Jewish World Review Jan. 21, 2011 16 Shevat, 5771
The Bloomberg Syndrome
By Victor Davis Hanson
After the recent
Yet the more the unfolding details informed us that the "Communist Manifesto"/"Mein Kampf"-reading Loughner was mentally unstable, apolitical and without discernible interests in contemporary issues, the more the flamboyant Dupnik went on television to expand his cast of culpable characters. He finally ended up blaming everyone from
Just as disturbing as the incoherence of Dupnik's demagoguery was his apparent professional incompetence. As the sheriff's nationally televised blame narrative imploded, it was also disclosed that Loughner had a long record of aberrant behavior and substance abuse in
More disturbing still, if Dupnik were right that a pre-existing conservative climate of hate-engendered politics was not only pervasive in
Dupnik is a good example of an increasingly common bad habit of local politicians to resort to cosmic sermonizing when more mundane challenges go unaddressed. In Dupnik's case, it is hard to monitor all the nuts like Loughner in the sheriff's department files to ensure they don't get guns and bullets and pop up at political events, but apparently far easier to deflect subsequent responsibility by sounding off on political issues.
But Bloomberg's carefully constructed philosopher's image was finally shattered by the
For the last three years,
His outgoing legacy is a
It is a human trait to focus on cheap lofty rhetoric rather than costly earthy reality. It is a bureaucratic characteristic to rail against the trifling misdemeanor rather than address the often-dangerous felony. And it is political habit to mask one's own failures by lecturing others on their supposed shortcomings. Ambitious elected officials often manage to do all three.
The result in these hard times is that our elected sheriffs, mayors and governors are loudly weighing in on national and global challenges that are quite often out of their own jurisdiction, while ignoring or failing to solve the very problems that they were elected to address.
Quite simply, the next time your elected local or state official holds a press conference about global warming, the
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
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