The lesson here is that, when you run a police state, it runs you.
Cops who live in New York City vote, but there are lots of other voters as well. Bill de Blasio, who is as vile and disgusting a politician as we have in this country, naturally needed voter support to win. So, like any politician who wants to win an election, he put together a coalition that he hoped would win him the prize of running the organized crime syndicate that is the New York City government. (Note: I’m not denying the legitimacy of the city government, merely describing their corruption and moral behavior.)
But now it turns out there is more than one syndicate vying for power in New York City. The NYPD—a group I may have, in the past, unfairly blamed on de Blasio—is now obviously a power unto itself. It has been so for many years but it is now becoming obvious to the public. Thus, we read at Politico.com,
You can’t be big-city mayor and alienate the cops – and that’s just as true now as it was under three-term New York City Mayor Ed Koch, or even a century ago.
“Koch was loved by the cops and always told all his successors that you must have the support of the cops, that the cops can be your best friend. If Koch were alive today that’s what he would tell Bill de Blasio,” said George Arzt, former press secretary to Koch, whose election in 1977 election greatly improved City Hall-police relations.
De Blasio “needs to press reset in his relationship with the cops,” Arzt said.
Good luck with that. The bad blood between the NYPD and de Blasio is nothing new – it dates back to an election campaign centered on de Blasio’s withering criticism of the Bloomberg administration’s stop-and-frisk policy, and his close alliance with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has organized scores of protests targeting cops over their behavior toward urban blacks.
According to a former de Blasio aide, during the general election campaign in 2013, de Blasio’s team was even convinced that members of his police detail were eavesdropping on his private conversations in his city-assigned car. Things got so bad that de Blasio, according to the staffer, would step into the street to make sure he was out of earshot of plainclothes officers.
I have to admit, I feel nothing but joy that de Blasio is stuck in a battle with another force in the city. The more he is occupied with survival, the more he will not have the time or energy to focus on harassing pro-lifers who are trying to reduce the city’s shameful Nazi abortion record, and many other things. Besides, if de Blasio knew he had problems with the cops he doesn’t seem to have tried to do anything to stop aggravating the issues.
But what about the next time the voters of New York City hold an election? And what about other big cities that are not much different? The police are supposed be under the control of the city government, which is supposed to be accountable to the voters. By allowing the police to unionize, we have effectively made them an autonomous power to themselves. Since they aren’t accountable to the politicians, the politicians are accountable to them.
There are good reasons and bad reasons why a police force would love a mayor. But the mayor’s job should not depend on meeting their demands.
How long before a presidential candidate has to worry about this sort of thing with the NSA and the other Federal security agencies? Or has it already happened?