Times have changed here in New York City over the past few days. Many of the empty streets are full again. Sadly they aren’t full of shoppers and diners milling about but rather protestors and rioters looting and burning. During the height of the Chinese virus crisis Mayor Bill de Blasio was in over his head and asked President Trump to send to the military to help. Trump sent them, they built a hospital and brought a hospital ship, two of those examples of the “absolutely nothing,” Trump did to fight the virus.
Now it is the president who is urging America’s worst mayor to take advantage of the world’s greatest military to quell the chaos in the city’s streets. But this time, bizarrely, De Blasio is refusing to take Trump up on his offer, even refusing to deploy the National Guard. It’s baffling, even Max Rose the Democratic congressman from Staten Island and Brooklyn says that De Blasio has lost control of the city and must bring in the guard.
It is perhaps understandable that De Blasio is reticent to bring in military forces that he does not have as much direct control over as he has over the NYPD. But his response thus far has been such a disaster, with so much violence, looting and destruction that he needs all the help he can get. And frankly, he has so little good will with the NYPD that they may be more fearful of him throwing them under the bus if it’s alleged that they overreact than they are of the city burning.
For his part, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has washed his hands of the situation faster than Pontius Pilate. For maybe the first time in recorded history Cuomo is saying basically saying, “Hey, that’s Hizzoner’s job, I’m staying out of it.” But he did, as always throw an elbow at De Blasio saying “The NYPD and the Mayor did not do their job last night.
Echoing Trump, Cuomo claims he has the authority to displace De Blasio and bring in the National Guard, but we aren’t at that point yet. Well, what point are we at exactly? Night after night cop cars burn, police get assaulted, stores get looted. What is the plan if not to bring in more forces to keep the peace?
De Blasio claims that the military is not trained to operate in American cities and could cause more harm than good. But this is nonsense, the military has assets like police, and vehicles that could play a huge role in turning the tide as it done before and is doing now all over the country. As with the coronavirus, De Blasio and Cuomo seem dead set on making sure that New York City has the worst response, the most devastation, and the greatest amount of economic harm.
Now Mayor “Don’t Leave Your Homes,” has announced that an 8 p.m. curfew will be in effect in Gotham until June 8. First of all, this is a horrible admission that he has no faith in his own ability to fix this problem in anything like a timely manner. And instead of accepting help from the military his answer is to tell New Yorkers who have been cooped up under a shutdown order for months to wait just a little longer. It is disgraceful.
De Blasio is right about one thing, bringing in military support probably isn’t the best option on the table. A better option would be for him to resign and have someone take over who can actually lead, and let the NYPD do its job, or is willing to admit and accept when he needs assistance.
Staten Island City Councilman Joe Borelli might have put it best, telling The Federalist, “As with everything De Blasio, there is no rhyme or reason. He is in denial.” For millions of New Yorkers that simply isn’t good enough.
The mayor should get this under control, call in the military or go away and leave the job to someone more competent than himself, which quite honestly might literally be any other person in New York City.