City Journal Winter 2014

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Tevi Troy
The Last Sane Liberal « Back to Story

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Koch may have been gay but he was honest, outspoken in his beliefs, and true to them. More than can be said about most of the whores in this business.
Ed Koch was the right Mayor at the right time for NYC. John Lindsay and Abe Beame had groveled for bailouts trying to get America to feel sorry for the Big Apple. When Koch became Mayor he would have none of it. He said, "I'm from New York City you gotta a problem with that". He was arrogant and NYC needed arrogant. He also added thousands of houses to the Bronx turning around its decline. He had faults. Who doesn't? But he breathed confidence back into a city that works better thinking of itself as the greatest place on Earth.

John Norquist
Mayor of Milwaukee 1988-2004
I personally think that ex-mayor Koch is a flip-flopper as bad as Mr. Romney. Koch's stupid rage against President Obama because of his perception of what the President did with regard to Isreal, is so sophomoric that it's hard to believe that he was a politician. How do you screw your own party, by irritating a Jewish population, that you purposely misinformed for your own self-centered glory? Mr. Koch is a nasty old man. I can't believe that I worked and contributed to his first campaign. Ugh!
How'ya doing Mayah! God Bless ya...
he never had the guts to admit his sexuality
I, a Barry Goldwater conservative and NYC Police Officer, voted for Koch. He brought pride and respect to the city in which I was born, raised and educated. Only Dem. I pulled a lever for. "How am I doin?"
"Liberals who know better" don't desert the democratic party over something as ridiculous as Obama's position concerning Israel. Obama isn't saying anything different about Israel than former presidents have. He is simply acknowledging the obvious which is that if there is going to be a real peace in the Middle East, Israel is going to have to go back to something very similar to the borders that were approved by the United Nations when it voted to partition Palestine and make Israel a nation.

I've Koch over the years. He frequently makes bizarre remarks that have little or no basis in reality. He's entitled to his opinion, but to cast him as the "last sane liberal" is beyond ridiculous. Koch is nobody's hero--least of all mine.
A New Yorker who knows better February 05, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Please, don't make me laugh. New York City was saved from bankruptcy by Felix Rohatyn, not Ed Koch. Koch's enormous ego and publicity- seeking personality made and kept him very popular, but while he was walking around Manhattan saying "how'm I doing?" his solution to the disastrous abandonment of housing by landlords in the Bronx was to put wallpaper over the broken windows so that it looked like the buildings were "occupied." Also, he was definitely involved in corruption in his third term because he required the expensive conversion of taxi meters to a new model, provided by a company that was proven to be connected to him. He threw massive amounts of money at the failing public school system, to no effect, since he had no intention of reforming the corruption of the school board and the teachers' unions.
Finally, he isn't stupid, so he must have known known how anti-Zionist Obama and his advisors are, but obviously the campaign was able to appeal to his enormous craving for a spotlight, so Koch went to Jewish groups to assure them that Obama would be "good" for the Jewish community. Clearly Koch knows that he was wrong because he has written as much, yet he has decided to be a good little liberal shill once again. So much for his "sanity" or integrity for that matter.
It's not clear how firm a grasp on reality anyone has who thinks, as those of the Left seem to do, that it's reasonable to require some to work uncompensated for the unearned benefit of others.
Koch supported Obama. Went down to Florida to change the minds of old Jewish moms and dads who trusted him. Besides being terrible for the economy, Obama and Hilary have shown a distain for Israel, even Eddie boy has said so. Why would I value anything Mr. Koch has to say?
Ed, your not doing too good so maybe it's time to be quiet.
Ed Koch was this conservatives favorite liberal.
Unfortunately, I suspect senility maybe creeping in as his endorsement of Obama does not square with sanity.
Ed Koch sane? Does anyone remember him dating Bess Meyerson? Does anyone remember his long rants. Yes he did upon occasion make sense. But to paraphrase Chris Rock: "That's what yer supposed to do."

