So now, on the secondhand say-so of unidentified New York employees, the story is that what really went wrong with New York's blizzard response was that
. Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's right-wing-affirmative-action pundit, is on Twitter
as "Another victim of public-sector unionism."
"Can New York's Sanitation Dept. union bosses be prosecuted for manslaughter?"
Not unless Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets prosecuted first, they can't. New York was unprepared for the blizzard because the mayor and top administrators
. Whatever else turns out to have gone wrong, it was the mayor's refusal to call a snow emergency—and his seeming
—that set the city up for failure from the very beginning.
According to the New York Times' account of the Bloomberg administration's bumbling storm management, sanitation department employees aren't even supposed to be the ones to make or break the plowing effort:
For years, an integral role in the city’s best blizzard response plans was filled not by municipal workers but by private contractors and construction crews, ready with front-end loaders, tow trucks, pickup trucks and Bobcat vehicles that can move snow from the tightest urban grids.
Yet as the blizzard approached, the first calls from city officials for help went out around 9 a.m. on Sunday — nearly 30 hours after the Weather Service had raised its warning to a winter storm watch, and more than 24 hours after Mr. Doherty, the veteran sanitation commissioner, sensed that a blizzard was well on its way, he said.
(Now who will be cynical enough to go on Twitter and say it was the ineffectiveness of public-private partnerships that left the baby brain-dead?)
Unless Michael Bloomberg was an active conspirator in the plan to sabotage the storm response, the union-thugs-crippled-the-city story makes no sense. No factual sense, that is. As a piece of propaganda—featherbedding union goons laughing while taxpayers die in the snowdrifts—it makes perfect sense, and it will never die. Hacks like Jeff Jacoby will repeat it as gospel truth down through the years till the sun blows up into a red giant and engulfs the Earth. (That one, they'll blame on the tenured astrophysics professors at public universities.)