Marketing His Way to Monopoly
February 19, 2020 5:04 PM   Subscribe

Tom Scocca on what it means for democracy when pundits, politicos, and the powers that be tell voters that “Michael Bloomberg is the only person who can beat Donald Trump, because he has the power to beat Donald Trump, because he has the money”: Can he alone fix it? As Charles M. Blow asks, are Democrats willing to forego their party values, and do they even need to?

Today, after a long weekend of critical coverage—including his history of personal and professional sexism (WaPo) and how his charitable giving has muffled criticism and fostered his standing in Democratic causes (NYT)—Bloomberg’s campaign heavily hinted to Axios that Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg should drop out of the race to make way for Mike. Bloomberg will participate in his first Democratic primary debate tonight, after a qualifying poll placed his support at 19% nationwide. He will not appear on a ballot until Super Tuesday.
posted by sallybrown (306 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Legends say that if you tilt your head just so, you can hear a distant whistle and rhythmic thumping. That, the old ones tell us, is Scattercat still screaming and beating his head against his desk, long into the night that never ends.
posted by Scattercat at 5:31 PM on February 19 [34 favorites]


I don't trust *national* polls about who beats Trump head to head, and neither should anyone who actually cares about winning after 2016 -- state-by-state or GTFO, and I suspect my favorite progressives struggle in that contest more than they do on a national basis.

But there's no way I'm voting for Bloomberg in the primary. If he somehow wins the nomination? Sure. I've said I'll vote for a coughed up hairball over Trump and at least Bloomberg has evidence of some kinds of competence beyond corruption and grift. Primary? Just no.
posted by wildblueyonder at 5:36 PM on February 19 [24 favorites]


Can we seriously start taxing these people at 95% again? Please?
posted by Slinga at 5:39 PM on February 19 [97 favorites]


This post leans heavily as a political bash. How is this not just another rant piece?
posted by waving at 5:45 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


So, I'm a pretty liberal and progressive person. I'll be voting for candidates that reflect those beliefs up and down the ticket, like I always do. Michael Bloomberg absolutely is not even close to either of those things.

He's a Republican running to disrupt the progressive candidates and to massage his own ego. More accurately to the first part, he's trying to torpedo the progressive tax plans. Well, gee, spending $300m, or whatever his current campaign spend is, sounds like a bad way to save money! Except that he would pay $3b less in taxes compared to, say, Bernie Sanders' plan. To say nothing of how that would probably look vs the current GOP theft tax breaks.

And if you've been anywhere near the internet, you've seen the stream of sources, videos, documents, etc that pretty conclusively prove what everyone from NYC already knew: Michael Bloomberg is a flagrant racist, sexist, and is generally a bigoted jackwagon. For example:

> "You've got to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed," Bloomberg can be heard saying. "You want to spend the money on a lot of cops in the streets, put the cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods."

> "So, one of the unintended consequences is people say, 'Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.' Yes, that is true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that is true. Why did we do it? Because that's where all the crime is," Bloomberg says. "And the way you get the guns out of the kid's hands is to throw them up against the walls and frisk them."

source

> That same year, Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show that not enough Black and brown folks were stopped and frisked. “I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” he said at the time.

> Back around the start of the Great Recession of 2008, Bloomberg was asked, “how we got here.” He responded by blaming the ending of “redlining,” a racist practice to keep wealth from Black and brown people in America.

> “Redlining, if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said people in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages,” he said at the time. “Tell your salesmen don’t go into those areas. And then Congress got involved and local elected officials as well. And said, ‘Oh, that’s not fair. These people should be able to get credit.’ And once you started pushing in that direction, banks started making more and more loans where the credit of the person buying the house wasn’t as good as you would like.”


Redlining
, if you remember, is indeed actually "not fair", despite Bloomberg's dismissive mockery.

source

And of course, we need to consider the fact that he has done exactly what so many are upset about already: purchasing power. Call it oligarchy (but not on MSNBC!) if you like, I just consider it anti-Democratic and anti-"We the fucking People". He's crafted a ton of ultra-slick ads, viral campaigns, social media trends, etc and if you look at the polls... it's sadly working. He hasn't even been on a debate stage up to this point and he's already displacing several other actual Democratic candidates.

So I guess what I'm saying is, fuck Michael Bloomberg. But also, fuck the media and the DNC for pumping so much oxygen into his campaign. I only hope the other Democratic candidates focus fire on him during the debates, calling out all of his vile, corrupt bullshit.

Apologies for the wall of vented spleen.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 5:48 PM on February 19 [91 favorites]


Replacing Trump with Bloomberg would be a Pyrrhic victory for the Democrats, since (1) Bloomberg is in many ways as bad as Trump but with more competence, and (2) Bloomberg's nomination would rip the party apart forever.

That said, Bloomberg would not replace Trump if nominated, because Trump would annihilate Bloomberg in the general.

So basically, if all you want to do is destroy the Democratic party and give Trump another term, vote Mike.
posted by Beardman at 5:54 PM on February 19 [39 favorites]


This post leans heavily as a political bash. How is this not just another rant piece?

There’s no shortage of Bloomberg bash pieces out there, but I found these two opinion pieces worth considering because they are not only thoughtful and fact-based, but also about more than just the candidate—they think about what his candidacy means for the party and the process, and what his success or failure would say about them.
posted by sallybrown at 5:56 PM on February 19 [31 favorites]


Interesting point: Bloomberg was the only campaign to send field organizers out to present/pitch for our tiny central committee (we're in a rural county). No one else.

That being said, fuck oligarchy.

I've been discussing with my candidate that concept of 'strategy of mobilization' versus 'strategy of apathy'- conventionally, an incumbent prefers a strategy of apathy, or low turnout, as low turnout elections favor incumbents, while high turnout elections favor the candidate that seems as the outsider.

Or to put it another way: in US electoral history, generally, where there is a perception of two candidates being 'insiders', the incumbent will win. In a fresh race, generally, in US history, for an open office, the candidate that is perceived as the outsider wins.

Bloomberg is highly conducive to a strategy of apathy, which will benefit Trump. It's elementary politics to just portray the two candidates as being fundamentally the same- sexist old oligarchs from Wall Street- and Trump will prevail in that narrative.

And I know, less of two evils. But that's still evil.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 5:58 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]


How does a guy like Bloomberg even get to throw his hat in the ring as a Democrat? That points to a huge flaw in the process right there.
posted by aiglet at 6:06 PM on February 19 [25 favorites]


I agree completely with the first comment taking about national polls -- they are close to worthless. Yes it's extremely important to beat Trump, and as such the electoral college polls are the only ones that matter! Why is this so hard to figure out? I am missing something probably, as usual.
posted by chaz at 6:10 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]




I've been discussing with my candidate that concept of 'strategy of mobilization' versus 'strategy of apathy'- conventionally, an incumbent prefers a strategy of apathy, or low turnout, as low turnout elections favor incumbents, while high turnout elections favor the candidate that seems as the outsider.

Or to put it another way: in US electoral history, generally, where there is a perception of two candidates being 'insiders', the incumbent will win. In a fresh race, generally, in US history, for an open office, the candidate that is perceived as the outsider wins.

Bloomberg is highly conducive to a strategy of apathy, which will benefit Trump. It's elementary politics to just portray the two candidates as being fundamentally the same- sexist old oligarchs from Wall Street- and Trump will prevail in that narrative.

This kind of implies, and I think I agree, that Sanders might actually be the most electable candidate. I think American voters are hungry for change, and Trump, despite his outsider status in the last election, has consolidated the Republican party around him enough that he can easily be portrayed as part of the machine. Sanders can portray himself as an outsider who can fix healthcare, an issue that, even in the primary, he completely owns. The Republican instinct would be to attack him as a socialist, but this plays right into his hands, because not only is he not ashamed of it, but his campaign can deflect it into talking about how well socialist healthcare can work.
posted by Merus at 6:17 PM on February 19 [14 favorites]


The day The Democratic Party needs to rely on a Republican to save us is the day we need to shut down the party for good. The only reason Bloomberg is a Democrat in this election is because the Republicans won’t let him in, having signed up for a view of Trump’s uvula by way of his colon.

If he wins the nomination, then fuck this country - I will happily pull up a lawn chair and watch the world burn.
posted by drivingmenuts at 6:17 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


Here's your political bash. It's searing, beautifully written, and completely true.

Mike Bloomberg spent over a decade presiding over a gargantuan machine for oppressing people of color, the poor, and poor people of color most of all—a total, merciless system for violating their bodies, controlling their lives, and driving them from their homes and communities. He is the carceral and surveillance state personified, and the living embodiment of its unholy fusion with racial capitalism’s processes of gentrification and the extraction of wealth.

Bloomberg is an authoritarian, a racist, and a sexist. He's spent years and millions buying silence and support. He's a Republican and an oligarch and he's trying to buy the Presidency.
posted by Mavri at 6:22 PM on February 19 [42 favorites]


Guys guys but Elizabeth Warren was Republican until 1995 she's just as bad
posted by benzenedream at 6:36 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]


Sure Bloomberg is basically just Trump with some decor and a working brain, but Sanders supporters were rude to me on Twitter.
posted by Reyturner at 6:38 PM on February 19 [39 favorites]


Bloomberg is an authoritarian, a racist, and a sexist. He's spent years and millions buying silence and support. He's a Republican and an oligarch and he's trying to buy the Presidency.

And, let's not forget, a massive grotesque transphobe.

You know how people have been saying, for years, that to vote for Trump even out of economic anxiety is to ignore the vast swathes of people he was othering and doing violence to? The same is true for Bloomberg.

I will never vote for Bloomberg in the general. Fuck the "vote blue no matter who" dogshit, when that means a fascist with a D next to his name who wants me and everyone like me dead.
posted by kafziel at 6:48 PM on February 19 [41 favorites]


If Bloomberg wins the nomination, I won't vote. He is Trump but cleverer.
posted by weed donkey at 6:49 PM on February 19 [11 favorites]


> Sure Bloomberg is basically just Trump with some decor and a working brain, but Sanders supporters were rude to me on Twitter.

Soledad, is that you?
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 6:56 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


I'm willing to vote for him in the general because he believes climate change is real. That's it, that's the reason. A fascist who believes in climate change is, to my mind, strictly better than one who doesn't. The world may warm a bit slower. The benefit of that to the entire planet writ large is enough for me to vote for him in the general on harm mitigation grounds.

It might be a hard call for me if he was substantially worse than Trump on any -isms, but Trump is very bad on all of them too.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:58 PM on February 19 [19 favorites]


They all believe climate change is real. It's just that most of them are planning on weathering it with eco-fascism induced genocide.
posted by Reyturner at 7:10 PM on February 19 [26 favorites]


I said this on twitter, and others are saying it here: one of the only saving graces of the last three years is that Trump is terribly ineffective. He doesn't know what he's doing, he has no ability to focus and see something through, and is easily swayed away from what he said. He has the object permanence of a goldfish, and as bad as things have gotten under him, they would be so much worse if he was competent.

Bloomberg is competent Trump. He's running for president under the assumption that if Sanders (or Warren) wins (which, current projections seem to say is entirely possible), there's a very real chance that he will be made to pay more taxes. Current estimates peg his tax liability under Sanders' plan as $3 billion, making the $300 million he's thrown around so far seem like nothing.

He's as democratic as, say, Bill Gates, who couldn't say he'd vote for Warren over Trump because it would affect his (obscene) wealth. Bloomberg would be perfectly happy with 4 more years of Trump, he just doesn't want 4 years of social and economic reform that would require him, and people like him, to actually pay their fair share of the bill for making society work.

As far as this being a hit piece... Look, twitter is absolutely filled with stories of people of color explaining how Stop and Frisk had a horrendous personal impact on their lives and their families. People are posting and reposting Bloomberg's history of sexist, callous comments. If you read the campaign talking points that were leaked, the way that they try to make his comments about how easy farming is (any dope could do it! He could teach everyone how!) is to say it's taken out of context, and then the context also throws machine workers and factory laborers under the same bus. He's a sense of humor and an 80s comedy away from being that rich person who has to learn how to live without his servants, and the audience laughs at the billionaire trying to figure out how to do laundry.

The problem is, most people aren't on twitter. Most people aren't reading these stories, because Bloomberg is spraying the entire country with a giant firehose of money, flooding the airwaves with stuff about how wonderful he is. This article isn't running in the Washington Post (Bezos). It's not on CNN (Time Warner?). It's not in the Chicago Tribune (Tronc? I don't even know anymore). Stories like this need to be told because most people don't know about them. He's relying on his firehose of money to sway low-information voters that, after seeing the hundredth ad that day, shrug and say, yeah, I mean, Bloomberg seems pretty good.

Fuck, I wish Splinter was still around. Then again, it was almost certainly killed off to eliminate yet another outlet for people to get information.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:13 PM on February 19 [46 favorites]


If Bloomberg wins the nomination, I won't vote. He is Trump but cleverer.

I never thought I'd ever even think this, but the other day I thought "if Bloomberg gets the nom I have to decide whether to a) not vote, or b) vote for Trump." Because at least if Trump wins we still have a lot of people with a common enemy.
posted by nushustu at 7:15 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


And, just to add, one of the consequences of all the money Bloomberg is throwing around is that we can see who's been bought. It's honestly a little heartbreaking to see people I really admired and believed in trying to explain away Bloomberg's policies, statements and behavior, the same things that they have publicly decried in others.

There have been a ton, and every time I see one, I try to remember that they aren't the person I believed them to be. The one that hurts the most, though, is Stacey Abrams. I was excited to see her next steps, to see what she would do, and how she would make things better.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:21 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


I think we should give Stacey Abrams a pass--or, at least, there's no reason to just give up on her and all the good work she's done/has planned for the future.

Especially since she was cheated out of an election by corruption in the Deep South. She knows exactly what kind of fuckery is afoot, and she knows she needs funding and support to get anything done in the future. She's not naive. And if this is where she needs to cut a strategic corner, fine by me.
posted by witchen at 7:31 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


Anyone watching the debate? (I’m not—too stressful.) How did various candidates perform? Do you think anyone’s mind will be changed?
posted by haiku warrior at 7:35 PM on February 19


This would be troubling if america was a democracy. If the last few years taught us anything, is that that charade is over. May the best hacker win.
posted by hilberseimer at 7:37 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


I think we should give Stacey Abrams a pass

Bloomberg is our Berlusconi. He's the essentially end of democratic rule of for and by the people, and the codification of rule by, for, and of the obscenely rich (which some would argue is how things really are anyway). I don't care how much money Bloomberg throws at someone I like because of their principles. If they take his money and parrot his bullshit, they don't have the principles I thought they did.

And seriously, I really, really like Abrams. There's tons of people falling all over themselves to promote Bloomberg, and I couldn't tell you who they are. I know her because I believed she wasn't like them, that she would have and stand for principles that she proclaimed to have.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:39 PM on February 19 [13 favorites]


Fuck the "vote blue no matter who" dogshit, when that means a fascist with a D next to his name who wants me and everyone like me dead.

I don't want Bloomberg either, but if it came to a choice between him and Trump I'd vote for Bloomberg without hesitation. I was thinking the other day, Who would be worse than Trump? Like, actually worse. And, all hyperbole aside, I think you'd be looking at an unabashed Nazi. Trump is perilously close already, with his camps full of brown children and his constant little shout outs to the white power shitheads. He has thrown out the dogwhistles, he has fascists shouting stuff through bullhorns. He won't say he's a fascist, but he's like Diet Fascist, or Fascist Zero. As genuinely horrible as guys like W and Nixon were, Trump does worse shit than either of them every morning before breakfast. To get worse than Trump, you need some guy with an armband.

So Bloomberg might be awful, but at least we'd probably go back to the era of dogwhistles, the white hoods would go back in the closets. We'd have a guy in charge who's got a functioning brain (even if it's full of nasty ideas), a guy who won't take his orders directly from Moscow, who won't start launching missiles based on a 3 AM tantrum. If the economy tanks, if there's another Katrina, if the goddamned world is on fire, I sure don't want Bloomberg in charge. But Jesus, when shit gets real, would you rather have Trump calling the shots?

Don't vote for Bloomberg in the primary. But if he's the nominee, pinch your nose and vote for the guy who is less awful. Blue no matter who isn't dogshit, when the alternative is four more years of an absolute lunatic having instant access to the big red button.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:41 PM on February 19 [30 favorites]


Anyone watching the debate? (I’m not—too stressful.) How did various candidates perform? Do you think anyone’s mind will be changed?
posted by haiku warrior at 7:35 PM on February 19


They all came out loaded for bear. They're attacking Bloomberg. They're firing shots at each. It's the most animated, passionate debate yet. Bloomberg has been booed multiple times. Warren (sadly) feels like she's desperate and fighting for her life.
posted by sardonyx at 7:47 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Anyone watching the debate? (I’m not—too stressful.) How did various candidates perform? Do you think anyone’s mind will be changed?

Everyone is doing fine in the debate. Klobuchar made a good point in her defense about Senate races in vulnerable states and winning big to also beat Mitch McConnell (indirectly as Senate Majority Leader), which is the correct perspective of the real enemy with longstanding influence and power.
posted by Brian B. at 7:50 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


While there are some unpleasant similarities between the two men, consider these contrasts between Bloomberg and Trump, should they be the candidates on November 3.

Bloomberg built his own fortune. Trump did not.

Bloomberg will most likely nominate competent, fair justices to the Supreme Court. Trump would not.

Bloomberg believes climate change is real. Trump does not.

Bloomberg supports abortion rights. Trump does not.

Bloomberg advocates gun control. Trump does not.

Bloomberg respects our alliances and international norms of behavior. Trump does not.

In my mind, these issues are too important to not vote, vote for a third party, or (heaven forbid!) vote for Trump.
posted by haiku warrior at 8:01 PM on February 19 [36 favorites]


Bloomberg will most likely nominate competent, fair justices to the Supreme Court. Trump would not.
Bloomberg supports abortion rights. Trump does not.

Bloomberg spent $6 million to support the 2016 campaign of Pat Toomey. Toomey voted for both Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. I pray I never have to decide between Bloomberg and Trump, but the contrast is not that marked. (Also, the NDA thing from tonight's debates...)
posted by miguelcervantes at 8:14 PM on February 19 [38 favorites]


Bloomberg only had to say stop and frisk, and surveillance of muslims was bad when he was forced to do so. He only started paying LGTBQ people to say he's not so bad when people started talking about his lengthy and reprehensible history of shitty comments.

I would argue that Bloomberg will nominate judges that pass his smell test, namely, letting him do whatever he'd like, because he's a rich white guy.

I guess the question to ask, and to demand an answer to, tonight, on stage, in front of the whole country, is what will candidates do to get kids out of cages? Like, what's their actual plan, and how will they do it. Because if they can't answer without having to consult someone, they haven't thought about it because they don't think it's important enough.

And that's my hypothetical for your assertions. Do you believe that Bloomberg, with his agressively shitty history towards anyone not wealthy or white, believe he'll get kids out of cages?

I don't. I can't imagine he cares enough about them because they hold nothing of value that he can gain from it. Sure, if popular opinion pushes him to act, he'll do so, grudgingly, resisting every step of the way, and then, years later, claim that he was totally in favor of it, but his hands were tied, or some bullshit. It's what he does.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:16 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


Anyone watching the debate? (I’m not—too stressful.) How did various candidates perform? Do you think anyone’s mind will be changed?

I walked away from the debate thinking Warren did great. She came out swinging at Bloomberg, and didn't relent the entire debate.
posted by ishmael at 8:20 PM on February 19 [19 favorites]


I already quipped on this but "Bloomberg believes in climate change" is the most baffling talking point that people seem to find compelling. He's literally running to protect his fortune. Actually doing something about climate change is going to cost him and his billionaire cohort a whole lot more than losing the tax cuts.

