Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 15, 2020

Oligarch Buys Political Party - Seeks to Become President

Mike Bloomberg is the world's ninth richest person. An oligarch known for strong racism and insulting sexism who once was the Republican mayor of New York City. He since decided that he wants to become president.

As he saw no chance to run for a Republican party that is happy with Trump he filed to run as a Democratic candidate. Bloomberg has since bought the Democratic Party in every state as well as the DNC:

The DNC told Mike Gravel they wouldn't change the debate rules for any candidate. "That's our #1 rule - we can't change the rules for anybody."

A few months later, they changed the debate rules to let oligarch Bloomberg into the debates... after he gave the DNC $300K.

His political tactic is very simple. He does not talk about issues, as people would not like what he has to say, but simply spends tons of money:

He’s dropping huge sums of money: on staff and resources, on TV advertisements, and on Facebook ads, where Trump has long dominated. And he’s attempting to overcome his stodgy public image with the help of a meme army and through well-catered campaign events seemingly designed to convince voters that life under a wealthy technocrat might not be so bad. “I think it’s classy,” one supporter told the Times at a Philadelphia campaign rally complete drink station and a selection of cheesesteaks, hoagies, and brie-and-fig appetizers. “I feel like it’s a nightclub in here. This is what he needs to get people going.”

To this date Bloomberg has spent more than $350 million for his campaign. He is willing and can afford to put several billions into it. Over the years Bloomberg has given more than $10 billion to build a political and philanthropical empire. He used that money to suppress voices critical of him:

In 2015, Center for American Progress researchers wrote a report on U.S. Islamophobia, w/a 4300-word chapter on the Bloomberg-era NYPD.

When the report was published, the chapter was gone.

By then, Bloomberg had given CAP ~$1.5mm. That number has grown.

The really bad thing is that it works:

3 months ago, polls found Mike Bloomberg “widely disliked” with the highest negatives in the race. Now he’s a top 3 contender for the Democratic nomination. One of the richest humans ever is trying to upend every part of the process. And this is just the stuff we know about.

The Democratic Party and lots of its bought off functionaries seem to be happy with this. They do not mind that it makes the U.S. look worse than the Ukraine. Yes, U.S. politics are always corrupt. But outright buying one's way into office is exceeding the usual stench.

But would Bloomberg, with Hillary Clinton as running mate, really be able to bring out the votes that are needed to beat Trump? I for one doubt it.

Atrios is appalled by the whole scheme but still falls for it:

Bloomberg is bad for lots of reasons, and one of them is PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO WILLING TO EMBRACE A BILLIONAIRE WHO IS BUYING (not just ads, but people) THE ELECTION WITH HIS ABSURD FORTUNE. I mean, ok, sure, if it's BLOOMBERG OR TRUMP I'll choose Bloomberg, but why are people establishing this as the choice? It's absurd. The only person who can beat an asshole (fake, I know) billionaire is another asshole billionaire? Broken brains everywhere.

"[I]f it's BLOOMBERG OR TRUMP I'll choose Bloomberg" is, in my view, exactly the wrong response to this hijacking of a party and election. It is this behavior that makes Bloomberg's move possible in the first place.

Any good response to billionaires hijacking elections must demonstrate that campaigns by rich people have a high risk of failing. To vote for a third party or to abstain is the only responsible reaction to it.

Posted by b on February 15, 2020 at 18:28 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Apropos the "election" one naturally ought to examine the Lie.

Good examination at YT > Colin Burrow: Fiction and the Age of Lies

Posted by: Walter | Feb 17 2020 16:30 utc | 201

CAP is John Podesta's "think tank" (think "Evil-Think" tank).
It is becoming obvious now, that Bloomberg has cut a deal with Podesta-Clinton, rigged the DNC for himself as a result, installed Podesta's buddy Faiz Shakir as Bernie's campaign ...

