I should probably just make a habit of writing every day about something dumb someone at the New York Times says. Oh, I would probably get bored with it, but on the other hand, it would probably be a public service.
So, anyway, here’s an entry from 24 February.
But make America great again, right? https://t.co/PfDXcZ2wBA
— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) February 24, 2020
The underlying story is a nice example of what local news should be doing: rubbing the local governments’ noses in their failures.
DAY 2 NO RUNNING WATER: Hundreds of families in 3 buildings still don’t have running water at the Taft Houses in East Harlem. A water main break caused 9 buildings 3,000 people lost water service. Live at 5:15 with the latest on when water will be restored.
But Gay, a member of the NYT Editorial Board, follows that with “But Make America Great Again.”
Admittedly, the obvious and justified retorts are from my friends, Jim Treacher and “Liberty Gypsy” Stacey:
Who's the mayor of New York City?
— China is lying (@jtLOL) February 25, 2020
Hi Mara. You may wish to speak to the Mayor. We have not & should not federalize public utilities. You’d think with the ridiculous state & local taxes NYers pay, they’d have the best in the world.
— Stacey – Queen of #CorporateMediaDistancing (@ScotsFyre) February 25, 2020
I certainly encourage you to go back to Twitter and join in the justified derision.
The thing that struck me, however, is what we can infer from the tweet itself. It’s obviously snark at President Trump, but what does it imply about Gay’s attitude to the presidency?
Let’s hypothesize that Trump was to take this seriously, and try to act on it. What could he do?
I’m really trying to run through the possibilities of what Trump himself could do about a water main break in Harlem. He could call out de Blasio for it, and that would make perfect sense. But what about Gay, a member of the editorial board of New York City’s most famous newspaper? Wouldn’t you think she would have more leverage with de Blasio? Wouldn’t you imagine he would be a better focus for her attention?
If, for whatever reason — like not finding out that her parking place has had a fireplug added to it — she doesn’t want to call it out to de Blasio, how about Andrew Cuomo, who certainly doesn’t seem to have any firm boundaries on what he can and cannot do with the power of government.
Of course, Trump could also raise it with Cuomo himself. Hell, he’s still a New York property owner and a pretty major one, even if he’s officially moved to Florida.
But still, considering the warmth and mutual regard between Trump and Cuomo, wouldn’t you think Gay might have more likelihood of getting results?
So, seriously, what does she want Trump to do about it? Activate the National Guard and take over NYC utilities? Is that the right role for Trump or the National Guard? And how many people in New York would be screaming about Trump’s fascist dictatorship for nationalizing part of New York’s government?
I think what this is showing us is that Gay and many many others of her political ilk are primarily addicted to magical thinking. They think the presidency has magical powers and can make anything happen if the president will just exert him/her/zem/zir-self.
But honestly, isn’t that just the sort of “fascist” control they keep accusing Trump of wanting?