His plan is to let you die. That's what all of their plans are. That's what it's always been. You're delusional if you think the rich will save you.
posted by Reyturner at 8:22 PM on February 19 [55 favorites]


Anyone watching the debate?

Bloomberg got stomped six ways from Sunday: about the sexist comments, about the NDAs, about the racist policies. He will, however, aim his campaigning at people who don't watch debates. Will tonight's on-screen dismemberment make a difference?

Warren led the attack on Bloomberg and got in some memorable zingers. She came out fighting in this debate. Personally I loved it, though some may have perceived her as coming on too strongly. Still, at least the news media who'd ignored her or written her off will have to talk about her now.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:25 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


Bloomberg should do an ad where it's just a super cut of a dozen 63 year old white dudes with a wall Street journal tucked under their arm, finger up matter-of-factly, taking turns saying "SURE, HE'S NOT GREAT I GET IT, BUT YOU'D STILL VOTE FOR HIM AGAINST TRUMP...RIGHT?"

Then fades to Bloomberg2020: The "good" racist billionaire with sexual harassment allegations
posted by windbox at 8:42 PM on February 19 [9 favorites]


Bloomberg is a much worse public speaker and debater than I though he would be.

Also, that question where five out of the six candidates said they'd "trust the process" when asked if they would support giving the nomination to whoever has the most delegates on the first ballot is scary. If the Democrats use the superdelegates or some other process to give the nomination to the candidate who did not get the most votes, they can kiss any chance of winning in November goodbye.
posted by eagles123 at 8:46 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


It's a real shame that we stopped making presidential candidates who could win elections in the 1940s. What are we going to do when we run out of them?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:48 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


Bloomberg's campaign just burst into flames on the debate stage tonight; I can't imagine that anymore who watched him get shredded up there still thinks that he has a chance of getting the nomination.
posted by octothorpe at 8:53 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Bloomberg got stomped six ways from Sunday

I would agree, and they would have done better to ignore him. They made him appear as the front runner without actually being one yet. Referencing his wealth over and over is like calling him Superman to most struggling Americans who buy lottery tickets. Then he pledges to give it all away and raise taxes on the rich, which didn't slow them down. I think psychologically he won it all back by timely addressing the comment about jobs, stating he was the only one on the stage who actually started a business, modestly checking in with the rest to see if was fair to say that, and they all agreed silently he was the only one. It set him apart as a non-politician, where losing to them is better than beating them. I recall like yesterday how Hillary Clinton chose to go after Trump on his sexism in her last two weeks, almost clueless as to how sexist the average American voter really is in the swing states she lost. I agree with 538 pundits that Biden won thanks to Bloomberg for making him look like a true liberal.
posted by Brian B. at 8:59 PM on February 19


I already quipped on this but "Bloomberg believes in climate change" is the most baffling talking point that people seem to find compelling. He's literally running to protect his fortune

I'm not a Bloomberg fan but why aren't right wing ultra rich people also fighting climate change for this reason? Is it because they're all religious nuts? Is it because they're just literally delusional? Because their base won't buy into it?
posted by treepour at 9:02 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Also, that question where five out of the six candidates said they'd "trust the process" when asked if they would support giving the nomination to whoever has the most delegates on the first ballot is scary.

I disagree. If Pete Buttigieg (for example) at 20% went to Elizabeth Warren (for example) at 34% and said, I'll ask my delegates to vote for you if you make me VP. Why is that a problem? Parliamentary democracies do that all the time when forming governments. It seems more democratic to have a majority vote than a plurality.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:05 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


I don't think he's going to drop out already, but the reviews for Bloomberg's performance from people whose opinion he actually cares about, namely other rich people and professional suck-ups to the rich, are in and are incredibly bad.

Being called on his extensive bullshit seems bad enough, but the thought of having to hear about it from Carl Icahn at Davos next year might actually be the thing that gets him to quit his campaign and forestall the national nightmare that would be another 6 months of "But would you still vote for him over Trump?"
posted by Copronymus at 9:05 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


why aren't right wing ultra rich people also fighting climate change for this reason?

Because they make their money from causing climate change.
posted by valkane at 9:06 PM on February 19 [37 favorites]


I'm not a Bloomberg fan but why aren't right wing ultra rich people also fighting climate change for this reason?

My sense is that it's 25% not believing in it, not really, 25% faith in The System to come up with a solution that won't hurt them before things get real bad, and 50% unspoken belief that they can fortify their compounds and wait for the masses to starve to death if it comes to it. Peter Thiel didn't buy citizenship in New Zealand because he enjoys visiting the Lord of the Rings sets.
posted by Copronymus at 9:09 PM on February 19 [16 favorites]


Here's a good thingy from MSNBC of Bloomberg getting whuped.

I just don't understand why Warren isn't already president. But I'm kinda stupid. But I have the strength of twelve men, because my heart is pure.
posted by valkane at 9:34 PM on February 19 [24 favorites]


That was wicked. Warren all the way! Unless someone else gets the nom.
posted by Windopaene at 9:54 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


I'm not usually one for violent imagery, but Senator Warren gutted Bloomberg calmly and efficiently tonight. He was completely unprepared to be challenged like that, despite the best efforts of many highly-paid staffers who tried to prep the hell out of him for exactly this confrontation. It was a good demonstration of the fact that billionaires are particularly ill-equipped when they're actually held to account for their words and deeds, and he has much to be accountable for.
posted by theory at 10:10 PM on February 19 [33 favorites]


His face! When Warren was going after him, it was just grand to watch a rich white guy reflect on "yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm evil" and watch it flash across his face.

Also, I liked Lame-ass Biden jumping in and finishing for Warren, with his whole "Just release them from the NDA's"

He just shoulda said "Hey, thanks Liz for setting him up!"
posted by valkane at 10:18 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


I don’t understand why people keep bleating this “at least Trump is incompetent...”

Trump has accomplished almost everything he said out to do and without any consequences or check to his power.

Why you think four more years of that evil shitbag would be better than anyone with in the Democratic Party... who at least would have some sort of accountability trying. Well. It’s insane. Just totally insane.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 10:20 PM on February 19 [30 favorites]


EETSI, no one (at least that I’ve seen) is saying trump would be better than anyone in the Democratic Party. What we’re saying is that Bloomberg isn’t a Democrat, and it’d be utterly ridiculous if he got the nomination because he was able to buy it.

Both he and trump have switched party affiliation because the party doesn’t matter as much as it’s a way for them to get what they want. It’s a flag of convenience.

Luckily, though, Bloomberg kind of killed that “more competent trump” idea (which I admit to having believed) in the debate tonight. He pretty clearly seemed to believe he could walk in and say “I’m rich” and everyone would step aside, and from what little I’ve seen, was totally unprepared for any other eventuality.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:21 PM on February 19 [7 favorites]


I don't know that Bloomberg would have any more accountability than Trump, with either party controlling Congress.
On the other hand, if Democrats took solid control of both House and Senate (unlikely, of course), then four more years of Trump could actually be 1 year or less, given the wealth of impeachable shit that he'll no doubt commit between now and this time next year.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:22 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Were I the conspiracy-minded type, I'd say Bloomberg vs. Trump for President is the culmination of long term plans by the billionaire class to finally seize outright control over the US government -- basically "the Trust" from 100 Bullets, but for real.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:25 PM on February 19 [12 favorites]


It isn't a conspiracy theory, it's just the logical endpoint of neoliberalism; government as middle management for capital.
posted by Reyturner at 11:36 PM on February 19 [25 favorites]


I disagree. If Pete Buttigieg (for example) at 20% went to Elizabeth Warren (for example) at 34% and said, I'll ask my delegates to vote for you if you make me VP. Why is that a problem? Parliamentary democracies do that all the time when forming governments. It seems more democratic to have a majority vote than a plurality.

we don't live in a parliament. after four fucking years of democrats complaining about hilary winning the popular vote but losing the election, if the same fucking party has the AUDACITY to give the nomination to someone other than the candidate with the most votes, even if they have only 48.8% of the total vote or whatever the fuck, there will be hell to pay. people will be LIVID. do not underestimate how fucking hypocritical this shit looks.
posted by JimBennett at 12:22 AM on February 20 [21 favorites]


after four fucking years of democrats complaining about hilary winning the popular vote but losing the election, if the same fucking party has the AUDACITY to give the nomination to someone other than the candidate with the most votes

Plenty of people have made the case that Clinton was the "rightful" winner of states like Michigan where Clinton + (some highish % of Stein) + (some moderate % of Johnson) > Trump + (the remainder), even setting aside national popular vote totals which are somewhat based in counterfactuality (candidates campaign and GOTV based on the EC, not popular vote).

Our lack of ranked choice voting is a form of disenfranchisement; candidates using the process as it was designed to emulate RCV-like outcomes is not illegitimate.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:30 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


the current system does not "emulate RCV-like outcomes" because we have no way to determine what an individual voter's second choice is.
posted by JimBennett at 12:38 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Regarding the debate, what has been relayed here is what friend who watched also reported to me. Although my friend also said he thought most people were not paying attention to it. Recalling Trump’s performance against Clinton, it seems that debates don’t matter that much. Then again Trump’s performance was not reported as the drubbing it was. So how it affects Bloomberg’s rise in the polls remains to be seen.

Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza has it right. Bloomberg falls far short of my ideal candidate, but remains far, far better than Trump. His stance against climate change might very well be motivated by self interest. All the more reason to believe that he really will fight it. As for the courts and supporting Twoomey, Bloomberg also campaigned for Clinton. My views are based on his support of abortion rights, etc.

By policy, character, and personality, my favorite is Warren, who also happens to be my Senator. She is good at debates, too!

(By coincidence I have also lived and still work a couple of days a week in Medford, MA, where Bloomberg grew up. He doesn’t seem to want to have anything to do with the place. Given Medford’s working class Catholic demographic from his youth, I suspect he endured a lot of antisemitism.)

All the candidates have flaws or issues that will dog them. Warren and identifying as Native American. Klobuchar and treatment of her staff. Buttigieg and race relations in South Bend. Sanders and (most recently) reneging on his promise to release his medical records and his campaign claiming it’s like birtherism to demand he release them. I’ll take anyone of them, including Bloomberg, over Trump.
posted by haiku warrior at 12:49 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


What if the delegate count were the following at the convention?

Bloomberg 30%
Sanders 25%
Warren 15%
Klobuchar 10%
Buttigieg 10%
Biden 10%

Would you still support giving the nomination to the top vote getter, JimmyBennett?
posted by haiku warrior at 1:17 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


i see no path past super tuesday for at least three of those candidates, if things look differently then we can certainly have that conversation.

there is no "my" in my name, thanks.
posted by JimBennett at 1:23 AM on February 20


One of our best writers. Great post.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 2:55 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Rationalize it all you want, but giving the nomination to someone who didn’t get the most votes from actual voters would hand the presidency to Trump. Look at how people reacted to the Iowa caucus once they found out how it worked.

Think about it: You would be pissing of 30 - 35 percent of Dem voters in an election that you know is going to be close. Common sense should inform us this is a bad idea.
posted by eagles123 at 3:48 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Bloomberg is vile and I do think he is worse than Trump in many ways. He’s also unelectable. He hates soda and wants to ban it. This ruins his chances in many areas. Most Americans hate this type of paternalism, especially among those who don’t have well defined political beliefs. Sanders is doing wel in these areas because his brand of leftist politics is not paternal. Bloomberg is a centrist, so doesn’t actually have any plan to make your life materially better, and on top of that wants to take away your soda. It’s the worst of both worlds.

For low information votes, “Bloomberg wants to take away your soda” is enough to keep them home or induce a Trump vote.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 3:50 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


If it’s Trump v. Bloomberg, Trump is going to say “short Mike wants to take away your soda” every day and it’s going to work.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 3:52 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


Many apologies for the misspelling, JimBennet. Should have simply copied and pasted.

I agree Super Tuesday will narrow the field. My point is, the people passionately advocating for the nomination going to the plurality vote getter seem to be Sanders and his supporters, who assume that he will be that person. I suspect he and his supporters will change their tune, as you seem to be doing, if he is not.

The scenario could easily be

Bloomberg 40%
Sanders 35%
Someone Else 25%

What then?

Sanders has a heart attack, and now he won’t fully release his medical records. Suppose Sanders is the plurality vote getter, but then he has another cardiac event before the convention, becoming unable campaign for the general. Still give him the nod?

The Democratic Party rules say that the nominee is to be chosen by the majority of the convention delegates. Those were the rules when Sanders and the others declared their candidacies. He and the others need to abide by them, and no one not make threats about party unity if the plurality vote getter is not chosen.
posted by haiku warrior at 3:53 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I think the Democratic Party should give the nomination to whoever gets the plurality. Obviously. The discourse over Sander’s health records is gross.
posted by eagles123 at 3:58 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


The primaries will hopefully get us to a plurality (if not a majority) candidate that everyone get behind. But there are reasonable scenarios where the plurality candidate is very disliked by a majority, and that candidates supporters are not so dead set on their person. (Look at the bile heaped on Bloomberg here.) Then some dealing might be the right thing to do.
posted by haiku warrior at 4:05 AM on February 20


Sanders has a heart attack, and now he won’t fully release his medical records.

This is flat out not true. Sanders has released what nearly every other presidential candidate has released. This is the standard and Sanders is meeting it. There’s no such thing as “full medical records”.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 4:18 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


Regarding the sodas, Bloomberg tried to ban supersized soft drinks. He’s not even advocating that in his national campaign. Maybe Trump could make that an issue, but I have my doubts. Bloomberg got smoking banned in bars and restaurants in NYC—a very good thing that actually has saved lives.

But in any case, Sanders and Warren (and Steyer and Gabbard) have proposed bans on hydraulic fracking. That isn’t going to go over well in Pennsylvania, for example. All candidates have advocated for gun control. That’s a potentially big problem in the Midwest, as correct as that position may be.

Bloomberg’s economic views are mainstream, even if that isn’t popular on this forum. For many people in Rust Belt states that finally have their economies on solid footing after years of steady decline even before the Great Recession, Sanders’ and to a lesser Warren’s proposals seem awfully risky.

As I have said above my preferred candidate is Warren, but Bloomberg remains eminently electable. And unfortunately some of the very things I dislike about him might be pluses with a lot of voters in states he needs to turn from red to blue.
posted by haiku warrior at 4:34 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Sanders just needs to release his long form medical records
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:54 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


MisantropicPainforest, Bernie Sanders said that he would release his full medical records and is now backtracking. NYT: Bernie Sanders Suggests He Won’t Release Full Medical Records

Worse is this. LA Times: Bernie Sanders campaign compares call for medical records to birtherism.

While I will absolutely support Sanders in the general election, if he is the nominee, you can see why these things do not endear him to me.
posted by haiku warrior at 4:55 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


A glorious 2 minutes and 19 seconds from last night of Warren gutting Bloomberg. From the expression on his face, it doesn't look like he's used to having anyone criticize him to his face and certainly not a woman.
posted by octothorpe at 4:57 AM on February 20 [21 favorites]


Bernies Sanders had a heart attack, and he promised to release his records—both true. Suggestions that Obama was born in Kenya were racist lies. And by the way, Obama did release that birth certificate, eventually. If Sanders supporters cannot see the difference, the Dems and the country are in deeper trouble than I thought.

This issue reminds me of Sanders not releasing his tax returns in 2016.
posted by haiku warrior at 5:07 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


haiku warrior, you keep bringing up this idea (here and in other threads) that the economy is doing so well - especially in the Midwest - that Trump has some kind of big advantage.

In the first place , that NYT article you linked to actually lays out the ways Trump hasn't revived the Midwest economy. In the second place, all the rosy GDP and unemployment numbers don't actually paint an accurate picture of the number of people underemployed or employed but still struggling and how they feel about their own actual lives. In the third place, as an actual Midwest resident, I am here to tell you as a report "on the ground" that that people are not nearly as enthusiastic about the "recovering economy" as you seem to think - industry and agriculture have been continuously undercut by Trump's policies, small towns are still shrinking, people may be employed but they can't make ends meet, health care costs even with the AMA are rising and people are terrified of how much it will and does cost to pay for medical care and to take care of older relatives.

So, y'know, kindly knock it off. Don't tell me how "we" feel about things from hundreds of miles away, and especially don't do it based on highly generalized and massaged numbers.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:08 AM on February 20 [18 favorites]


Sadly, to many Americans, "kids in cages" don't matter nearly as much "a steadily rising 401(k)". Mine's been increasing fairly consistently since Trump took office. I'm guessing most other people who are lucky enough to have one are seeing similar performance. That a hard thing to run against.
posted by Optamystic at 5:19 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Bernies Sanders had a heart attack, and he promised to release his records

Excellent Twitter thread here by an actual physician on why the health records line of attack is a fundamental misunderstanding of what was released, and that there were actually reports from three separate doctors, including one of the best cardiologists in the country as well as the attending physician for Congress.

Side note: I have yet to see anyone complaining about Sanders' records state exactly what they would look for that would disqualify him.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 5:24 AM on February 20 [22 favorites]


I totally agree that the GDP and employment numbers don’t paint the complete picture soundguy99. The reason I linked to that article, to which another Mefite linked in another thread, is the quote below

Still, compared with the crisis of the Great Recession — or even the years of more gradual industrial decline that preceded it — the economy in the Midwest remains on relatively solid footing. The unemployment rate is hovering around 4 percent in much of the region and is even lower in some states. Almost every Midwestern state has added jobs in the past year with the exception of Michigan, where the strike at General Motors temporarily knocked some 17,000 workers off payrolls in October. (November data, which should reflect the end of the strike, will be released later this month.)

It isn’t clear how voters will respond to what has been, so far, a mild economic slowdown. Early polls show Mr. Trump leading in the Midwest against several of his prospective Democratic opponents, and his approval ratings have remained largely steady. Patrick Anderson, an economist in East Lansing, Mich., who has studied how the economy affects elections, said he doubted that voters would view the slowdown as a crisis.

“Many of these voters are resistant to the notion that this is a bad time because they have lived through a very bad time,” Mr. Anderson said.


I’m sure that there are many people that agree with you. There may be many more people that don’t. While I don’t live in MI, I have friends that do, and I have had business travel there. Therefore I believe my opinion is an informed one. But I hope you are right that people are turning.
posted by haiku warrior at 5:27 AM on February 20


Mike Bloomberg enthusiastically grew a system where armed agents of the state stopped men of color anytime, anywhere and put their hands on them. If the men objected, they could be charged with some bullshit and thus enter into the carceral state. He also surveilled Muslims without cause in their communities, their social lives, mosques. He instituted regimes of racial terror in New York and he loved it. He is an authoritarian and a racist.

I don't think "blue no matter who" really applies to him since he's not blue. And I'm not just talking about party affiliation, given his grotesque history. But it's also worth thinking about what that phrase means as people are voting in primaries. A lot of Democrats apparently just want things to go back to the way things were before. But the way things were before is how we got here. If we just keep trying to get back to the way things were before 2016, we'll be back here again before long.
posted by Mavri at 5:37 AM on February 20 [38 favorites]


There’s probably nothing in Sanders’ medical records that would disqualify him. It’s the lack of transparency and then the totally inappropriate response to the calls for him to honor his pledge that are bothersome. It also fits a pattern that I dislike, such as when he wouldn’t fully release his taxes.
posted by haiku warrior at 5:38 AM on February 20


After last night, the idea that Bloomberg wouldn’t get destroyed by Trump is hilarious. I had no idea he was that tone deaf and terrible at communicating. Trump would just portray him as an elitist northeastern liberal who wants to ban guns and take away your soda. He’d also launch attacks over Bloomberg’s record of sexual harassment suits and stop and frisk policies designed to portray Bloomberg as a hypocrite and drive down Democratic turnout.
posted by eagles123 at 5:57 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


It’s the lack of transparency and then the totally inappropriate response to the calls for him to honor his pledge that are bothersome. It also fits a pattern that I dislike, such as when he wouldn’t fully release his taxes.

