Is Bloomberg Buying the DNC? If So, What Does He Plan to Do With It?

Yves here. We are a little heavy on the “state of the DNC/Dems” posts today, but both pieces look at the escalating fight over who owns the party through a class warfare/income inequality perspective.

Openly buying a party is Third World behavior (and reader in better run emerging economies will no doubt say that that’s not a feature of their political landscape). But the US crossed that Rubicon with the intel-security state acting as if it has the authority to approve who sits in the White House.

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

Paradise lost. One misstep is all it takes to take the proud down low.

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make proud.
—With apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is a small point that leads to a larger one. Consider what Mike Bloomberg is building within the Democratic Party, within the DNC. According to the following analysis he’s turning the DNC into an anti-Sanders machine, a force loyal to himself, that will operate even after Sanders is nominated, even after Sanders is elected, if he so chooses.

With that he hopes to limit and control what Sanders and his rebellion can do. It’s the ultimate billionaire counter-rebellion — own the Party machine that the president normally controls, then use it against him.

Our source for this thought is Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report. Ford is one of the more vitriolic defenders of radical change in America, but in this analysis I don’t think he’s wrong, at least in making the case that Bloomberg is giving himself that option. But do decide for yourself.

Here’s his case:

Bloomberg Wants to Swallow the Democrats and Spit Out the Sandernistas

If, somehow, Bernie Sanders is allowed to win the nomination, Michael Bloomberg and other plutocrats will have created a Democratic Party machinery purpose-built to defy Sanders — as nominee, and even as president.

The details of his argument are here (emphasis added):

Bloomberg has already laid the groundwork to directly seize the party machinery, the old fashioned way: by buying it and stacking it with his own, paid operatives, with a war-against-the-left budget far bigger than the existing Democratic operation. Bloomberg’s participation in Wednesday’s debate, against all the rules, is proof-of-purchase.

In addition to the nearly million dollar down payment to the party in November that sealed the deal for the debate rules change, Bloomberg has already pledged to pay the full salaries of 500 political staffers for the Democratic National Committee all the way through the November election, no matter who wins the nomination. Essentially, Bloomberg will be running the election for the corporate wing of the party, even if Sanders is the nominee.

In an interview with PBS’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday night, senior Bloomberg advisor Timothy O’Brien made it clear that the DNC is in no condition to refuse being devoured by Bloomberg, even if they wanted to. O’brien predicted the Republicans will spend at least $900 million on the election, while the DNC has only about $8 million on hand. Even the oligarch’s underlings are telegraphing the takeover game plan.

Bloomberg is not so much running for president as making sure that the Democrats don’t go “rogue” anti-corporate to accommodate the Sandernistas. He is ensuring that the Democratic Party will be an even more hostile environment for anti-austerity politics than in the past – not in spite of the phenomenal success of the Sanders project, but because of it.

Ford has not much love for Bernie Sanders, as he finds Sanders (and his supporters) weak for sticking with the Democrats. Ford thinks Sanders should go “third party” in his opposition to the corrupt duopoly that owns our politics. That’s a point on which we can disagree without disagreeing that the duopoly is indeed corrupt, or that Bloomberg is setting himself up for post-electoral mischief.

Ford also thinks the Party will split in the face of this anti-Sanders resistance, especially if the counter-resistance continues after a President Sanders is inaugurated.

We’ll see about all that. Ford may be right in his estimate of Bloomberg’s intentions. He may also be right in Bloomberg’s ability to carry through if his intentions are indeed as Machiavellian as he says.

On the other hand, Sanders may gather to himself enough control of the DNC and other Party machinery that he does indeed transform it, and with it, slowly, the Party itself. That’s certainly been his game plan, and if he does indeed have a movement behind him — a really big one — I wouldn’t bet against him being right. I myself don’t see a way for a third party to succeed in the U.S. unless it’s a “virtual third party” — but more on that at another time.

The Larger Point

So this is our smaller point, that Mike Bloomberg may be positioning himself to “own” the DNC, and with it enough of the Democratic Party, so that he can himself rein in a President Sanders. Is that his goal? It certainly seems possible. “Mini-Mike” is certainly Machiavellian.

