Boo Hoo: Politico's Hadas Gold Says Detroit Is 'The Right's Perfect Piñata,' Then Confirms It

August 18th, 2013 9:25 PM

Politico's current front-page headline characterizes Detroit as "The Right's Perfect Piñata."

In the actual story, one expects at least a feeble attempt by writer Hadas Gold to come up with a tangible reason as to why Detroit doesn't deserve its status as an perfect-storm exemplar of the failures of liberalism, public-sector unions, a race-based political model the elites once praised, and corruption. Instead, the objections Gold cites are vague. Because of that, apparently contrary to the headline's apparent intent, we're left with a pretty strong compilation of valid criticisms relating to the Motor City's fall from riches to rags. Excerpted after the jump are primarily the pathetic attempts at leftist defense saved for the final story's three paragraphs (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

Detroit, the right’s perfect pinata

... Welcome to Detroit - the latest bull’s eye for commentators on the right who have zeroed in on what they see as the three evils of liberalism, neatly condensed within city limits: Unions run amok pillaging the city’s coffers; corrupt Democratic politicians with no Republican in power since the 1960s; and a failed big-government welfare state.

The Motor City’s epic downfall, the conservatives pundits say, also is a warning sign to the rest of the country of what can happen if liberals continue in power, unchecked.

For their part, voices on the left have charged the right with alarmist demagoguing, willfully overlooking the larger and deeper causes of the bankrupt city’s distress which they argue have little to do with Democratic governance.

Meanwhile, pundits on the left have blamed Detroit’s decline on big picture issues, such as the de-industrialization of the Rust Belt and decline of manufacturing. [1]

“Conservatives are using the most insulting language possible that they can come up with to blame unions, blame black people, blame their culture for Detroit’s troubles,” MSNBC host Ed Schulz said on his show in early August. “But the real parasites, my friends, are their conservative ideals that coming from state government and from the feds. Detroit is exactly what the Republicans want. [2] They outsourced manufacturing jobs, attack unions, cut public services, and this is the result. Now they can wipe the slate clean because now they can start privatizing city assets.”

“It’s an obvious target for [the right], it’s part of a larger campaign they have to demonize urban America,” said Eric Boehlert, [3] senior fellow at Media Matters. “They decided to adopt Detroit and make it a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with liberalism, urban America, and the Democratic party while completely ignoring the very specific challenges that Detroit faces.”


[1] -- The "de-industrialization of the Rust Belt and decline of manufacturing" also explain why cities like Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana are also on the brink of bankruptcy. Oh, wait a minute ... (well, they are state capitals, but still ...)

[2] -- I addressed this when Schulz first said it (first on about July 20, not in early August). It's amazing how Republicans can be to blame when they've had no power in Detroit for over 45 years.

[3] -- Actually, Eric, it's a good idea for conservatives, libertarians, and just about anyone who isn't a died-in-the-wool progressive in denial to "adopt Detroit and make it a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with liberalism, urban America, and the Democratic party" because, well, it is a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with liberalism, urban America, and the Democratic party.

The end result is that Gold's piece confirms that the left has no substantive response to the characterization of Detroit as an exemplar of liberalism's utter failure.

Thanks, ma'am.

There is one critical distinction which must be drawn. A real-life piñata is "filled with small toys or candy, or both, and then broken as part of a ceremony or celebration." The piñata known as Detroit is filled with nothing but rot, and, despite what the left wants people to believe, principled conservatives and libertarians are "celebrating" its demise.

Cross-posted at