Even in the unlikely event that this pattern (of two instances) was as bad as a portent as it is continually made out to be, I'm still gobsmacked that these are presented as equal or greater concerns than Bloomberg's open support for authoritarianism, bigotry, and fascism until he stepped into the race.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 6:04 AM on February 20 [19 favorites]


Because life is busy, I don't follow things as closely as many of y'all here so first off, thanks for bringing me concise moments and insightful commentary from your heart and heads. Seriously, Metafilter is outstanding in that regard.

Secondly, I missed the debate but Bloomberg is scary on so many levels. I've sworn to vote for anyone running against Diarrhea/Shards of Glass this upcoming cycle, and will, but that will be a hard, hard pill to swallow. And I'm actually, now that DrMsEld's business is taking off, edging into a situation where his policies would likely benefit my family whereas my guess is that any sort of public option/medicare/medicade for all would likely lead to lower payments at my wife's practice because they don't just take private pay because, ya'know, they want to help people that need help rather than just those who can afford to get seen.

Plus, and this may be problematic somehow but whatever, I can't get away from associating Bloomberg with Flintheart Glomgold. It's probably a weird play of homophone/word play in my head but the money-grubbing/lack of morals, evil antagonist aspect sticks with me too.

Lastly, I wasn't aware of the Bernie Sanders medical records conflict. But the comparisons above to birtherism seems apt. I dug in a bit and, from what I can tell,

A) candidates releasing medical records is a fairly new thing in US politics so norms are hard to gauge,
B) Bernie did release a good bit of information which seems to be well in line with those norms, certainly nothing out of the ordinary, and
C) the only real reason I give a shit about medical records in the first place is to combat the lies and bullshit being slung about by the Trump White House/Campaign whereby he is allowed to claim perfect/stunning physical health and just dictate whatever he wants to be released as fact which is like fascism 101.

Barring any evidence of C) or of some huge coverup of major, major health issues (and even that is shaky ground for me to be honest), the circular firing squad seems to be really strong on the medical records thing is what I'm saying. If that's your beef against the Sanders campaign, or that's what you have to zero in on as a sticking point then I'm really fucking confused about your motives and priorities. I agree with what was said upthread, "It's gross". Complaining about not releasing his taxes in the past is a much better thing to stick to as problematic but this just seems petty.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:16 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


My views are based on his support of abortion rights, etc.

>The most high-profile case was from a former saleswoman. She sued Bloomberg personally as well as his company, alleging workplace discrimination. She alleged Bloomberg told her to “kill it” when he learned she was pregnant.

He certainly supports abortion. I'm not sure he supports a woman's right to choose.
posted by Reyturner at 6:16 AM on February 20 [20 favorites]


It’s notable that many of the defenses of Bloomberg in the media I’ve seen, when they reference him being able to “get the job done” or the like, the job is not the actual job of being President, but the ability to win the election. It reminds me of people who rush to get married because they want to throw a wedding, and then wake up the day after and realize they agreed to spend the rest of their lives together. Which gets back to the op-eds that are the actual topic of the post: what are Democrats willing to compromise on just to win? I have friends who’ve flat out said they want to hurt Trump voters the way lots of us have felt hurt this term (“feeling” being a key expression there, because we aren’t the kids getting locked up in cages but rather mostly cushioned white people). Are we willing to throw away the voices of the women currently locked into NDAs, not to mention the lives of all the stopped-and-frisked black men? Harris and Klobuchar have both been hit hard (deservedly) for their prosecutorial records—the number of lives Bloomberg wrecked through stop and frisk is monumentally larger.

I also thought Scocca’s reference to monopoly was interesting and something I’ve not seen talked about re Bloomberg. There’s been an emerging interest in antitrust policy, especially with regard to tech, from both conservative and liberal factions in the last few years. Consolidation is one of the few areas of interest that bridges the parties. Does anyone think Mike Bloomberg actually has an interest in pioneering how to breakup Big Tech?
posted by sallybrown at 6:16 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


I don't have the energy to debate a bunch of hypothetical what-if scenarios regarding a Bloombergian win of the Democratic nomination. But I do find it fascinating that anyone would support Bloomberg right now when all he's done is spend $300m on ads, badly fumble his first debate, and generally be off-putting and representative of the core problem in politics today.

And yet, there are people online jumping to his defense as if he's some poor, downtrodden victim, deserving of our primary affection and support. Is it some kind of temporarily embarrassed billionaire's club loyalty? Oligarchy fan clubism? A cry for senpai attention?

I just don't get it.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 6:23 AM on February 20 [26 favorites]


I'm not sure he supports a woman's right to choose.

He has, in fact, spent some of his billions to re-elect anti-choice candidates.
posted by Mavri at 6:24 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


do not underestimate how fucking hypocritical this shit looks.

Bernie was initially against superdelegates, but then he wanted to get them on his side. After Clinton did secure the popular vote and a regular-old pledged delegate majority, Bernie was attempting to woo superdelegates as a way of overriding the majority (not just plurality) vote. He only doesn't want superdelegates to be a thing now that they are no longer potentially useful. Do not underestimate how fucking hypocritical he looks here among people that were actually paying attention in 2016.

Next, if you want to talk about the will of the people separately from whatever rules have already been agreed to, maybe talk to literally any person who has studied social choice and ask what they think of taking a plurality vote with more than two candidates in the race.
posted by Jpfed at 6:32 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Is this the Bloomberg obit thread? Are police questioning Warren about this yet?

Primary debates matter, even though they are poorly rated and appeal mostly to political junkies--that's because the electorate of a primary election is much more highly engaged and partisan than a general election. Bloomberg isn't on the ballot in either NV or SC, but unless he can hold his own up on that stage in the next debate (six days away!) he's going to go into Super Tuesday looking like an out of touch plutocrat with tons of baggage, and his supposedly moderate/electability argument isn't going to carry him like many of us thought/feared 24 hours ago. His enormous advertising budget can probably get him 10% in a crowded field regardless, but that equates to a whole lot of nothing, delegatewise. To win, he has to basically keep almost all of his erstwhile support, which was based on nothing but ads and new-kid-on-the-block news coverage, but the timing of Super Tuesday means he'll have had about two weeks of negative coverage (and maybe another series of on-stage eviscerations by Warren).
posted by skewed at 6:36 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


And yet, there are people online jumping to his defense as if he's some poor, downtrodden victim, deserving of our primary affection and support. Is it some kind of temporarily embarrassed billionaire's club loyalty? Oligarchy fan clubism? A cry for senpai attention?

I suspect it's mostly just petty-bourgeois people with money who are scared shitless of Bernie or Liz taxing them more.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:37 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


I'd never really heard Bloomberg speak other than in small sound-bites before yesterday and was a little shocked at how bad at debating he was. Nothing that the other candidates or moderators threw at him was obscure or out of left-field; most of the points were stuff that's been thrown at him for years. I mean you'd think that he'd have a better response to questions about Stop-and-Frisk other than:
Yes, I would. I've sat, I've apologized, I've asked for forgiveness, but the bottom line is that we stopped too many people, but the policy -- we stopped too many people. And we've got to make sure that we do something about criminal justice in this country.
posted by octothorpe at 6:49 AM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Immediately after the 2016 election people were talking about a credible threat of nuclear war and the end of free elections. The article Autocracy: Rules for Survival was making the rounds. It was very serious.

Now we're at a point where people are honestly saying that they would either, depending on the person, refuse to vote for a former mayor of New York, or a current senator from Vermont, depending on their persuasion.

I'm not sure what to make of that. In 2016 there were warnings about being careful not to normalize Trump. Now in 2020 people seem to be treating this as politics as usual, which I guess means Trump has been normalized. It'd be interesting to create some kind of time machine for people from late November 2016 to look into the current discussions in 2020 and then see what they think.

I get that it's primary season and the strategy is to attack other Democrats so your preferred candidate gets the nomination, including threats not to vote or to vote for Trump if their candidate loses. But I hope people in the 2020 general election voting booth take a moment to remember how they felt on election night/morning 2016 when they first realized that Trump was going to win. For me I think that will be one of those moments I remember forever, like when I first heard about the September 11 attacks.
posted by bright flowers at 7:04 AM on February 20 [23 favorites]


My understanding is that Bernie didn't support the idea of superdelegates in 2016 at all. [1] But since they were the established rules, he tried to at least negotiate reforms that would help address issues like his winning decisively in multiple states—such as Rhode Island and Oklahoma—while superdelegates kept going to Clinton. [2]

For some context, Clinton came in with almost 400 superdelegates before Super Tuesday, despite being essentially tied with Sanders at around 50 pledged delegates.[3] That's a pretty huge perceptual bias to overcome and it gets more concerning when you consider that superdelegates are largely DNC establishment members.

In other words, the narrative of "Bernie loved superdelegates when he thought he could benefit and hates them if they hurt him" is excessively disingenuous, to say the least. It's a talking point I've seen crop up a lot on Reddit lately. Unfortunately, to counter it requires some critical thinking and facts, so good luck with that. Hopefully here on the blue facts still matter.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 7:08 AM on February 20 [33 favorites]


But his long form medical records, tho
posted by Reyturner at 7:16 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


Godspeed, in May (well after super Tuesday) the Sanders campaign floated the idea that, even though Clinton had more votes, the super delegates should throw the nomination to Sanders. Here, for example.
posted by factory123 at 7:17 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


As for the courts and supporting Twoomey, Bloomberg also campaigned for Clinton. My views are based on his support of abortion rights, etc.

Liuba Grechen Shirley:
I was unlucky enough to be on the other side of @MikeBloomberg’s 2018 political support.

Instead of supporting my campaign to flip a NY district red to blue, Mike Bloomberg bankrolled my anti-choice opponent.
Shirley's opponent was the infamously execrable Peter King, who (among many other horrors) advocated for jailing doctors who perform abortions, and she came closer than any other Democrat to beating him since he was first elected almost thirty years ago.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 7:17 AM on February 20 [23 favorites]


In 2016 there were warnings about being careful not to normalize Trump.

I don’t think the rejection of Bloomberg necessarily means people have forgotten. There seem to be three camps: first, people like the ones you point out who have somewhat normalized Trump or who see him as ineffective at doing the things they feared, so they are willing to treat the question as a typical political one. Second, people who see Bloomberg as embodying the same traits they saw in Trump that made them urge others not to normalize him, so they reject Bloomberg for the same reasons they rejected Trump. Third, people who see Trump and Bloomberg as distinctly different—Trump as an existential threat and Bloomberg as bad within the normal range for a politician—but who are unwilling to compromise their values to vote for Bloomberg. This third group might change their minds if Bloomberg wins the nomination, but given that we are still in primary season, they don’t see why they should hop aboard the Bloomberg train if they’re not yet forced to. (It’s this third group that Bloomberg wants to convince that “only I can beat Trump.”)
posted by sallybrown at 7:24 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


I'm not going to say anything about Bloomberg that hasn't already been said.

I would like to maybe ask people, especially people who are politically active... What would the nomination of Mike Bloomberg mean for the Democratic Party? If we can nominate a hard-right authoritarian (with all the historical connotations that involves holding true, more or less), what does being a Democrat even mean?

It doesn't mean support of labor. Bloomberg strongarmed labor unions to the point that he needed to be sued by over a hundred unions to keep their health insurance.

It doesn't mean support of women's rights. He has spent no small amount of his personal fortune funding pro-life candidates. Not to mention the vile stuff on record, and who knows what is behind the many, MANY gag orders on a range of women.

It doesn't mean advocating racial justice or rights. He has dehumanized minorities and Muslims to the point that they aren't even afforded basic constitutional rights under his watch.

It doesn't mean saving the environment. He may make mouth sounds about climate change, but welp.

And of course his past and billionaire status make reviewing his economic justice bonafides a complete joke.

So if we vote to have this man represent us, what tenets of the Democratic Party are we nominating him to protect and advance? I mean specifically which ones?
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:45 AM on February 20 [38 favorites]


If debate performance decided campaigns, then Obama would have not have been the nominee in 2008, Trump would have lost in 2016, and if I remember correctly, Reagan would have been a one term President. So I doubt this is the end of Bloomberg's candidacy, for better or for worse.

My personal rankings of seven candidates different axes. (Please note there are some big gaps in there, and some of the candidates, like Steyer, I don't very well. And I probably won't get high marks for consistency.)

Character and/or temperament
Warren
Buttigieg
Biden
Steyer
Klobacher (poor treatment of staff)
Sanders (sexism/hypocrisy/lack of transparency/not admonishing supporters who misbehave, a phenomenon seemingly restricted to Sanders supporters.)
Bloomberg (sexism/racism)


Domestic Policy
Warren (wealth tax, but not so keen on Medicare for all as presented)
Biden (wants to improve ACA but won't rock the boat too much)
Bloomberg (self interest in keeping the economy strong)
Buttigieg
Klobacher
Steyer
Sanders (Just don't see his domestic policies passing, never mind working.)

Competence
Warren
Bloomberg (ran the most diverse US city that is larger than 38 states including DE, IN, MA, and VT, in years after 9/11 in the US and it largely thrived. See above on sexism and racism.)
Steyer
Buttigieg
Klobuchar
Sanders (just hasn't gotten much legislation passed in his many years in Congress)


Electability (Requires taking MI, PA, and WI, so not based on leads in *national* polls.)
Biden (maybe switch with Bloomberg now)
Bloomberg
Sanders (maybe switched with Klobuchar)
Klobuchar (sexism will hurt her)
Warren (sexism/left wing economic policies/the damn "Pocahontas" thing will hurt)
Buttigieg (homophobia will hurt him)
Steyer (total unknown and hasn't broken out)

Trump absolutely MUST be defeated. So while Sanders leads Trump in national polls, I haven't seen how he stacks up against Trump in those battleground states recently--hence my opinion that he would have some big problems there based on being a socialist. Anyone with some polling data from those states? Perhaps I am wrong.

Have to drop off the thread--work beckons. Good luck gang. Please get this all sorted out by dinnertime on the West Coast. ;-)
posted by haiku warrior at 7:48 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


The medical records thing is a thing, but not as important a thing as some people on the internet are saying. More concerning to me is how old several of the candidates are in general. It's not ageist to point out that it is reasonably common for men in their late seventies not to live for another eight years. Per SSA's actuarial tables, here's how long people of each of their age and gender are expected to live as of their Inauguration Day age.

Sanders -- 79/m -- 8.88 years
Biden, Bloomberg -- 78/m -- 9.43 years
Warren -- 71/f -- 15.82 years
Klobuchar -- 60/f -- 24.60 years
Buttiegieg -- 39/m -- 39.50 years

Granted, middle-class (or richer) white people will have somewhat higher life expectancies than the general US population but I couldn't find reliable stats for that in a brief search. I don't know exactly how the numbers shake out because statistics, how do they work? but there's a significant likelihood that the President could become ill or die in office if one of the old dudes gets in, and I think it's fair to have that as part of the discussion/calculus.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:48 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


So if Bloomberg gets the nomination and you vote for Trump Out of spite and Trump wins again — what tenets of the Democratic Party are you electing Trump to protect and advance?

Nobody here wants Bloomberg. No one. But plenty of people here think Trump is an acceptable alternative.

This place is The Upsidedown. I swear.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 7:52 AM on February 20 [10 favorites]


You:
> the super delegates should throw the nomination to Sanders.

vs

Your linked source:
> If by the convention Sanders has "substantial momentum" and has substantially "closed the gap" in pledged delegates, Weaver said, "I think there's a strong argument to be made to superdelegates that they should take another look."

Is this where I insert that "they're the same picture" meme from The Office?
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 7:52 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I'm having trouble figuring out who is advising Bloomberg that a run on the Dem ticket is even faintly a good idea. Two weeks from Super Tuesday, he's bought his way into the debates (where he promptly got his lunch eaten by Elizabeth Warren) but is polling in the low single digits. Popularity-wise he's basically Jeb! four years ago, except it's his own money he's burning through. This makes absolutely no fiscal sense unless you assume there's shenaniganry afoot. Is there secretly some kind of Brewster's Millions deal going on? Does he have to burn through tens of millions of dollars for tax reasons? Does someone have pictures of him in a compromising position? The people demand to know, Mr. Bloomberg.
posted by Mayor West at 7:53 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza, I think the point is that if the choice ends up being Bloomberg vs Trump, then we have already lost and lost badly.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 7:53 AM on February 20 [19 favorites]


It is an important discussion and I think one impact of that is relates to who these old people pick as their VP. It's entirely ok to say things like, "Bernie or Bloomberg's VP pick matters a whole lot more than Klobuchar because they are more likely to die in office".

That is a separate point than the "release the medical records!" concern trolling that is going on. For one, Bernie's age has already been 'priced in' so to speak--the medical records discussion is more ephemeral and most people don't care or buy into it.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:55 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


> Electability (Requires taking MI, PA, and WI, so not based on leads in *national* polls.)

It really doesn't. You keep repeating this falsehood that Democrats must reach out to the Rust Belt MAGAhats, and it's just not true. FL, NC, AZ gets the Democratic candidate enough delegates to replace the delegates lost in these states, and just flipping FL and one of NC or AZ gets them past 270 if all of the other 2016 results stayed the same.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:56 AM on February 20 [10 favorites]


This makes absolutely no fiscal sense unless you assume there's shenaniganry afoot.

When you have sixty-something billion dollars and you spend a fraction of a billion dollars, you still have sixty-something billion dollars. This isn't him emptying out his savings account to put 20% down on a first home. Having billions of dollars puts you well outside the context of "fiscal sense" having a relatable meaning to anything.

Having tens of billions of dollars is the shenaniganry. Bloomberg is impulse buying the new Shadow of Mordor game because he's tired of the stuff that's already in his Steam library.
posted by cortex at 7:58 AM on February 20 [29 favorites]


I don't have the energy to debate a bunch of hypothetical what-if scenarios regarding a Bloombergian win of the Democratic nomination. But I do find it fascinating that anyone would support Bloomberg right now when all he's done is spend $300m on ads, badly fumble his first debate, and generally be off-putting and representative of the core problem in politics today.

Yeah, and I don't really see the point of making sure that everyone individually affirms to the Bloomberg campaign before he's won a single delegate that they would without question back him, and that there is absolutely nothing that he could say or do that would change that. There is no purpose served by all pledging our eventual loyalty to a Republican with a history of vile deeds and statements other than to comfort his campaign into brushing off his reprehensible past and not addressing any of his major weaknesses as a candidate (and as a person) whatsoever.

I guess maybe in November we'll have some difficult decisions to make (well, not me since where I live Trump lost by 86 points so if the Democrats are anywhere close here they need more help than I can give), but I am not in the business of preemptively ceding legitimacy to the Bloomberg campaign with a promise of a future vote, especially while he remains by far the worst candidate on the primary ballot from both a moral and likelihood of being demolished by Trump standpoints.
posted by Copronymus at 7:58 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


I'm having trouble figuring out who is advising Bloomberg that a run on the Dem ticket is even faintly a good idea

Me too, in just March of last year, Bloomberg was making fun of the 'virtually impossible' idea that he could successfully run for president. He said he would have to waste huge amounts of money, change all the positions of his career and then go on an 'apology tour'.
posted by Harry Caul at 7:59 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


This makes absolutely no fiscal sense unless you assume there's shenaniganry afoot.