Which leads to the larger point: How much rebellion, within the DNC and elsewhere, with or without Bloomberg’s interference, will someone like President Sanders encounter and how long will it last? If it lasts throughout his presidency, that’s a horse of a different color — a much darker one.

In fact, the dark horse of today’s American politics is the entrenched, corrupt (and frankly, pathological) über-rich and their death grip on all of our governing institutions, including the press. Will that death grip tighten as the Sanders movement grows? And will they continue to squeeze the throats of the working class, even as the victims find their own throats and tighten in response?

Would you bet, in other words, that the rich who rule us wouldn’t kill the country that feeds their wealth — wouldn’t spark such a confused and violent rebellion that even they would be forced at last to flee — won’t do all all this out of animus, pique and world-historical hubris?

That bet is even money all the way. They just might try it, just might be willing to strangle the body itself, the political body, just to see how far it they can get by doing it.

Whom the gods would destroy…

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59 comments

  1. oliverks

    I may be very wrong here in my analysis, but I think the democratic party will need to cave to Sanders much as the republican party has had to cave to Trump.

    Both talk to what their bases want. That might not be pretty to the opposing side.

    The reality is the mainstream uni-party system serves only the pay masters well, but not it’s “viewers”.

    Sanders and Trump are the future of both parties. That means real discussion and debate about what the future of America should be.

    Reply
    1. Punxsutawney

      As has been much said, the problem is that the Republican Party fears their base while the Democrats loathe theirs.

      Until the Democrats fear theirs nothing will change. And the money behind the leadership is doing just fine in the current state of affairs.

      For now.

      Reply
  2. Aumua

    That’s a pretty good video from Yang. He should turn around and endorse Sanders now, who is obviously looking at somewhat the same map that Yang is.

    Reply
    1. Hamford

      Perhaps I am wrong, but I doubt Yang would endorse Sanders. He is a technocrat who deftly maneuvered straight into CNN punditry. His UBI is commonly advocated by the likes of Zuckerberg and other tech billionaires. UBI seems to be the “Public Option” diversion to the Federal Jobs Guarantee. Only Jobs Guarantee threatens the corporate squeeze on workers. I don’t think UBI proponents are necessarily aligned with JG advocates.

      I think an endorsement from Steyer would be more likely.

      Reply
      1. teacup

        We could have both a Citizens Dividend, funded by economic land rent capture (similar to the Alaska Permanent Fund but also applied to high value urban ground rent sites), and a jobs guarantee.

        Reply
      2. anon

        A part of me likes Yang because he’s the cool candidate of color, probably the first Asian American I’ve seen on that debate stage in my life, who appealed to a lot of young people and independents, libertarians, anti-establishment types who are now backing Sanders. However, I was somewhat disappointed that Yang joined CNN. As soon as I learned that news, I figured that Yang’s goal was always to build his own brand and fame, and cash in on that after dropping out of the race. My only hope at this point is for Yang to play devil’s advocate with the other pundits on CNN. I don’t see Yang going anti-Sanders, but I don’t see him endorsing Sanders either.

        Reply
  3. michael lacey

    If Bloomberg is nominated stay at home watch the football! maybe start a little bet on the side who will win might make some money the outcome will be the same workers will get screwed!

    Reply
    1. Thomas P

      Never stay at home, that’s just sending the message that you don’t care.Vote for a third party to show that you just don’t like any of the two major parties, and giving a signal how they would have to change to get your vote.

      Reply
      1. Tom Bradford

        Much as it pains me to say it, voting for a Third Party in the US electoral system is an abdication. It doesn’t allow you to say, in the event of either a Trump or Bloomberg Presidency, “Don’t blame me, I voted Smith”. Instead you’ve simply taken yourself out of the equation the big boys have to do, enabling them to compete for, buy or impress with baubles and lies a smaller, but unfortunately still the larger, portion of the population who can’t see through such things.

