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Political Memesmanship

There’s a meme abroad in the land. NYC mayor DeBlasio is the second-worst mayor in the history of New York City, after David Dinkins.

Now what kind of person would just happen to arrive at the last two Democrats to hold the office when compiling their “worst ever” list? If you said “partisan hack” you’re close — but no cigar. The correct answer is “lazy partisan hack.”

New York City has had 109 mayors, going all the way back to the year 1665. Do you think that the Post (etc.) carefully looked at the list and, wouldn’t you know it, picked these two? Doubtful. It’s probably more like the song surveys where you’re asked to vote for the top 100 songs OF ALL TIME and somehow the results are all from the last ten years.

I’ve got no particular brief for DeBlasio, he’s been kind of meh. Nothing much has changed, good or bad. I’m sorry he rubs people the wrong way but please.

But here are a few suggestions.

Jimmy Walker, forced to resign due to scandals and fled to Europe to escape prosecution.

Van Wyck who, despite eventually having a freeway named after him, was so disgraced by corruption scandals he left the inauguration of his successor out the back door of city hall and went unnoticed.

Fernando Wood, mayor during the early years of the Civil War and who pushed hard for New York City to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.

His successor George Opdyke. Draft rioters set fire to his house. Next time someone tells you how awful DeBlasio must be for the cops to turn their collective backs on him, think of this.

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Oh I forgot, there was the mayor who demanded the city’s emergency management headquarters be put into the World Trade Center so that he could have a place close to City Hall to get together with his mistress. Even though the WTC had already been the target of one destructive terrorist attack. It was of course destroyed on 9/11, just when it was needed the most. Downtown was a smoking pile of debris, but at least there weren’t any squeegee guys.

Or the mayor during the Revolutionary War, David Mathews, accused of participating in a plot to assassinate George Washington. Found guilty of treason, sentenced to death, escaped and fled the country.

That’s hard to top.

P.S. Tammany Hall

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