Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Michael Bloomberg Is Flirting With Disaster

Maybe in the end, all this becomes nothing more than yet another one of Michael Bloomberg's restless yearnings for a job he knows he's qualified for, but for which he also knows he could never win.

Make no mistake about it, despite what his detractors say, Bloomberg is actually qualified to be president. On social issues he's as liberal as Bernie Sanders; however, when it comes to the economy, while he doesn't subscribe to the Republican fairytale of supply economics, he's a one eighty from Sanders. Overall, he's just to the right of Hillary Clinton. He's what Democrats used to call a centrist and Republicans used to call a moderate, only in reverse: a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. If George Soros and Warren Buffet had a baby, it would be Michael Bloomberg.

And that's the problem, at least for the Democrats. A Bloomberg candidacy, if it comes to that, would ostensibly split the Democratic vote in half, thus ensuring a Republican win in November. Now I know what you're thinking: That's only if Clinton wins the nomination. What if Bernie Sanders wins? What if he does? Same outcome. Sanders will take the left, Bloomberg the middle and Trump the right.

But aren't there more progressives than conservatives? Perhaps, but there aren't enough to overcome the electoral nightmare Bloomberg would create. As it stands now, Democrats hold a distinct advantage in the presidential election. They have more electoral votes in their blue states than Republicans have in their red ones. What that means is that the GOP has to win three quarters of the swing states just to have a chance at victory. Not very reassuring.

Bloomberg doesn't just put those swing states in jeopardy, he puts some of the blue states at risk, as well. States like New York and New Jersey, where he is very popular, could end up in his column. Not to get stereotypical, but Bloomberg's religion doesn't exactly hurt him in Florida. And then there are states like Virginia and North Carolina, where there are an awful lot of, shall we say, transplanted New Yorkers. Even if he doesn't win them, he keeps Hillary or Bernie from winning them. You see where I'm going with this. Hillary and Mikey duke it out, while the Donald crosses the finish line.

Wait, it gets worse. In the event that no one gets 270 electoral votes, guess who picks the winner? You got it, the Republican-controlled House. Republicans may not like Donald Trump, but they loathe Hillary and regard Bloomberg as the consummate RINO. They'd vote for a slice of moldy bread before letting either of those two anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. You think Paul Ryan is still sore at what happened in 2012? You ain't seen nothing yet.

And all this happens because, for all his qualities and traits, Bloomberg is every bit the ego maniac Trump is, albeit far more polished and refined. He doesn't trust Hillary and he can't stand Bernie. From his perspective, he probably thinks if Donald Trump can run for and possibly win the presidency, why not him? What he doesn't get is that the reason Trump is leading the polls in his party is because of a racist, xenophobic element within the GOP and, sadly, in a good chunk of the country. Trump has tapped into the rage these people have for immigrants, government and just about everything that rubs them the wrong way.

Bloomberg has no such constituency, nor is he likely to build one anytime soon. What he would be is a spoiler, a Ralph Nader on steroids. And if he doesn't knock it off and come to his senses, his flirtation with disaster could end up wrecking the very Republic he thinks he can save.

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