Michael Bloomberg is apparently miffed by Karl Rove's statement that liberals were wimpier than conservatives in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
But the self-described liberal Republican mayor couldn't quite bring himself to criticize the White House's top political aide by name yesterday - which drew ringing denunciations from Democrats.
Democrats howled for Rove's scalp yesterday. But Bloomberg, who wasn't afraid to call himself "a liberal" during the 2001 race, took the high road - and avoided the words "Karl Rove" like a pothole.
In an enigmatic "Statement by Mayor Bloomberg on 9/11 Attacks" e-mailed to reporters, the mayor said, "We owe it to those we lost to keep partisan politics out of the discussion and keep alive the united spirit that came out of 9/11."He added that "9/11 was an attack on all of America. ... We have tried to keep politics out of the discussion," but didn't mention the right-wing Rove.
"For four years, New Yorkers have had to put up with a mayor who has consistently been afraid to take on George Bush," Democratic Committee Chairman Herman "Denny" Farrell Jr. said in a statement. "His utter failure to repudiate Karl Rove's ugly and divisive comments demonstrates yet again that he is willing to put his loyalty to the White House ahead of his commitment to New York."
Sorry, Mikey. The whole lot of "Moderate Republicans," "Centrist Republicans," "RINOs" or whatever else you're calling yourselves these days get no slack on this one. If you can't find the heart or integrity to denounce comments as disgusting, offensive and divisive as Rovenstein's, you're just another member of their team.
In the words of Athenae et al at First Draft: Not. One. Inch.