The career politicians in the administrative class like to call themselves “public servants” when they’re feeling humble, or “leaders” when a moment of vanity strikes.
They’re really more like imperial overlords. Sometimes they’re elected, sometimes they’re not, but either way what they love most is to spend our money on their own glorification.
Often they’re completely oblivious to how they look as their gilded chariots cruise past us, their vassals tossing rose petals in the air.
Manhattan’s newest little Caesar is Scott Stringer. If you read the papers over recent decades you’ve been vaguely aware of this dough-faced homunculus, who in a life light on accomplishments has nevertheless been happily drawing a taxpayer salary for more than 20 years.
Apparently Stringer mainly uses his Praetorian guard as chauffeurs, both for himself and his wife.
Twenty-odd years inside the palace walls have damaged Stringer’s memories of what life was like for the average plebeian, or even the average millionaire.
Stringer maintains a taxpayer-funded security detail of six, which you probably wouldn’t even know about if he hadn’t gotten peevish, leading four to ask to be reassigned.
Letitia James is the New York City public advocate, another ceremonial position that exists mainly to provide ambitious politicos a platform from which to conduct press conferences that build name recognition before running for mayor. (The previous public advocate was a guy named Bill de Blasio).
Somehow we managed to do without a public advocate before the office was created in 1993, yet James is such an important figure she also has a six-member security detail, as does the speaker of the City Council.
Among her dozens of staffers are two “first assistants” making $240,000 total and two directors of communications who earn a combined $200,000.
Throwing rose petals pays well.