Glover Park Diagnosis

If you misplaced your City Section over the weekend, you missed an op-ed by Howard Wolfson and Gigi Georges on what’s wrong with the city’s Democrats.

Their diagnosis is that a party that has run on identity politics needs to find a new way to survive in a politics driven by ideas. They don’t say it, but a system of uncontested general elections for City Council and for citywide offices like Comptroller means that candidates never test their views against somebody who might actually disagree on big issues. Not until they run for Mayor.

Georges and Wolfson also note something undeniable: security is now a threshold issue, and any candidate for Mayor has to convince voters that he or she can be trusted to run things in a crisis.

My only quibble is the question of whether Mike Bloomberg is really not a Democrat, or bad for Democrats. Obviously, he’s bad news for the dozen or so actual employees of the state and county Democratic Party organizations. But Democrats elected him. And he isn’t — unlike national Republicans, and unlike Rudy — really presenting an ideological alternative. He crushed Freddy in part by doing the reverse — leaving no ideological daylight between them. Glover Park Diagnosis