|Michael Bloomberg and his golfing buddies.|
Is the Democratic Party establishment prepared to risk the very future of the Democratic Party by choosing a presidential candidate who would almost certainly lose to Donald Trump?
IN THE UNITED United States the Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is heading for a showdown at the Democratic National Convention in July. The grassroots movement behind Sanders, united behind a clarion call for a 'political revolution against the billionaire class', will be confronted by the same reactionary forces that opposed and obstructed Bernie Sanders in 2016. Ironically machinations are afoot to install billionaire Mike Bloomberg as the Democratic candidate. If Sanders represents the revolution, Bloomberg is the counter-revolution.
It was only four years ago that the Democratic National Convention resounded with boos and jeers when it chose establishment favourite Hillary Clinton over Sanders. The Democratic National Committee managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory by spurning the politician most capable of defeating Trump.
Its extraordinary that the Democratic Party establishment seem determined to repeat exactly the same mistake this time round. Such is their fear of losing control of the Democratic Party they are prepared to gamble with the very future of the United States - and the world - in order to stop Bernie Sanders.
They are even prepared to back Bloomberg even though he is widely reviled as a carpetbagger seeking to buy the Democratic Party nomination.
And even though they are trying to downplay his reactionary political record, it keeps cropping up. Like the mass incarceration in black and brown communities that resulted from police practices he put in place as New York mayor. Then there are the pre-emptive arrests he authorised of people who sought to protest the 2004 Republican convention in New York. And - one for the ages - his defence of Wall Street bankers in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. He described the fines levied against banks for misconduct as 'outrageous'.
And then, of course, there is his atrocious personal behaviour and his treatment of women. Is that also going to be ignored? Candidate Elizabeth Warren certainly had something to say about that at the Democratic Party debate this week:
''I’d like to talk about who we’re running against, a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’ I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg. Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of supporting racist polls like redlining and stop-and-frisk. I’ll support whoever the Democratic nominee is, but understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.'
I have friends who were there when Mayor Bloomberg ordered the eviction of Occupy protesters at Zuccotti Park in November 2011. It included the seizure of an estimated 4,000 books from Occupy Wall Street's 'People's Library'. Bloomberg claimed that the books would be 'safely stored' and could be picked up later. But less than a thousands books were returned, and a third of those were damaged beyond repair. Over 3,000 books disappeared, presumably destroyed. My friends referred to it as 'Bloomberg's Book Burning'.
If Hillary Clinton was exactly the wrong candidate to run against Donald Trump, its difficult to see Michael Bloomberg doing any better. He could even do worse. Its hard to imagine a Democrat less capable of winning over the American working class, especially the white working class that swung in behind Trump. Does anyone seriously think that Bloomberg could defeat Trump in the crucial midwestern states? Has Bloomberg ever even been there?
Back in 2016 the supporters of Bernie Sanders were told to hold their noses and vote for the corporate centrism of Hillary Clinton. At least she was 'preferable' to Trump, they were told. But much of the Sanders' movement wasn't convinced by the empty arguments of 'lesser evilism' and simply didn't vote. In 2020 a Bloomberg nomination will generate so much anger that any attempt by the Democratic Party to run a united campaign against Donald Trump will be next to impossible.
Its not an exaggeration to say that a Bloomberg nomination could well result in the disintegration of the Democratic Party.