“Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan,” said John F. Kennedy. And as the New York Democratic Party prepares to absorb its worst shellacking in 50 years, party leaders have found their motherless child to blame.

Scapegoating is a fine old tradition in American politics. Blaming black people may have gone out of style some, but New York Democrats have decided to bring back racial scapegoating by blaming New York City Mayor Eric Adams for the coming disaster.

Apparently, party leaders believe that Adams, a former police officer, was too candid in his assessment of the crime problem.

“He was an essential validator in the city to make their attacks seem more legit and less partisan,” said one Democratic operative working on campaigns in New York.

Get that? Things aren’t really that bad, even though the mayor of New York says they are. If only Eric Adams had kept his mouth shut, we’d be in much better shape!

Related: Even NY Dems Say Hochul Dropped Ball on Crime


“Crime today has been compared to the ’80s and the ‘90s, and the fact of the matter is that crime is lower now than it was then,” said Crystal Hudson, a Democratic New York City councilwoman from Brooklyn. “That’s emboldened the right to use crime as their narrative and put Democrats in a bad spot for these midterm elections.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin, Hochul’s GOP opponent, has taken to regularly invoking Adams on the campaign trail, to the point that some Democratic operatives have grimly joked that Zeldin could just run clips of Adams talking about crime as his closing ads.

Adams has been brutally honest about the breakdown in law and order. He partly blames the rise in crime on a 2019 radical change in the law that barred judges from setting cash bail for all but the most serious offenses.

The result has been violent crimes being committed by people who, in almost any other state, would have been incarcerated.

Multiple top Democrats argue that Adams could have used his credibility to buttress Hochul – whom allies point out is in a tricky political spot talking about crime in New York City as a 64-year-old White woman from Western New York – instead of loudly pushing the governor to call a special session of the legislature to roll back more of the new bail laws. Hochul also seemed to be caught surprised by the attacks and unsure of how to defend her record, with several elected officials and operatives saying she appeared to be balancing between different factions of the party rather than setting a firm agenda of her own.

So the answer is to blame the black guy. Instead of using his credibility as a former cop and his reputation as a law and order mayor to lie about the situation and reassure voters that all is well and there’s no need to panic, Adams tried to get New York Democrats in Albany off their backsides to repeal those ludicrous bail laws.

It isn’t just Hochul who’s in serious trouble. The seat held by Long Island Democrat Kathleen Rice is ready to flip, as are two seats north of the city — including that of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“It is an issue for voters, but it is not because they have personally experienced crime in the Hudson Valley or their neighbors are talking about crimes committed in the Hudson Valley as much as it is the narrative pushed by the industrial fear machine at Fox and the New York Post describing New York City as a lawless hellscape,” Maloney said in an interview. “That, understandably, is raising concerns among suburbanites.”

A “lawless hellscape” is a pretty apt description of a city where riders on mass transit are being murdered regularly.

“The concern over crime is real. It is acute,” said Rep. Mondaire Jones, a progressive Democrat who lost a primary to represent parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn after Maloney opted to run for a redrawn suburban seat that also included parts of Jones’ district. “But once this election is over, I hope people have an honest conversation about how Democrats like Eric Adams have validated a hysteria over crime that is uninformed and that has been debunked.”

They really don’t get it. “Crime isn’t that bad” is not the same as “citizens feel safe.” And that’s the “honest conversation” Democrats should have after getting slaughtered next Tuesday.

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