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Two TPM Reader Views on Bloomberg

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You recently expressed concern that if Bernie becomes the nominee that he will mount a campaign both against Trump and also the institutional Democratic party. I think this concern is frankly silly, and evinces a poor understanding of Sanders, his goals, and his political savvy. However, if your concern is with the health and ultimate survival of the institutional Democratic party, I think it’s Bloomberg you should be worrying about. Not that Bloomberg will attack the party, but that the party will discredit itself by throwing its support behind Bloomberg while other Democratic candidates are still viable.

Bloomberg’s campaign is the most shameless, transparent attempt to buy a nomination as you’re ever likely to see. If all it takes for a racist Republican plutocrat to turn the heads of the institutional Democratic party is fancy catering and lavish salaries for campaign workers, then the party truly stands for nothing at all.

Trump’s campaign exposed the rot and hypocrisy of the GOP by revealing that all Republican voters really care about is racial grievance and owning the libs. Bloomberg’s campaign similarly threatens to expose the institutional Democratic party by revealing the thinness of their commitments to anything other than their career ambitions.

And a very different take from TPM Reader MM

Today I set aside some time to learn more about Mike Bloomberg, beyond what I had already absorbed over the past decade or so (I doubt very seriously that, a decade from now, I’ll be doing the same for Bill de Blasio).

Domination is the only strategy that Trump knows, is capable of, is comfortable with, and returns to when all else fails (i.e., when the best efforts of those around him who are not witless yes-persons, fail as they always have done).

Trump cannot dominate Mike Bloomberg: not in the moment, not face-to-face before the TV cameras, not in the short term, not in the long term. Bloomberg is beyond the reach of any tactic that Trump might seek to deploy. FDR or Truman or Ike might have been able to curb him a bit, just a bit, but Trump utterly lacks the Archimedean political leverage they could exert.

Bloomberg can face him down on stage, and out-media him (even given the free media that any president commands) from now to November and beyond.

Reasonable persons may lament or strenuously object to the disproportionate influence of wealth in our national “discussion” (if only it were a discussion or a “conversation”: it isn’t and won’t be anytime I’ll live to see). “He who has the gold makes the rules”, as the old (implicitly sexist but largely accurate) “Golden Rule” saying goes. All we can hope for is that “he” or she is not utterly evil and corrupt, as is the current occupant of The Oval Office. Mike Bloomberg is not the enemy. He has the means and the message to beat Trump. No one else has a chance.

I’m for Mike.

(I am genuinely sad for Joe, a good man who did well and meant well but never could quite ring the bell)

About The Author

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.