John Fund on “Red Dawn,” the De Blasio inauguration yesterday:
New York City — We all knew we were in for something completely different when the inauguration of self-described “progressive” Bill de Blasio as New York’s mayor began with a keynote from pro-Communist activist Harry Belafonte.
The 86-year-old singer has a history of extremism. He has been an infamous house guest of Fidel Castro, called Colin Powell and Condi Rice “house slaves” of the Bush administration, and last year compared the free-market Koch brothers to the Ku Klux Klan.
“We will be no longer a divided city,” he proclaimed as he compared today’s New York to a “Dickensian” nightmare, as departing mayor Mike Bloomberg looked on stone-faced. “We can become America’s DNA for the future.”
He was followed by the Reverend Fred Lucas Jr., whose talk was dominated by slavery metaphors and analogies. He compared New York’s five boroughs to a “plantation” and managed to cram into his short speech other references to slavery, such as “shackles,” “bondage,” “auction blocks,” “the Emancipation Proclamation,” the “Civil War,” and the “Reconstruction Era.”
It was almost a relief to then hear Letitia James, a former Legal Aid Society lawyer who is now the city’s new public advocate. She railed against “a gilded age of inequality,” “stop-and-frisk abuses,” and “land grabs for more luxury condos.” (There’s actually some truth in that last phrase.)
Bill Clinton then rose and tried to strike a little balance. But the crowd was having none of it. When he praised retiring mayor Bloomberg for leaving New York “stronger and healthier” after twelve years in office, there was dead silence.
The cheers were saved for de Blasio, who proclaimed a “new progressive direction” that will “take dead aim at the ‘Tale of Two Cities’” injustices he emphasized in his campaign.
Or as Noah Rothman of Mediaite tweets:
My apolitical wife just said that DeBlasio & Co.’s speeches reminds her of a Batman script.
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) January 1, 2014
When does Bane rig the bridges to explode?