July 25, 2012
JAMES TARANTO: More Thoughts on Bloomberg’s Idiotic Police-Strike Plan.
We are unable to comprehend what Bloomberg could have in mind when he says he didn’t mean his comment “literally.” Last year, when lefties went hysterical over “violent” and “eliminationist” rhetoric from the right, it was clear that almost all of the examples they cited were not literal. Politicians and political observers have long drawn metaphors from the language of combat. Some such metaphors, like the word “campaign,” are so ingrained in the language that they are dead ones.
By contrast, as far as we know there is no metaphorical meaning of the phrase “go on strike.” Further, the context of Bloomberg’s remarks makes clear that he did mean the phrase literally. Merriam-Webster defines strike as “a work stoppage by a body of workers to enforce compliance with demands made on an employer.” Bloomberg said he wants police to declare “collectively”: “We’re not going to protect you. Unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.”
I predict that such a strike — not that it’s likely to happen — would lead to less crime, and far less political support for the police. Meanwhile, just to prepare against the eventuality, I think I’ll go buy a gun.
The prospect of police shirking their duty to protect the citizenry strengthens, not weakens, the case for private ownership of firearms and other tools of self-defense.
A police strike, as Bloomberg figured out a day late, is illegal in itself. Bloomberg’s strike would be for the purpose of curtailing the citizenry’s constitutional rights. The mayor urged an unlawful rebellion by government employees against their employers, the people. Since ours is a government of the people, established by the Constitution, this was nothing less than a call for insurrection.
Bloomberg’s an embarrassment to New York. They should be ashamed to have such an ignorant, anti-civil-rights hick running the show.
UPDATE: Mike Bloomberg, criminal? It’s not just the strike that’s illegal. It’s also illegal in New York for public employees to call for one:
You may be familiar with the Taylor Law for its prohibition on strikes by public employees, such as teachers, transit workers, and, yes, police officers. But the law also declares that “no public employee or employee organization shall cause, instigate, encourage, or condone a strike.” Bloomberg is a public employee, no? And he appears to be encouraging a strike? Not that we expect Bloomberg to be brought up on charges or anything, but still, he’s the mayor! He’s not supposed to be violating the law.
He may wriggle out on a technicality, but that’s hardly the point. A truly pathetic exhibition by an increasingly embarrassing politician.