In the mind of this conservative liberal Ed was a disaster who wore his badly wounded psyche on his sleeve. He did the city far more harm than good. remember when his Police Chief was found drunk and disorderly? and what did fast Eddy do. Nothin....which about sums up his mayoralty.
He just went ahead and did the things that so clearly needed to be done. Sounds simple . . . but of how many people can that be fairly said? Precious few. He was the essential mayor for his time, and the City was fortunate to have him.
New York City is THE world class city and not Detroit on the Hudson precisely because of Ed Koch. He was far from perfect. As a politician he was forced to deal with the sociopaths and looney-tunes who held political office in Albany and the city council, and the hoodlums and certifiable street crazies who ran the city unions.

I am always reminded of the scene in Woody Allen's early movie, 'Sleeper', where the Woody Allen character is awakened two hundred years in the future. Evidently there had been a major worldwide nuclear conflagration in the recent past, and much of history had been lost, so the future academics were quizzing Allen to fill in the gaps about past events. One of the questions they ask him is how did this nuclear war start, what caused the arms race to spin out of control with such disastrous results? The Woody Allen character answers, and this answer would have meaning only to a New Yorker who actually lived thru the turmoil of the Lindsay/Beame/Koch years, that WWIII was started when Albert Shanker (the head of the NY teachers' union) got hold of an atomic bomb and started WWIII.
This was pretty close to what was actually going on in New York until Ed Koch stepped in and got things more or less under control.

The subsequent David Dinkins administration was a very, very bad joke on the people of New York, but the voters did penance by sending Mr Dinkins back to the nursing home he had escaped from, and putting Rudy G in office.
I remember Abe Beame and his administration well. I attended college in New York City during the waning years of the Robert Wagner administration, when a subway ride still cost a dime, and Times Square was grungy and dirty, but not yet the violent, pornographic sewer that it was to become. Abe Beame and John V Lindsay were the last two incompetent, empty suits to sit in Gracie Mansion. Whatever else one says about these two men's successors, their successors, of both parties, saved New York City from the fate that befell once-great urban centers like Newark and Detroit. And it was Ed Koch who cleared the path.
I'm a rock-ribbed conservative who has voted Republican all his life -- and a huge fan of Ed Koch. His good deeds vastly outweigh his shortcomings -- especially his crowning achievement of bringing Gotham back from the brink of financial disaster.

His virtues became manifestly evident after the installation of his successor, David Dinkins, arguably the worst mayor in the city's history (and who let the city descend into a ghastly hell). Taking on the grifters, ward heelers, and outright sociopaths who comprise the city's union hierarchy is no picnic, and it's amazing that he was able to hold them at bay for the better part of three terms.

In his third term, when under siege, he would wryly refer to himself as "Mayor Culpa." Takes a wit -- and a grownup -- to come up with that line! (The self-styled sobriquet was intended as dry, subversive countercriticism of his critics.)

Mayor Koch has inscribed his name in the book of life. In answer to the oft-repeated question, "How'm I doing?", the answer is, "Doing great, Mr. Mayor." (Of course, you might want to rethink that endorsement of Obama. Just sayin').
A great guy. Too bad his liberalism made him incapable of initiating fundamental reform of economic growth, government expenditure, crime and education. Twelve years of great entertainment, but not much progress for the city, I'm afraid.

Yet, compared to the alternatives, we were probably lucky to have him.
Wonderful recap of the career of a colorful public servant.
Rudy Giuliani was never District Attorney. He was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
exactly. just witness the "progressives" of today, and you'll witness the vile corruption of the reasonable balance that men like Koch struck. today's progressives, along with their counterparts on the very conservative right, are the lowest form of political animals to ever walk this earth.
Koch calls himself a Liberal with sanity; that is an oximoron. When he is shown as backing a Republican over a Democrat the reason is almost always Israel; never taxes, bailouts, deficits,unthinkable debts etc. etc. He is a tax & spend Democrat; nothing better!