Posted by: ROSS GARSIDE | Feb 17 2020 14:04 utc | 200

While CAP as an institution is a tool of the oligarchy, it does not mean that everyone there is a tool. In particular, it is a lie (or lazy thinking) that Shakir is "Podestat's buddy":

>> According to the Podesta emails, Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta chided Shakir for advising Sanders. "Gave him a very hard time," Podesta wrote to Neera Tanden about Shakir's involvement. "I have to say this does not go down easy with me." << Neera Tanden is the head of CAP, very popular with donors and quite a bit less with her underlings.

The ideas that Sanders absorbed from his advisers are sufficiently "radical" to give conniptions to AIPAC. And a headache. The "evenhandedness" issue that created a firestorm directed at Howard Dean in 2004. Dean was a yokel who did not understand that this tame phrase is an "anti-Semitic code phrase" and why, so he folded, but now AIPAC is reduced to sneaky attacks that do not mention Palestinians at all, nor Israel. BTW, Bloomberg supported Joe Lieberman who is not "Israel first" but "Israel only" when Lieberman (not a true Berman, I must say, but a Lie-, i.e. a false counterfeit).

My take is that on issues we discuss in Moon of Alabama the American public is quite ignorant and when accepted political leaders make a case to the public, the opinion registered in polls sways quickly. True radicals like Piero will not like Sanders, good for them. I will not take their insults to heart. BTW, who is this ROSS who suddenly throws counterfactual accusations? A sock puppet?

But campaign of 2016 moved public opinion, and 2020 should see a continuation. In push-pull of Overton window, Bloomberg "The mayor" is clearly an enemy, a chameleon and reactionary.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 17 2020 19:31 utc | 202

The New Rules of the Game by Chris Hedges.

Posted by: Copeland | Feb 18 2020 1:40 utc | 203

Bernie may not be a savior...he admits as such...that he needs movements behind him...and the good ones are...and will work with him.

Bernie himself spun out unused funds in 2016 to create Our Revolution, which pushes for candidates who push Medicare for All and other Bernie ideas. Our Revolution has had some success. I am a member. Of course, they are big supporters of Bernie.

Bernie already has been a member of DSA, the largest Socialist organization in USA, which became more and more active in the Obama years, and especially since Trump. I am a member of that also, and they are big supporters of Bernie too, but have may projects beyond electoral politics as well, not much focus on electoral politics as a group (but many members like me).

The Communist Party CPUSA has been a consistent supporter of Democratic Presidential Candidates since they stopped running their own in 1988. That is not likely to change, it is part of their scientific method--running candidates didn't work and cost a lot of money. The party gives preference to "Sanders or Warren." I am a member of that too, but it is quite possible I would be a Bad Communist and not vote Democratic in 2020 if Bloomberg were nominated. The Communist Party has really begun to take off after many thin years because of reaction against Trump, who they absolutely despise above all the others, but all other Republicans are seen as bad. Good Communists are supposed to participate in every compatible demonstration, organization, etc., as well as creating new ones. It's hard to imagine Communist Party backing a third party again, but it's not impossible, if that's what the national committee decided, I imagine that anyway if it were Bloomberg v Trump and the 3rd option looked viable, not merely "protest."

There is a Medicare-for-All movement long led by Nurses which supports Bernie. And endless other movements. Most of the "organized" left supports Bernie, even a lot of Anarchists. Nobody else is a movement person at all, just a made-for-TV fake.

I used to work in the Democratic Party, finally getting burned out in the 2008 election.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Feb 18 2020 7:13 utc | 204

I just have to post this.

It is an extreme love/hate story bound to enrage the faithful and feed the cynics.

BEWARE this story sucks!

