Will Bloomberg Buy the Presidency?
Democrats may be moving from trying to buy the presidency with other people’s money to embracing someone they think might buy it with his.
Uninspired by their other aspirants, establishment Democrats are so dismayed by the prospect of nominating an avowed socialist that they’re considering a plutocrat.
Plutocracies are a form of oligarchy in which wealthy “elites” – plutocrats – control the government.
Michael Bloomberg, one of America’s wealthiest people, is an imperious, central-casting plutocrat. Despite a business career during which he amassed a fortune exceeding $60billion, a dozen properties world-wide and a fleet of private aircraft, Bloomberg’s accumulated belongings failed to satisfy his colossal ego, so he entered politics and bought three terms as New York’s mayor – as a Republican.
Now, his vanity still unsatisfied and the Republican nomination unavailable, Bloomberg is seeking the presidency as a Democrat. Ironically, Bloomberg’s political ambitions dilute, possibly ruin anyone else’s chances of stopping Bernie Sanders.
Other than a vague campaign slogan, “Mike will get it done,” Bloomberg offers no discernible political philosophy. In the first four months of his last-minute campaign, Bloomberg spent more than $400 million – none of it involving any icky hobnobbing and hand-touching with flyover-country commoners – primarily on misleading advertising often echoing his opponents’ prohibitively-expensive giveaways while attempting to make them sound “less extreme.”
Bloomberg’s ads have addressed climate change, tax hikes, health care, college tuition and student debt. In one, Bloomberg dishonestly claims to have led New York “through 9/11.” Another features “economic justice,” a thinly-disguised pledge of race-based subsidies. Clearly, whatever passes for Bloomberg’s “principles” doesn’t rule out pandering for votes.
Ad revenue-driven media love Mike. But opponents who already spent a year campaigning are less kindly-disposed, so, at his first debate appearance, they attacked a flatfooted, clearly-bewildered Bloomberg, revealing that “Political Ad” Mike and “Debate” Mike aren’t the same guy. If Bloomberg wilts before Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, imagine him facing President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg’s second debate quickly devolved into a cringe-worthy, off-the-rails, non-presidential bicker-fest among people who claim they will restore “dignity” to the White House. In it, Bloomberg showed America two things his money can’t buy – a laugh or a personality.
Publicly, Bloomberg lacks anything even resembling warmth. Moreover, Bloomberg’s documented transgressions against left-wing orthodoxies and, especially, statements denigrating minorities, women and LGBTQ groups offend progressives.
Bloomberg has said, “Black and Latino males don’t know how to behave in the workplace.” He’s generalized crime statistics to indict entire black communities, and served as an apologist for Communist China (where Bloomberg is heavily-invested) by defending their system as “legitimate,” their dictator answerable to “a constituency.”
By funding gun-control activism nationally, Bloomberg has shown contempt for Second Amendment rights. In 2011, Bloomberg said health care providers should deny treatment for elderly cancer patients to control health care costs. As president, at what age would Bloomberg cut off treatment for chronic, lingering illnesses like diabetes, asthma or multiple-sclerosis? Would he deny treatments for 86-year old cancer victim Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg?
For years, Bloomberg has faced allegations of profane, sexual, sexist comments and creating a hostile work environment for women, and he enjoyed a years-long friendship and political association with convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein.
Nonetheless, Michael “Highest-bid” Bloomberg may be a perfect choice for a party that merely pretends to govern in the interests of “less fortunate Americans” whose votes they harvest by bribing organized labor, “intersectional,” education, “climate” and other special interests with payoffs underwritten by public debt and the taxes of middle income earners who cannot afford expensive accountants, attorneys, tax code exemptions or tax-shelters.
Bloomberg’s late primary entry – exploiting his wealth to end-run America’s democratic system – reveals the profound, soulless cynicism of a man whose life is defined by money, someone who thinks everything and everybody is for sale.
Is Bloomberg right?
Bloomberg must first buy the nomination before he can attempt to buy the White House.
If elite Democrats broker their nomination and deny Sanders again, this time in favor of a cash bidder, they will confirm Bloomberg’s opinion that, in party politics, at least, there’s a price tag on everything.