It must be a risk calculation for his personal wealth (which given his professional past, I assume he’s plugged in numbers for and everything). It’s a good reminder of just how much money he has. Imagine if you slept badly and wrenched your back and neck, and you were walking to the office and some money slipped through your hands and fell on the ground. How much money would it have to be before you took the risk of bending down to pick it up rather than just letting it go and saving yourself the pain?

I’m curious how many scenarios he’s gamed out. What would trigger him to turn off the money faucet? Would he fund attack ads against the Democratic nominee for the general, depending on who it is? Would he fund attack ads against Trump no matter what?
posted by sallybrown at 7:59 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Having billions of dollars puts you well out side the context of "fiscal sense" having a relatable meaning to anything.

It's fuck you money.

Everyone who isn't rich is the 'you' in the analogy.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:59 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


then we have already lost and lost badly.

In war you find the best way to lose if your going to lose.

I mean if it was a choice between Hitler and Stalin, I’d take Stalin.

Again, there exists no universe where Bloomberg is as bad as Trump.

Bloomberg doesn’t have a cult of white supremacy fanatical about him.

Nobody is fanatical about him. Most not on his payroll are hardly Luke warm about him.

If he wins there is a much greater chance, however slim you think, that he will have Democrats in his administration who care about what you care about.

With Trump there is none. In fact a lame duck Trump is totally unhinged and damage he will do will NEVER be undone in our lifetimes.

Sorry. But this “I’d rather have Trump” is just insane.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 8:01 AM on February 20 [9 favorites]


sallybrown: thank you, I agree with your excellent breakdown of the situation.

FakeFreyja: I've voted reliably Democrat since 2004 and for the past several years have voted blue in even tiny elections, except the occasional local primary when I don't vote. That said, being a Democrat means nothing to me. I see the situation as a tug of war between left and right and my votes as me putting my shoulder toward the left and shoving forward like a dumb ox. The goal is eventually the Overton window will be far enough left that we can actually have interesting debates, like "how best to provide healthcare for all?" instead of "should we let people die in the street, yes/no?". Until then, head down, push left. I had hoped in the early stages of the Obama administration that we were permanently marginalizing the extreme right but that turned out to be wrong. I'm less convinced that my strategy is a good one, or at least that it will save us from absolute disaster in time. Not sure what else to do though.
posted by bright flowers at 8:01 AM on February 20 [7 favorites]


So if Bloomberg gets the nomination and you vote for Trump Out of spite and Trump wins again — what tenets of the Democratic Party are you electing Trump to protect and advance?

Let me preface this by saying that I am not voting for Trump. But the argument could be made that Trump and Bloomberg are functionally the same, but electing Bloomberg dooms the only opposing party. If Trump is the new normal for the GOP for the forseeable future, and Store-Brand-Trump is the new normal for the Democratic Party for the forseeable future, then we are objectively in a worse place than an actual alternative party losing once.

But I do find it fascinating that anyone would support Bloomberg right now when all he's done is spend $300m on ads, badly fumble his first debate, and generally be off-putting and representative of the core problem in politics today.

Well let me tell you about capital and the delusional labor who believe their dinky retirement accounts means they are capital.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:04 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


Again, there exists no universe where Bloomberg is as bad as Trump.

This is really not true for young black men who lived through stop and frisk during his tenure as mayor. This country contains lots of universes, depending on who you are.
posted by sallybrown at 8:06 AM on February 20 [27 favorites]


To put Bloomberg's spending into context, he apparently has a net value of about 65 billion, and total spending on the entire 2016 presidential AND congressional elections was 6.5 billion. Considering the state of the economy for the ultra-rich, Bloomberg could most likely foot the entire bill for the entire 2020 campaign for both parties, for every federal office, and still wind up with the same net worth in the end. That kind of power is staggering, but as he reminded us at the debate last night, he's planning on doing good things with it, so no big deal.
posted by skewed at 8:07 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Nobody is fanatical about him. Most not on his payroll are hardly Luke warm about him.
Which means, if you buy into the "turnout is key" argument (which I think has a lot of merit) then Bloomberg is by definition a losing candidate. Yes, a lot of people will vote Anyone But Trump, but a lot will simply not show up.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:07 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


> Sorry. But this “I’d rather have Trump” is just insane.

To clarify, I will never vote for Trump, even with a Bloombergian gun to my head. That doesn't change my view that it would represent a massive institutional failure of the DNC if that's the choice we arrive at in November.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 8:09 AM on February 20 [21 favorites]


Thanks for that perspective, tivalasvegas. Here's the probability of dying in percent within four/eight years of taking office.

Sanders -- 79/m -- 22.3/47.3
Biden, Bloomberg -- 78/m -- 20.4/41.0
Warren -- 71/f -- 15.82 years -- 7.7/15.2
Klobuchar -- 60/f -- 3.0/4.0
Buttiegieg -- 39/m -- 1.0/1.7

I'm really going now!
posted by haiku warrior at 8:12 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, here's a question for those who would vote for Bloomberg in the general:

What would a Dem candidate have to do or represent to lose your vote? What would be the line you're not willing to cross?

This is not a snide point or a gotcha, I am actually curious about the subject.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:12 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Be worse than Trump. That's it.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:15 AM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Again, there exists no universe where Bloomberg is as bad as Trump.

This is really not true for young black men who lived through stop and frisk during his tenure as mayor. This country contains lots of universes, depending on who you are.


I want to stress I do not mean this as a “gotcha.” I think it’s hard for people who were not in those shoes to grasp the threat this presented on a daily basis to actual people who lived during those years. You could lose your job or your student loans. You could be physically injured or hurt by mistreatment. Your body and your neighborhood put you at risk. You could be stopped on the street to be manhandled, your body invaded and touched without your consent while other people going about their days watched. Lots of us have been groped without our consent or even with it (airport security gone wrong) and it has changed us permanently. What would it be like if you walked around every day thinking this could happen to you, not because of someone breaking the law, but because someone claimed to be following it? How would you feel if Trump presented such an active physical threat to you on a daily basis?
posted by sallybrown at 8:16 AM on February 20 [20 favorites]


I can't blame anyone for seeing Bloomberg as worse due to personal experience, but it was only due to means and opportunity, not motive. Had Trump been mayor of NYC, he would have done the same thing or worse, as evidenced by his grotesque stance on the Central Park Five.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:19 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


FakeFreyja: I commented on that in the Iowa caucuses thread here, the summary being that I see climate change as the existential threat. Voting against a candidate who is clearly superior on climate change means that I don't think keeping humanity around is worth the cost. That's a really high bar. I can fanfic out some truly grim scenarios but we aren't even close to that with Bloomberg.
posted by bright flowers at 8:24 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


The article Autocracy: Rules for Survival was making the rounds. It was very serious.

Now we're at a point where people are honestly saying that they would either, depending on the person, refuse to vote for a former mayor of New York . . .


Yes, because we see that the article applies to Bloomberg too.

But this “I’d rather have Trump” is just insane.

No one in this thread has said this.
posted by Mavri at 8:29 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Democrats are not winning FL this year. We have a Republican governor and Republican Senate. They will do whatever it takes for Trump to win the state.
posted by wittgenstein at 8:40 AM on February 20


Again, there exists no universe where Bloomberg is as bad as Trump.

I'm really not entirely sure this is true of the man himself.

Yes, Trump followers are scum and kind of scary. But they'll continue to be scary scum if Bloomberg wins. Expect far more "the Democrats are coming for your guns" bullshit than we ever saw under Obama.

I am sure that, if Bloomberg wins a general election as a Democrat, that moves the Overton Window further to the right. The party will either be weakened or it'll resemble the GOP in its toadying and making excuses for the racist, sexist, transphobic, fascist plutocrat. The minimal "resistance" we have in this country will further erode.

If Bloomberg wins the nom and loses in the general, that's still very bad. But maybe in that event, the party would finally take a hint?
posted by Foosnark at 8:40 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


But the argument could be made that Trump and Bloomberg are functionally the same

No they are not.

UNDER TRUMP:
The chance you get a single even slightly progressive leaning judge on the SCOTUS is ZERO.

The chance you adequately fund and enforce the EPA is ZERO.

The chance we repair our Strategic alliances Is ZERO.

The chance you have any pushback against McConnell in anything is ZERO.

The chances we develop humane immigration policies is ZERO.

But even with a dirtbag like Bloomberg the chances of all that is greater than ZERO.

That’s all you’ll get. Better than zero. If you want a chance for things you care about it’s not a choice.

Anything else is just petulant revanchism.

Sigh. If we hadn’t heard the same hyperbolic comparisons from the left with Clinton in 2016 I might be more sympathetic. But people said the same thing. “Trump and Clinton were functionally the same.” Over and over.

They weren’t. Neither is Trump and Bloomberg. Not when the choice is between ZERO opportunities for something good and NOT ZERO.

If this disaster happens and Bloomberg gets the nom you choose something greater than zero. Because that’s all there is.

Or you burn it all down and face the consequences.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 8:44 AM on February 20 [19 favorites]


> Democrats are not winning FL this year. We have a Republican governor and Republican Senate. They will do whatever it takes for Trump to win the state.

The Democratic candidate will have to overcome voter suppression and outright attempts to steal the election in many other states. If that candidate does not have a credible plan to fight this, they have already lost before even being named the nominee. Any electoral map showing Democrats winning is going to require intense monitoring of polling places, quick and decisive legal action to fight confirmed instances of malfeasance, and an amount of turnout that can show from exit polls that any results tainted by hacking / meddling from election officials are wrong.

Because of these factors, I see Florida as no harder to get than OH (also a GOP governor) or MI or PA, each with Democratic governors, but a lot of county-level officials who will try to stack the deck.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:47 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


But maybe in that event, the party would finally take a hint?

No. It would simply mean the left will never again come close to power in our lifetimes. I mean. Christ almighty you just described the complete rejection of the progressive agenda twenty years in a row. And suddenly that would miraculously reverse itself?

The only lesson is: You don’t get power in this country and you have nothing.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 8:48 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


No one in this thread has said this.

Then you didn’t read the thread. Yes they have. At least three people said they’d vote or consider voting for Trump If Bloomberg got the nomination. Go ahead. Read the thread.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 8:51 AM on February 20


What would a Dem candidate have to do or represent to lose your vote? What would be the line you're not willing to cross?

What would Trump have to do to have you vote for Bloomberg. What would the line be you’re not willing to cross. Not a gotcha. Just curious.

Yeah. It’s a gotcha.

I’m not playing that game.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 8:54 AM on February 20


Mavri: were people passing around articles on living under autocracy in the immediate aftermath of Bloomberg winning as mayor? I'm not a New Yorker so I don't know.

Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza: Or you burn it all down and face the consequences.

I agree that this is pretty much the alternative. Refusing to vote for Bloomberg in the general means you (the general you, not you specifically) think the situation is fundamentally broken and some sort of systemic breakdown is the only way out. In that case I hope you are really living your beliefs and gone full prepper.
posted by bright flowers at 8:56 AM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Sigh. If we hadn’t heard the same hyperbolic comparisons from the left with Clinton in 2016 I might be more sympathetic. But people said the same thing. “Trump and Clinton were functionally the same.” Over and over.

God, yes. And although I was a Clinton supporter in 2016, I doubted she'd be able to get anything done if elected given the political climate at the time, which still exists now. I'd still take that over Trump's active dismantling of our democracy and his accelerated destruction of the planet.
posted by wondermouse at 8:58 AM on February 20 [13 favorites]


This is really not true for young black men who lived through stop and frisk during his tenure as mayor.

Were literal Nazis marching down the street chanting Bloomberg’s name and slogans?

Was an entire cult of racists enabled to tear down existing legal protections of minorities at the highest levels of society creating a new norm of acceptable practiced institutional racism across the entire nation?

You honestly think if Trump has been mayor of NYC he wouldn’t have passed Even more draconian racist horseshit?

Bloomberg is a racist rich guy. Trump is racist rich guy. But Trump has a MOVEMENT. A cult.

Bloomberg shows no interest in starting a movement. And in fact has demonstrated a desire to disarm these movements.

He may be a racist pile of garbage. But at the very least he wants to disarm the mass of racist garbage. That makes him better.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 9:11 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


I lived in NY when stop and frisk was the rule. The difference between Nazi cosplay in the streets and agents of the state who would send you to Rikers for no reason at all *is* demonstrable. The difference between Trump and Bloomberg currently is that Trump just flirts with the cosplay Nazis because he's demented but Bloomberg? He *hires* them.
posted by 99_ at 9:22 AM on February 20 [13 favorites]


Though TBF Trump hires Nazis as well. So a better analogy is Stop and Frisk was a proof of concept for ICE.
posted by 99_ at 9:25 AM on February 20 [12 favorites]


Who were the equivalents of Steve Bannon or Stephen Miller in Bloomberg's administration, or who are they in his current campaign team?
posted by bright flowers at 9:34 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


New Quinnepiac poll on the mid-west.

It shows Trump with a solid lead in Wisconsin, Democrats with a narrow lead in Michigan, and Democrats with a solid lead in Pennsylvania.

In all three states the economy is ranked the most important issue with healthcare and climate change trailing.

I don't know what's happened to Wisconsin in recent years but it seems to be a solid red state now. You have Milwaukee and Madison but the rest of the state may as well be Kentucky.
posted by JackFlash at 9:42 AM on February 20


The Wisconsin governor Tony Evers is a Democrat. That doesn't mean Trump will lose, but solid red it isn't.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:55 AM on February 20


Who were the equivalents of Steve Bannon or Stephen Miller in Bloomberg's administration, or who are they in his current campaign team?

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly
NYPD Chief of Department Joseph Esposito

Those of you who follow This American Life might remember this episode about NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft’s secret recordings, which was based on this this series of stories in the Village Voice. The stop and frisk policy was tied up with this scandal because NYPD officers were placed under intense pressure to make high numbers of stops (and then downplay other crimes) for statistics purposes.

Here (PDF) is the Floyd district court decision finding the city liable for violating the constitution. The details of how Bloomberg’s administration increased the use of stop and frisk by 700% start on page 64. This section includes a discussion of the Schoolcraft tapes.
posted by sallybrown at 10:09 AM on February 20 [24 favorites]


In other mimicry of Trump tactics, Bloomberg’s campaign has just put out a misleadingly edited video (twitter link) about the debate.
posted by sallybrown at 10:30 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I'm not really knowledgeable about New York City politics so forgive me for being out of my depth here.

I was referring more to Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller as being openly white nationalist. It looks like Raymond Kelly and Joseph Esposito are just your typical racist white cops. If having these guys on staff is a disqualifier than I guess you'd need to rule out almost any mayor of any major U.S. city, or even small cities seeing as Buttigieg has similar issues.
posted by bright flowers at 10:33 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I recommend reading up on stop and frisk as well as the Schoolcraft scandal, which I linked to. It was not typical or everyday mayoral or police misbehavior but rather a widespread tactical policy implemented from the top.
posted by sallybrown at 10:38 AM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Thank you for the recommendation, I will read through the Village Voice articles to get more background on this.
posted by bright flowers at 10:47 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Hi I'm in Wisconsin. We just had our primaries for the Supreme Court. Exactly 50% of the vote went to Democratic candidates (Karofsky 37% Fallone 13% to Republican incumbent Kelly's 50%), my conservative relatives are very concerned the current homophobic pro-lifer will be ousted in the general when the Dem vote isn't split. So no, Wisconsin is not foregone red.
posted by brook horse at 10:55 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


I don't want to overstate it, but Bloomberg believes in climate change and Trump does not. If it comes down to the two of them, you will still have to make a choice.

If we do not fix climate change, now, literally billions of people will suffer, starve, and die on an Earth which will soon be barely fit for human occupancy.

There are future generations of people to come, and they have the right to a habitable planet. I have a lot of opinions about policing and wealth and taxes and race and everything else too, but the no one will have an equitable and just life on this planet if they are dead or starved first. This is the one thing we can't fix later. It's uncomfortable to say it, but the literal survival of human civilization as we know it really does usurp whether or not you think Bloomberg has adequately apologized for his past records on which standard of evidence police should use before searching someone for weapons.

The political right in this country has become incredibly powerful by being a coalition of single-issue voters on guns and abortion. They'll eat a shit sandwich for breakfast lunch and dinner if that shit sandwich says they'll let you keep your guns and ban abortion. If moral imperatives exist, you have a moral imperative to be a single-issue voter on climate change; the lives of billions of people depend on it.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:58 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


cosplay Nazis because he's demented but Bloomberg? He *hires* them.

Please cite a member of white supremacist organization that Bloomberg directly hired.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 11:01 AM on February 20 [1 favorite]


were people passing around articles on living under autocracy in the immediate aftermath of Bloomberg winning as mayor? I'm not a New Yorker so I don't know.

Yes, people who gave a damn were. But, as we've all seen, there are always people willing to sweep the systemic abuse of people of color under the rug.

It looks like Raymond Kelly and Joseph Esposito are just your typical racist white cops.

Yes, and your typical racist white cops are just as dangerous as Stephen Miller, but racist policing has become so normalized and so couched in dog whistles and tough-on-crime rhetoric that people just. Do. Not. See it.

Was an entire cult of racists enabled to tear down existing legal protections of minorities at the highest levels of society creating a new norm of acceptable practiced institutional racism across the entire nation?

No, just in NYC. But, please, tell me how it'll go when Bloomberg has a whole country. What do you think he'll do with ICE? What do you think he'll do with immigration? He empowered armed racists to systemically abuse people of color going about their daily lives, but yeah they weren't marching with tiki torches. So, we can go back to the polite, quiet racism that was easier to look away from.

But at the very least he wants to disarm the mass of racist garbage. That makes him better.

What about the people he doesn't want to disarm, who can murder and assault unarmed people with the blessing and support of the state? He will use the power of the state against minorities, but he won't be as tacky about it as Trump.
posted by Mavri at 11:04 AM on February 20 [10 favorites]


And the description of Charlottesville full-on in daylight white supremacy as "cosplay" is frankly disgusting. They MURDERED a woman.

Jesus.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 11:05 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. This needs to come down a couple notches in general; we are not going to be holding a binding vote in here on Trump v. Bloomberg, Which One Will Be President and I need folks to keep that in mind and not drag the rhetorical stakes to that level.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:12 AM on February 20 [8 favorites]


I think we need to take a step back and recognize that we are still in the primaries.

Maybe if a candidate is so reprehensible that the only good thing that can be said about him is that he may turn out to differ from Donald J. Trump on one issue, that person won't be the nominee. We still have a choice in the matter.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:16 AM on February 20 [14 favorites]


I'm not sure why I should be so terrified by the prospect that one or even three folks on Metafilter would consider not voting if Bloomberg is the nominee. I get that it may seem illogical, but it's also irrelevant. Should Bloomberg get the nod, Warren, Sanders and the rest of the candidates could do their damndest to take back everything they've said and enthusiastically back Bloomberg (and try seem genuine while making a better argument than "we don't like him either but a *** sandwich is better than a *** tornado") but it won't make a difference.
There is a portion of the electorate that isn't even that enthused by Sanders, but sees him as the best compromise. We already know this. It is increasingly marginalized and ignored by our leaders and likely growing. If Bloomberg is the nominee, everyone on this forum could vote for him and bring a friend, but thousands in every state would still stay home or vote 3rd party, and the GOP would work that angle expertly. Bloomberg won't mind losing. Remember that he threatened to run 3rd-party himself in 2016 were Sanders to win the Dem nomination, which would've guaranteed Trump's election.
posted by callistus at 11:22 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


Let me try approaching this from a different direction.

