The degree to which Michael Bloomberg is using his fortune to fundamentally alter & manipulate U.S. politics to his personal advantage extends way beyond ads. I’ve worked against him, covered him as a journalist & worked with his top aides. Here’s their playbook:
Let’s start with endorsements. Background: Bloomberg was a GOP mayor & Rudy Giuliani ally, whose police stopped innocent black men so often his tactics were ruled unconstitutional. So how did he possibly get key Democratic endorsements in NYC? Here’s one way . . .
In 2018, Mike spent $110 million to boost 24 candidates now in Congress. Turns out, giving people $2 million can be the start of a beautiful friendship. Then there are mayors: Want a grant from Bloomberg for new programs in your city…?
Forget endorsements: This campaign has grassroots support! Mike held events in various states recently & got huge crowds. They were clearly inspired by that “Mike Will Get It Done” energy. But *this* probably didn’t hurt, either…
There’s more at the link. It’s worth your time to read through the whole thread, and the comments afterwards.
This has potentially very negative implications for US politics as a whole. If Bloomberg wins the Presidency on the basis of how much he’s worth and how much he’s spent, then future elections are likely to be dominated by precisely the same tactics. It’ll be the Roman Empire’s “bread and circuses” dilemma all over again – and we all know what happened to the Roman Empire in the end. That’s not a happy thought for the USA today . . .
Earthbound Misfit, a blogger we’ve met in these pages before, and who’s far more liberal and left-wing in her politics than I or most of my readers, had this to say:
Here is my question for Democrats: How can you have spent the past ten years decrying the effect of Citizens United on American politics and then queue up to take his money and tailor your advocacy to suit his priorities? How can you have denounced the millions of dollars spent by Sheldon Adleman and the Koch Brotehrs and then take Bloomberg’s cash?
Democrats, if you have spent the last three years denouncing the plutocratic and inept authoritarianism of Trump, how can you look in a mirror and justify supporting another plutocrat with authoritarian tendencies, only one who is ten (or a thousand) times as rich as Trump and who also is at least twice as intelligent?
I have been a Democrat for a very long time, but I will have no truck with a party that sells its soul to a plutocrat.
There is a theory of child-rearing that holds that you don’t tell a toddler to wear a hat; you ask the toddler whether he wants to wear a yellow hat or a green hat. The kid’s happy because he got to choose, but the choice is a choice at the level of insignificance. The kid’s going to wear a hat.
The choice between between the Party of Trump and the Party of Bloomberg is an illusionary one. It’d be like having to choose between being ruled by Hitler or Stalin.
I can only agree with the overall thrust of her argument, even though I disagree on certain details. I recommend reading her article in full, particularly her link to a New York Times article that exposes how Bloomberg has used his wealth to stifle criticism and negative commentary.