A quarterly magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute, edited by Brian C. Anderson.
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One Tough Nutter « Back to Story
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Nutter is a failure. He doesn't understand economics raising the sales tax 1% will not increase funding. Cut the sales tax and reign in spending and actually try to attract business and people back to the city. Then you can put the revenue in to the schools. The other thing is a city that doesn't have any strong opposition is doomed whether the opposition is republican or democrat. One party in to long is a disaster. See Detroit, Chicago,and Philly
One year after Nutter gave this speech to that church in West Philly, he was back in West Philly leading the heckling against an appearance by Mitt Romney at a public school. He said that Romney didn't belong in the neighborhood. Tells you all you need to know
Bit of Monday morning quarterbacking here, but this is part of Mayor Nutter's response to the verdict in Florida regarding the Martin/Zimmerman case:
"We are a country governed by the rule of law, and while I respect the criminal justice system, I am deeply saddened by and strongly disagree with the verdict of "not guilty" in this case. A young black man is dead without any real explanation. George Zimmerman took an innocent life. Trayvon Martin, who at trial was made to appear threatening when all he had was a bag of Skittles and an ice tea, should not have died at Zimmerman's hands and I believe the jury should have exacted a penalty."
The mayor has chosen to interject himself in the controversy, making sure to play up race. He also conveniently ignores not only the evidence in the case (the "explanation" he claims is lacking), but also Martin's cell phone photos of himself with gold teeth, himself holding a gun, and a photo of a pot plant. Philly is awash in crime committed primarily by Black males, but for political expediency, His Honor is going to ignore the obvious and claim racism.
When mobs of Black youths start attacking and beating people of other races on the streets of Philly, as they have done multiple times in the past, I hope Nutter doesn't feign outrage.
Don't know the Mayor, so it is hard to opine on his core beliefs, be it Obama statist or Ted Cruz Libertarian. But, in a city of majority Dems, that believe they are entitled and that businessemen and Republicans are evil, he must play the right tune for people to follow.
He takes great risk telling people that they are responsible for their lack of prosperity or the social ills of the City. Most inter-cities want a scapegoat, not truth about their own shortcomings and irresponsibility as the problem.
“80 percent of homicides are black-on-black” in Philadelphia.
Facts are a pesky annoying issue to liberals. I wonder why increasing law and order principles on blacks decreased the bad behavior?
Republicans should run commercials on Nutter and continue to tell people why Philly has improved under a democrat who uses Republican actions.
What's the world coming to? Will people start asking for an end to the welfare state?
One more thing,
Can anyone on your end of things please respond to Robert Straschewski's lucid observation?
Also, why is Ethan (played like all 88 keys on the piano) Epstein still on the payroll?
I have lived in Philadelphia since 1985. Ethan Epstein is a clueless turd. Jeanne Patterson needs to start a fanclub.
You can't find anyone in this City who has anything good to say about Mike Nutless.
Well maybe in a building full of government employees...
Yes, those women forced those men to be sperm donors, didn't they? Always the woman's fault, eh?
Jeanne Patterson's comments are the true version of events in Philly. The orginal artical belongs in The Atlantic or Salon, not City Journal. What happened?
A great profile, thanks; hope his work pays off for this great city.
Nutter may be doing some good things, but he's still just a black race baiter and political fellow traveler of Barack Obama even though a few of his polities are a departure from leftist boilerplate.
Exhibit A was his visceral reaction to the article "White in Philadelphia" in which white people were allowed to give their perspective on racial issues. It seems white people should not be allowed to express opinions on race that contradict his own and he went so far as to suggest the article be censored.
Exhibit B was that he did not acknowledge and condemn the brutal black on white violence that occurred. In my view he seemed more concerned with the reputation of young black men as a result of the attacks than the victims.
It's funny how Epstein celebrates a semi-competent, but race obsessed pro-black mayor like Nutter, yet he and the rest of the American press corps would condemn a white mayor equally preoccupied with race.
