Daniel Doherty

Of course, I can understand why Detroit Mayor Dave Bing was outraged by these insensitive and gratuitous remarks – especially in light of the Boston city bombings last April that killed three and left hundreds injured. Beantown’s Mayor Thomas Menino certainly could have used more charitable language when voicing his frustrations with the city of Detroit. But at the same time, I see where he’s coming from (via WaPo):

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing accused his Boston counterpart of insensitivity Tuesday after Thomas Menino told a magazine that if he ever visited the Motor City, he’d “blow up the place and start all over.”

In a New York Times Magazine article that first appeared online last week, Menino said Detroit is a place he’d like to visit, then added the rest when asked what he’d do there.

“It is extremely regrettable that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino used such an unfortunate choice of words to describe what he would do if he came to Detroit,” said Bing, who is not running for re-election after one term as mayor. “I would think the mayor of a city that recently experienced a deadly bombing attack would be more sensitive and not use the phrase ‘blow up.’”

A spokeswoman for the Boston mayor said Menino “feels strongly about cities,” cares about Detroit’s problems and “would like to help in any way he can.”

“The mayor is sorry that people have taken offense,” Dot Joyce told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “It was never his intention.”

She said that Menino’s proposal to “blow up the place” meant to overhaul the broken systems that have helped bring down Detroit.

The mayor has since apologized and this unpleasant episode will likely be forgotten in the next news cycle; after all, Mr. Menino isn’t even running for re-election. But the mayor of Boston is undoubtedly right when he argues that the city’s “broken systems” need to be overhauled. Surely he is correct on this point, but let’s also not forget which political party has been in charge of the Motor City for -- oh, I don’t know -- the last five decades. Democrats have quite literally run Detroit into the ground (via NRO’s Mark Steyn):

By the time Detroit declared bankruptcy, Americans were so inured to the throbbing dirge of Motown’s Greatest Hits — 40 percent of its streetlamps don’t work; 210 of its 317 public parks have been permanently closed; it takes an hour for police to respond to a 9-1-1 call; only a third of its ambulances are driveable; one-third of the city has been abandoned; the local realtor offers houses on sale for a buck and still finds no takers; etc., etc. — Americans were so inured that the formal confirmation of a great city’s downfall was greeted with little more than a fatalistic shrug.

That, of course, should give you some sense of just how bad things are in Motown. Meanwhile, too many students are still stuck in failing schools; most cannot read at grade level and nearly half of all adults are functionally illiterate. This is precisely what one-party rule has wrought. And as much as the apologists try to spin the situation, Thomas Menino can really only blame one party for these failures: His own.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography