Here we go. Another mass shooting, another round of mass stupidity from progressive politicians and pundits.
Latest example: In the wake of the horrific shootings in Aurora, Colorado, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared to advocate a suspension of Constitution and the imposition of military-style oligarchy. Speaking to CNN’s Piers Morgan about the necessity of more stringent gun laws in the wake of the Colorado murders, Bloomberg made an astonishing declaration:
“I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say, we’re going to go on strike. We’re not going to protect you. Unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.’”
Rarely does an elected official say something so badly reckless and irresponsible. To suggest that our armed police forces abdicate their responsibility until the Mayor’s legislative demands are met is to call on nothing less than the breakdown of civil order, taking us back to the days when the Roman army dictated state policy and installed officers of government.
To be fair, Bloomberg seems to have realized his mistake, and almost immediately walked back his comments. “I didn’t mean literally go on strike,” he claimed the very next day at an event on same-sex marriage. “In fact, in New York, they can’t go on strike. There’s a law against it.”
True enough, and for a reason: Public servants like police and firefighters must not be allowed to strike because that would place every citizen in jeopardy. Even Franklin Roosevelt, that great friend of organized labor, recognized the moral dilemma posed by a unionized – and thus strike happy – government work force. In a 1937 letter to Luther C. Steward, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Roosevelt wrote:
“All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.
Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.”
Unthinkable and intolerable. Quite.
Bloomberg claims he didn’t mean he wanted cops to “literally” strike. But to even speak in such terms about the men and women in whose hands we place our lives is an appalling lapse of judgment, especially coming from the de facto head of one of the nation’s largest and most powerful police forces.
Advocating Caesarism – literally or otherwise – is not cool. Shame on the Mayor.