The New York Connection

Friday, May 06, 2005

Kidding on the Square

Ben Smith pierces Bloomberg:

The number of political operatives in this town not employed by the Mayor continues to drop...

It's a joke. But in my last conversation with a savvy operative (let's call him 'M'), M brought up precisely this point. If you've got two kids, a house, and a lifestyle to support, Mike will pay you $300k/year for help, which is pretty hard to turn down.

Let's look at what this means. The basis of our government is people, not ideology. Good people in government and politics means a good system of government. Stupid incompetent people in government and politics means a stupid, incompetent system. The lesson of Mike Bloomberg is that the route to advancement in government and politics is to make a lot of money and buy your way in. Why in their right mind would anyone with any talent or ambition want to go into government, politics, or advocacy when there's simply no hope to effect change unless you have billions or inside connections backing you?

To put it another way, George Bush is out of touch with the country because he's never had to deal with real life, floating on his connections and insider status as the son of a President. He doesn't have to listen, and he's not going to. Though his governance style is very different, why are Bloomberg's politics any different? And if Democrats don't use positions like the Mayorality of New York to build a stable of powerful politicians, what hope is there for us?


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