There is little I can add to Jeanne Patterson's excellent response to the madness of implying that Mayor Nutter has a conservative streak. Nutter throws a curveball now and then, but essentially, he is a socialist liberal just like Obama. He decries the results of our bankrupt welfare state, while emphatically supporting it and the arch-criminal of all welfare statists, Barack Obama. He is slightly less two-faced than the President, but two-faced he is. Nutter's support of Hilary Clinton during the primaries was a safe choice, as there is no difference between her agenda and Obama's. And when it comes down to it, he is a firm backer of the Democratic Party agenda, which means that Philadelphia will continue it's downward slide as long as Nutter is mayor.
But he was good in "Law Abiding Citizen". He probably would have made a couple of cameos in "Cold Case" if was still on the air when he took office :-)
P.S. Every last one of my relatives who once lived in Philly has long ago moved out of the city to the suburbs.
I grew up in a distant small-town suburb of Philly from the late 50's to the mid-70's when I left Southeastern PA. My mother, aunts and uncles, and a couple cousins were all born and raised in South Philly when it was a nice place to live and raise a family.
We visited my relatives regularly while I was growing up, but since we didn't live there I had a perspective that the city dwellers didn't have -- and that was, and continues to be, that Philly has been on a slow-death path for nearly 60 years. And unfortunately that is unlikely to change because I believe it long ago may well have passed the tipping point.
To anyone who knows the city -- and is fair-minded and rational -- the problem is obvious, if not politically correct to state. And despite however well intentioned his efforts, Nutter -- nor anyone else for that matter -- is likely to fix it anytime soon, if ever.
If you live there -- get out, while there is still time.
Having read Jeanne Peterson´s long and powerful contribution I got confused and disoriented. Philadelphia is a symbol of the essnce of republican tradition and deserves a ´special treatment´by its own patriots and politically aware citizens, I believe. Where the gifted and competent young men and women willif serve public interest are?
God bless Michael Nutter - let´s hope he will become a model personality for the new generation .
Thank you Mayor Michael Nutter.
He is a left wing, incompetent, social Democrat. Spare me the false narrative.
Interesting - Nutter can be conservative but not a Republican,thanks to Democratic media, which has made Republican a dirty word - even as Democrats have sytematically destroyed much of the black community - in an effort to keep it poor,dependent and most of all - voting for Democrats.
Nutter's honesty is refreshing but he doesn't go far enough to identify those that have made the community capable of having these problems, a half a century after the civl rights movement made possible equality before the law.
After all, where is the power here? It is, as it have been for decades, in the hands of the ruling party, which is more than comfortable with the way things are.
Nutter is just one man, not a movement, and one man isn't nearly enough.
Nutter supports gay marriage. So much for believing in fatherhood.
He's just another BS-ing liberal.
"Gay" is treatable.
This is a hopeful article (and City Journal needs more in this category!). For me a useful update too: I lived in Philadelphia for years, up through the Mayor Street regime. Street had a certain amount of personal charm, but he had no answers for the city's problems, and allowed his intimate associates to engage in patronage. There are many woes for dear Philadelphia. And yet a lot to be proud of too. It is NOT Detroit. There IS hope, and I think Mayor Nutter has done well.
If the Nutter truly wants to reverse "absentee fatherhood" then he'd advocate mandatory father-only custody of children except within marriage.
But he doesn't so he really only intends that his man-bashing scores political points, not solve the social ills caused by irresponsible sperm-soliciting, baby-craving females.
Mayor Nutter's unflagging efforts to improve life in his city are commendable, indeed, Herculean.
But his task is Sisyphean. AFSCME and the AFT are the de facto rulers of America's cities, and their sole, single-minded agenda is to aggrandize its members and, in particular, its functionaries. The unions take no prisoners -- and the welfare of the citizens their unions supposedly serve be damned.