Is the never-Bloomberg group here arguing that if elected, the Bloomberg administration will be entirely and exclusively about sending federal police on a racially-biased mission to abuse people on the street and enabling local police to do the same, along with enacting policies to support other horrifying personal beliefs he has?

Or is the position that Bloomberg will in fact do some of the positive stuff he's claiming he will do, like at the Politico page here, but that he will probably also institute or at least fail to sufficiently condemn racist policing and other really bad things, and that would be unacceptable even if the alternative is a Trump win?

I am also deeply annoyed to be in the position of apparently defending Bloomberg, who is a disgusting person by all accounts. My real position is in favor of left/centrist unity in the face of fascism, for example see my comment here.
posted by bright flowers at 11:31 AM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Warren in an interview today:
“And understand this. After his performance tonight, I have no doubt he is about to drop tonight another $100 million in this campaign,” she added.

“Why does this lead to more spending?” Matthews asked.

“Oh come on! In order to try to erase America’s memory of what happened on that debate stage,” she replied.
The thing is that not only do I think she's right about that, I think this is a larger principle with him as time goes on. He can, indeed, spend effectively-infinite money. But a huge amount of that money will only go into the work of canceling out his mass negatives across the board. Anyone who considers him "electable" in November is just assuming that the Democratic base shows up no matter what (and then the people persuaded by his ad buys are what goes over the top), and that's not tenable.

I also believe that, in the hypothetical (and I think unlikely) world where he's the nominee, the potential vote depression is so catastrophic that far less blame can sensibly be placed on any given person who chooses not to cast their vote for him over Trump. It's not going to be like Nader, where "if only" several thousand people had gone over to Gore then Florida would be won, or the similar problems with people staying home in 2016. It'll be: if only a full 10% of this state plus 10% of that state had gone over, plus 7% of this other state, etc..

Yes, there is a certain moral obligation to crawl over broken glass to vote for a ham sandwich over Trump; but this doesn't much justify the original nomination of said ham sandwich. And I think the only way it happens at all is if enough people in the party demonstrate some strong irrationality about themselves, so that's why I'm not too afraid of it.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:50 AM on February 20 [6 favorites]


It seems like we can all agree that Michael Bloomberg sucks compared to our preferred candidate in the Democratic primary. I'm not sure how important it is to pin down where we all stand on precisely how much he sucks (beyond "a lot") before he's even appeared on a single ballot, which I believe is not until March 3. I also don't think we need to worry about individuals' votes for or against him in the general election until we have some idea of whether he can win any delegates at all, let alone a majority of them. Getting pre-mad about what people have said they think they might do in a hypothetical election that likely will not ever occur doesn't strike me as a productive use of anyone's time. We have 8 1/2 more months of this and I promise we'll make space in that time for yet more long discussions on vote-shaming and the utility thereof, the exact moral lines every single US voter has drawn for themselves with regard to the candidates on offer, and the best approaches to combating fascism in this country. I expect Super Tuesday will bring significant clarity on the issue of which candidates are viable and which are not, and there is a very strong likelihood that it will render most of these heated conversations about what sort of person would or would not vote for Bloomberg over Trump moot.
posted by Copronymus at 12:01 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


Seen on Twitter:

This debate so far:

Bloomberg: I should have just bought every commercial during this shit-show and stayed home

Sanders: Watch me yell until a faulty heart would have burst to prove I’m healthy!

Warren: I will bite the head off a live bat if any of you people f*** with me


A live bat's head not being available, Warren contented herself with Bloomberg's.

I'm pretty sure Bloomberg is not going to be a threat. He probably won't drop out right away, but last night was a disaster for him that he won't be able to recover from. I'm looking at tweets about him and the opinion pieces coming out about him, and it's ALL negative. So... I think we can be cautiously optimistic that the U.S. is going to steer clear of this particular iceberg.
posted by orange swan at 12:02 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


The thing is that not only do I think she's right about that, I think this is a larger principle with him as time goes on. He can, indeed, spend effectively-infinite money. But a huge amount of that money will only go into the work of canceling out his mass negatives across the board. Anyone who considers him "electable" in November is just assuming that the Democratic base shows up no matter what (and then the people persuaded by his ad buys are what goes over the top), and that's not tenable.

Think of how many ads we could run against Gardner, Collins, McSally, Ernst, Tillis, Perdue, and Cornyn with effectively infinite money. It breaks my heart to think about how much better a country we could have if a billionaire actually tried to help instead of engaging in a personal vanity project based out of a petty vendetta.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:09 PM on February 20 [18 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Bloomberg is not going to be a threat. He probably won't drop out right away, but last night was a disaster for him that he won't be able to recover from.

I think the most likely scenario is him coasting on money just enough to receive any appreciable amount of delegates at all. Then his move is to hold the election hostage at the convention on the threat that he will run third party if he isn't given the keys to the kingdom. I base this on the fact that he explicitly said he would do so to spoil the election.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:10 PM on February 20


It’s Howard Schultz who has threatened to run third-party in 2020–Bloomberg has said he won’t (he threatened to in 2016). I believe there are additional constraints (beyond “he promised”) that would keep him from doing so now that he’ll be listed on primary ballots as a Democrat.
posted by sallybrown at 12:15 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I was referring more to Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller as being openly white nationalist. It looks like Raymond Kelly and Joseph Esposito are just your typical racist white cops.

Please cite a member of white supremacist organization that Bloomberg directly hired.


There's a huge problem in America of thinking white supremacy and white nationalism is marching with tiki torches chanting "Jews will not replace us." That's the obvious, polo-shirt version, but white supremacy wears a suit or a uniform, too. It has titles from think tanks and badges from departments. It proposes draconian measures that lock black and brown people up when it doesn't kill them. Most police forces are white supremacists organizations, even more dangerous than your local neo-nazi gang or KKK chapter because they have authority! Even worse, they have the respect of most of society, whether it be enthusiastic or grudging.

Heather Heyer was murdered by a white supremacists, but uniformed white supremacists kill folks all the time. They harass folks all the time. They drive folks to suicide.

And Bloomberg knew it. The audio shows that Bloomberg knew that stop-a-frisk was a white supremacist policy. It's no less awful than going down 4Chan and hiring neo-nazis as security, and quite frankly, I think we really need to evaluate how we give white nationalism a pass as long as it keeps just slightly more circumspect than Stephen Fucking Miller.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:17 PM on February 20 [39 favorites]


It’s Howard Schultz who has threatened to run third-party in 2020–Bloomberg has said he won’t (he threatened to in 2016). I believe there are additional constraints (beyond “he promised”) that would keep him from doing so now that he’ll be listed on primary ballots as a Democrat.

Ah, I hadn't seen that. That is good to know, though I hope he can keep his word if the nomination goes to someone who might work against his interests.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:19 PM on February 20


What's really scary here is how cheap all of this is for him. He's spent a couple hundred million dollars. That's nothing to him. He could bury the country in ads from here to the election and still come out filthy rich, not to mention doing other things like buying businesses in key states to "own" the employees. Honestly the fact he's going so cheap is a sign that maybe his heart just isn't in it.
posted by bright flowers at 12:22 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


i will not vote for michael bloomberg. there’s really no point in defending him or arguing on his behalf because if he’s the nominee we will see historically low voter turnout. i don’t know why we’re even having this conversation because there’s no path to the presidency for him and i think he knows that. if he becomes the democratic nominee, i would expect his spending to drop off precipitously in the general.

Sanders: Watch me yell until a faulty heart would have burst to prove I’m healthy!

this rhetoric is so dumb. please show me another candidate who will say to a man with 65 billion dollars, live on television, that he didn’t earn his fortune, the workers he exploited did. i don’t care if the messenger is yelling, whispering, signing, or talking through a sock puppet because it’s the message that matters to me. this man has been doing this for five years now and you’re still on about the yelling.
posted by JimBennett at 12:24 PM on February 20 [23 favorites]


Think of how many ads we could run against Gardner, Collins, McSally, Ernst, Tillis, Perdue, and Cornyn with effectively infinite money. It breaks my heart to think about how much better a country we could have if a billionaire actually tried to help instead of engaging in a personal vanity project based out of a petty vendetta.

An underlying anxiety of mine is if he gets his feelings hurt too badly in his failed vanity project, he could then turn around and destroy any of the Dem candidates he wanted and no one would be able to stop him.
posted by brook horse at 12:24 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


They drive folks to suicide.
You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.
Our nation's highest law enforcement agency, ladies and gentlemen.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:24 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Sanders: Watch me yell until a faulty heart would have burst to prove I’m healthy!

The doctors said he is healthy. Why are you engaging in conspiracy theorizing that they’re all lying??
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:32 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


Yeah, when Sander said that Bloomberg owned more wealth than 125 million Americans put together, I was there. When Bloomberg defended his wealth by saying he built his business only for Sanders to retort that his workers built the business, created that wealth, I was more than there. We need more politicians that reject the capitalist framework that simply owning something means you deserve the fruits of other people's labor.

Bloomberg is a manifestation of every rich person who felt he deserved more because of how much money he had, even though all that money is stolen. I cannot stomach him, and if the Democratic Party chooses such an obscene man, well, I think an idiot once said, and I'm paraphrasing here:

"If we nominate [Bloomberg], we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it."

But don't expect me to roll over because he's "on our team." Supporting Bloomberg is a betrayal of all the downtrodden and brokenhearted.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:36 PM on February 20 [21 favorites]


"If we nominate [Bloomberg], we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it."

I don't know if you noticed, but Republicans are getting everything they wanted and more with Trump as President. The parallelism to a Bloomberg-headed country getting everything Democrats want is not particularly menacing.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:38 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I don't know if you noticed, but Republicans are getting everything they wanted and more with Trump as President. The parallelism to a Bloomberg-headed country getting everything Democrats want is not particularly menacing.

i would encourage you to, instead of making these arguments that aren’t going to convince anyone to vote for a man that no one wants to vote for, spend this energy texting for your preferred candidate, or doing anything to make sure bloomberg isn’t the nominee, and then it won’t even be an issue.
posted by JimBennett at 12:40 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


i would encourage you to, instead of making these arguments that aren’t going to convince anyone to vote for a man that no one wants to vote for, spend this energy texting for your preferred candidate, or doing anything to make sure bloomberg isn’t the nominee, and then it won’t even be an issue.

What are you doing here, then? This kind of meta-commentary "No *you* go do something else" is dismissive and unconstructive.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:42 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Lord Chancellor: You quoted me so I want to respond. I totally agree with you that racist policing is white supremacy and it's good to be reminded of that.

The issue is being practical. Unfortunately America is such a racist country that it's still meaningful to distinguish between racist cops and outright Nazi sympathizers like Stephen Miller, and the politicans who support the one group vs. the other. According to Raymond Kelly's Wikipedia article linked above, Kelly worked for Bill Clinton and was almost tapped to head the Department of Homeland Security by both Obama and Chuck Schumer. Maybe in a more enlightened world Kelly would have been blackballed from law enforcement and it would end a politician's career to even float the idea of him running the DHS. But we don't live in that world.
posted by bright flowers at 12:42 PM on February 20


I don't know if you noticed, but Republicans are getting everything they wanted and more with Trump as President. The parallelism to a Bloomberg-headed country getting everything Democrats want is not particularly menacing.

That's... a little different. Trump is the GOP zeitgeist personified. He was the next logical step toward exactly what the party wanted. Trump is delivering.

Bloomberg is pretty much antithetical to the Democratic ideal. The comparison doesn't even make sense. The accurate comparison would be comparing a Bloomberg nomination to the GOP nominating... well, Bernie Sanders.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:44 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


What are you doing here, then? This kind of meta-commentary "No *you* go do something else" is dismissive and unconstructive.

i’m here to tell you there are thousands and thousands of engaged voters this cycle who will not vote for michael bloomberg and there is no argument that will convince them otherwise. i’m just saying that instead of defending the billionaire racist rapist who isn’t even the nominee yet you could be doing literally anything else with your time.
posted by JimBennett at 12:46 PM on February 20 [5 favorites]


That's... a little different. Trump is the GOP zeitgeist personified.

Trump campaigned on a restrictionist trade policy, is clearly deeply unreligious, talked about taking people's guns away, and claimed to be against the Iraq war. He is by no means a personification of GOP policy; he was notably contrarian among the field at the time.

The accurate comparison would be comparing a Bloomberg nomination to the GOP nominating... well, Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders is substantially to the left of literally every standing Republican; Bloomberg is to the left of a nontrivial portion of the Democratic electorate, and is to the left of the center of the party on many issues. He is pro-choice, believes in climate change, supported decriminalization of marijuana, and supported same-sex marriage before Obama did.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:51 PM on February 20


Also worth noting that the past 3-4 years have seen the GOP unite behind Trump with dissenters sidelined or pushed out of the party. So there is a sort of chicken-and-egg thing going on there. I'm not sure what that would look like if it happened on the Democrat side, since Democrats don't really do authoritarian control that way, but if that did happen, I don't think the end result would be Sanders.
posted by bright flowers at 12:53 PM on February 20


Bloomberg is not pro choice. He is also a transphobe.
posted by tiny frying pan at 12:54 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


the mayor who instituted stop and frisk says he’s in favor of decriminalizing marijuana, okay sure i’ll take him at his word there.
posted by JimBennett at 12:54 PM on February 20 [11 favorites]


Trump campaigned on a restrictionist trade policy, is clearly deeply unreligious, talked about taking people's guns away, and claimed to be against the Iraq war. He is by no means a personification of GOP policy; he was notably contrarian among the field at the time.

I think the only non-performative tenets of the Republican party are racism, tax cuts, and harming the poor. I don't mean that as a glib quip, I honestly believe that. And I think Trump's presidency bore that out.

Bloomberg is to the left of a nontrivial portion of the Democratic electorate, and is to the left of the center of the party on many issues. He is pro-choice, believes in climate change, supported decriminalization of marijuana, and supported same-sex marriage before Obama did.

I think those may be some assumptions that have to be made in spite of evidence rather than because of it.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:58 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


this rhetoric is so dumb. please show me another candidate who will say to a man with 65 billion dollars, live on television, that he didn’t earn his fortune, the workers he exploited did.

Sanders is conceding a strategy to Trump by denying it to Bloomberg. The rhetoric from Sanders suggesting Bloomberg is too rich and buying the election is also what Trump is doing. That makes it a divisive claim, separating one voter from the next. Not unusual, but then there's the problem that Trump will claim that Sanders is making grand legislative promises to buy votes, and it will nullify any effect Sanders' claim of buying votes will have on undecided voters.
posted by Brian B. at 1:00 PM on February 20


Bloomberg has enough terribly shitty political positions that we don't need to invent additional new ones. I don't see why this has to be a fact-free discussion and don't care to engage in one.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:00 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Also worth noting that the past 3-4 years have seen the GOP unite behind Trump with dissenters sidelined or pushed out of the party.

Yeah, I think we will all be long gone by the time historians figure out the currents that washed Trump into the White House: pure racism? Pure racist backlash to Obama’s election? Party realignment with racism as a throughline? Urban/rural divide? Sunset of the elites in both parties?

If Bloomberg wins the nom and the electorate embraces him, there will be one story about how money has fully swamped politics. If Sanders wins the nom and the party embraces him, there might be an opposite story of how “outsiders” in each party grasped the party machinery and there was a realignment. You could tell a story of how the GOP reacted in opposition to the people-powered movements of the 2010s (Occupy, nascent Me Too, Black Lives Matter) while the Dems built from them.

It is interesting that so much of this story runs through New York City.
posted by sallybrown at 1:02 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


OxFCAF, you are the person stating policy positions that he might SAY he's for, but any minimal effort into looking into his actual deeds shows these to be mere lip service.
posted by tiny frying pan at 1:03 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


People got killed in NYC as well. I'm sure the family of Sean Bell have opinions on what giving police even freer reign does.

Bloomberg did not enter the race to stop Donald Trump or to combat global warming. He had years and billions of dollars *and* a media empire at his disposal to do this. He entered the race to stop Bernie Sanders.

His solution to global warming is not about minimizing the existing systems hastening it. It's about maximizing the advantages of people in his self identified cohort to survive it.
posted by 99_ at 1:04 PM on February 20 [25 favorites]


His solution for climate change will be to ban plastic straws in fast food restaurants. And also a small $1.6 trillion subsidy to finance and energy to look into green something something some time in the next 35 years.
posted by FakeFreyja at 1:08 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


sallybrown: It is interesting that so much of this story runs through New York City.

Also interesting to me is how most of the frontrunners on both sides are northerners, either by birth or long association or both. That's pretty unusual for U.S. presidential elections.
posted by bright flowers at 1:14 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


The parallel between Trump and Bloomberg that most worries me is not that they're both racist sexist billionaire shitheads, it's that they both believe in nothing but their own personal greatness. There was plainly no conviction or passion behind anything Bloomberg said last night, he's just mouthing the words that he thinks will get him to power. He donates to politicians in both parties for the same reason Trump did: not out of any concern for good governance or certain policies, but in order to gain personal influence. There's no reason to believe anything he promises or says he stands for.

I live in a state that doesn't matter in the general election, so it doesn't matter who I hypothetically vote for in November. But for any other candidate I'll be happy to go up to Wisconsin and knock on doors. I don't think I'd be capable of doing that for Mike Bloomberg.
posted by theodolite at 1:14 PM on February 20 [18 favorites]


I'm refusing to vote for Dems if Bloomberg gets it. Clinton, much as I said I'd never vote for her, I did, because fuck Trump, but even Clinton is not Bloomberg.

This is some Grade A petty oligarch high school bullshit. And come on Bloomie, we know it's a cross of your ego, petty grudges w/Trump and your fear of the uprising proles.

If Bloomberg gets the nom I'm writing in Bernie. Period. (Feel free to write in your preferred or even fictional candidate). Just so they know not only are we not voting for them but that we are voting completely differently from EITHER of them.

I thought Biden & Buttigieg were bad and had a bad enough time justifying them. Or But I would, like Clinton & Kerry before them, end up holding my nose.

But if the oligarchs think they can work this putsch on us. We have to resist and show them there is no way in hell 2 right-wings will stand.

Also? FUCK the Dems for disregarding the debate rules just so some rich wanker can trot on in and demand to be the King Potato (seriously dude has as much personality as a potato). Because "socialism".

Of course, after all the whinging from the DLC types about how "Bernie's not even a Democrat!" (and sadly, Bernie-Bros trot out that same argument against Warren - which is just stupid and absurd) we end up getting ... a literal Republican not just from like 20 years ago (Warren) but damn near yesterday, waltzing in and handing out cash like this isn't the most corrupt bullshit in the process.

Dems are trying to so hard to resist ("Resistance" to Trump AND the masses who are sick and tired of corporate plutocracy) - this popular tide, and doing their best to corral it without actually acting in the spirit of "Resistance" (e.g. brutally opposing all of Trumps bullshit in the house. There is no unified front obstructing. You can hold all the impeachment hearings if you want, but as long as you keep funding this bullshit you're complicit in it, symbolism not withstanding.

I used to think the argument about Social Democrats being "Social Fascists" (and yes, I know that means Bernie would be included in this, technically) was bullshit. But considering what we're seeing now, I really think we're witnessing the gasping of the American Bourgeoisie as espoused in the Democrats. The inherent contradictions in the Dem Party will reveal themselves...

It's been obvious to so many for so long that the Republicans are not the friend of the working class, but everyone tries to believe that somehow the Dems are different.

It's refreshing that all the candidates stood against Bloomberg (even if many of them , in the end, support similar policies)...

