[UPDATE: Meritorious bonus image at the bottom. Don’t miss it. – J.E.]
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken his share of criticism for scooting out of town on short notice to hang on the fringes of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. A lot of New Yorkers think the city has plenty of problems to keep the mayor busy, and he doesn’t need to be spending his time on political posturing overseas.
So it’s a good thing de Blasio didn’t take off for Germany for any light or transient reason.
It turns out he wasn’t just interested in the “Hamburg Shows Attitude” rally for the water cannons. De Blasio was invited to be the protest demonstration’s keynote speaker. And speak he did, urging Hamburgers and a waiting world to understand that — as the Washington Post puts it — “Americans don’t align with Trump.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Americans’ views don’t align with President Trump’s and need to be represented abroad.
“While the national governments will probably only make limited progress, the rest of us don’t have that choice. If we make only limited progress we’ll only be going backwards,” de Blasio told Bloomberg before speaking at a Saturday protest that coincides with the Group of 20 summit attended by Trump and other world leaders in Germany. “We almost have Washington as an island at this point, unrepresentative of the views of the American people on many levels, and that’s going to take a different kind of politics to address.”
De Blasio’s speech at the protest, called “Hamburg Shows Attitude,” reflected a similar theme of citizens and localities defying the policies of the national government, specifically on issues such as climate change and marriage equality.
Before moving on, here’s an obligatory meme tweet from de Blasio’s press secretary:
On the tens of thousands of peaceful protesters in Hamburg: "We have a phrase in America we like to use: This is what democracy looks like." pic.twitter.com/WjkQWCoiId
— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) July 8, 2017
In a sense, de Blasio seemed to be having a strange episode of Opposite Day utterances, at least going by the ones WaPo cites. Consider this one again:
We almost have Washington as an island at this point, unrepresentative of the views of the American people on many levels, and that’s going to take a different kind of politics to address.
Well, yeah, no kidding. But the valid meaning of that statement is exactly the opposite of de Blasio’s intended meaning. Washington is an unrepresentative island these days: an essentially sold-out center of big-government progressivism, crony collusion between government and special interests, and fear of the mainstream media.
Trump is a fish out of water in that entrenched environment, and he was elected precisely for that reason. Washington is an unrepresentative island at this point because it vibrates to the tune of people like de Blasio.
Besides proclaiming that American cities are themselves signing on to the Paris Accords (which in a few cases is true, for whatever that’s actually worth), de Blasio made another Opposite Day point with an arguably gratuitous reference to same-sex marriage:
On achieving marriage equality in the United States, de Blasio said that “it wasn’t the choice of some politicians, but the people made it happen.”
Well, no. The people voted to uphold traditional marriage dozens of times. What the people did was get a lot of traditional-marriage laws enacted in the states. It was some of the courts, ruling on challenges from activists, that threw the situation into a still-unresolved non-stasis, in which the Supreme Court has ruled that the people can’t vote to restrict state recognition to traditional marriage. Yet those state laws are still on the books. The Supreme Court has no power to force the states to change their laws, and the states haven’t rushed to do so.
American life is surviving this destabilizing consequence, for the time being. But the rule of law won’t survive an unresolved continuation of it.
And none of this is what “the people” made happen. On the other hand, the election of Donald Trump — like the election of Bill de Blasio — is something the people did actually make happen.
I suppose some energetic folks will see a pretext for charging de Blasio with violating the Logan Act, by purporting to represent the interests of the United States abroad in defiance of the president. I won’t be signing on for that one (for one thing, I don’t think the Logan Act is really applicable, since it’s not clear that de Blasio was negotiating anything on this trip. He’s just grandstanding).
His silly turn on the radical-protest stage speaks for itself anyway. He’s way out of touch — not just with New Yorkers sick of rapidly worsening urban conditions like crime, vagrancy, litter, and a failing train system — but with the ocean of “red” America outside New York City. He’s got nothing. It’s even a bit pathetic at this point.
NY Post’s Cover Captures Bill De Blasio’s Germany Debacle Perfectly:
— Jeffrey D. Dickson (@jddickson) July 9, 2017