Question of the Day

For me, at least. How many Bill de Blasio voters fell good about having voted for this?

Stephen Malone is a city-slicked John Grady, driving his black and plumed horse in loops around Central Park. After decades in the business, Malone has a relationship with his horse that he finds hard to explain — he knows his horse’s mannerisms and mood, and the beast in turn has adjusted to the rhythm of the city and his owner, moving in sync with traffic lights. Yet Malone’s career may soon be cut short, thanks to New York City’s new mayor.

“We are going to get rid of horse carriages, period,” Bill de Blasio said Monday. “We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape. . . . They are not humane. They are not appropriate for the year 2014. It’s over. So, just watch us do it.”

The city council would have to pass the ban, which would face immediate legal challenge from carriage drivers, many of whom have built their own small businesses with their horses and buggies.

[. . .]

“I’m a New Yorker — I don’t scare easy,” Malone adds. “But don’t get me wrong. Any time it’s not in your hands, it’s scary. . . . What it would mean to me personally would be the end of my lineage. It would be unconstitutional, un-American to steal my business, to take my horse away from me. And I’m 44, been doing this for 26 years. That pretty much makes me unemployable for anything else.”

Malone may fare poorly if de Blasio gets his way, but his horse could fare even worse.

Horses are expensive — with food and boarding, they can cost thousands a month — so they’re particularly vulnerable in the bad economy. And a horse’s unemployment crisis can have deadly implications; the fact that no slaughterhouses are currently in operation in the United States, far from preventing horse deaths, has resulted in the outsourcing of slaughter for animals that have become too pricey for their owners. Up to 100,000 American horses are shipped to their demise in Mexico and Canada each year.

Alternative Question of the Day: How many de Blasio voters thought, during the course of the mayoral campaign, that they were voting for a mayor who was committed to making a certain class of New Yorkers unemployed and unemployable, and who was committed to ensuring that horses would get killed for no good reason whatsoever?

UPDATE: Nick Gillespie compares de Blasio to Caligula, with the difference being that at least Caligula had the decency to make his horse a senator, instead of, you know, consigning him to the slaughterhouse.