A billionaire likely loser

Michael Bloomberg

It might not be cold enough in Hell for a snowball, but it’s still a pretty cold day there when I’m reading Ross Douthat (if you’re being a smartass, it was 36° here in Baldwin Borough). That said, here’s Glenn Greenwald, whom I have a little more respect for:

Greenwald is right. This[1] is a very smart column.

[Michael] Bloomberg has adapted his policy views to better fit the current liberal consensus, and his views on social issues were liberal to begin with. But he has the record of a deficit and foreign policy hawk, the soul of a Wall Street centrist, and a history of racial and religious profiling and sexist misbehavior. More than any other contender, his nomination would pull the party back toward where it stood before the rise of Bernie Sanders and Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, and root liberalism once more in professional-class interests and a Washington-Wall Street mindmeld.[2]

Douthat also points to how as mayor of New York City, Bloomberg accomplished what Donald Trump can only aspire to as president and is thus, potentially, even more dangerous, concluding that his victory would amount to “[a]n exchange of Trumpian black comedy for oligarchy’s velvet fist.” Douthat does not think Bloomberg can win.[3]

I don’t believe it either. Even if Bloomberg were to win the Democratic nomination, he would be an elitist—a New York City mayor, for crying out loud—to authoritarian populists, would fail to advance a social conservative agenda, and would be a billionaire to the Left. He would rely on votes from a mythical “center,” but truth be told, on some level, pretty much everyone knows, on some level, that it was Wall Street that precipitated the 2007-2008 financial crisis. And everyone knows, on some level, that the bankers got away with fraud and are now even richer than before. Then there’s Charles Blow:

One of the lessons I’ve taken from talking with Blacks since arriving here in Pittsburgh is that to live with the incredible racism here[4] and yet still to function requires one of two responses: Either, as I think most Blacks do, one adopts a suspension of disbelief, or as some Blacks do, one buys into “respectability.” Bloomberg is relying on the latter, which Bill Cosby made himself the face of.[5] Cosby has since been convicted of sexual assault and labeled a “sexually violent predator” by a judge, requiring him to register as a sex offender for life.[6] I’m pretty sure that only gets you so far.

Ross Douthat, “The Bloomberg Temptation,” New York Times, February 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/15/opinion/bloomberg-trump-2020.html


  1. [1]Ross Douthat, “The Bloomberg Temptation,” New York Times, February 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/15/opinion/bloomberg-trump-2020.html
  2. [2]Ross Douthat, “The Bloomberg Temptation,” New York Times, February 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/15/opinion/bloomberg-trump-2020.html
  3. [3]Ross Douthat, “The Bloomberg Temptation,” New York Times, February 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/15/opinion/bloomberg-trump-2020.html
  4. [4]Colin P. Clarke, “One Year After Tree of Life, We Still Aren’t Talking Enough About Violent White Supremacy,” Rand, October 27, 2019, https://www.rand.org/blog/2019/10/one-year-after-tree-of-life-we-still-arent-talking.html; Eric Heyl, “Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, Islamic Hate Groups Active In Pittsburgh,” Patch, August 16, 2017, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/pittsburgh/neo-nazi-white-supremacist-islamic-hate-groups-active-pittsburgh; Moriah Ella Mason, “Pittsburgh Doesn’t Need More Guns — We Need Less White Supremacy,” Forward, October 29, 2018, https://forward.com/scribe/413104/pittsburgh-doesnt-need-more-guns-we-need-less-white-supremacy/; Charles Thompson, “Pennsylvania housed 36 active hate groups last year, ranking 8th in the country: report,” Penn Live, February 21, 2019, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/02/southern-poverty-law-center-counts-36-active-hate-groups-in-pennsylvania-in-2018.html
  5. [5]Associated Press, “Cosby berates blacks for abuse, failure as parents,” NBC News, July 2, 2004, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5345290/ns/us_news-life/t/cosby-berates-blacks-abuse-failure-parents/
  6. [6]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Bill Cosby sentenced to state prison for sexual assault,” September 26, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45644374; Manuel Roig-Franzia, “Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison,” Washington Post, September 25, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/bill-cosby-sentenced-to-3-to-10-years-in-state-prison/2018/09/25/9aa620aa-c00d-11e8-90c9-23f963eea204_story.html

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