For quite a while it has seemed like we are stuck in a time loop determined to repeat the 1960s, with rising crime, urban riots, racial politics that summons the complete capitulation of the liberal establishment, vast expansion of the welfare state, etc.
Also rats in New York City. Bloomberg reports:
New York Mayor Eric Adams is looking for a leader in the city’s war on rats, and wants someone who is “somewhat bloodthirsty” and committed to the “wholesale slaughter” of vermin. Formally known as the director of rodent mitigation, the new job will pay $120,000 to $170,000 a year and report to the deputy mayor for operations.
In his first year as mayor, Adams has been escalating his rhetoric against rats. . . “There’s NOTHING I hate more than rats,” Adams said in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday. “If you have the drive, determination, and killer instinct needed to fight New York City’s relentless rat population — then your dream job awaits.”
It is possible this marks the beginning of the end of the road of our current madness. Because it was a controversy over federal rat eradication in 1967 that was a turning point of sorts against 1960s liberalism. President Johnson, still swept along by the flood tide of his Great Society nonsense, proposed a $40 million (real money back then) federal rat eradication program for major cities. It was a typical expression of the view that all social problems required a centralized federal solution—a view still very much with us.
But for once even Democrats thought this went too far. Fifty-nine House Democrats joined with 148 Republicans to vote down the rat bill. It was the rhetoric, and not the comparatively modest sum involved, that made this a notable episode. Congressmen joked about LBJ’s “civil rats” bill, with a “rat corps” to be presided over by “a high commissioner of rats,” which Mayor Adams now un-ironically wants to emulate. “Mr. Speaker,” the typical speech went, “I think the ‘rat smart thing’ for us to do is to vote down this rat bill ‘rat now.’” Florida Democrat James Haley suggested releasing “federally funded cats” in the cities instead.
This anticipates Donald Trump’s method of eradicating rats from the husk of the rat-infested and bankrupt Commodore Hotel he acquired back in the early 1980s. After pest control experts said they couldn’t do the job, Trump simply turned loose a large bunch of feral cats, who made quick work of the rat problem. No wonder the rats in the administrative state fear him so much.