I have a piece in the new City Journal on the mayoral administration of Ed Koch. Koch was and is a liberal, but he is, in his words, a liberal with "sanity." This sanity helped him bring New York City back from a very rough period with a mix of fiscal discipline, a willingness to stand up to public sector unions, media savvy, humor, and good old-fashioned boosterism.
Today we face some similar problems, although the prospect of bankruptcy is looming and not yet actual. Unfortunately, Obama and today's Democratic party are not going to take steps to fix our problems if it means angering their core liberal constituencies, something that Koch was often willing to do. Koch endorsed Obama in 2008, unendorsed him last year over Obama's Israel stance, then re-endorsed him again recently. Here's hoping Koch jumps off the endorsement wagon again before November rolls around.