Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Party of Bloomberg

The New York Times has a large story today about how Bloomberg is using his billions to buy influence. In it, was a case of how his money bought silence:
That chilling effect was apparent in 2015 to researchers at the Center for American Progress, a liberal policy group, when they turned in a report on anti-Muslim bias in the United States. Their draft included a chapter of more than 4,000 words about New York City police surveillance of Muslim communities; Mr. Bloomberg was mentioned by name eight times in the chapter, which was reviewed by The Times.

When the report was published a few weeks later, the chapter was gone. So was any mention of Mr. Bloomberg’s name.

Yasmine Taeb, an author of the report, said in an interview that the authors had been instructed to make drastic revisions or remove the chapter, and opted to do the latter rather than “whitewash the N.Y.P.D.’s wrongdoings.” She said she found it “disconcerting” to be asked to remove the chapter “because of how it was going to be perceived by Mayor Bloomberg.”
The entire article should be read, not just by Bloomberg's opponents, but by those who are lining up to take his silver.

Here is my question for Democrats: How can you have spent the past ten years decrying the effect of Citizens United on American politics and then queue up to take his money and tailor your advocacy to suit his priorities? How can you have denounced the millions of dollars spent by Sheldon Adleman and the Koch Brothers and then take Bloomberg's cash?

Democrats, if you have spent the last three years denouncing the plutocratic and inept authoritarianism of Trump, how can you look in a mirror and justify supporting another plutocrat with authoritarian tendencies, only one who is ten (or a thousand) times as rich as Trump and who also is at least twice as intelligent?

I have been a Democrat for a very long time, but I will have no truck with a party that sells its soul to a plutocrat.

There is a theory of child-rearing that holds that you don't tell a toddler to wear a hat; you ask the toddler whether he wants to wear a yellow hat or a green hat. The kid's happy because he got to choose, but the choice is a choice at the level of insignificance. The kid's going to wear a hat.

The choice between between the Party of Trump and the Party of Bloomberg is an illusionary one. It'd be like having to choose between being ruled by Hitler or Stalin.

7 comments:

dinthebeast said...

OK, I fully agree with your thinking about Bloomberg, but my own take is tempered with the reality of what an actual Bloomberg administration (which I will do everything in my power to prevent in the primary) would look like as compared with what we have now, which will become far worse should Fergus be reelected.
Bloomberg is a stone cold reptile with a lust for power, but he would not, in fact, appoint any of the following to run the government:

Pruitt
Price
Sessions
Perry
Barr
Bannon
Miller
Ross
DeVos
Carson
Scalia
Tillerson
Pompeo
Chao
Mnuchin
Pence
Mulvaney

We can do far better than Bloomberg. All of the remaining candidates have their drawbacks, but as Paul Krugman has pointed out, the functional difference between administrations of any of the remaining candidates would be negligible.

On the other hand, the probability of getting anything done about the system that is advantaging billionaires to the point of excluding everyone else would be much higher in a Warren administration than any of the others, and the media seems to have decided that she has no chance.

Whether that has anything to do with the fact that all of that Citizens United enabled unlimited campaign spending ends up in the pockets of the media who sell the ad space or not is anyone's guess, but I have a hard time imagining it not to have any influence.

Illinois just traded one billionaire for another and seems to be doing OK...

Whoever wins, we need to do something about campaign finance, but I really don't know what could be done about the kind of influence buying that Bloomberg is engaging in right now on an unprecedented scale.

FDR was a very rich man also, so perhaps the financial part is not the most important aspect.

-Doug in Oakland

Tod Germanica said...

Although I still pretty much vote the party line, I left the Democratic party when Obama droned and bombed more than Bush, never closed gitmo, and did nothing to help the poor and middle class. His weak health care program was Mitten's idea. His FBI and CIA were asleep at the switch when Putin put trump over the top with Comey's help. Obama appeared less corrupt than trump because, like all presidents except Carter, he waited until out of office before cashing in his Wall Street todie chips. Just like the Clintons, getting paid $130,000,000 to give a speech.
So Biden is failing. Good. Maybe it's time fake centrist corporate corrupted DINOs are replaced by populists.
Maybe in 8 years. Because only the kids could make that happen. And they don't vote much.
That said, Din is right, four more years of trumpite grifters and there won't be much left of our democracy lite. The worm at the core is our slave master friendly constitution. Which will never be changed because it serves our plutocrat corporate masters so well.

Ten Bears said...

I'm looking forward to springing "OK Bloomer" on some fool.

eddie blake said...

i dunno. the law is fucked up, but the law says money talks. why is it ok for the democrats to unilaterally disarm in the face of gop dark money?

Comrade Misfit said...

Eddie, it'd be fine if the Democrats took Bloomie's money and then said "thanks, but you've only been a Democrat for a year, so we'll do what we want."

(Bloomie's money didn't get him his AR ban in VA this time around.)

dinthebeast said...

Bernie's campaign manager just said that they wouldn't take Bloomberg's money in the general if Bernie is the nominee.
How they could stop him from spending it he didn't say.

-Doug in Oakland

dinthebeast said...

I haven't watched any of these stupid debates, but it comes to my attention that Elizabeth Warren took Bloomberg down a few pegs tonight.

-Doug in Oakland