But I swear to god if the Democrats who vote in the primaries somehow hand this thing to Biden I'm done with the Democratic party forever.

I sold out my soul enough, and I refuse to allow myself to be a ... how's that go GWB? "Fool me once.. .Shame on... Shame on you... Fool me twice? Won't get fooled again..."
posted by symbioid at 1:45 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


I thought Biden & Buttigieg were bad and had a bad enough time justifying them.

Somehow this timeline just gets worse and worse, and here we are with a dude just spending an absolutely unprecedented amount of money on a vanity project. However, I am VERY GLAD he got on that debate stage because he is an utter and complete clown. Bloodless ancient vampire isn't really winning hearts and minds.

To be correct though, symbiod, Bloomberg was a Republican until 2007, then Independent until 2018, then Democrat. It's almost as if he changes his mind whenever it seems politically convenient and believes in nothing. 2007 when GWB was a failed politician and 2018 when Democrats were swept in. I say almost but I mean "absolutely". Bloomberg believes in nothing except money with some sexism and racism for good measure.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:55 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


To all the people questioning why some of us are talking about not voting for Bloomberg in the general if he wins the nomination when he hasn't gotten the nomination yet: he is running on electability and the evidence-less claim that he is the candidate most likely to beat Trump. It is absolutely relevant to point out that there is a significant group of Democratic voters who would not vote for Bloomberg in the general. This is not a bad faith argument, delusion, or misplaced priorities. It is both a principled stand and a realistic pushback against the nonsense claim of electability that is central to Bloomberg's campaign.
posted by cosmic owl at 2:04 PM on February 20 [29 favorites]


Also interesting to me is how most of the frontrunners on both sides are northerners, either by birth or long association or both. That's pretty unusual for U.S. presidential elections.
It's not that surprising when you consider that the south has been not completely but still pretty effectively stripped of national-profile Democratic politicians and the Republican nomination is not being seriously contested in this cycle.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:19 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


Honestly, after last night, I’m a lot less scared Bloomberg is going to come anywhere near the ticket. It’s still possible, but I had no idea he was that bad at public speaking.

At this point the idea of a contested convention and the Democrats trying to be cute and nominate a “compromise” candidate is much scarier to me because I think that would hand the election to Trump.
posted by eagles123 at 2:20 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


It is absolutely relevant to point out that there is a significant group of Democratic voters who would not vote for Bloomberg in the general. This is not a bad faith argument, delusion, or misplaced priorities. It is both a principled stand and a realistic pushback against the nonsense claim of electability that is central to Bloomberg's campaign.

Also there is something to be said for the argument that "I am another rich white guy who will intentionally change nothing" will not move politically unengaged folks to the polls. That will have a far greater impact than a few wonks refusing to vote top-ticket out of principle.
posted by FakeFreyja at 2:21 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


It is difficult to overstate how bad he was at public speaking.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:21 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I actually think other than Bloomberg and Buttigieg (at least in 2020), the Democrats have a strong field and people shouldn't be afraid. Warren, Sanders, Biden, and Klobuchar can all beat Trump and be competent leaders. I was reassured last night in the overall quality of the people on the stage and their ability to communicate their ideas and leadership qualities.
posted by chaz at 2:28 PM on February 20 [9 favorites]


Also, I'd like to mention that all of this talk about supporting Bloomberg if he's the nominee is so premature as to be grotesque, sort of a "If you were on desert island and starving, would you kill your best friend and eat them to survive." I mean, dunno. I hope not? But if I want to prevent getting stuck on that desert island and starving, I need to stop obsessing about that choice and focus on the ones I have to prevent it coming to that.

What I'm saying is pulling the "Vote Blue, No Matter Who" when it's fucking Mike Bloomberg is constantly reminding me I should turn to cannibalism now to be ready. Prevent Bloomberg from getting within a sniff of the nomination instead of constantly barraging us and you won't have to worry about that desperate eventuality.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:29 PM on February 20 [20 favorites]


Yeah, conveniently it appears that 100% of Democrats will not be voting for Bloomberg in the general.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:30 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Also? FUCK the Dems for disregarding the debate rules

I was a bit WFT about Bloomberg getting included in the debates until I saw his performance. It's entirely possible that it was the best decision possible to include him. In a fair number of (underinformed) minds he was a viable option because of his slick and costly ad campaign. But after that performance...
posted by cirhosis at 2:38 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


You know what, I'm convinced. If the nightmare scenario happens then I'll have plenty of long months in which to either lose all personal credibility by trying to get people to vote for Bloomberg, or alternately drink or go insane or pretend this is all a bad dream. There is no reason to get a head start on that now.
posted by bright flowers at 3:47 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


before he's even appeared on a single ballot, which I believe is not until March 3

Ohio started early voting yesterday, before the debate even aired, and I voted after my shift of handing out Democratic party endorsed candidate slates ended. Bloomberg was on the Democratic party ballot. (I did not vote for him...but I did get to vote for myself, for Precinct Executive!)
posted by cooker girl at 3:50 PM on February 20 [12 favorites]


In other words as far as I'm concerned we could have wrapped this up with Scattercat's excellent comment right at the top.
posted by bright flowers at 3:51 PM on February 20


cirhosis: "Also? FUCK the Dems for disregarding the debate rules

I was a bit WFT about Bloomberg getting included in the debates until I saw his performance. It's entirely possible that it was the best decision possible to include him. In a fair number of (underinformed) minds he was a viable option because of his slick and costly ad campaign. But after that performance...
"

I'm not sure how I felt about bending the rules beforehand but I think that he regrets even asking to be on stage now. I'm struggling to remember a worse debate performance; he came across as peeved that anyone would dare to ask him questions.

The biggest irony of Bloomberg's campaign might end up that he causes Biden to stay below the 15% threshold in enough state thereby giving Sanders that much more of a lead in the delegate count.
posted by octothorpe at 3:57 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


brook horse An underlying anxiety of mine is if he gets his feelings hurt too badly in his failed vanity project, he could then turn around and destroy any of the Dem candidates he wanted and no one would be able to stop him.

Yeah, he already did that in 2016. Bloomberg turned loose a firehose of cash into Pennsylvania in 2016 to boost Republican Pat Toomey who faced major risk of losing to Democrat Katie McGinty. Ultimately she lost by less than two points and it's almost certain it was Bloomberg's money that made her lose.

That's the man who wants to be the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2020, the same guy who burned through more money than you or I could earn in a hundred lifetimes to destroy a Democrat and help the Republicans keep a wider majority in the Senate.

If the Democrats nominate lifelong Republican Bloomberg the Party is over and it deserves to be over. This is insane and obscene.

It also underscores that the existence of billionaires is an existential threat to democracy. We need a maximum wealth cap of around $500,000,000 or so.
posted by sotonohito at 4:23 PM on February 20 [24 favorites]


Bloomberg was a Democrat who switched to the Republican Party to avoid dealing with the NYC Democratic machine when he decided to run for mayor. So he has been a member of both parties.

Anyway, here's some gasoline for the fire. Politico: Bloomberg quietly plotting brokered convention strategy. (Gang, please don't shoot the messenger here. I'm just informing--not advocating.)
posted by haiku warrior at 4:37 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


comment:
Sanders: Watch me yell until a faulty heart would have burst to prove I’m healthy!


response:
The doctors said he is healthy. Why are you engaging in conspiracy theorizing that they’re all lying??

The comment starts with, "Seen on Twitter:" It then goes on to take a small jab at three different people who were on the debate stage.

Show me the conspiracy theory. Because, if there is one, I see it in the response rather than the comment. First, it was just a message passed on. Second, the way I read it was:

a: we know Sanders had a medical event regarding his heart recently.
b: part of his personality is to get worked up on stage
c: he got REALLY worked up last night and he's still standing.

It was a fucking joke. From someone on Twitter. Not from someone on Metafilter.

I am one of those, "Warren first. Sanders really great second choice. All the rest? I'll vote for them." (We'll leave Bloomberg out of the equation for the time being on that, though.) I've donated to Warren. If Sanders is the choice, I will donate to him. I will volunteer for either. I'm in Texas so I imagine I will get a lot of negative energy doing such. But, it's worth it.

WITH THAT SAID... In this, and a couple other active politics threads... it sure seems that if something can be perceived as a slight against Bernie, there are a set of people who will threadsit on that to prove... something? I don't even know what any more.

I am not really seeing this with other candidates. I may be primed to be "here we go again", though. YMMV
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:20 PM on February 20 [10 favorites]


WITH THAT SAID... In this, and a couple other active politics threads... it sure seems that if something can be perceived as a slight against Bernie, there are a set of people who will threadsit on that to prove... something? I don't even know what any more.

Yeah I saw that some people were interpreting that as a slight against Sanders, and I had wanted to note that no, it was merely someone on twitter trying for laughs about each candidate.
I think the oversensitivity/hostility of some Sanders supporters has to do with some kind of leftover trauma from 2016. I didn't follow the race closely, knowing that it was getting very ugly and not wanting to get wrapped up in it, but have been hearing that a lot of really weird stuff went down, such as at the Nevada caucus state convention. Longer term Sanders supporters may feel like abused dogs, ready to growl at anyone who gets too close to their food.
posted by callistus at 7:03 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


I think that he [Bloomberg] regrets even asking to be on stage now

puh-leez. you don't get to be a billionaire by being capable of honest self-reflection. he thinks he slayed and nobody he listens to dares tell him different

being a californian who eschews tv news, this was the first time i'd seen/heard bloomberg. he's an utterly repellant ghoul and i have half a mind to toss out my copy of janette sadik-khan's "streetfight" because of her association with him
posted by entropicamericana at 7:18 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


To all the people questioning why some of us are talking about not voting for Bloomberg in the general if he wins the nomination when he hasn't gotten the nomination yet: he is running on electability and the evidence-less claim that he is the candidate most likely to beat Trump. It is absolutely relevant to point out that there is a significant group of Democratic voters who would not vote for Bloomberg in the general. This is not a bad faith argument, delusion, or misplaced priorities. It is both a principled stand and a realistic pushback against the nonsense claim of electability that is central to Bloomberg's campaign.

YES. THIS. I was one of the people waaaaaay-upthread saying I'd either not vote or vote for Trump if Bloomberg gets the nomination. I want the Dem party to know that. While I understand there are differences between the two, I fear that if Bloomberg wins, most people on the left are going to relax a little bit, feeling that they've won a victory. Not a great one, but at least Trump isn't in office any more. And meanwhile nothing will get better, because another rich amoral plutocrat is in office. At least when Trump is there everyone on the left is fired up and ready for blood. If Bloomberg wins, then we only "win," and we won't be moving this nation back toward something sane, we'll just be hiding the insanity under a blue veneer.
posted by nushustu at 7:42 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


If this disaster happens and Bloomberg gets the nom you choose something greater than zero. Because that’s all there is.

Or you burn it all down and face the consequences.


And this shit, right here, is why I won't vote for him. Because somehow the DNC can let this asshole buy his way in and ostensibly buy the nomination, but *I* am the one burning it all down when I don't blindly vote for anyone who isn't Trump. Don't lay that fascism on me, man.
posted by nushustu at 7:44 PM on February 20 [14 favorites]


it sure seems that if something can be perceived as a slight against Bernie, there are a set of people who will threadsit on that to prove... something? I don't even know what any more.

One of the core arguments of the Bernie bloc is that a lot of the changes they're proposing are fairly common-sense changes that are political reality amongst other wealthy nations, and are things that have been proposed in America. The reason America didn't adopt them, the reasoning goes, is not because they were unpopular - they poll well - or because there are good arguments against them, but because the people who were in a position to implement them didn't fight hard enough for them.
posted by Merus at 7:51 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Bloomberg is not a democrat, and if he “wins” then he will hollow out and destroy the entire democrat party, and all leftist politics in the US. If he takes power he will enshrine a plutocracy that will be the end of US democracy.

Bloomberg is basically Putin. He’s functionally worse for the entire world than Trump.
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 8:52 PM on February 20 [8 favorites]


But if Bloomy does win I will say that I’m buying the shit out of some Tesla stock, because future President Elon Musk is going to be make some monayyy
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 8:54 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


At least when Trump is there everyone on the left is fired up and ready for blood.

This idea is nothing new. It's call accelerationism and it has a very long and sordid history.

It's a theory that says that one should throw gasoline on a burning house so that the people inside will wake up and save themselves.
posted by JackFlash at 8:57 PM on February 20 [7 favorites]


I kind of think the less important thing is to decide on who to vote for if it comes down to Trump vs. Bloomberg, which is largely a hypothetical now anyways.

The more important thing is once it comes to that, to figure out ways to decrease the power of the office itself. Which is kind of overdue, as it was already seen as too powerful even before Trump was elected.
posted by FJT at 9:04 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


It's a theory that says that one should throw gasoline on a burning house so that the people inside will wake up and save themselves.

voting for bloomberg or trump is throwing gasoline. not voting for anybody in that particular race is just watching from the sidelines in pure shock and horror. "Don't lay that fascism on me, man" is exactly fucking right.
posted by JimBennett at 10:10 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


WITH THAT SAID... In this, and a couple other active politics threads... it sure seems that if something can be perceived as a slight against Bernie, there are a set of people who will threadsit on that to prove... something? I don't even know what any more.

something that people who don't support bernie just can't seem to get is that for a lot of his most ardent supporters, we don't really see him as a "presidential candidate," and it's CERTAINLY not about how much we like him as a person (though i DO like him, a lot). we look at him as an escape rope or a lifeline.

more than that even, bernie represents a movement. his theory of political change is something we've all collectively bought into. we know that it's going to be a long road to get his policies enacted, but we're bought in. "Not me, us" really does sum it up. to get anything done in this country is going to take mass movements of everyday working people, and having the leader of those mass movements be a.) the leader of the free world, and b.) someone who has been ideologically consistent for forty years, will be the only way those mass movements become possible. this is the reason why, for many of us, warren was a fine second place if that's how it went but really not the same thing at all. the 2020 bernie sanders campaign is literally a once in a lifetime event, and we're going to do anything - ANYTHING - to get it done. when you think about people being mean to journalists on twitter, when you think about bernie or bust, when you think about people protesting the democratic convention, try to keep in mind that we are not trying to elect a president, we are trying to enact a shift in power from the wealthy to the poor that may be unprecedented. if you think that all sounds pie-in-the-sky or "unrealistic," fine, but be aware that every single person who shows up to a bernie sanders rally understands what this movement is really about.

would highly encourage people to read this twitter thread from Boots Riley, leader of the band The Coup, director of Sorry To Bother You, and lifelong radical. think about a world where the president of the united states shows up in person to support striking Walmart workers. or fuck it, imagine the PRESIDENT endorsing a general strike in order to get congress to vote on a right to work ban or higher minimum wage nationwide. read between the lines and that's the future we're working towards. no one else is offering anything remotely close.
posted by JimBennett at 10:13 PM on February 20 [25 favorites]


If Bloomberg, a racist billionaire Republican, becomes Democratic president he will control the DNC. He will appoint its leaders and set its rules. They will be rewritten to cement Republican control over the Democratic Party. Moreover the model of election-purchasing, never before attempted on this scale, will be proven effective and become the norm. At that point it’s all over. It’s a two-party system that has already witnessed a fascist plutocratic takeover of the Right party. A Bloomberg win completes the fascist plutocratic takeover of both Right and Left parties. Instead of simply having a fascist in power, you’ll have fascists both in power and in opposition. It’s not at all obvious that a Trump re-election represents the greater evil in this scenario.
posted by moorooka at 1:05 AM on February 21 [21 favorites]


It's a theory that says that one should throw gasoline on a burning house so that the people inside will wake up and save themselves.

voting for bloomberg or trump is throwing gasoline.


In psychotherapy this is called the short-term pain, long-term gain CBT strategy
posted by polymodus at 1:57 AM on February 21


AOC defends Warren's performance in the debate:
Warren was not mean, nor angry.

She was effective.

And by the way, we are allowed to be angry about racial profiling. You’re allowed to be angry about sexual harassment. Or at big banks committing fraud against single parents.

Anger at injustice is quite appropriate.
It’s truly time to retire the misogynist trope that angry men are powerful, yet angry women are unhinged.

It’s such gaslighting nonsense. You SHOULD be mad at abuse of power. The real question is how one channels that energy into positive change that creates justice.
posted by octothorpe at 3:52 AM on February 21 [37 favorites]


From way the hell upthread:

"Think of how many ads we could run against Gardner, Collins, McSally, Ernst, Tillis, Perdue, and Cornyn with effectively infinite money. It breaks my heart to think about how much better a country we could have if a billionaire actually tried to help instead of engaging in a personal vanity project based out of a petty vendetta."

Jesus yes, not least because every Bloomberg ad I've seen has mostly been pointing out how Trump is a liar, a crook, and a fuck up (and ends with a vague "I won't do that - Mike Bloomberg.")

If he would be willing to blow through a small part of his billions bankrolling anti-Trump/anti-Republican Attack Dog ads without the need for the ego boost of a Presidential run, I would be cheering him on.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:06 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


Don't vote for Bloomberg in the primary. But if he's the nominee, pinch your nose and vote for the guy who is less awful. Blue no matter who isn't dogshit, when the alternative is four more years of an absolute lunatic having instant access to the big red button.

If Bloomberg gets the nomination and Trump wins because you couldn't hold your nose and vote blue you will be living in Evangelical theocratic state thanks the Trump flipping every single court in the land to majority wingnut Republican. He has already flipped something like four courts and the supreme court is hanging by the threads of Roberts teeny tiny conscience and RBG's declining health.
posted by srboisvert at 5:09 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


Bloomberg will be appearing at a CNN town hall Monday at 8 PM ET in Charleston, SC (followed by one with Sanders).
posted by sallybrown at 5:19 AM on February 21


@Mavri, thank you for linking to the article by Patrick Blanchfield above.

His writings, both on N+1magazine and elsewhere, are suburb.
posted by growabrain at 6:10 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


If Bloomberg gets the nomination and Trump wins because you couldn't hold your nose and vote blue you will be living in Evangelical theocratic state thanks the Trump flipping every single court in the land to majority wingnut Republican.

Bloomberg has been a lifelong Republican. His money narrowly got Toomey elected, without whom, we would not have Kavanaugh. So we're supposed to trust Bloomberg's Supreme Court picks why?
posted by Foosnark at 6:22 AM on February 21 [11 favorites]


JimBennett that idea of Sanders as a movement leader doesn't really mesh up with the fact that he hasn't been really working at finding successors or spending much time working for anyone's election but his own.

He's my second pickafter Warren and I'll prolly vote strategically for him in the primary because sadly I think Warren is finished and I want as strong a leftist as possible going into the convention.

But Bernie seems blatantly to be "not us, me".
posted by sotonohito at 6:31 AM on February 21 [13 favorites]


Bloomberg has been a lifelong Republican. His money narrowly got Toomey elected, without whom, we would not have Kavanaugh. So we're supposed to trust Bloomberg's Supreme Court picks why?

Not to defend him but he was a life-long Democrat until 2001 when he switched to run for mayor.
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 AM on February 21


2018
  • Sanders endorsed two U.S. Senate candidates. Both advanced past their primaries and both won election to the Senate.
  • Sanders endorsed 15 U.S. House candidates. Eleven advanced past their primaries and of those five won election to the House.
  • Sanders endorsed eight gubernatorial candidates. Seven advanced past their primaries and of those two won election, with one race pending.
  • Sanders endorsed four lieutenant gubernatorial candidates. Two advanced past their primaries and both won election.
  • Sanders endorsed two attorney general candidates. One advanced past the primaries and went on to win the general election.
  • Sanders supported 26 ballot measures. Of those, 17 were approved and seven were defeated with two remaining pending.
  • Sanders opposed seven ballot measures. Of those, three were defeated while the remaining four were approved.


