It’s tempting to say Democrats are selling their principles to Michael Bloomberg to try to stop Trump in the election, but they have nothing to sell. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:
Mike Bloomberg is the world’s ninth richest person. An oligarch known for strong racism and insultingsexism who once was the Republican mayor of New York City. He since decided that he wants to become president.
As he saw no chance to run for a Republican party that is happy with Trump he filed to run as a Democratic candidate. Bloomberg has since bought the Democratic Party in every state as well as the DNC:
The DNC told Mike Gravel they wouldn’t change the debate rules for any candidate. “That’s our #1 rule – we can’t change the rules for anybody.”A few months later, they changed the debate rules to let oligarch Bloomberg into the debates… after he gave the DNC $300K.
He’s dropping huge sums of money: on staff and resources, on TV advertisements, and on Facebook ads, where Trump has long dominated. And he’s attempting to overcome his stodgy public image with the help of a meme army and through well-catered campaign events seemingly designed to convince voters that life under a wealthy technocrat might not be so bad. “I think it’s classy,” one supporter told the Times at a Philadelphia campaign rally complete drink station and a selection of cheesesteaks, hoagies, and brie-and-fig appetizers. “I feel like it’s a nightclub in here. This is what he needs to get people going.”
To this date Bloomberg has spent more than $350 million for his campaign. He is willing and can afford to put several billions into it. Over the years Bloomberg has given more than $10 billion to build a political and philanthropical empire. He used that money to suppress voices critical of him:
In 2015, Center for American Progress researchers wrote a report on U.S. Islamophobia, w/a 4300-word chapter on the Bloomberg-era NYPD.When the report was published, the chapter was gone.
By then, Bloomberg had given CAP ~$1.5mm. That number has grown.
The really bad thing is that it works:
3 months ago, polls found Mike Bloomberg “widely disliked” with the highest negatives in the race. Now he’s a top 3 contender for the Democratic nomination. One of the richest humans ever is trying to upend every part of the process. And this is just the stuff we know about.
The Democratic Party and lots of its bought off functionaries seem to be happy with this. They do not mind that it makes the U.S. look worse than the Ukraine. Yes, U.S. politics are always corrupt. But outright buying one’s way into office is exceeding the usual stench.
But would Bloomberg, with Hillary Clinton as running mate, really be able to bring out the votes that are needed to beat Trump? I for one doubt it.
Atrios is appalled by the whole scheme but still falls for it:
Bloomberg is bad for lots of reasons, and one of them is PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO WILLING TO EMBRACE A BILLIONAIRE WHO IS BUYING (not just ads, but people) THE ELECTION WITH HIS ABSURD FORTUNE. I mean, ok, sure, if it’s BLOOMBERG OR TRUMP I’ll choose Bloomberg, but why are people establishing this as the choice? It’s absurd. The only person who can beat an asshole (fake, I know) billionaire is another asshole billionaire? Broken brains everywhere.
“[I]f it’s BLOOMBERG OR TRUMP I’ll choose Bloomberg” is, in my view, exactly the wrong response to this hijacking of a party and election. It is this behavior that makes Bloomberg’s move possible in the first place.
Any good response to billionaires hijacking elections must demonstrate that campaigns by rich people have a high risk of failing. To vote for a third party or to abstain is the only responsible reaction to it.