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Stop, Frisk, and the New York Election

Is yesterday's ruling in the "stop and frisk" case, noted here, sufficient to dissuade New Yorkers from forgetting history and condemning themselves to repeat it?  Will they really vote to return to the horrifically high crime rates that preceded the policing reforms of Mayor Giuliani and Bloomberg by electing Bill de Blasio, who has made opposition to effective policing the centerpiece of his campaign?

The Republican candidate, Joe Lhota, is doing his best to head that off.  Jonathan Lemire and Colleen Long have this story for AP. 

The bad news is that Lhota has a forty percent deficit to make up.  If he pulls it off, it will be one of the greatest come-from-behind victories in American history.


It would take some doing to get back to the disastrous Dinkins policies that got NYC (where I lived for much of my childhood) to astronomical crime rates. My guess is de Blasio won't go that far. Let's hope not. But the guy definitely has a leftist's bent for excusing criminal behavior.

Four years probably won't be enough time, however bad de Blasio's policies are, for things to decay quite so much as to take New York back to the status quo ante Giuliani. Even when there's a crime wave, as there probably will be, the wave needs time to have certain spillover effects on the culture that will help intensify the crime problem. But we'll see.

There is literally no chance that Lhota will pull it off. He'll lose in a landslide, but I think that it'll be a substantially smaller landslide than the one now predicted, just as (if I recall correctly) Bloomberg won his second term in 2005 by a substantially smaller landslide than polling had predicted.

The only really good thing about representative government, it seems to me, is that it guarantees people will get the government they deserve. A despot can rule either well or poorly a populace that is undeserving of the pleasures or pains of the despot's governance, but in a republic, bad or good governance is invariably to the credit or fault of the people themselves. If New Yorkers want--or don't mind--having a mayor like de Blasio, then, well...

Ouch. Lhota lost by well over 40 points.

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