  • Couldn't find 2018 endorsements by Warren and couldn't be bothered to look at other candidates.
    posted by entropicamericana at 6:47 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


    Endorsements are pretty weak sauce.

    Quick, if Sanders dropped dead tomorrow who has he set up to take his place running the "movement"? No one. Because there is no movement beyondhis Presidential ambition.

    And that isn't bad. Most people running have no broader movement. But Let's not pretend that Sanders is different when he can't even be bothered to pick a successor. He dies and the "movement" dies with him because it isn't a movement its just a regular Presidential campaign pretending.
    posted by sotonohito at 6:58 AM on February 21 [11 favorites]


    And, the movement is beside my original point to which you replied. I understand the passion for Bernie. I don't understand.... what appears to me to be oversensitivity to even the smallest slight, critique or criticism of Sanders. That's what my comment was about. Someone getting all up in arms about something that clearly was written by a third party and would take, imo, huge mental leaps to think the OP was dissing on Sanders.

    Seriously, if someone on here said, "Huh. Is it me or was Sanders' hair more messy than usual today?" I fully expect to see at least three replies saying, "it'snothisAPPEARANCEthatmatters. itshisIDEAS. stopharpingonhisAPPEARANCE. thewholeSYSTEMissetuptoDENYBERNIE!!!!!!"
    posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:17 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


    Article today from Slate by a doctor discussing the odds of Sanders being hospitalized or surviving various periods of time. Some points:

    * 30-35% chance of another hospitalization between now and the general election
    * if he survives to November this year, about a 65% chance he'll survive his first term
    * if he survives to November this year, about a 40% chance he'll survive his second term
    posted by bright flowers at 7:18 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


    JimBennett that idea of Sanders as a movement leader doesn't really mesh up with the fact that he hasn't been really working at finding successors or spending much time working for anyone's election but his own.

    In addition to endorsements, the Sanders campaign has also sent out requests for donations to candidates in other races, including Ayanna Pressley (who had already endorsed his rival, Elizabeth Warren) and people in their first run for office. I have to disagree with the notion that Sanders "can't even be bothered to pick a successor", as you have no way of knowing that. In fact, he has many people who could qualify as successors: AOC and Nina Turner chief among them. Is he supposed to hold a big press conference and say "This is my successor in my movement should I die?" I think you're reaching and perhaps missing the point. JimBennet's words were "Sanders represents a movement" (italics mine).

    I think Sanders' detractors are a bit too focused on Sanders, all the while ignoring the millions of people around him, who will not be going anywhere should he lose or pass away. He is not the grass-roots movement, they are. More to the point, and not to speak for JimBennett but I don't think the point is that Sanders has built a movement, but that he is trying to help build one, and even more to the point, that there is a movement being built by working class people, and they have currently chosen him as their principal (but not only) leader. It's like people cannot see that the people who support Sanders are not simply enamored of him as an individual, and he is not the one making it all happen.

    Thanks JimBennett for the link to the Boots Riley tweets, as he helps articulate a lot of things that are simply outside our current political discourse and mainstream vocabulary today.
    posted by callistus at 7:21 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


    Movements build and bring people in. I understand why Bernie feels like a movement to the people in it, but the reflexive defensiveness and hostility to non-supporters is not movement building. It's been especially discouraging to see it directed at Warren and her supporters, who would be obvious allies in a real movement. Boots Riley's Twitter thread is interesting because it describes some movements, but they aren't Bernie's movements. He didn't build them. He's riding them.
    posted by Mavri at 7:21 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


    To be fair about Bernie's movement, he did start Our Revolution, which is " building a national grassroots movement of local groups powerful enough to win progressive issue fights, elect progressive champions, transform the Democratic Party, and get big money out of politics."
    posted by NotLost at 7:26 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


    feel free to criticize bernie, but using arguments that feel truthy and then sliding the goalposts downfield when called on it is pretty weak sauce imo. so is the expectation your criticism will be exempt from criticism
    posted by entropicamericana at 7:38 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


    One interesting aspect of Bloomberg's rise through media saturation and advertising is that it kind of puts to rest the ridiculous argument of the Russian interference denialists who claim that even it did happen advertising and social media have little effect. It clearly has a massive effect.
    posted by srboisvert at 7:44 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


    Warren is an ally, but she's also currently a rival. Sanders has certainly not attacked her to the extent that she's attacked him, but that's also because he currently leads her in polls. If she overtakes him, I fully expect him to criticize her policies and statements. As for their supporters, yes, Sanders is not able to police twitter or reddit. Neither are twitter/reddit/facebook etc. able to police themselves.

    Boots Riley's Twitter thread is interesting because it describes some movements, but they aren't Bernie's movements. He didn't build them. He's riding them.

    Again, neither Boots, nor anyone in this thread, and certainly not Bernie Sanders is claiming that the movements belong to Sanders nor that he started them. We all know his campaign's slogan. And he isn't riding them, like some parasite merely using electoral politics to feed his entirely selfish ego and lust for power. He's supporting these movements and has his entire political career. Part of Boots Riley's premise in endorsing Sanders is that he's supporting them to a far greater extent, for far longer, and with far less equivocation than the vast majority of U.S. politicians of his stature.
    posted by callistus at 7:46 AM on February 21 [17 favorites]


    srboisvert: One interesting aspect of Bloomberg's rise through media saturation and advertising is that it kind of puts to rest the ridiculous argument of the Russian interference denialists who claim that even it did happen advertising and social media have little effect. It clearly has a massive effect.

    True, but I think a go-to argument from them has been to state the relatively low amount of money the Russians spent, with the implication that influence can be measured in dollars alone. (Rather than, say, hacked information that is spread around the internet practically for free, not to mention the unknown sums paid to professional online trolls).
    posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:52 AM on February 21


    Quick, if Sanders dropped dead tomorrow who has he set up to take his place running the "movement"? No one. Because there is no movement beyondhis Presidential ambition.

    There is a socialist left in this country that has power. That hasn't been the case in like, a real long time and Bernie is a huge part of that. Bernie has a bigger movement than any other presidential candidate so I don't understand this knock against him.
    posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:07 AM on February 21 [12 favorites]


    I like Sanders' political positions but I'm assuming he, due to age and health, is not going to make it through two full terms. I'm not even sure he'll make it to the election. It'd be useful for me to know who would replace him on the campaign or as president. So, I wish he'd name a successor now.
    posted by bright flowers at 8:13 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


    Has anyone named a VP yet?
    posted by Reyturner at 8:15 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


    Movements build and bring people in.

    feel free to criticize bernie, but using arguments that feel truthy and then sliding the goalposts downfield when called on it is pretty weak sauce imo.

    Any voter should vote their immediate interest or situation. and if they are rich, they can donate or vote their whims. Then watch everything improve gradually from the process. For most people their concerns are retirement, health care, education, environment, etc. Anyone conditioned to vote down the road for big changes is probably being used and misled. Churches have been politicized for years on this model and people are still attacking public schools for teaching evolution, and attacking health care because nobody really knows why, but they are part of a movement! They don't represent themselves or their personal needs. The bottom line is that we should beware of anyone telling us what our situation really is, and populism has always been based on demagoguery and narrowed issues. Beware of anyone who hates Democrats, because they are really saying that they want things to get worse before they can get better (Lenin). European "socialists" enjoy better voting methods, and to blame US voters for a two party system they must function within is missing the real point and the necessary fix.
    posted by Brian B. at 8:19 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


    [Folks, this thread is framed explicitly around Bloomberg's candidacy and there hasn't been a shortage of opportunities to discuss Sanders'. Let's rein in the primaries fever / megathready instincts here and either talk about Bloomberg-specific stuff or let it be all around.]
    posted by cortex (staff) at 8:22 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


    One interesting aspect of Bloomberg's rise through media saturation and advertising is that it kind of puts to rest the ridiculous argument of the Russian interference denialists who claim that even it did happen advertising and social media have little effect. It clearly has a massive effect.

    Maybe he’s using some of his bajillion-dollar-budget to keep careful track of the effects of all the different campaign tactics he’s trying. It sounds like he’s throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks—media ads, social media influencers, endorsements, even paying people to text their friends. It would be fascinating and beneficial for future campaigns to see which of the various methods have a stronger impact on voters—although maybe it’s impossible to isolate the medium from the message in that way.
    posted by sallybrown at 8:30 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


    And that isn't bad.

    It is if you're looking to affect large structural change rather than yelingl "REVOLUTION!" every four years.

    I swear the left in this country has been so allergic to pragmatism and playing the two party system that the local Democratic parties have mostly degraded into milquetoast neoliberal committees. The thing is, taking over local Democratic Parties isn't exactly hard to do. Certainly a lot easier than branch stacking a local Labor party. The best way for the left to rebuild itself in the country is to go through at the local level and systematically take over as many districts as they can. Get elected as executive members of these precincts, go to the state level and start affecting change through voting power. The neoliberal wing of the Democrats can put its thumb on its scale only through sheer apathy at local political levels. You're telling me can't get four other Democratic friends together to take over a barely organized precinct party committee? Once you have the precinct committees you can start pushing through leftist and progressive candidates at local levels, push them through to state levels when they build up street cred and experience. Basically, rebuild the party from the ground up in your image.

    If the left was doing this they could be a force in this country. There's currently a union renaissance developing in this country in knowledge worker classes which can tie the working, middle, and upper middle classes together. Restoring Democratic association with these up and coming union movements could be a new avenue to political power through true populism instead of demagoguery. But it all comes back to playing the game. Until we actually play it we will continue to see 40+ well meaning semi-progressives will be the institutional wing of the party pushing neoliberal candidates like Bloomberg or Biden that have broad centrist appeal.

    It's long and hard and requires forward thinking and planning over a decade but it is achievable if we be pragmatic, open to consensus, and actually play the game.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:45 AM on February 21 [12 favorites]


    Haha pragmatism. That got us welfare reform, DOMA, endless war and Clinton's crime bill. And stop and frisk.
    posted by 99_ at 8:50 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


    I mean, the left is trying to take over the Democratic Party, hence the Sanders campaign and organizations like the Justice Democrats and Our Revolution. Understandably, they are getting pushback both from professional elements of the Democratic Party invested in the current system and wealthy donors like Bloomberg.

    I wish Sanders had more politicians who act as a successor to him too, but I honestly don’t know what more he could be doing given the institutional and political constraints of his time in politics. Certainly the unique properties of Vermont and the political tradition of Northern New England generally contributed to his ability to rise to a political office in the US government with his political style. Changing economic and political conditions over the past two decades, as well as technological advances allowing mass donations and alternative communication channels to the traditional media, undoubtedly helped his rise to national prominence post 2016. The best he can do is do what he can to change the landscape of politics to allow others to follow him. As far as I can tell he is doing that.

    Compared to Sanders, Bloomberg is a very old fashioned old media style politician.
    posted by eagles123 at 9:18 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


    > You keep repeating this falsehood that Democrats must reach out to the Rust Belt MAGAhats...

    There are Democrats in PA and the Midwest. They helped elect Obama twice, and elected a bunch of new Democrats to the House in 2018. Democratic turn-out in these states wasn't so great in 2016. Trying to get Democratic voters in these states to turn out in 2020 isn't the same as 'reaching out to MAGAhats'.

    We also got some Republican cross-over voters in 2018. They were mostly college-educated suburban women who usually vote Republican but don't like Trump. They're not people who match the MAGAhat stereotype.
    posted by nangar at 9:20 AM on February 21 [6 favorites]


    but I honestly don’t know what more he could be doing given the institutional and political constraints of his time in politics.

    I think the biggest problem is the outright rejection of the institutional reality rather than trying to work within it. Perennial insurgency is not a good way to make large scale political change.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:24 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


    Basically, rebuild the party from the ground up in your image.

    Totally agree with this, and thanks for the link. See also the Justice Democrats , started by former leaders of the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. It's an uphill battle, but they've already made some progress, without corporate backing. I don't know how much work they are doing on the very local level though, and I also wonder how they (or like-minded local candidates) protect themselves against the incursions of oligarchs like Bloomberg, especially as we continue into an age of incrementally growing wealth inequality. See this story about a young black progressive in South Florida, Elijah Manley, who was offered $6,500/month + medical benefits by the Bloomberg campaign, to "serve as an adviser for 'racial justice and social justice issues.'" He eventually declined the offer, saying he was a Sanders supporter. But the guy is only 21, running in his first election in the Florida House of Representatives. How many young people have the wherewithal to say no to that kind of money, for a job which likely only entails serving as a token black man in photo ops and endorsements with/for Bloomberg and the like?
    posted by callistus at 9:31 AM on February 21 [4 favorites]


    I think the “institutional reality” is untenable for many people. Facing the power of moneyed interests like Bloomberg, it’s definitely an uphill battle.
    posted by eagles123 at 9:45 AM on February 21


    He eventually declined the offer, saying he was a Sanders supporter. But the guy is only 21, running in his first election in the Florida House of Representatives. How many young people have the wherewithal to say no to that kind of money, for a job which likely only entails serving as a token black man in photo ops and endorsements with/for Bloomberg and the like?

    That’s kind of the thing right. If the institutional core of the local party was hostile to Bloomberg and said to Manley “it’s either him or us, we will find a better candidate if you work with Bloomberg” instead of neoliberals shrugging their shoulders, they would have far more sway. A billionaire can’t write million dollar checks to buy everyone without going into a huge fraction of their fortune. As long as the people power can back candidates up and keep them in line, it’ll make it much more difficult to sell out.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:51 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


    Perennial insurgency is not a good way to make large scale political change.

    Tell that to the Tea Party.
    posted by vibrotronica at 10:08 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


    It may be true that most people engaged in this election only get marginally involved every four years, but many of the people (former union organizers, civil rights activists, climate activists) leading the Sanders campaign have been fighting for incremental change full-time for years now. Many of them have run for office, some hold/have held office and most who have run have lost, but they will keep trying.

    I have to disagree the outright rejection of the institutional reality is the "biggest problem". See the DNC enforcing a rule that happens to keep out "outsider" POC candidates for president out of the debates until they drop out, then changes it when a racist, misogynist billionaire joins the race to let him in. Or the DCCC rule, instituted after AOC's victory, to blacklist consultants for candidates mounting challenges to their incumbents. At some point, you have to reckon with the fact that the "institutional reality" that is the Democratic party Sanders refuses to join, and its corporate allies/masters, will fight tooth-and-nail to stop even the smallest, most local of the incremental changes you advocate.
    "People power" cannot back candidates and "keep them in line" if they are struggling to eat, feed their children and pay for health insurance, which is often the impetus for them to become involved in local politics in the first place. Manley somehow has the economic wherewithal or personal conviction to not sell out, so he exposed how Bloomberg had tried to buy him, but it should come as no surprise, as Chuck Rocha has stated, that many others simply could not afford to make that decision. And it's not true that Bloomberg cannot afford to pay all these people off - he can easily afford it, especially with the help of Goldman Sachs CEOs and others in his rarefied social class, all of whom have the ear of the leaders of our 'institutional reality'.
    posted by callistus at 10:11 AM on February 21 [13 favorites]


    Tell that to the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party took over every local Republican Party they could get their hands on and showed up to vote even if they had to crawl over broken glass. If the Left in this country did that I would be absolutely fucking ecstatic.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:20 AM on February 21 [21 favorites]


    At some point, you have to reckon with the fact that the "institutional reality" that is the Democratic party Sanders refuses to join, and its corporate allies/masters, will fight tooth-and-nail to stop even the smallest, most local of the incremental changes you advocate.

    And you know how you can fix that? Systematically taking over as many precincts as you can and then making sure the executives use their power to institute fairer rules. This is what I’m saying. If the DNC is going to engage in fuckery, instead of refusing to play go after their power bases. They are numerous but not well guarded.

    Did AOC win by outnumbering Democrats in the general? No. She went after the smaller primary base who were sick of a milquetoast white guy from Queens putting in hours until Pelosi retired and he could become Speaker. She literally has shown the way. There are all of these areas where you could take control because of the sheer apathy of no one else showing up to do it and neoliberals winning power almost by default.
    posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:24 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


    Philip Rucker of the Washington Post on the voters who support Bloomberg because he’s rich: “‘I don’t care that he’s a billionaire trying to buy the election,’ she said. ‘If that’s what it takes to beat Trump, that’s fine.’ . . . . ‘Money buys votes, and I just hope Trump doesn’t win again,’ Rabago said. ‘I think it’s going to take a rich guy to beat Trump. I personally want Bernie to win, but money is everything. That’s sad to say, but that’s how it is.’”

    (None of these interviewees refer to the debate and the piece doesn’t specify whether the interviews were conducted before or after. Another thing to note—these were conducted in Stockton, CA, whose mayor is a very strong Bloomberg “evangelist.”)
    posted by sallybrown at 10:37 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


    The Tea Party was astroturfing by capital, one of many tools by one of capital's many appendages to keep things a certain way. I wouldn't generalize what it did to things that the left could do. If capital felt any risk at all by a few people taking control of some hyperlocal political machine, it could shut that down with pocket change.

    I'm not even sure what the left means in the U.S. The only reason Sanders and AOC and the rest are allowed to get any traction by the baleful Eye of Capital is because what they're proposing is considered centrist in the rest of the wealthy world and good for business. The rich are evil but not stupid, many have kids and grandkids they'd like to see live in a world not destroyed by climate change, many understand that moving to become Immortan Joe in New Zealand is a much worse deal than what they have now.

    Probably the only way we avoid absolute disaster is by rebranding the U.S. left as the pro-business party. Bloomberg is, personally, a bad person and a bad candidate but he and his type are sadly necessary to the success of what passes for a U.S. left, much more necessary than any sort of grassroots movement that is directly hostile to the obscenely wealthy powers-that-be.
    posted by bright flowers at 11:03 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


    Bloomberg is, personally, a bad person and a bad candidate but he and his type are sadly necessary to the success of what passes for a U.S. left

    I disagree but let's stipulate that you're right. Why is it up to "what passes for a U.S. left" to compromise their principles to bring Bloomberg and the rest of his type into the party, rather than asking him to compromise his greed and bigotry and misogyny and egomania in order to be allowed in? If Sanders and AOC really are setting the terms of what the U.S. left is going to look like going forward, and I believe they are, why can't we say Bloomberg and his ilk have to get better if they want to join the party?

    He can run as an independent, if he doesn't like it. He's already threatened to; God knows he can afford to. But he doesn't want to. He wants to run as a Democrat because it's a brand. A lot of people still vote Democrat, and he still needs people to vote for him. Well, as of right now, more Democrats want to vote for Sanders than any other Democrat and polls are indicating more people want to vote for the Democrat than for Trump. So if we need Bloomberg, fine (again, I disagree). But we don't need him to be president. If he actually doesn't want his kids and grandkids to die of climate-change, he and the rest of the billionaires can support those causes and the candidates who will get votes. But they shouldn't get to dictate terms to the rest of us anymore. Not in the Democratic party, at the very fucking least.
    posted by penduluum at 11:34 AM on February 21 [8 favorites]


    What passes politically for left in the U.S. the last 50+ years is form of Regulatory Capitalism. Including Sanders.
    posted by Harry Caul at 11:43 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


    Probably the only way we avoid absolute disaster is by rebranding the U.S. left as the pro-business party.

    I just flipped my desk at work and now I'm being escorted out of the building, so thanks for that.
    posted by tobascodagama at 11:46 AM on February 21 [20 favorites]


    It turns out that the only way to defeat the monsters is to become them.
    posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 11:58 AM on February 21 [5 favorites]


    Perennial insurgency is not a good way to make large scale political change.