Any of Nutter's victories will be seen in retrospect as mere skirmishes, with the unions devouring everything -- including, ironically, themselves -- in the end.
wonderful man. it does seem that, in america today, even blacks are not permitted to speak the truth about blacks. what name can one give to a society in which everyone is obliged to engage in endless lying about 15% of the society's population?
What a disappointment - and coming from a generally respected source, City Journal. I am Canadian but even I know that Philadelhia's Mayor Nutter is an Obama-toadying nut job and the city is a bankrupt hell-hole. As Jeanne wrote - issuing a few of the usual meaningless "platitudes" about bad black men who have kids and then abandon them is not "good gov't". Haven't we heard that from various establishment black men for several decades now? I think Bill Cosby started it years ago but now it seems that every black guy who wants to score a few pogey points with the new "leader" in town repeats them.
"And what would you call a mayor with priorities like Nutter’s—law and order, fiscal prudence, and personal responsibility—if not conservative?"
Oh please, conservatives don't OWN rational ideas and have no grounds to claim them-- especially when they let the nuts in their party run everything--especially when they elect people like Bush who leave behind unmitigated disasters and take utterly no responsibility for them.
Say, Jeanne, you missed that one episode in the Philadelphia school system where condoms were ordered given to these innocent little kiddies due to the rampant sexually transmitted diseases Nutter's community is suffering from. If we really want to ban something, why not start with jazz, rock 'n roll, blues, Motown, rap and all the other murderous, misogynistic, flesh inspiring and spirit destroying forms of music? Or have we all forgotten about Skinner's little Box experiments and are now, for over 60 years, have suffered witlessly from its power over us?
Hear, hear, Jeanne. It is heartbreaking and infuriating.
A friend went to the Liberty Bell exhibit, and was furious: it was all about slavery, slavery, slavery, and oh, did I mention? slavery.
Not One Thing about our Revolution, our Freedom, our Declaration of Independence.
THAT was at the LIBERTY BELL. He asked a troglodyte govt. security guard type where the information was about America's Revolution, and the guard just gave him a snide remark.
Please, please, tell me that this article is satire. I received my paper copy of the Journal a few days ago and could not believe my eyes.
I live in an older ring suburb of Philadelphia and worked in Center City for over 25 years. I do not know a single person of any political party, race or creed that does not see Mayor Nutter a complete and utter failure.
You are aware, are you not, that Philadelphia is on the verge of bankruptcy? If not, Google "America's 5th Largest City Bankrupt" and you will find the articles relating to the looming disaster with the bondholders. I know Bloomberg & Misha had articles. Cronyism, corruption, special interest groups, and waste - you name it, it is rampant and Mayor Nutter has done next to nothing reign in the looming financial disaster. In fact, he has exacerbated the situation.
Side note: A new article that appeared over the weekend in FrontPage Magazine: Philly Nears Bankruptcy, Decides to Cover Sex Changes for City Workers
Regarding crime, 2012 saw an increase in murders from the previous 2 years of 2010 & 2011. As for flash mobs, we had one 3 weeks ago at 3:00PM at 16th & Chestnut. Of course, only 3-4 few "youths" were arrested. And there have been other mobs as well - they just don't get reported anymore. *Wink, wink. (The Inquirer has been purchased by a Democrat & union group in the past year - as if it hadn't lived up to it's nickname as the the Pinky before!) And Nutter's big "crime initiative" is nothing but empty platitudes. Instead, look where his efforts really lie: his ceaseless efforts at gun-grabbing from law abiding citizens. Nutter is a leading light in Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Guns groups and has been since the beginning. Although the “Inky” buries the stories, violent crime, robberies, etc. are rampant and have spread to the suburbs. Where I live, young offenders take the “El” after school hours to the suburbs, rob our homes and return to the city via their free TransPass. 4-6 PM is a very dangerous time for the inner-ring suburbs. My next-door neighbor’s house was robbed & vandalized 2 months ago at 5 PM in broad daylight. It is not safe to walk Philadelphia streets at any time of the day or night. Perhaps if you had left your writer's bubble and interviewed real people, you would've discovered that fear and unease is the common sentiment in today's Philadelphia.