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 18 2020 7:24 utc | 205

The last thing America needs is an election in which the choice is between two old rich white guys, whether that be a New York billionaire, a former VP or an independent, Socialistic Senator...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Feb 18 2020 13:30 utc | 206

Comrade Brother (and QC)Adeyinka Makinde has posted a thoughtful essay about the structural realities in the USA.

adeyinkamakinde [dot] blogspot[dot]com

An excerpt>

"Few Americans appear to be cognisant of the relative powerlessness of the office of the presidency. It is occupied by a person who may espouse and administer policies which appeal to their ‘Liberal’ or ‘Conservative’ constituents in the typically fractious discourse that permeates America’s ‘Culture Wars’, but who cannot address the fundamental issues affecting America’s decline."

Posted by: Walter | Feb 18 2020 14:14 utc | 207

"Mike Bloomberg: Trojan Horse For Clintonista Revival"

Isn't it reverse? Hillary was a Trojan horse (or a politician ineptly pretending to be a champion of the "demos" while following the agenda of the financial oligarchy with copious support. Bloomberg was among those really in charge. There is a lot of billionaire and business groups that collectively get huge clout (AMA?), while egos and justified sense of security prevent well defined leadership but they have convergent interests, "inter-agency consensus" is one of the reflections of the consensus within that group.

Rather than Trojan Horse, Bloomberg is like an elephant who goes shopping.

Clearly, he cannot pretend to be just a regular shopper, or even a horse. And he is bound to create some havoc in the store. There was a story about a havoc in campaign of Democratic politicians because of Bloomberg hiring all staff with experience, by THOUSANDS, with very generous conditions. It says a bit about ideological underpinning of Democratic staffers (exactly, exactly as it should be from a certain perspective), but a major headache for affected politicians. Getting staff inspired by views rather than money and carrier is risky, lesser loyalty, lack of appreciation for the wisdom of centrist positions...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 18 2020 16:04 utc | 208

Bloomberg could be characterized, whether fairly or unfairly, as just another billionaire from New York in the process of attempting to buy a public office. And they are billionaires that share this--they are not producers of things but financialistas rentiers more Michael Milliken than Henry Ford and on issues that affect the oligarchy, it is not unreasonable to suspect he'll be no different from Trump. On other matters possibly he will say environmental matters but not on working class matters. Bloomberg's pronouncements on marijuana and racial discrimination in law enforcement suggest he is closer to Trump's view than my views. In 2016 a vulture capitalist former Democrat money captured the morally bankrupt republican party and bought the presidency. In 2020 a vulture capitalist former Republican is attempting to money capture the morally bankrupt democratic party in order to attempt to buy the presidency. Trumpberg or Blrump no real difference except that Bloomberg has kept the mask on his inner wolf more firmly. Credit to Trump for dropping the mask so that we can see how "business" really governs what was once the planet's shot at a functioning large democracy. In more than a few ways this is Wall street's final take over of both parties. It used to have 1 and a half parties now it is going for two.

Posted by: stephen laudig | Feb 18 2020 16:57 utc | 209

Charles Peterson 205

You're just talking past the concerns about Bernie.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 18 2020 17:10 utc | 210

bloomberg just reached 19% in a poll.huh!He made the debate!huh!The rules have changed!huh!

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 18 2020 17:20 utc | 211

@ uncle tungsten | Feb 18 2020 7:24 utc | 206
"BEWARE this story sucks!

Which of the several stories there would that be . . ?

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 18 2020 20:35 utc | 212

There is a hilarious bit of schadenfreude to be had with Mikey BBerg.
Link: https://youtu.be/w0KKQRyRshg
Another one: https://youtu.be/QVhXkRge5Hc

With a shout-out to Paul Romano aka Pockets Of The Future.
The first link is about Liz Warren ripping into BBerg having to do
with non-discloser in combination with sexual abuse cases...

Posted by: Mishko | Feb 21 2020 0:35 utc | 213

Typo: non-disclosures My bad.

Posted by: Mishko | Feb 21 2020 0:37 utc | 214

@Tungsten @206

If you like the material of GoatsNGuns perhaps you dig gunsandbutter as well?
http://gunsandbutter.org/home.htm

Posted by: Mishko | Feb 21 2020 0:44 utc | 215

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