Today, a white-tailed, one-antlered deer that delighted crowds of Harlem residents for weeks died of stress and fear because the governor of New York is in a perpetual juvenile pissing match with the mayor of New York City.
The buck showed up a few weeks ago in Jackie Robinson Park, a narrow, ten-block stretch of green space in Harlem. No one is sure how he ended up in Manhattan, but the city was inclined to leave him alone so long as he didn’t pose a threat to people or traffic. Alas, his fate was sealed when he left his park to explore the Polo Ground Towers housing development.
So the city captured it, and announced that, according to accepted practice and state policy, the deer would be euthanized.
It was sad but probably inescapable. Deer are stupid, fearful, and fragile. The stress of capturing them is enough to cause injury, and experts seemed to agree that to relocate and release one into unfamiliar territory is in most cases just a prolonged and more agonizing form of execution than euthanasia.
None of that concerned Andrew Cuomo, who governs with no philosophy beyond capturing good headlines and settling scores. Cuomo has no coherent policy agenda; he careens from well-publicized cause to well-publicized cause. What he does have is a longstanding dedication to humiliating New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at every opportunity, for reasons that we, their constituents, can mostly only guess at. This can take the form of Cuomo unilaterally shutting down New York’s subways in advance of a blizzard without telling the mayor’s office, as happened last year. Or it can take the form of the governor of New York ordering his Department of Environment Conservation to take control of and relocate a one-antlered deer, which then dies in the process, just like everyone predicted it would.
Here’s how it happened, as it played out on the Twitter feed of NY1's Michael Scotto:
And then, one final, mirthless punchline: