Bill de Blasio's War on Horses and the Progressive Bubble

"Everybody thinks the same way, the rest of the world is stupid or wrong.."

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Bill de Blasio is still committed to banning horse carriages in Central Park, in no small part because his campaign was financed by a real estate tycoon who wants to take over the stables, and he may even ban the circus.

Liam Neeson has repeatedly blasted Bill de Blasio on this issue. He did it again last night on Jon Stewart's show.

Facing criticism for not visiting stables before banning the horse and carriage industry, Mayor de Blasio Thursday promised to go and see the animals in their home environment - but insisted it wouldn’t change his mind.

“I’ll look at the stables,” de Blasio said at a press conference in Queens. “[But] the bottom line is, we know where we're going on this.

Bill de Blasio didn't even visit the stables before deciding on the ban (all he had to do was see the NYCLASS check) and he's still committed to it. Like a true progressive, there's no point in bothering him with the facts.

Actor Liam Neeson, who recently penned an open letter to de Blasio blasting him for killing the industry, said de Blasio needs to rethink his opposition.

"Please listen to the people of your city, Mr. Mayor. You represent us. Sixty one percent of New Yorkers want this historic part of our tourist industry kept as is," said Neeson, referring to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

“I’m a little bit pissed off at our elected new mayor,” Neeson said. “He wants to close this horse and carriage industry in New York. There was a poll last week. Over 60 percent of New Yorkers want to keep the horse carriage industry in Central Park.”

Meanwhile Bedlam Farm, which has been covering some story, has some secondhand thoughts about Planet De Blasio.

The mayor has been widely criticized, even ridiculed, for saying banning the horses was a major priority in his new administration, given all of the other problems in the city. Then he unaccountably went on television and compared the treatment of the horses to "waterboarding", a form of torture used on terrorists. Before that, he had pledged in his inaugural address to make the horses vanish quickly, "just watch us do it."  Most people were surprised and puzzled by his focus on the issue, and his curious certainty.  I just don't get the sense that this is really his fight, he almost seems to be fighting someone else's battle.

This morning, I called a former colleague of mine, a political editor in New York, to ask her what was happening.

This is what she said: "You have to understand that the mayor comes from Park Slope, Brooklyn," he said, "not just a progressive place, but one of the most knee-jerk progressive places in the country. Most people there actually believe that it is cruel for animals to work, their whole idea of animals is rescuing them, nobody has any animals there besides dogs and cats and they think it ought to be a crime to buy a dog from a breeder. They are ideologues, not animal lovers."

Park Slope, she said, is where deBlasio has lived and formulated his political ideas for most of his life. "It's a bubble, like Fox News or MSNBC, she said, everybody thinks the same way, the rest of the world is stupid or wrong. The mayor emerged from his campaign indebted to animal rights groups that gave him a huge amount of money and supported his campaign when nobody else did. He owes them big. He is truly stunned to learn that their idea of animals is a minority view, offensive to a lot of people. He didn't know that everybody doesn't think putting horses to work is a crime. As someone who knows nothing about animals, has never owned or lived with any and doesn't really give a s—- about the issue, it's not what's really important to him. But he is now between a rock and a hard place, these groups gave him  money and he promised to ban the horses.  He really thought he'd be a hero, but he's catching some real Hell – he has Liam Neeson up his ass. People are growing uncomfortable with the way this issue is being played out, at the power of these groups, their nastiness, the shutting down of a historic and law-abiding business for no reason, costing people their jobs. Publicity works two ways, it is a beast, it can eat both sides."

The mayor, she added,  is learning that  absolutely nobody outside of Park Slope and the new City Council likes most of these groups much or listens to them or wants them to be making policy.  People are also becoming aware that they might be about to kill a bunch of horses in the name of saving them. So the mayor is trying to put out the fire by going to see the stables, to show he's an open-minded guy, but he isn't savvy enough not to say it won't matter what he sees, thus shooting himself in the foot again. It was looking like a rout, now it's a  brawl."

Like Obama, Bill de Blasio is an arrogant creature, a full time government activist, who doesn't understand the concept of listening to people and occasionally giving way on an issue.

That ugly attitude of William Wilhelm Jr. aka Bill de Blasio is going to mean bad times for New Yorkers on more issues than just carriage horses.