Ed Driscoll

Mayor Mike, We Hardly Knew Ye

Back in August, when the Ground Zero Mosque had reached a fever-pitch of controversy, and exposed, yet again, the Grand Canyon-sized divide in thinking between Gentry or Ruling Class ‘Liberals’ and the rest of us, Jonah Goldberg explored how easy it would have been for Mike Bloomberg to have put the kibosh on the GZM in the first place:

Let’s start with the incandescent idiocy of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. If Bloomberg had a scintilla of foresight, he would have prevented anyone from ever hearing the words “Ground Zero” and “mosque” in the same sentence.

Bloomberg is not only the mayor. He’s also a billionaire with massive sway in the city’s media, finance, and cultural institutions. Moreover, the Big Apple is a Hieronymus Bosch hellscape for landlords and developers. Rent control, historic preservation, zoning, environmental impact, community protests, union delays — not to mention plain old red tape and corruption — offer enough tools to stop any project before it starts. (Heck, Ground Zero is still a gaping hole, and everyone has wanted that land to be developed, fast.)

The notion that Bloomberg couldn’t have quietly stopped this in New York is like saying Satan is powerless to do anything about the heat in Hades. He could have kept the molehill from becoming a mountain with an afternoon’s worth of phone calls. The center would be built, just not so close to Ground Zero; no big deal.

But instead of quietly extinguishing a controversy, Bloomberg said it was as important a “test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime.”

He also insists that opponents should be “ashamed” of their bigotry, even though he expects “special sensitivity” from the mosque’s backers. Apparently, it’s only shameful to think Ground Zero requires “special sensitivity” if you oppose the mosque. Bloomberg apparently needs a tutor to pass his own church-state test.

Flash-forward to today. Blogger Yid With Lid writes, “NY Mayor Bloomberg Was ‘In Cahoots’ With Planners of Ground Zero Mosque:”

This past summer it seemed as if every day Michael Bloomberg, the arrogant, out of touch Mayor of New York was making another speech implying that the opponents of the ground-zero mosque were either stupid or bigoted.  And when he wasn’t calling the mosque opponents names, he was  proclaiming there should be no compromise. What the Arrogant Mayor neglected to mention during any of his many rants is that the Ground Zero Mosque fight was fixed from the beginning. The Mayor had his top aides helping the mosque planners, writing letters for them and helping them politically navigate around the anti-mosque forces.

Emails released due to a FOIA lawsuit by The American Center for Law and Justice reveal

…City Hall had direct communications with the Mosque’s developers, explicitly tried to assist with the political process, and was involved with discussions between the developers and the Community Board 1.  An email from the developers’ attorney, Shelly Friedman, also acknowledged that Robert Tierney, the Chairman of the LPC, was seeking “political cover” from politicians in order not to landmark the building.

The emails released by City Hall revealed the coaching Bloomberg’s brass gave to the imam pushing to build the mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf.

Yid with Lid concludes:

It seems that these emails show more than the usual amount of support coming from the mayor’s office.  In fact they reveal another example of  Mayor Bloomberg’s contempt for the vast majority of  people of his own city, indeed the people of the United States. While people worked so hard to protect what they see as hallowed grounds, the Mayor’s office was sneaking behind their backs to fight against them.

And Kate of Small Dead Animals juxtaposes Bloomberg’s working with the GZM gang and this infamous quote from May of 2010 in the immediate wake of the would-be Time Square bomber:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed the Times Square car bombing was likely “homegrown” as he proceeded, in an interview excerpt run on Monday’s CBS Evening News, to speculate it could have been placed by “somebody with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”

Punitive liberalism: is there nothing it can’t corrupt?