A friend has forwarded Eric Levitz, The Price of a Bloomberg Nomination Is Too Damn High, a well-reasoned and well-argued essay whose thesis is that nominating Bloomberg would be making a Faustian bargain. See also:
A Few Preliminaries
As you all know, here at trumpedprogressives.com, we are nothing if not FAIR and BALANCED. Our constant motto is WE REPORT, YOU DECIDE. Hence, our willingness, yea eagerness, to cite articles with which we disagree, either in whole or in part.
When I vote in the primary next month, I will choose among the four plausible candidates for nomination, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Sanders, but I don’t know which will earn my vote, and I don’t know about Dr. Aardvark, either, though I think she’s leaning toward Amy.
Donald Trump wishes to overthrow the constitutional republic. If he is reelected, the American experiment that began in 1776 may come to a screeching halt in November, 2020. Certainly, he will do his damndest to achieve that end.
By contrast, Messrs. Bloomberg, Buttigieg, and Sanders, along with Ms. Klobuchar, do not aspire to overthrow the constitutional republic. Accordingly, I will choose which among them I think is most likely to beat Donald Trump. And I will apply that criterion rigidly, even if I also think that more than one of them would be likely to beat The Donald.
If you have a different criterion for casting your primary vote, then I am sure you are a nice person, but I don’t agree with you.
Finally, I would say that, to apply my criterion in a fully informed way, I need to fully wrap my mind around the best case that can be made against each candidate—and especially Bloomberg, who is both unconventional and problematic.
The Stop-and-Frisk/Racism/Civil Liberties Issue
In my judgment, this is the most serious gripe about Bloomberg, and it would probably be disqualifying, except for the fact that Trump wants to overthrow the constitutional republic and Bloomberg does not.
Moreover, Trump is in an extraordinarily poor position to take advantage of this concern. (a) It implies that you should vote on the issue, “Who is the bigger racist?” And, if anyone does want to vote on that single concern, Trump will gain the accolade of The Biggest Racist. (b) A lot of Trump supporters will like the stop-and-frisk policy. If Trump talks a lot about it, that would only make Bloomberg a more acceptable option in the eyes of many of his racist supporters.
So the question becomes: Does Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk record drive down voter enthusiasm on our side, especially among black voters. If the answer looks like it’s going to be yes, then I will be voting for a nominee other than Bloomberg.
And, by the way, I will be looking for information and data about what actual black people think. I’ll bet that lots of pundits don’t know any actual black people.
On this issue, we really need to let our African-American brethren and sistern drive the bus.
The Misogyny Issue
The first source cited above reports a claim that, when one of his employees showed up with an engagement ring, Bloomberg is said to have asked her, “What, is the guy dumb and blind?”
I once had exactly the same thought when a secretary walked in one morning, ecstatic about last evening’s marriage proposal from a New York City fireman. The difference between Bloomberg and me is that I only shared the thought with some of my colleagues. To the young lady, I offered my warmest congratulations and best wishes.
No, he shouldn’t ought to have said what he said, especially to the person he allegedly said it to. (And, of course, there are plenty of other alleged incidents along the same lines.)
But, on the other hand, he does not aspire to overturn the constitutional republic.
The Richie Rich Issue
Ceteris paribus, it might not be such a wonderful idea to vote for the twelfth richest person in the world. But folks, we are in desperate straits, and right now ceteris ain’t bloody well paribus.
The Campaign Spending Issue, or, Why Did Mike Bloomberg Go to the Mountain?
Mike Bloomberg went to the mountain for the same reason Mohammad went to the mountain: because the mountain would not come to him.
Here, the metaphorical mountain of which I speak is Facebook.
We live at a time when vast swaths of our fellow citizens have elected not to get their political information from reliable sources, but instead from unreliable social media. It is a ridiculous situation, and the tendency to rend our garments and cry to heaven over the futility of getting them to mend their ways is very strong. Alternatively, you can find a multi-billionaire willing to spend a million dollars of his own money every day on Facebook advertisements.