[Marxism] NYT's Michael Powell: de Blasio is no Bolshevik

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Sep 25 11:08:52 MDT 2013


September 25, 2013, 10:23 am
Lhota Attacks de Blasio’s ‘Marxist’ Campaign Strategy

Joseph J. Lhota’s office sent out an e-mail Tuesday, purportedly from 
the Republican candidate for mayor. It concerned his grave alarm at the 
“news” that more than two decades ago, Bill de Blasio, his Democratic 
rival, had joined what was known as a solidarity group supporting the 
Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

Mr. Lhota divined in this affiliation a foreshadowing of the darkness at 
noon that could descend on the people of New York.

Mr. Lhota’s statement reads:

“Mr. de Blasio’s involvement with the Sandinistas didn’t happen in 1917 
[This is a reference to the Bolsheviks storming of the Winter Palace and 
not the last time the Jets won the Super Bowl] it happened 70 years 
later when the cruelty and intrinsic failure of communism became crystal 
clear to anyone with a modicum of reason.

“Mr. de Blasio’s class warfare strategy in New York City is directly out 
of the Marxist playbook. Now we know why.”

With this statement, Mr. Lhota not only jumped the shark, he rode a 
Great White bareback through New York harbor.

It’s hard to know where to start.

As a resident of haute bourgeois Park Slope and the owner of a rapidly 
appreciating row house, the middle-aged Mr. de Blasio seems unlikely to 
embrace property expropriation. As a former Little League coach, he also 
seems not likely to turn Prospect Park’s baseball fields into collective 
farms, although if he does, organic kale might be found on every plate 
in the city.

His children, it’s true, appear to have attended the Park Slope Child 
Care Collective. But the tykes favored “Baby Beluga” over the Red Army 

He is a Boston RED Sox fan, which may or may not be in that Marxist 
playbook but is perhaps cause for immediate suspicion by Yankee fans. He 
once self-identified as a democratic socialist, which would put him in 
the same ideological column as Golda Meir, Moishe Dayan, Willie Brandt 
and Francois Mitterand.

And more or less all of those social democrats stood up to and argued 
vociferously with the hard left, including Communists.

Lastly, as to those Sandinistas: This was a complicated revolutionary 
movement. A remarkably diverse coalition at first, it overthrew a cruel 
dictator. The leadership included some Communists, as well as social 
democrats and priests.

Some of its key leaders harbored unfortunate authoritarian tendencies. 
They stood – a touch reluctantly – for two elections deemed fair by many 
foreign observers. After it was defeated in that second election, in 
1990, the movement shifted into the democratic opposition. Whatever 
their failings, the Sandinistas did not impose a repressive regime on 
their impoverished Central American nation. There was no mass jailing of 
opponents nor mass execution of opposing soldiers.

Quite a few liberal-left students and young people in the 1980s 
supported revolutionary movements in Central America. They may have been 
more than a touch naïve about the nature of these movements, but they at 
least realized that these nations had suffered terribly at the hands of 
United States-supported dictators.

Closer to home and closer to 2013, a more pertinent question arises: Who 
kidnapped Joseph Lhota, the levelheaded deputy mayor who could talk of 
innovation, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief who 
could talk to unions without his upper lip curling into a snarl? His 
statement denouncing Mr. de Blasio and the Sandinistas is notably longer 
and more detailed than the sections of his Web site devoted to public 
safety, education and the police.

As it’s not in the Marxist playbook to kidnap Republican candidates for 
mayor, Mr. Lhota presumably can free himself and run a stronger and less 
inadvertently comic campaign.

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