathing:

This is a necessary apology, but a hard one to take, coming only now, as he considers a run for the Democratic nomination, a nomination that is nearly impossible to secure without the black vote.

It feels like the very definition of pandering. (snip)

It is also hard to take his apology seriously because as recently as January he was still vigorously defending the policy, making the incredulous and insulting claim that during the execution of stop-and-frisk “we certainly did not pick somebody by race.”

The New York Sun also sees the feint not helping Bloomberg:

What’s at issue now is how all this fits into Mr. Bloomberg’s presidential ambitions. His opening, if he has — or had — any, would be on the centrist side of what’s left of the Democratic Party. It has been beckoning since Vice President Biden began to flounder. The ex-veep himself started apologizing for all sorts of deeds (failing to defeat Clarence Thomas, say) that now shock the Democratic Party.

This is an opening for a Democratic candidate who will come in with an unapologetically centrist campaign — a defense capitalism, moderate taxation, a strong foreign policy. And who has the character, the grit to stick with it. If Mr. Bloomberg can’t even stand up for his signature policing program, how is he going to be able to defend the rest of the kind of platform on which he three times won a mandate to govern New York City from the center?

The answer is that Bloomberg can’t, and has sacrificed his chance at grabbing the support of the sane wing of the Democratic Party.


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