    -Tell that to the Tea Party.


    Yes, I wish we would all take the Tea Party more seriously please. It was a Christian umbrella organization that astoundingly went against the interests of their own voters to cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy, to shrink federal spending, because the government spends too much on minorities, and sinners perhaps. That alone should be the cue to make it a fight over taxes, but instead some people got pseudo-intellectual and jumped on a revanchist anti-capitalism bandwagon. The mistake is misunderstanding the problem in theory, because capitalism succeeds by normal distribution curves for 80% of everyone, but needs to be taxed at the top, spending towards the bottom to stimulate needed demand and alleviate poverty. Eliminating 80% of something because 20% fails normally is rather absurd, but that's anti-capitalism for lack of its real name. Now watch the idiots on the right turn to fascism in response.
    posted by Brian B. at 12:00 PM on February 21




    I may not have stated my position correctly. Capital in 2020 is mind-bogglingly powerful. Incomprehensibly powerful. "Space is big" powerful. One billionaire spending less than 1% of his personal fortune is credibly positioned to buy the presidency. According to this Washington Post article, $6.5 billion was spent on all federal elections in 2016, on both sides. That's 10% of Bloomberg's net worth. He made $3.5 billion last year.

    The idea that everyday left-leaning people can gain serious power by quietly controlling apathetic local political entities until they reach critical mass is, in the face of this, let's say optimistic. Similarly the idea that we have any control over "letting" the hyperrich into any party or really from stopping them from doing anything they please.

    Anyway, even so, maybe none of this would matter if it really were "you have nothing to lose but your chains", but in actual fact we have maybe 20-30 years left on climate change to move the needle from total ecological collapse to maintaining something resembling modern civilization. So some compromise might be called for.
    posted by bright flowers at 12:28 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


    For those who were not Apprentice watchers: a clip from Bloomberg’s appearance on the show (twitter link), featuring hot dogs, Omarosa, a Baldwin brother, and of course the current President.
    posted by sallybrown at 12:54 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


    I think you think the problem with my position is that I don't understand how big the stakes are. But the thing is: I think the same thing about your position.

    Nah, they can compromise. I was born with a boot on my neck; they can lift the boot or rule the ashes.
    posted by penduluum at 1:00 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


    All this stuff about "naming a successor" is just not how it works. This isn't the Dalai Lama or the sole proprietor of Wonka that we're talking about here. I would like to think Occupy and the "99%" meme were sort of the first noticeable push of the movement. A democratic socialist having an actual shot at the White House got a lot of people excited, and that excitement got some progressive women of color elected to the House in 2018, one or more of whom may be a future President. The movement doesn't start or stop with Bernie.

    capitalism succeeds by normal distribution curves for 80% of everyone

    It should be working a hell of a lot better. Most people even in the top 20% are getting screwed by the top 1%.

    I am not "anti-capitalist" in that I want to burn it all down and replace our system with state communism.

    I am "anti-capitalist" in that I feel very strongly that the interests and efforts of the "capitalist class" (e.g. people who make their money from capital rather than their own labor, as in Bloomberg, Trump, Bezos, the Kochs, the Waltons etc.) are, in very large part, counter to the interests of the other 99.9% or so of the population, and they have been allowed for too long to run rampant and to dictate policy. And that has real consequences for health care, education, the environment and honestly just about everything.
    posted by Foosnark at 1:20 PM on February 21 [17 favorites]


    This reminds me of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Ensigns of Command" where Data is trying to convince some human colonists to evacuate a planet before a hostile alien force arrives and wipes them out to make room for their own people. The colonists want to stay and fight but the fact is that the aliens are so overwhelmingly powerful that it would be a pointless fight. Eventually Data makes a show of force and says "I can reduce this pumping station to a pile of debris, but I trust my point is clear. I am but one android with a single weapon. There are hundreds of Sheliak on the way and their weapons are far more powerful. They may not offer you a target. They can obliterate you from orbit. You will die never having seen the faces of your killers. The choice is yours."

    That's pretty much my position here.
    posted by bright flowers at 1:26 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


    Now I want to throw up. Thanks.
    posted by eagles123 at 1:49 PM on February 21


    Worth noting that Data immediately follows that speech by destroying their water supply to try and force their hand. And I have to say, the combination of "we have to destroy the village in order to save it" and "join us or be exterminated" in reference to the campaign of a man whose relatives died in the Holocaust creeps me right the fuck out.
    posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 2:33 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


    I'm not sure what you're suggesting but it seems to be at odds with my earlier comments where I say I agree with Sanders' political positions and consider them to be both centrist and good for business.
    posted by bright flowers at 2:51 PM on February 21


    Everytime you say "Bloomberg is the only one with the resources to go up against Trump." Steyer dies a little inside.
    posted by BrotherCaine at 3:30 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


    because capitalism succeeds by normal distribution curves for 80% of everyone

    This is an interesting question: what top-end marginal tax rate would be needed to produce a wealth distribution that's actually normal? I suspect the answer is probably much closer to "100%" than to "37%".
    posted by Pyry at 3:57 PM on February 21 [5 favorites]


    What we've learned about Elizabeth Warren's feminism: She's no "moderate", Amanda Marcotte, Salon:
    As Greg Sargent of the Washington Post wrote Thursday, this was Warren tying together what one might call Bloomberg's "#MeToo problem" with the way he wields his wealth as a shield from accountability, all under the banner of "elites acting with impunity." It also makes Bloomberg sound a lot like Donald Trump, whose impunity while he "boasts about sexual assault" is tied to his more general sense of financial and legal impunity.

    Warren's ability to pull off this linkage of sexism to a larger criticism of elite abuse of power — and really, it was a hat trick, since she also tied all that together with Bloomberg's history of "supporting racist policies like redlining and stop-and-frisk" — wasn't just the result of some clever writing from her strategic team, however much they may have helped. This fits in with a larger pattern with Warren, whose feminism is simply inseparable from the issues that have defined her career, namely her opposition to predatory capitalism and her war against the ways economic elites corrupt our political systems.
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:15 PM on February 21 [18 favorites]


    Warren struck so many blows against Bloomberg that toward the end of the debate, someone edited Bloomberg’s Wikipedia page to note the date of his death and the cause of death: Senator Elizabeth Warren.
    KOS article "After gutting Bloomberg, Warren lands a blow against a Las Vegas billionaire in his own newspaper"
    posted by Glinn at 5:39 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


    I am "anti-capitalist" in that I feel very strongly that the interests and efforts of the "capitalist class" (e.g. people who make their money from capital rather than their own labor,

    Consider that nobody needs help in hating rich people, only in doing it smartly and targeting their corrupt purchasing power in order to tax them back to millionaire status. Doing it wrong has unintended effects under the banner of anti-capitalism. Fascism and communism are both supply-side states, which attempt to control production and command corporations under one theory or another, in order to dictate demand. If communism were to rise, even by perception or connotation, then fascism would rise to compete with it directly, just as in any arms race. That's why they both behave the same. On that note, most retirees make their money from investments, and all of us will be too old to work at some point, so the quoted definition above is problematic.
    posted by Brian B. at 6:56 PM on February 21


    If communism were to rise, even by perception or connotation, then fascism would rise to compete with it directly,

    I think the last 10 years has shown a very pronounced rise in fascism with the weakest possible socialism. These are not some yin yang counterweights. Basically fascism has been embraced as a means of fighting off modest tax increases on billionaires, not the elimination of private property.
    posted by benzenedream at 9:04 PM on February 21 [14 favorites]


    Michael Bloomberg woos delegates in effort to block a Bernie Sanders nomination: report (Igor Derysh, Salon)
    Bloomberg has quietly moved to shore up support for a potential second ballot by trying to "poach" supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden and other moderate candidates, Politico reports. Those efforts come as election forecaster Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight model projects the most likely outcome of the crowded Democratic primary is that no candidate clinches a majority of delegates, and rivals worry that Sanders will build an "insurmountable" lead before the convention.

    Bloomberg's state-level advisers are lobbying moderate Democratic Party officials who back Sanders' centrist rivals in an attempt to flip and "block Bernie Sanders" in the event of a contested convention, according to Politico. The billionaire's team has reportedly met or spoken with supporters of Biden and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and superdelegates in the states of Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia.

    "There's a whole operation going on, which is genius," a Democratic strategist unaffiliated with Bloomberg told Politico. "And it's going to help them win on the second ballot . . . They're telling them that's their strategy."
    posted by ZeusHumms at 9:25 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


    I've reflected on my earlier comments and I can see that things went off track. I think Sanders' positions are all basically common sense, and we will have more success portraying them that way and allying with capital as needed, instead of portraying them as revolutionary and hostile to capital. This may involve dealing with bad people like Bloomberg, not that he should be President, but that it would extremely helpful to find a seat at the table for him and his money and his influence if that can be done without compromising anyone's basic rights. If the horror show happens where it's him vs. Trump, well, we can all worry about it then.

    Anyway I'm sorry that my previous comments upset some of you. I think we are all on the same team but sometimes I'm not great at communicating online.
    posted by bright flowers at 10:02 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


    My random 2am galaxy brain thought last night was that someone trying to convince Bloomberg he doesn't need to be President to be a Great Man. That being great at business doesn't mean being great at politics (and history as shown great businessmen have been regarded as poor presidents). If in the end he truly wants what is best for America and wants to beat Donald Trump, he should let someone whose already proven they can take down a Billionaire in a debate and support Warren. That's a defining moment for a Great Man to recognize their failings and let someone better experienced in the field to lead and give them support.

    Then let him spend his money in senate races targeting every republican. "Kentucky lost X (schools, funding, cost residents y) because Mitch voted for Trump, not for you. Why should you vote for Mitch?" Rinse and repeat for every fucking senator, across all media. Have him reinstate the voting rights for everyone in Florida. There are tons of shovel ready movements that just need capital to get people out and voting and being remembered for spending % of his net worth to restore democracy is a sign of a great man.

    Also: have I missed conversation about the emoluments clause? Like if Bloomberg wants to prove to us he's better than Trump he can't keep Bloomberg media.
    posted by mrzarquon at 11:28 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


    Why would he support Warren after funding her Senate opponent?
    posted by 99_ at 11:49 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


    > Why would he support Warren after funding her Senate opponent?

    1) All of this is galaxy brain political fan fiction
    2) Warren took him down in the debate and his popularity took a plunge afterwards. So Warren has proven she can take down a sexist, blow hard, billionaire
    3) Because the common hero trope has the defeated mid story opponent become the biggest supporter, allowing for the defeated opponent to save face and become a Great Hero themselves, even if they aren't the primary one

    Pretty much it requires a level of self awareness and enlightenment around serving the greater good that Bloomberg doesn't appear to possess, otherwise he'd already be doing these things.
    posted by mrzarquon at 12:07 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


    Also: have I missed conversation about the emoluments clause? Like if Bloomberg wants to prove to us he's better than Trump he can't keep Bloomberg media.
    Everybody who hasn't done so already should go back and read the link provided in this earlier response, which relates first-hand the story of a family that was threatened with financial ruin by Bloomberg because the wife tweeted about a story her husband had researched and written for Bloomberg but which was pulled because it was considered objectionable to Chinese leadership.

    And then give some thought to how much more conflict of interest Bloomberg would have as president -- easily conceivably many times that of Trump, which is already at a completely unacceptable level.

    We really have got to start making the case, loud and clear, that in today's global economy a billionaire president is a security risk to the country. That short of complete divestiture, which we can certainly not count on after Trump, their global business entanglements represent an unacceptable risk of bias in their decision-making. There are many reasons that "we need a businessman to lead us" needs to die but this one should be among the most evident.
    posted by Nerd of the North at 12:47 PM on February 22 [15 favorites]


    This sounds like some pretty easy money: They’re paid to tweet for Mike Bloomberg. They don’t necessarily support him

    “One, a recent college graduate living in Sacramento, describes himself as an ardent supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the current front-runner for the Democratic nomination. But he hasn’t had a steady stream of income since October, and the Bloomberg gig seemed like easy money, he said.

    The ambivalence shows up in his outreach efforts.

    ‘Sam Donaldson just nailed it: Mike Bloomberg is the president we need to unite our country!’ he texted one of his friends Monday through Outvote — the app organizers use to reach out to their personal networks. He drew on language provided to him by the campaign and logged the text as part of his Bloomberg organizer responsibilities.

    But he quickly followed up with a personal addendum: ‘Please disregard, vote Bernie or Warren.’”
    posted by sallybrown at 9:27 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


    A reassuring update (Twitter) for those worried about a third party run or attacks against Sanders in the general:
    Bloomberg states director Dan Kanninen reaffirms that @MikeBloomberg will support whomever the Democratic presidential nominee is, even if it's Sanders.
    posted by sallybrown at 10:10 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


    'Even' seems like an unfortunate word choice, but, whatevs, I'll take it.
    posted by box at 4:58 AM on February 25


    Joe Biden says that he is a candidate running for the United States senate, and if you don't want to vote for him you can vote for the 'other Biden'. Video here.

    I hate Joe Biden because he voted for and supported the Iraq War, but this is really sad. We have video after video of his mental state clearly deteriorating. Its obviously not ok for any candidate to point this out, but my god won't his staff do something? This is horrible.
    posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:46 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


    I'm about 99% sure that Bloomberg knows that if he steals the nom from Sanders on the second ballot with super delegates he'd lose in the general election. And I'm about 99% sure that's his intention. Not to actually win the Presidency but to guarantee a Trump victory.
    posted by sotonohito at 7:02 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


    Bloomberg’s ego is too big to ever be okay with losing, even if it would save him money, I think. I’m not sure what his game would be if Sanders was the nominee, taking Bloomberg at his word that he would support Sanders. Keep spending on commercials that attack Trump for eating burnt steak and then try to claim some amount of influence if Sanders wins? He will have no influence with Sanders himself, so I think he’ll seek influence with the public in a PR way.
    posted by sallybrown at 7:17 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


    so I think he’ll seek influence with the public in a PR way

    I don't understand how/why he's not spending money in ways that would buy him public support as well as back up his positions. Opening an office in Flint? Personally pledge all the money to overhaul the entire water system at the same time. Talking about gun control? Announce a gun buy-back program where he will personally pay $10,000 per gun. Announce free transportation for getting people to the polls in November. He could do stuff like this in addition to his funny billboards and still not put a dent in his fortune.
    posted by mikepop at 7:31 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


    It might signal whose opinions he cares about....Like, maybe the goal for him is respect from his fellow cohort of billionaires, within which group Trump is seen as profitable but gauche, so Bloomberg thinks “I’ll keep the money rolling to the same people but I’ll be classy about it”? Even just looking at his philanthropy page on Wikipedia, his history of giving is weird (fighting obesity in Mexico??). There still seems to be a persistent class thing with philanthropic giving, where overseas causes, the environment, the arts are common (as is mixing your giving over a huge selection of different things so you have a finger in every pie), while more focused giving to concrete everyday stuff is less so.
    posted by sallybrown at 7:41 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


    I wonder about the possibility of Bloomberg buying ad time on a tv station or print ads creating a pro-Bloomberg editorial bias.
    posted by ZeusHumms at 7:59 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


    MisantropicPainforest: Thank you for posting that link to the Biden video. That is really sad. I hope the other campaigns are working behind the scenes with the Biden team to ease him out in a dignified way.
    posted by bright flowers at 8:03 AM on February 25


    [In the spirit of this Metatalk, I have deleted an extremely strange comment accusing Bloomberg of "invoking the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, blood libel, and homophobia" against Sanders via (deleted) tweets. If there is an actual reputable source discussing this, feel free to post it, but as posted it was beyond bizarre.]
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:59 AM on February 25 [11 favorites]




    The plural of anecdote is not data, but I think my house is a good example of the sort of blitz of campaign materials Bloomberg is spewing forth for Super Tuesday states (we're in Texas). There are four registered voters in my house. Every single one of us has gotten at least two Bloomberg ads in the mail, and for whatever reason one of us has gotten four.

    Obviously direct mail isn't the most expensive of advertising, but still.

    Only one of us has gotten even one ad from a candidate other than Bloomberg.

    There are several Bloomberg signs on my way to work, and one billboard. I don't watch TV, so I can't report on TV ad buys.

    But dang, Bloomberg is advertising a lot.
    posted by sotonohito at 6:06 PM on February 26


    Interesting piece on The Wizards Behind Bloomberg’s Half-Billion Dollar Makeover.

    It makes a good point about the ads presenting a fantasyland version of Bloomberg that inflated expectations, making his debate performance even more dramatically bad: “But the debates have laid bare the chasm between the controlled, even polished Bloomberg that viewers saw during commercial breaks and the stilted, prickly campaigner who took a pounding from Elizabeth Warren....Yet after all the money and ads on TV, voters were already prepared to want to get to know Bloomberg, and then at the debate enough of them felt like they finally did, and were disappointed.”

    People who fell in love with ad-Bloomberg and then saw the real thing don’t just feel disappointed, they also feel tricked.
    posted by sallybrown at 8:48 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


    After less than four months and spending somewhere north of $500 million only to come in first in a single primary, American Samoa, Bloomberg dropped out of the race today and endorsed Joe Biden. What a short, strange trip it’s been.
    posted by sallybrown at 7:37 AM on March 4 [3 favorites]




    After less than four months and spending somewhere north of $500 million only to come in first in a single primary, American Samoa, Bloomberg dropped out of the race today and endorsed Joe Biden. What a short, strange trip it’s been.

    He was in the race for less time than Bill DeBlasio was, as impossible as that seems.
    posted by Copronymus at 4:00 PM on March 4 [3 favorites]


    There’s still time for Rudy to try to primary Trump, but he’d better hurry.
    posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:57 PM on March 4


    Super Tuesday certainly was super for Biden, not so super for Sanders, a big disappointment for Warren, and a disaster for Bloomberg. Going forward it is now the left wingers that are splitting their votes, while moderates have coalesced around Biden, as the other moderates have dropped out, and Steyer is getting nowhere. Quite a reversal from not even a week ago.

    Since Biden now leads the delegate count, will Sanders continue asserting that the candidate with a plurality of delegates should get the nomination? Can Warren hang in for much longer, and if and when she drops out, will she endorse Sanders? Endorse Biden? Or simply offer no endorsement at all? (I predict the third scenario, as she dislikes Sanders quite a bit, even though he is most aligned with her on the issues.)

    Upcoming primaries in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will be as important for their implications for electability in November as they will be for delegate count, in my opinion. The Michigan primary is less than a week away. A recent poll showed Biden leading Sanders, but the polls were very wrong in 2016 when polls had Clinton with a substantial lead over Sanders, only to see Sanders win the primary. Perhaps a Michigan will confound the pollsters again.
    posted by haiku warrior at 7:20 PM on March 4


    By my math Bloomberg burnt around $178,000 each and every hour of his campaign - from announcement to suspending it (realizing we’ll never really know the true numbers). One hour was like cranking the federal minimum wage machine in the recent thread nonstop for over two and three quarter years.

    Not sure where I’m going with this - but cocaine endless money is a hell of a drug.
    posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:48 PM on March 4


    If Warren did nothing else in her campaign, she did us the service of roasting Bloomberg, cratering his campaign, and ensuring Bloomberg would put his loot behind a candidate who could possibly win.
    posted by benzenedream at 11:21 PM on March 4 [6 favorites]


    What did in Bloomberg? Warren at the debates ...and an army of Bloomberg hires actively sabotaging the campaign .

    You truly do love to see it.
    posted by The Whelk at 8:00 AM on March 6 [3 favorites]


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