Back in September, The New York Times promoted Bill de Blasio's mayoral candidacy with an editorial titled, "Don't Fear the Squeegee Man." The editorial informed readers that crime wouldn't get worse under de Blasio because "policing is far better than it used to be, thanks to innovations by Mayor David Dinkins." (Emphasis added -- the Times was not being sarcastic.)
Under the policing "innovations" of Mayor Dinkins, the annual murder rate in New York City rose to an all-time high of 2,245 in Dinkins' first year in office. After four years of hard work, the murder rate had dropped by about 10 percent, to a merely astronomical 1,995 per year.
In Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's very first year in office, the murder rate fell 20 percent. The Times acknowledged the dramatic drop in crime with an article titled, "New York City Crime Falls But Just Why Is a Mystery." By Giuliani's last year in office, there were only 714 murders in the entire city, a drop of 64 percent from Dinkins' personal best. By continuing Giuliani's aggressive crime policies, Mayor Michael Bloomberg got the murder rate for 2012 down to 419 in a city of 8 million people.
But at the Times, they think we've been living in hell since Giuliani's election, and the most urgent priority for the next mayor is to get back to Dinkins' New York.
They're not alone. (Thus de Blasio's election.) In 2001, Richard Goldstein of The Village Voice announced on MSNBC'S "Hardball," "I feel less safe today in New York City than I did 20 years ago." This was a position Goldstein developed after taking a vow to never leave his apartment, allow visitors, read a newspaper, watch TV or listen to the radio.
A couple of weeks ago, the Times ran another item downplaying the coming crime surge under Mayor de Blasio. Former hedge fund manager Neil Barsky wrote a column mocking his fellow 1-percenters for fretting about the new mayor with this advice: "Calm down." (I find few balms as soothing as being told to "calm down.")
Reluctantly, Barsky admitted (17 times) that he is a very rich man. As he explained, he, too, enjoys the city having been turned into a "a millionaires' playground" and having a mayor who is "one of us." (Bloomberg's not one of me, buster.) He sniffed that he found "this affluent angst more than a bit overwrought."
They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
Liberal zealots view de Blasio as a breath of fresh air because he's stuck in policies of the 1960s. That's when Americans were assured by brain-dead liberals that if we could just improve criminals' self-esteem, crime would disappear. You'll see!
The result? The violent crime rate quadrupled.
We never got an apology on behalf of the tens of thousands of Americans who were murdered, maimed, raped and robbed as a direct result of liberal law enforcement strategies -- much less the show trials these people deserved.
Liberal activists just waited out Giuliani and Bloomberg. Now they're ready to retry all the old ideas. Mayor-elect de Blasio recently met with convicted criminals to get their views on policing policies. Wow! Look at de Blasio's new ideas!
The ex-cons actually complained to de Blasio that they don't like being watched so much.
The left simply refuses to believe that locking up criminals has any effect on crime and insists we just need to explain to them that committing violent felonies is wrong. (New York Times headline from Aug. 10, 2000: "Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction.") It's strange because liberals totally understand cause-and-effect when it comes to ... well, um, nothing.
Suggesting that the "1 percent" – such as himself -- are the most terrified of a de Blasio mayoralty, Barsky claimed that the massively rich have been the primary beneficiaries of record-low crime rates in New York -- "those who can actually afford its housing, attend concerts in Lincoln Center, eat in its fancy restaurants and pay for parking to boot."
That could be said only by someone who has never been the victim of a violent crime. Could someone please mug this guy?
The rich in New York are always the last to experience a spike in crime. They might not even notice when the murder, rape and robbery rates go through the roof under de Blasio -- for the very reasons Barsky names: They can afford expensive neighborhoods, paid parking and concerts at Lincoln Center.
It's the poor and middle-class New Yorkers, unprotected by doormen, chauffeurs and ticket-takers, who will be the first victims of de Blasio's innovative new ideas on policing.
The non-1 percent live in neighborhoods that aren't the province of multimillionaires, with doormen standing guard every 15 yards. They park their cars on the street, eat lunch in public parks and attend free concerts -- all of which are also open to criminals. New-wave Brooklyn is about to become crime-wave Brooklyn.
For a newspaper that claims not to be worried about rising crime rates under de Blasio, the Times sure dedicates a lot of ink to assuring us that it's not going to happen – and if it does, it won’t be de Blasio’s fault. In anticipation of a return to the glory days of David Dinkins, let me be the first to say, I told you so.