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Free and Strong America

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Display of Historical Revisionism

Hindsight is always 20/20 except when it comes to the Left, in which case myopia is much more common than clarity. Take for example the recent comments of a certain lemming blogger who had the cahones to actually state, re: (thankfully) former president Jimmy Carter, quote, "Carter's admin was responsible for the accords. They gave the terrorists NONE of their demands" when referring the the Algiers Accords concerning the Iranian held, US hostages. Conveniently left out of course, was the fact that, according to ABC News, "The Iranian hostage-takers in particular reported being unsure of what Reagan would do" and also the administration had negotiated away the right to sue the Iranian government afterward. Link

All of which caused former hostage Barry Rosen to state, "I would rather have stayed longer. Don't do me a favor by getting me out and telling me that I don't have a right to sue". And another former hostage, Charles Scott would muse afterward "While we were hostages, my cellmate and I prayed that Uncle Sam wouldn't sell us out to get us released. Of course he did sell us out." Link.

Moving on to today's example of revisionist history, George J. Marlin, who was the 1993 Conservative Party candidate for mayor of New York City, and the author of Fighting the Good Fight: A History of the New York Conservative Party, informs us of the lastest exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York called America's Mayor: John V. Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York. Of course we really don't know absolutely if it will involve historical revisionism since the display isnt quite open to the public as of yet. My guess is that there will be a cursory mention of a few of Lindsay's shortcomings and the uniformed oberver will leave the museum with a skewed and highly incomplte picture of Lindsay. Marlin goes on to comment...

"During his mayoral tenure (1966-1973), Lindsay (pictured above) presided over changes, all right -- changes that ran the city into the ground: fiscally, economically and culturally. Any lessons to be learned, from the exhibit and from his mayoralty, should focus on what not to do.

John Vliet Lindsay (1921-2000) was born on West End Avenue, prepped at New Hampshire's St. Paul's School, graduated from Yale in 1943, served in the Navy and upon return to civilian life, graduated from Yale Law School. The 6'3" blond, blue-eyed Lindsay was elected in 1958 to represent Manhattan's Upper East Side "Silk Stocking" congressional district.

As the Republican-Liberal "fusion" candidate for mayor in 1965, Lindsay stated that he would "get as far away from the Republican Party as possible," even agreeing to give the Liberal Party one third of all city jobs and judgeships.

The fledging New York Conservative Party nominated another Yale graduate, William F. Buckley Jr., as its candidate for mayor. Buckley charmed New Yorkers with his roguish wit and intellectual depth and drove the humorless Lindsay crazy.

Lindsay retaliated by employing typical liberal smear tactics, falsely calling Buckley a "Goldwater racist" who adhered to "a radical philosophy full of hatred and division and violence."

While Lindsay deserves credit for calming the city during the '67 and '68 riots, he nevertheless had the knee-jerk reaction that the cause of the disorder was white racism. As vice chairman of President Johnson's Kerner Commission on Civil Disorders, Lindsay was responsible for the introductory statement in the commission's final report: "Our Nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal."

When Lindsay left office in December 1973, New Yorkers lived in a seriously declining city. As liberal journalist Murray Kempton observed: "[U]nder Lindsay, the air is fouler, the streets dirtier, the bicycle thieves more vigilant, the labor contracts more abandoned in their disregard for the public good, the Board of Education more dedicated to the manufacture of illiteracy than any of these elements ever were under Wagner." And another liberal, Jack Newfield, quipped that Lindsay "gave good intentions a bad name."

Lindsay's greatest mayoral "legacy" was his social-welfare spending spree. In 1960, 4 percent of the population received welfare benefits. That number had doubled by 1965 and by 1969 had grown to 13 percent. Expenditures for welfare programs rose from $400 million in 1965 to more than $1 billion by the end of Lindsay's first term. It became so easy to apply for welfare benefits that the Daily News called Lindsay's welfare commissioner "Come and Get It Ginsburg."

To pay for his spending spree, Lindsay used every imaginable financial gimmick. He increased nuisance taxes, water rates and sewer taxes and instituted the city income tax. In 1969, Budget Director Fred Hayes admitted: "We're going broke on $6.6 billion a year."

All the budgetary tricks, phantom revenues and capitalizing of expenses led to a situation in which 56 percent of locally raised taxes went either to debt service or to pension and welfare payments. Short-term debt, which in 1965 was $536 million, ballooned to $4.5 billion -- 36 percent of total debt. By 1976, these abuses caused the financial markets to close their doors to the city and the state to take over the city's finances, complete with a default-on-debt decree from the state Legislature.

"The rollovers, false revenue estimates and plain lies," journalist Ken Auletta wrote, "have robbed taxpayers of literally billions through excessive borrowings to cover up excessive fraud."

Somehow, I think that the above statistics are not going to make it to the display honoring Mayor Lindsay. The Liberals are quite adept at cornering the market of free handouts to shiftless bums compassion, however they are at a loss to explain how this in fact creates a culture of dependency rather than independence, all in the name of getting votes and staying in power. (See ACORN)

To be fair, there are cases when the Right looks back upon their past leaders with rose-tinted lenses and if anyone should wish to cite such an example, please feel free to do so here. But when the final tally is taken, I think it would be the Left who is demonstably more intellectually shameful about their past. After all, who controls 90% of the mainstream media complex? Libertarians? HA!


Adam Nardoli said...

when it comes to the Left... Take for example the recent comments of...
Wait, what? Me? Left?
I'm a Minarchist/Libertarian

Look at the hostage-takers original demands.
Now look at what they got.
How many of the terrorists demands were met?

Who was it that was trading arms with the Irans?
Who talked of not paying a "ransom for people who have been kidnapped by barbarians" then shipped 50 tons of gold to the Iranians? (Frozen assets, iranians wouldn't accept US Dollars)
Who was it that was too senile to even remember doing it?
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that is true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."
Pres. Reagan, March 4, 198

Moving on,
"After all, who controls 90% of the mainstream media complex? Libertarians? HA!"

Controls? That'd be conservatives.

JD Curtis said...

If you truly are a Libertarian, then I take that back.

You should have been here a couple of months ago when we were discussing Rethinking the Political Spectrum

Ross said...

Despite the findings of the Tower Commission, I don't think that Reagan or Vice President Bush were properly brought to account for their roles in Iran-Contra.