Carol Platt Liebau
It turns out that the hideously mismanaged snow-removal debacle in Manhattan was a form of union protest against budget cuts.  No doubt it will be an enormous comfort to loved ones of those who died because emergency vehicles couldn't reach them to learn that the deaths were in the service of the great cause of protecting union prerogatives (especially given how CLEARLY underprivileged some of these union people are).

But if there's anyone this news hurts politically, it's New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who's cultivated a reputation for efficiency.  Given that he's the king of the Nanny-State-Know-It-Alls, in most cases, that wouldn't bother me much.   But there's been speculation that he might run for President -- and his campaign would probably pick off a lot of the independent/moderate/slightly left types who went for Obama the last time, are disenchanted with him now, but who would hardly ever vote Republican no matter what.

To the extent that this disaster is yet more evidence that mayors should spend less timetrying to rmicromanage food regulations than in ensuring that vital city services can be delivered during emergencies, it's an important (though tragic) reminder.  But -- not even counting the incalculable human cost of the lost lives -- to the extent it makes less likely a Bloomberg run for President, it's regrettable. 



Carol Platt Liebau

Carol Platt Liebau is an attorney, political commentator and guest radio talk show host based near New York. Learn more about her new book, "Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Hurts Young Women (and America, Too!)" here.

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