New York City: Trading One Meddlesome Mayor for Another

Anyone really surprised to read this?

After his mayoral campaign sent vague signals yesterday about whether he would maintain Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s legal effort to restrict soda cup sizes at restaurants, Bill de Blasio vowed to do precisely that this afternoon.

“I think the mayor is right and I would continue the legal process. We have to, of course, look at the specifics with our own lawyers to handle the mechanics, but there’s no question I want to see this rule go through,” the front-running candidate told reporters at a rally with Chinese-American supporters.

Yesterday, Mr. de Blasio’s spokesman, Dan Levitan, told The New York Times the candidate would “review the status of the city’s litigation” if elected.

Mr. Bloomberg’s proposed ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces was struck down by a lower court earlier this year, following an intense lobbying effort from the soda industry, small business owners and some elected officials. The Bloomberg administration, however, appealed the decision to the state’s highest court, which agreed to hear the appeal yesterday.

To be sure, there are people in New York who deserve to be the beneficiaries of exactly this kind of "leadership"; as Mencken famously said, "[d]emocracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." But there are also plenty of people in New York--and other places as well!--who deserve better than this. And they'd get better than this if the allegedly great and powerful ever learned to mind their own business and to devote their alleged greatness and power to solving actual problems of actual consequence that are within their wheelhouses instead of trying to mollycoddle the rest of the planet.

I trust the people of New York to look after their own waistlines. Bill de Blasio--who aspires to be their mayor--does not. I don't see how any New Yorker with any semblance of self-respect looks to the like of de Blasio and says "ah, yes; that's the person I want leading my city."