The left is still in denial about the Democratic machine that ate Detroit. The NYT often laments the plight of public employees but turns a blind eye to the criminals who looted their pension funds. Now The Nation bemoans the austerity measures made by Detroit’s new “emergency manager” without a single word about corruption, the disgrace of its former mayor, or the theft of public money. The Nation’s main concern, rather, is that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the emergency manager have no democratic legitimacy in shaking up Detroit, which the author dismisses as “part of a push to undermine union contracts and cut services.”
In truth, it’s not hard to sympathize with some of the problems the article raises. But its refusal to even allude to Detroit’s destructive Democratic political machine does a disservice to the people who have suffered the most as the city has fallen into ruin.
Unless the Left deals seriously with the issue of dysfunctional and corrupt urban machines, it isn’t dealing with the reality of why some cities are in such worse shape than others, and why state officials and non-urban governments don’t want to bail out city governments they see as deeply flawed. As parts of the engine that drives the American Left, the New York Times, The Nation, and national figures like Jesse Jackson could do the country some good by tarring and feathering these crooks.
Unfortunately, they seem to be ignoring them. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised when another blue city succumbs to Detroit’s fate.
[Image of Detroit courtesy of Shutterstock.com]