        In more advanced, sophisticated democratic systems such as the one I live under, proportional representation can give viewpoints like yours some teeth – voting for a third, fourth or fifth party can give it some chance to represent what you believe in and, indeed, can even get it into coalition as part of Government and perhaps in a small way make your vote count.

        Reply
        1. sunlight

          The power of voting for Independents or Greens depends on which state you are voting in. If you know that the greater of two evils has nearly 0% chance of winning in your state, voting one’s values sends a signal to the establishment parties, regardless of whether they choose to respond. I safely voted for Stein in ’16; I did not need to vote for the corporatist republican, Clinton, knowing that the nazi, trump, had no chance of winning my state.
          Voting for a libertarian is a vote for authoritarianism, ironically the opposite of what those candidates are selling.

          Reply
      1. ejf

        Print that on a t-shirt or on one of those tall MAGA hats with a background in that slightly darker Soviet red with letters and a raised fist or two done in black. Red and black.

        Reply
    2. Woodchuck

      I think it would be better to go vote for Dem Senators down ballot but vote for neither for president. A Dem Senate with Trump presidency is probably the least damaging scenario if Bloomberg is nominee.

      Reply
      1. sunlight

        As repulsive as Bloomberg is, he couldn’t possibly appoint more reactionary ideologues to the SCOTU than Trump has/would.

        Reply
  4. inode_buddha

    If he pulls this off, I will laugh *so* hard if they try to call this a “democracy”.

    Bloomberg has a vote, just like anyone else does. *That* is where the democracy comes from.

    Reply
  5. Corporate Socialist Nightmare

    The billionaires have no qualms about killing the consumer part of their revenues. They have made sure that the real wages have been stagnant or falling for the last 30 years even though this negatively affect the demand for products in general. Their plan B is the corporate socialist tit: government contract, just look how Bezo and Microsoft are fighting for the corporate socialist tit. This is comlatible with tyranny for the people implemented by the militarized police and the armed forces, access to the money print Government

    Reply
  6. Jen

    Seems like Bernie has built a parallel organization with its own fundraising, organizing, and media operation. So what does he need the DNC for?

    Reply
  7. cripes

    If the Sanders campaign can manage to take the nomination and then prevail in November (he will defeat Trump, absent the entire rotten demo apparatus openly defecting to Trumpism), it will be a long fight against their own party to get there, and trench warfare after the “victory.”

    If the DNC subverts the nomination, which is the plan, a different battle will take shape on the question of supporting the usurper against reactionary faux-populism (which prospect I fear Bernie will acquiesce to again) and what part of the movement will break away to form a counter-force beyond this election that can challenge the duopoly.

    In both cases there exists a historical opportunity to break the one-party-two-wings stranglehold they have imposed since the Civil War.

    I almost don’t care how it happens, as long as it does happen. We need a multi-party republic with ranked choice voting that prevails around the world-even in the neolib infested shitholes of Europe and elsewhere and maybe another generation building an opposition worthy of the task.

    It’s ugly and will get uglier.

    In his heart of hearts, Bernie knows this and deserves credit for having come this far. He’s carrying the mantle of Debs and La Follete and FDR, Wallace and King. A hellava tightrope he’s walking.

    I fully expect an economic crisis may emerge with a big assist from the oligarchs-consumer debt, global trade contractions, corona virus, stock devaluations, unemployment, timed conveniently to undermine any prospect of success to a new president.

    Reply
    1. False Solace

      One of the best things that could come out of any attempt to steal the Democratic nomination from Sanders would be a nationwide movement to repeal the draconian laws limiting ballot access for third parties. And it would take a nationwide movement. Ballot access is controlled on the state level, with the laws written by the establishment parties for their own benefit. That explains why we have a zombie duopoly in which most of the voting population doesn’t bother to show up because they aren’t represented. Seth Ackerman went over some of the details in Jacobin a few years ago (scroll down to the heading “Repression”).

