(Article changed on January 6, 2014 at 15:21)
By Dave Lindorff
Is the real De Blasio the Sandinista backer or Clinton friend? (
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There is no question but that New York's new mayor, Bill De Blasio, owes his landslide victory in the November election to the Occupy Movement.
It was Occupy Wall Street's minions, hemmed in by thug-like NYPD officers armed with sidearms, clubs and pepper spray cans, who in 2011 abruptly changed the national conversation about capitalism, introducing the concept of "We are the 99%," and focusing attention on the enormous enrichment of the top 1% of Americans over the past several decades, as a direct result of public policies on taxation and de-regulation.
And it was that new focus on the country's yawning wealth and income gap that provided De Blasio with his winning campaign theme.
It's a sad commentary on the diminished influence and power of the left in America that De Blasio and Kshama Sawant, who won a little city council seat in the second-tier small city of Seattle (pop. 635,000) as an openly socialist candidate, are being hailed as the heroes of a resurgent progressive movement.
The truth is, it's hard to know how progressive and "left" De Blasio really is. Certainly his background as a backer of the Sandinista revolution beats Barack Obama's short stint as a "community organizer," and there are other reasons, not least his evident lack of greed, that suggest De Blasio may be the real deal and at least a worthy descendent of New York's last truly progressive mayor, Fiorello La Guardia. But there are also troubling signs that he may not be all that he presents himself as. The most troubling of these signs is his evident closeness to former president Bill Clinton -- the man whose presidency brought us war in Bosnia, the unravelling of habeas corpus, the beginnings of the war on terror (see Effective Death Penalty Act), the "end to welfare as we know it," and of course, the elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act that converted banks into casinos.
Inviting Bill Clinton to administer his oath of office was a bad sign. There were so many New Yorkers who would have been better suited for that symbolically important job...
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/