Thursday, January 26, 2017

Listen, Mayor de Blasio. In addition to standing up to President Trump, why not stand down from his security?

Donald Trumps's personal security involves littering New York most
fashionable avenue with dump trucks, blocking traffic, creating congestion,
murdering retail businesses and then sticking New York's taxpayers with the
bill. (Photograph: NBC News)
New York was once the only American city that had its own foreign policy, distinct from, and in fact in direct contradiction to, the foreign policy of the United States.

That was under the administration of one of Donald Trump’s political cronies, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who didn’t give a flying fiddlestick what the State Department or the President  of the United States wanted because Giuliani was…well, Giuliani.

Yasser gets the heave-ho
 —a case in point:
On Monday October 23, 1995, Mayor Rudy Giuliani noisily ejected PLO leader Yasser Arafat from a concert at Lincoln Center that had been scheduled to entertain world leaders in town for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. President Clinton condemned Mr. Giuliani’s “embarrassing breach of international diplomacy” and former Mayors Dinkins and Koch joined the chorus of those embarrassed that the mayor, who had personally selected Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, had injected politics into the celebration.
By the way, this account was reported, with another paragraph gushing approval of the ejection, by the New York Observer, a weekly newspaper owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

But that wasn’t the only embarrassment perpetrated by the out-of-control mayor. That same year, Imprudent Rudy declared Fidel Castro  persona non grata during a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.

Relics of Giuliani’s Independent Republic of New York persist to this day. The corner of Lexington Avenue at East 37th Street, was renamed “Hermanos al Rescate,” or “Brothers to the Rescue,” under the Giuliani administration. Last I looked, decades after Giuliani crawled back under his rock, the street signs were still up.

The Hermanos al Rescate corner commemorates the badly planned and disastrously executed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by some Cuban exiles, a rescue that never rescued anybody. Nothing wrong with commemorating it anyway, I suppose — except that the Cuban mission to the United Nations is right on that street corner.

Imagine if, in a foreign country, right in front of an American embassy, some municipal government renamed a block “U.S.A. Sucks Street.” Get the idea? Now let's shift the subject slightly 

The war of the mayors

Presently, there's an incipient war brewing between the Trump administration and the mayors of several important American cities, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Haven, Syracuse, and Austin, among them. 

These are considered “sanctuary cities,” which essentially means that to the extent possible, the cities will not assist in the rounding up and deportation of undocumented aliens, including those who grew up here and for all intents and purposes are at least as American as Melania Trump.

Rudy Giuliani established the precedent for this kind of defiance, but it now has Donald Trump foaming at the mouth. He declared that if you dare — dare! — not spend your city’s precious resources busting down doors and arresting hard-working immigrants and their essentially-American kids, you “are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes.”

In other words, go along with Trump or he’ll grab you by the p-p-p-purse strings and twist so painfully, your city will fall apart.

New York, at least, has an antidote to that. Trump lives here, almost smack dab in the center of town, in a multi-multi-million dollar skyscraper. He has been coming back to New York — and evidently plans to keep coming back — just about every weekend.

This is a busy street corner in a shopping and business area that is also attractive to tourists, tens of thousands of pedestrians, and many thousands of motor vehicles of all sorts. Consequently, the Secret Service alone can’t possibly provide the President with presidential security. 

Garbage trucks, killed retailers,
and other signs of Donald Trump

The Secret Service has turned to the New York Police Department, which blocks off streets with sand-laden garbage trucks, floods the area with patrolmen and paramilitary equipment, stops pedestrians to inspect their baggage, and constantly disrupts the city, and which by the way is also killing walk-in customer traffic at Tiffany’s and other high-end merchant shops.

All those costs the taxpayers — of New York and not of the rest of the United States — about a million bucks a day in out-of-pocket costs for police salaries, overtime and other charges. So far, the Republican Congress in Washington  has generously offered to compensate the city to the extent of $7 million, or about a week’s worth of security. After that, Congress seems to be saying, the other 51 weeks are on us.

Well, hell no! If the Trump administration is going to shaft us for not letting our cops waste their time running around trying to sort out who’s an undocumented immigrant from who merely has a dark skin, and then busting waiters and nannies instead of hard core thugs — and then Congress shafts us with miserly compensation for presidential security — let’s not provide any presidential security.

The old Giuliani
defiance trick

It’s time for Mayor Bill de Blasio to pull a Giuliani, by pulling every cop in New York off the Trump security detail. If Trump wants to keep coming to New York and upsetting everybody’s life for his own convenience and pleasure, let him pay for it himself. Or let the U.S. Government pay for it.

But with caveats: No blocking off the streets any more. No barricades against pedestrians. Donald Trump can pack his own lobby with all the Secret Service and private gumshoes he wants,  but the police state stops outside the front door of 725 Fifth Avenue. Further, any government vehicles of any kind illegally parked or otherwise impeding traffic at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street will be subject to ticketing and towing.

What can Trump do? Cut off funds that he and Congress have already cut off?

Oh, and one more modest proposal, Mayor de Blasio. Let’s rename the street corner. Instead of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, it should be called Short Fingers Avenue and Really Low Ratings Street. 

1 comment:

Buttermilk Sky said...

Actually the Hermanos corner has nothing to do with the Bay of Pigs. It commemorates some Cuban terrorists, uh, freedom fighters from Florida who were shot down in Cuban air space much more recently. Last time I was there the sidewalk in front of the UN Mission was still closed to pedestrians because of bomb threats from other freedom-lovers. The rest of your post is right on. Let the emperor pay for his own Praetorian Guard.