      In fact, some US electoral procedures are unknown outside of dictatorships: “Unlike other established democracies, the USA permits one set of standards of ballot access for established ‘major’ parties and a different set for all other parties.” That America’s election system is uniquely repressive is common knowledge among experts.

      Reply
    2. none

      They are giving up on preventing Bernie from being nominated. They are gearing up for plan B, which is to lose the election to Trump again.

      Reply
  8. SteveB

    “Openly buying a party is Third World behavior (and reader in better run emerging economies will no doubt say that that’s not a feature of their political landscape). But the US crossed that Rubicon with the intel-security state acting as if it has the authority to approve who sits in the White House.”

    “Schumer warns Trump: Intel officials ‘have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you”
    1/3/2017 Washington Examiner Quote from Rachel Maddow interview

    The biggest positive of the Trump presidency (for people paying attention) is the highlighting of the fact that we are ruled by the intel-security state and their enablers the MIC. Not the President or Congress.

    No doubt, President Sanders will be the subject of the same vicious leaks and undercutting campaign as President Trump. They’re already starting with the Russians aiding Sanders narrative…..

    Reply
  9. Amfortas the hippie

    this idea…”will they kill the host?”…has been a topic under the Big Oak(and it’s prior analogs) for a long, long time.
    offshore all the decent jobs to china(with the expectation that the chinese peasants will be content to stay peasants), eviscerate the safety net and pensions and the rest of the New Deal…and who will be able to buy their crap at wally whirled?
    doesn’t make sense, except in the short term.
    unless we think on a longer time-frame: as the chinese peasants become consumers, buy tvs and begin to demand more…eventually, usa population and china population effectively switch places….when usa-ians finally get beat down enough, they will be the new Peasant Workforce, working for pennies, and not caring about things like labor or environmental protections….
    then, lo and behold…the Physical Plant will return to the USA…likely just as china is entering it’s New Deal Phase.
    Labor Arbitrage on PCP.
    it fits with my understanding of how the Boss Class thinks.
    what throws a wrench into this scenario is Limits to Growth…from Peak Oil to Climate Change to Peak Phosphorus.
    at the risk of running into the rocks of “Open Borders”, sans nuance….this is why labor and environmental and consumer safety and a whole bunch of the New Dealy stuff, should be globalised…replace Westphalian Nationalism with a Global Federalism…in order to counter the already Supranational Cosmopolitanism of the Boss Class.
    Currently, the a$$holes who own everything enjoy being Citizens of Earth…the biggest corps(e) are “Multinational”…and the Jet Set flits around the world as it suits them…even bypassing Customs….while us little people are stuck behind borders, and made to fear and loathe everyone outside of them.

    Reply
  10. BillS

    If by chance, Sanders prevails in November, he would do well to remember Machiavelli as well.

    1) Never do an enemy only a small injury.

    2) No proceeding is better than that which you have concealed from the enemy until the time you have executed it. To know how to recognize an opportunity in war, and take it, benefits you more than anything else. Nature creates few men brave, industry and training makes many. Discipline in war counts more than fury.

    3) A prince is also respected when he is a true friend and a true enemy; that is, when he declares himself on the side of one prince against another without any reservation.

    4) It should be borne in mind that there is nothing more difficult to arrange, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous to carry through than initiating changes. The innovator makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old order, and only lukewarm support is forthcoming from those who would prosper under the new. Their support is lukewarm … partly because men are generally incredulous, never really trusting new things unless they have tested them by experience.

    Reply
  11. Kevin Hall

    I keep seeing these Bloomberg ads that employ the Goebbels method of hammering through an obvious lie. It is so “big” that it may be overlooked by many.

    “Bloomberg is the only democrat…….”
    “Bloomberg is the only democrat…….”
    “Bloomberg is the only democrat…….”
    “Bloomberg is the only democrat…….”

    Bloomberg is not a democrat. So why is he running as one? If he is so sure he can beat Trump, why not just primary him as the republican that he is?

    Maybe his run isn’t about being elected president, but preventing Sanders from office? Sanders is the biggest threat to people like Bloomberg and must not be allowed power. Prevent him from office, or make it impossible for him to govern if he gets there. That is why Bloomberg is pretending to be a democrat.

