January 25, 2014

JAMES TARANTO: Why They Wish the Right Left: A social-psychology theory on Cuomo and de Blasio.

It’s worth savoring the irony that the first minor crisis of de Blasio’s administration ended with his being compelled to reassure the affluent that they’ll get their fair share of city services. And it’s not hard to see why. If de Blasio is to succeed, both as a mayor and as a candidate for re-election in 2017, he can’t afford to alienate the people who make up a large proportion of the city’s tax base and a significant share of its Democratic political base.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the next day–which is to say yesterday–de Blasio launched an attack, or rather reinforced one, on a minority he can afford to alienate. Breitbart.com’s Kerry Picket reports the mayor “emphatically backed New [York] Governor Andrew Cuomo’s controversial remarks that ‘extreme’ conservatives . . . ‘have no place in the state of New York.’ ”

“I stand by that 100%,” said the mayor who usually speaks in terms of “the 1%” vs. “the 99%.”

Cuomo made his comments last Friday in an interview with an Albany radio station. As the Post explained, the governor asserted “that members of the GOP with ‘extreme’ views are creating an identity crisis for their party and represent a bigger worry than Democrats such as himself.” He asked, “Who are they?” and answered: “Right to life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay–if that’s who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

Peggy Noonan conducted a useful script-flipping exercise in which she imagined a conservative governor, Frank “Boo” Burnham, of a conservative state, Mississippi, saying that people who agree with Cuomo on those topics “have no place in the state of Mississippi.”

The actual governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, has never said anything of the sort, and it’s difficult to imagine a conservative politician with the wherewithal to get elected statewide anywhere saying such a thing. To be sure, boneheaded and obnoxious statements from GOP pols are far from unheard of. But those who make them, as Noonan notes, generally come in for harsh criticism not only from the mainstream media but also from fellow Republicans.

Lefties get a pass on bigotry.