Michael Bloomberg is against the Green New Deal. He’s been both for and against raising the minimum wage. He’s defended Bain Capital. He’s against teachers’ unions. He’s (now famously) defended stop and frisk. And he’s called himself “more [conservative] than other conservatives”.
We’re about to see if the so-called “principled” left will adopt Bloomberg as one of their own, or whether they’ll simply be willing to take his money and run (someone else).
Either way, this is a far cry from the left that heckled the right for embracing candidate Donald Trump.
“Where are your conservatives principles now!?” they shrieked while being just a few years away from winning the House of Representatives because of Bloomberg’s voter registration cash injection.
Since getting his teeth into Nancy Pelosi, he’s become ready to devour the whole party.
But the right’s pivot to Trumpian policies was happening anyway. Hence the en masse, early rejection of Jeb Bush and his status quo neo-liberal, neoconservative cocktail.
The hostile acquisition of the Democratic Party of America is going to take place the other way around, and there will doubtless be much kicking and screaming about it from within.
Can you blame them?
Democrats have worked hard to build a progressive, populist foundation since the election of Donald Trump.
“Justice Democrats” such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her marionette Bernie Sanders haven’t dragged the party to the left simply to adopt the flip-floppery of Mini Mike. They’d be right to be outraged.
Bloomberg’s list of constantly shifting, heavily neoliberal policy positions is a nightmare for those who have dedicated their short times in U.S. politics to repurposing the party as “Democratic socialists”.
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AOC recently said: “Oh God, in any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are”.
Centrist Biden is a relative social justice warrior compared to the fiscally hawkish Bloomberg, who has also poured scorn on AOC’s Green New Deal, raising the minimum wage, and more.
But Nancy Pelosi owes Bloomberg. Or rather, Bloomberg owns Nancy Pelosi.
Without his cash injection in 2017, Democrats would not control the House. Pelosi wouldn’t be Speaker. And Rashida Tlaib would not have got her chance to “impeach the motherf**ker”, no matter how unsuccessful that whole thing was.
And Democrats are being offered a backdoor to funding their whole 2020 campaign, even if Bloomberg doesn’t clinch the nomination: he’s pledged to spend $2bn fighting Donald Trump even if he’s not the candidate.
It’s an offer they can’t afford to refuse.
So are we about to witness the hypocrisy Democrats (and Never Trumpers) accused the conservative base of when they opened the door to Donald Trump?
What we’re about to see is much, much worse.
Instead of someone who shares their broader policy perspectives but had a bit of a potty mouth (like Trump and the Republicans in 2015), Democrats will be hitting CTRL-ALT-DELETE on their new raison d’etre in return for a funded campaign and a shot at the White House.
If that happens, who’s to say if Ocasio Cortez and her ilk will be willing to remain in the same party, as she lamented about Joe Biden?