Republican Market Opportunity: The Cities

The best way to revive a sagging company is to look for new market opportunities and seize them. Which is why the Republican party needs to take on the cities. We’ve all enjoyed daydreaming about John Yoo, Mayor of Oakland — I wish he’d get the hint and really run for the office — but the larger point is: cities are where the people are; cities are where our people (Asian and Hispanic business types) are; cities are where liberalism has not only failed, but failed specularly and with tragic human cost.

What would revitalize Detroit? Only one thing: conservative philosophy.

And the market is there. For one thing, in the cage-match-to-the-death between public sector unions and Democratic mayors, someone is going to go down. From Reason:

The [Chicago teacher’s] strike’s lasting damage was to the party that since at least the early 20th century has been labor’s best friend. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not just some schmuck in the donkey party: He is President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, the congressional leader behind the Democrats’ 2006 House takeover, a Clinton administration arm twister so feared that he is still known by his ’90s nickname, Rahmbo. 

But the strike made Chicago’s tough-guy mayor look like Chuck “Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner. Striking teachers dubbed him “Empermanuel,” accused him of having “no respect for us as people,” and even claimed (falsely, it turned out) that Emanuel was a fan of the Canadian alt-rock quartet Nickelback. When the teachers returned to work after more than a week on the picket line, they had scored a big pay increase and crippled the teacher-evaluation testing at the heart of the strike, a resolution Emanuel unconvincingly called an “honest compromise.”

And it’s happening in Los Angeles, too, under the hapless public union court eunuch Antonio Villaraigosa:

After years of dire and deteriorating finances (L.A.’s budget hasn’t been balanced for four years), the mayor allows government employee unions to carry out their tactic of ensuring that any slowdown in the rate of spending increases is immediately visible to Angelenos in the form of cuts to services. Villaraigosa, whose city manager calls for taxes on real estate sales, entertainment, petroleum extraction, and parking lot revenues, seems to believe voters will respond to office-hour reductions and crossing guard–free intersections by demanding tax hikes. 

Never interrupt an enemy in the process of destroying itself:

Rather than offering concessions to Emanuel, Villaraigosa, and other cash-strapped executives, unions have decided to go down swinging. They may be right to see compromise as death. But make no mistake: Laborgeddon is upon us, and it will have long-term consequences for the Democrats.

As Godzilla and Mothra attack each other, there’s going to be a lot of extra energy out there for a second look at conservative policies.

We should be ready to fight. We’ve given up the cities for too long.