Red Baiting is the Last Refuge to which Joe Lhota Clings


Lhota's argument that New York does not need a Stalinist mayor is probably true, but not exactly pertinent, and amounts to little more than name calling. However, if one is going to play the guilt by association game, it is considerably more relevant to raise the question of whether New Yorkers who came to this city from other parts of the US or the world to escape religious persecution, homophobia, racism or fanaticism needs a mayor who represents a party which continues to reflect those values-not 25 years ago, but today. It is hard to miss the irony that Lhota's campaign is shaping up to be framed on the one hand by an attempt to tar de Blasio for positions he took, which were good and defendable ones, a quarter century ago, and on the other hand by running from the extremist reputation of his own party.

A Win for Tbilisi

If the Georgian government had scripted recent events in Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and Vanuatu, it could not have gotten a better outcome than what has actually occurred. Vanuatu, a tiny Pacific Island state briefly recognized, or almost briefly recognized, Abkhazia in the beginning of June. Almost immediately after the announcement of the recognition there were rumors that the government of Vanuatu was back tracking as Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the UN claimed to know nothing of the recognition. Georgia, of course, has continued to maintain that Abkhazia is part of Georgia. This view is supported by the U.S., the European Union and most of the world.