Bill de Blasio thinks a lot of himself.
Seventeen months into his mayoralty, he's moved on. The mayor is now ready to tackle the entire nation's problems, so long as they don't begin before 9 a.m.
Tuesday, de Blasio will lay out his vision for universal economic fairness in America, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). His remarks were honed, no doubt, during his Sandinista days in Nicaragua and between mojitos in Havana.
Two conversations are sure to emerge from de Blasio's pronouncement. The first is predictable socialist drivel: The world's unfair, the rich exploit the poor, omniscient government -- led by us -- will set things right.
The second will be on de Blasio himself. Progressives will hail him as visionary, and normal New Yorkers will ask who the heck he thinks he is. What will be unarguable is his ballooning ambition. And therein lies the delicious irony that fundamentally undermines anything he says Tuesdayin Washington, where he's expected to hold a presser to roll out a national progressive agenda.
Henry Ward Beecher noted from the pulpit of Brooklyn's Plymouth Church a century and a half ago that, "A man without ambition is worse than dough that has no yeast in it to raise it." The acclaimed optimist -- and ardent abolitionist -- saw the kernel of American greatness in individual aspiration. Unfortunately for Mrs. Beecher, Henry Ward's ambitions were too often realized beneath the petticoats of other women.
But in hailing ambition as an American virtue, Beecher was correct. Human aspiration has driven us to excel in all things. It's what makes people rise an hour earlier than everyone else and work an hour later. And thank God for the instinct. It has given us lifesaving medicines, an abundant food supply, world class universities -- yes, even the iPhone.
But in de Blasio's field of endeavor, political power, success is not attained through concrete achievement, but through the artful dissemination of discontent. For de Blasio to realize his own American dream, he needs to convince others that they don't have a shot at their own.
Bill de Blasio is infected by the very bug he rails against.
William F. B. O'Reilly is a Republican consultant.