Political debates often turn on an interpretation of history, especially in today's New York. One of the most potent lines of attack is to say, "Do you want to go back to the bad old days of David Dinkins?"
Rudy Giuliani wields this tactic with relish. But as Michael Powell points out in today's Times, this charge involves a misreading of the Dinkins administration.
Dinkins was far tougher on crime than he is credited, and he worked to create more housing for the city. He had managerial flaws, but in general he worked far harder to meet his opponents than they did to meet him.
Powell's piece is a healthy antidote to the belief that only Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg know anything about running New York City.