New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is no stranger to controversy, but is he crossing the line in his recent pursuits for stricter gun control and a city-wide soda ban?
That’s the question many in the nation are asking after he plainly admitted on NBC that the government “should” infringe on personal freedoms in certain cases.
“I do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom,” Bloomberg said during a discussion of his controversial “soda ban.” Though the proposal was recently shot down by the courts, Bloomberg said that he will continue his fight to control portion sizes of soda drinks in his city.
“We think the judge was just clearly wrong on this,” he remarked. “Our Department of Health has the legal ability to do this. … [They’re] not banning anything,” he insisted.
Bloomberg has stepped up a number of policy pushes over the last several months, many of which have earned him significant ire from his critics. The line is pretty evenly laid regarding public opinion of Mayor Bloomberg. He has been regarded as both bold and courageous by his supporters, but has also earned harsh criticism from his opponents.
Aside from his “soda ban,” Bloomberg has most recently pushed for much stricter gun control in his city, as well as a policy that would force hospitals to refuse baby formula to new mothers in an effort to “encourage” them to breast feed.
For Mediaite, Noah Rothman wrote a highly critical column of Bloomberg, in which he called the mayor “the best thing to happen to Republicans since Citizens United.”
“Bloomberg’s unashamed efforts to ban or curtail those pleasures his unelected bureaucrats deem harmful is unvarnished progressivism’s oldest and most distasteful impulse,” he writes, continuing, “Second, Bloomberg is the physical embodiment of the hypocrisy the Democratic Party and the media display on campaign finance reform issues.”
“Combined with the news that the liberal Tides Foundation had contributed five times more progressive causes than the oft-maligned libertarian Koch Brothers contributed to Republicans, Bloomberg’s financial contributions to liberal candidates demonstrates that progressives and the media establishment are only concerned about campaign finance issues when Democratic candidates are endanger of losing elections.”
MSN was a bit more playful, but no less critical of Bloomberg. “If the mayor doesn’t watch his step, the good people of NYC may soon start infringing on his right to open his mouth and speak into a microphone,” they wrote.
What do you think? Is Mayor Michael Bloomberg crossing the line? Does the government have to infringe on personal freedom in certain circumstances?