Is Democrats leaving cities a good thing? Many can no longer take the living conditions their own policies created. They refuse to accept that they are responsible to they are moving to the suburbs and even out of state. Why not stay, fight and fix. Why leave like republicans did after Clinton was elected?
In one city I recently visited I saw a bumper sticker that read “Welcome to Texas, please leave your politics in California”.
One possible result is that if more voters choose to leave the cities, and coasts and “rebel” in national races, the Democrats will continue to lose ground fate as they did in the 2021 House and Senate races. If the country shows more support for an independent viewpoint on national issues, then the party will have trouble rising to the challenge of re-election. In Los Angeles, Garcetti is already showing a new willingness to stray from the heavily left-leaning L.A. metro-plex suburbs and become more friendly to swing voters who remain in urban centers.
However, Garcetti is treading a fine line between being pro-business, pro-immigrant and pro-social programs. He has made it clear that he supports the Los Angeles City Council’s attempt to make Los Angeles universal health care a part of its upcoming elections. But if his party does too much to cozy up to the cities’ urbanist factions, it may risk alienating some traditional voters in the process. After all, do we really want cities, which are the source of most of our nation’s cash and intellectual wealth, dictating how we use our limited natural resources?
Garcetti the Politico
Some political pundits have suggested that Garcetti is simply playing the role of a Washington insider. Some say he is using the position in the mayor’s office to promote projects important to the city’s future growth. It is true that he took a few steps in that direction. He hired Asian American and Hispanic Garcetti staffers, appointed progressive council members to oversee the implementation of his initiatives and created a voter initiative platform, which was promoted on the campaign website. The platform called for the passage of a measure to create a Central Los Angeles Economic Development Agency, which would, it was hoped, attract private investment in the region.
He also denied several wealthy locals from buying hotels and creating homeless shelters to help clear the streets. Why? It is pretty clear it is because “The City” and specifically the mayor’s office would not be able to control the programs or take credit for them. Instead of acting like a partner to get credit without control, he simply denied the investors ability to convert empty hotels.
Los Angeles and other heavily democratically weighted cities are undergoing rapid changes as a result of growing populations. A growing economy also adds to the ever-changing preferences of their citizens. That is why Garcetti is taking steps to position the city in the best light. Garcetti sold the Olympic committee on bringing the Olympics to LA and LA on accepting the Olympics. The Olympics rarely bring long term benefits to a city. My guess is that he has other reasons.
Some LA History
The last Republican Mayor in Los Angeles, tried to build a train to connect to Los Angeles International Airport. The Democratic party organized a protest claiming the train only benefited the rich. Never mind it could give access to the thousands of jobs at LAX to people who can’t afford a car. Mayor Riordan got the boot and yet a decade later, Democrat Mayor Garcetti championed the train connector as a way to bring Los Angeles into the future. A future Riordan tried to build near two decades earlier.
It isn’t hard to see that Garcetti has more up his sleeve. Maybe a bid for the White House or at least the USOC. His efforts to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles, build So-Fi Stadium and the train needed to move all those people can’t possibly go unnoticed, or can it.
The Garcetti – Newsom Battle
While it is pretty clear that both Garcetti and California Governor Newsom have big egos and eyes on bigger prizes, every once in a while being just a mayor has benefits. For most of the Covid Pandemic, Garcetti has been able to ignore WHO and CDC information and simply follow the political party line. He can do it while avoiding any responsibility. If the people decide to revolt like in the UK, Canada and several other EU countries over unproven mandates, Garcetti can just point to the Governors office and avoid all blame.
If on the other had the party is able to sell this as a victory over the pandemic, Garcetti gets to take credit. Looks like a win win for him and a very thin line for Newsom given how the world view is shifting. Garcetti can also use this to shield the rest of his agenda quite effectively. When I met the man I was impressed with how smooth and polished he was. Somehow he didn’t feel like a used car salesman, but…
The Future of The Party
But what does this mean for the rest of the Democrats out there? Do they really want to hand the baton of leadership over to Washington? Do they have the courage to say no when the government wants to take our social program or our schools out of the equation? It is obvious that many of them don’t. They seem to have accepted the premise that cities like Los Angeles are hopeless and have no chance in modern America – that a candidate must win the popular vote in order to become a champion in the next place.
If that is the standard by which Democrats choose their leaders, then isn’t the Democratic Party about to undergo a major crisis? It certainly looks that way. Not long ago, California passed a bill that cut off funds to cities that refused to comply with the state’s immigration law. The legislature came very close to banning sanctuary cities altogether. Today they have turned around 100% and suddenly are facing the backlash from the results.
Only time will tell.