- - Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Manhattan woke up after Tuesday’s blizzard to find the city snowed in, with some of the citizens more snowed in than others. The snow on the streets was deeper on the Upper East Side, the fashionable, expensive neighborhoods of the rich and the elite, and the very liberal.

They wouldn’t be able to get to their fashionable appointments, not even fashionably late. They were forced to confront the cold, uncomfortable fact that they got what they voted for.

Faithful to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s idea of “two New Yorks,” the snowplows abandoned the wealthy and promptly cleared the streets in less-prestigious ZIP codes. This shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Mr. de Blasio assumed the mayoral sash from Michael R. Bloomberg after campaigning as the class warrior, sharply contrasting with the billionaire he replaced.

Denizens of the Upper East Side, a Democratic stronghold where the average homeowner’s income is $250,000 or more, didn’t understand that Mr. de Blasio actually meant to follow through on his promise to stick it to the rich.

His Honor denies the charge of plow favoritism. “It’s just not accurate,” he insisted at a press conference. “We had a coordinated, intense citywide response.” The city’s website clearly showed the streets on the Upper East side unplowed, but Mr. de Blasio’s lieutenants insist this was the result of “faulty GPS sensors” relaying incorrect information to headquarters.

Television news accounts, however, showed video footage of clear streets in most of Manhattan with the plutocratic avenues remaining under thick sheets of snow and ice. Even pedestrians couldn’t move. Surely, not all of the GPS sensors live on the Upper East Side.

Mr. de Blasio has replaced Chris Christie as the king of snarled traffic, imposed with a strong hint of payback. The Upper East Side gave Mr. de Blasio just 28 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, preferring two others running for City Hall.

In the general election, of course, the neighborhood enthusiastically backed Mr. de Blasio, as it does any candidate with the “D” after his name. There’s nevertheless evidence, or at least informed suspicion, that certain mayoral aides considered this an insufficient display of loyalty.

It’s entirely possible that it’s just a coincidence that there were two New Yorks on Tuesday evening — plowed and unplowed. We probably won’t ever know for sure. The mayor’s administration should have learned from New Jersey that they must never put their true motives in writing.

The scandal isn’t likely to crowd Mr. Christie’s traffic woes from the memories and imaginations on the Upper East Side. These are Democrats vs. Democrats, after all, and keeping fights in the family is a nice thing to do.

Every Manhattan precinct went for Barack Obama in 2012 with the exception of a tiny, 10-vote polling station. The home island of Wall Street gave Mr. Obama 81 percent of the vote, and Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup were among the top-10 donors to Mr. Obama.

There’s no mystery about Wall Street’s embrace of Mr. Obama and Mr. de Blasio. The wealthy can afford high taxes, and they regard control of regulation as key to keeping control of everything — the culture, the economy and the society. Government red tape keeps upstart competitors out of the marketplace.

This crony arrangement supplies the bread and butter to the Democratic Party. The liberal denizens of the Upper East Side just didn’t realize they would have to shovel their own streets.

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