Has it dawned on anybody else that Mayor Bloomberg has been completely useless in dealing with the Occupy Wall Street crowd? It’s not merely a matter of his cowardice in the face of pressure over the closing of Zuccotti Park that should have occurred last Friday, but also over the city’s willingness to discuss dropping prosecution of more than 800 cases, mostly disorderly conduct charges, against the aforementioned protesters. If New York City had a decent Mayor, one who stood for justice, he could fix this simply. Rather than cave in to economic terrorism via court overload, he could take another position: Prosecute every case to the fullest extent of the law, no deals of any sort for anybody, and then make an announcement:
“I regret to inform the people of New York that due to the protests, and the costs associated therewith, we are going to need to cut our budgets elsewhere, as the public safety is our first and most vital mandate, and the administration of justice is equally important. For these reasons, and with apologies to the people of New York City, we are going to be slicing off budgets from other areas, including education, public works, and social services. Sadly, this may include some job cuts. The good news is that we hope these protests won’t go on forever, and the bad news is that we’re going to be forced to bear the costs, and we can now only do this in these tight economic times by trimming other parts of the city’s budget.”
After roughly two days of grumbling, I expect this would have a dramatic effect on the occu-pests, and they would likely begin to disband, since some of them would of necessity begin to worry about their jobs. Of course, this could only happen if New York had a decent Mayor, willing to take such a stance. Residents of New York shouldn’t hold their breath for such an outcome, because Bloomberg has already demonstrated his political cowardice throughout this entire fiasco. On the other hand, I’m certain some segment of New Yorkers support all of this, and a decent mayor would be figuring out creative ways that they could bear the costs. Of course, since from all appearances, he’s one of them, nobody should be counting on Bloomberg to do the right thing. Ever.