De Blasio Lives Down to Conservative Stereotypes of Leftist Politicians After Latest Parade Ban

Posted: May 10, 2021 1:05 PM
De Blasio Lives Down to Conservative Stereotypes of Leftist Politicians After Latest Parade Ban

Source: AP Photo/John Minchillo

Leftist politicians sometimes find ways to live down to conservative stereotypes of leftist politicians. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has been an awful leader, and the race is on to replace him in the upcoming election. Quite a few New Yorkers will be pleased to see De Blasio exit stage left, perhaps none more so than a group of veterans from Staten Island who says it's been unfairly treated by the city – and effectively punished for going through proper channels in order to arrange a march on Memorial Day. 

The juxtaposition here is quite something:

Mayor de Blasio is refusing to allow a group of military veterans to march on Staten Island on Memorial Day — after welcoming public pot smokers to puff their way down Broadway in last week’s Cannabis Parade. “It’s a slap in the face,” Jamie Gonzalez, 57, a Marine infantryman who saw combat in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, told The Post. Gulf War vets like Gonzalez were set to be given special honors in Staten Island’s 102nd annual Memorial Day Parade this year to mark the 1991 conflict’s 30th anniversary — until the city pulled the plug. “For many of us, a parade is a form of closure,” Gonzalez said. “We gather together and support each other.” “I’m incensed,” said Ted Cohen, 82, a retired Air Force reservist who was on alert through the Cuban Missile Crisis. “It’s pathetic.”

"Pathetic" doesn't quite suffice. Here's what the New York Post reports went down:

The United Staten Island Veterans Organization, the association of 16 local vets’ groups that has sponsored the annual march for decades, filed a request for a parade permit with the NYPD on Feb. 27, following the same procedure they use every year in keeping with the city’s official rules.  On March 9, the department nixed the request, citing de Blasio’s emergency executive order restricting public events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. City Hall did not respond to a message seeking comment. The brush-off came despite myriad marches in the last year that have been recognized by the city, officially escorted by cops, and often featured elected officials in the line of march. They included a slimmed-down St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March, when de Blasio participated; countless Black Lives Matters protest marches; and the cannabis rally and parade May 1, when revelers hoisted a huge inflatable spliff along a 17-block route and heard speeches from Sen. Chuck Schumer among others. One city official said that the vets have become caught in the bureaucratic no-man’s-land of de Blasio’s haphazard coronavirus rules.

"The Staten Island people had the decorum and respect to go the proper way [and] they are suffering for their civic-mindedness," an unnamed official said, underscoring the capriciousness of the city's decisions. "No one else is even asking permission." This is reminiscent of some jurisdictions' maddeningly disparate treatment of Tea Party groups and so-called "occupy" movements. An attorney representing the vets has sent a follow-up letter to New York City demanding this matter be reconsidered, and legal action is being threatened. Cannabis rally organizers say they managed to get their event green-lit by going through the city parks department. Having screwed this up badly, I wouldn't be surprised to see this indefensible denial reversed by the city. An outdoor march by veterans on Memorial Day, supposedly disallowed because of COVID? After what the city has been through over the past year-plus, and in spite of everything we know about "minuscule" Coronavirus transmission outdoors? Really? Meanwhile, it looks likely that De Blasio will be succeeded by someone less left-wing, less performatively woke, and and less aggressively obnoxious. The latest polls show the top two candidates in the Democratic mayoral primary are Andrew Yang and Eric Adams. Here's how Yang is campaigning: 

And here's a passage about Adams:

Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer running for New York City mayor, has been differentiating himself from the Democratic field as a pro-public safety candidate who sees more police as part of the solution. In an interview with New York Magazine published Tuesday, Adams said the "defund the police" movement is led not by people of color in the Big Apple, but rather by young white professionals. "Now, this is really being led by a different demographic," Adams said. "There are a lot of young white affluent people who are coming in and setting the conversation."

With violent crime on the rise, including a recent shooting at a prominent restaurant, one might imagine that voters won't be excited about reducing funds for law enforcement, as De Blasio has. And this just happened in tourist central:

But frustrated, frightened, and fed up New Yorkers can at least console themselves with the knowledge that at least they're not living in Portland (content warning):