Regarding reinforcing black family values, would you consider leading several "Hoodie" rallies for Trayvon Martin a plus? Or showing up to lead a shouting protest when Mitt Romney attended a black Charter school during the presidential campaign of 2012, stating that Gov. Romney was "not wanted" in Philadelphia? Or regularly stoking racial tensions? Look up incidents at South Philly High where Asians are regularly attacked by black students & the response from Nutter .....crickets.
How about the Boy Scouts? Quote from Mayor Nutter on the Boy Scouts: The City of Philadelphia wants the Boy Scouts to be prepared — prepared, that is, to change their views on homosexuality or get out of the city-owned building they have occupied for 80 years. "As a city government we cannot allow discrimination in the delivery of services on public property; that is the issue," said Mayor Michael Nutter. "The Boy Scouts, they have some options here — they can change their policy, they can pay full-market rent, or they cannot be on public property."
Oh, and Mayor Nutter regularly uses foul language in public (he’s famous for it). He demeans opponents, race-baits and encourages the victim mentality at every turn. Sure he talked a good game before his 1st election and even early in his 1st term but that “posture” soon vanished. Sorta like with his best bud, Obama, who he tirelessly promotes.
Speaking of elections and Obama, Nutter spent 2012 tirelessly campaigning for President Obama and neglecting his duties of governing the city: speeches, rallies, MSNBC appearances, fund-raising, get out the vote efforts, etc. He even had the District Attorney and other city workers lead & attend Obama rallies ON CITY TIME on a regular basis. If we had a media that wasn't Democrat-party-owned (or even a periodical like City Journal that wasn't writing puff pieces that can’t even seem to get their facts straight), this would be a huge story, but...crickets.
And speaking of schools, let’s talk about the Philadelphia Schools - try Googling some information about them – it’s not a pretty picture as they are a spectacular failure. . They’ve been taken over by the state since they have no money and are basically non-functional. Test cheating, big money to directors who don't perform, children who can't read or write. And remember how I said I live in an older ring suburb? It is estimated that approximately 20% of the students in my suburban school district are Philadelphia residents attending with false documentation or through relatives. As recently as 10 years ago, my district was in the top 50 districts; it is now in the bottom 10 and for this privilege I pay $12,000 in taxes for a house that is worth basically ...well, I’d be lucky to be able sell it.
Most recently, Mayor Nutter has led a witch hunt, threatening Philadelphia Magazine with "racism" sanctions through the PA Human Relations Commission because they dared to write a completely inoffensive article "Being White in Philadelphia". The Weekly Standard covered this well in an article just released yesterday. See: The Philadelphia Inquisition: http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/philadelphia-inquisition_719173.html
So, I think your article, “One Tough Nutter” article is truly an egregious example of the soft bigotry of low expectations. Did you find it necessary to write something good about him because a black mayor ONCE OR TWICE called out black families? Or talked a good game? Because Mayor Nutter is a dismal failure. And no, he is not a conservative. In fact, I'd say he is hard left. (If you have any doubts at all, all you need to do is watch his appearances on MSNBC over the past 2 years where he is a regular guest.)
My husband is an attorney and I'm an insurance broker. Both of us worked in Philadelphia for over 25 years. We have both lost jobs in the city during the past 4 years as more businesses leave. For the first time in my life, I do not feel safe in the city at any time or place. And it breaks my heart to see the city that I once loved being destroyed by the destructive policies and actions of a party and a mayor.
I really expected more of City Journal. How can we fix problems if we can’t identify & call them out? Why would you praise a man like this? Is it because he’s black and mouthed a few platitudes? Because all his actions took the city further & further along the path to destruction? I understand why the Dem media won't report but I expected more from your publication than political correctness. Perhaps it is true that there is "country class" and a "ruling class" and the “elites” will never get it. If so, we truly are doomed. and for that I'm sorrier than words can express.