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      “Bloomberg is the only Democrat who …”

      I think that it will not be hard to turn this self-description against him

      “Bloomberg is the only billionaire self-described “Democrat” running in this race who was a Republican mayor who targeted minorities for mistreatment by the police”

      “Bloomberg is the only billionaire self-described “Democrat” running in this race who has paid out more hush money to silence victims of his sexual harrassment than he has received in campaign contributions from small donors”

      etc etc

      this stuff practically writes itself

      Reply
    2. Woodchuck

      To be fair, neither is Sanders really a Democrat, not in the way the term has been used in the US for a long time.

      But in this broken 2 parties system, it’s basically “if you want to run against the president, run in the other party” no matter what they believe. It doesnt really matter anyway because the 2 parties agree on much of the same and their differences are at the edges, not at their core.

      Reply
    3. Henry Moon Pie

      “Bloomberg is the only Democrat”

      If the Dem elites were to game the nominating process to obtain this result, that would be close to true.

      Reply
  12. Ignacio

    View from abroad: This year we will witness something that could be one of the most important political developments so far this century: a challenge against the all powerful oligarchy of the US represented by the GOP plus the DNC establishment by Sanders and his supporting crowd. The DNC might play a pivotal role depending on whether its management falls on one side or the other. Though the oligarchy wants to keep control of both parties they also need to maintain a semblance of democracy, but this is eroded by their push to decide what or who is “electable”. More disturbing for the oligarchy, MB’s push to buy the DNC could be a gigantic disservice if this results being a slap on the face for all Americans that so far haven’t noticed what has been going on so far.

    Sanders has become quite a charismatic person, not because of personal charm but because he has come to be the most serious representative of the needs of so many. Interesting year indeed. Go, Bernie go!

    Reply
    1. Brooklin Bridge

      There is something about the way Bernie reacts when asked about Bloomburg, a vagueness and darkness in his facial expression on the subject of “buying the nomination,” that suggests to me that he is aware of the deeper aspects of what is actually happening.

      Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      If I may paraphrase Lenin:

      “You can’t make an election outcome without purchasing the cooperation of a significant number of high officials”

      Perhaps the “Russia intervening in the election” meme is so popular among the Establishment because it helps to distract public attention from the more consequential interventions, some of them in plain sight, that domestic actors are engaging in.

      Reply
      1. Stephen V

        Following current logic of the past 4 years, I think Mini Mike, shrewd biz man that he is, will flip the DNC to Putin for a tidy profit.

        Reply
  13. Brooklin Bridge

    I hadn’t thought of it either, but it fits. Bloomberg naturally expects that his money is going to buy him something regardless of win or loose as his offer made clear. He expects it much as any billionaire expects to buy power in a social system where corruption is highly advanced, pervasive and runs deep in most institutions private and public. I doubt he even sees it that way. Given where we’ve come to, it can’t be described as a conspiracy. It’s more like a transaction, like going into a store and buying a pack of gum. Well maybe not like a pack of gum, more like making a financial purchase that the buyer feels illustrates how clever he or she is, without the least thought or care for the ethical and moral bankruptcy that makes such a purchase possible.

    My point is, when your environment is corruption, when you live and breath it, it’s hard to grasp anything unusual about what is being bought and sold. I knew a very gracious individual (had the gift of making all about him feel special) who had bought himself a cattle ranch and at some point needed more water than was allowed by county regulations. So he bribed bought the counsel without a second thought for the consequences to others and considered the transaction so normal, not to mention financially shrewd, that he felt perfectly at ease bragging about it to others he barely knew.

    Reply
  14. Edward

    Politics and the press are a great investment for the rich which yields a many-fold return. Regulation can be prevented, subsidies arranged, public opinion managed, wars organized, and so on.

    Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    I am going with the idea that he is correcting the mistake of 2016. Consider, with Madam President Clinton in charge, people like Bloomberg could have easily worked with her for any tax cuts for the rich were pushed. By cementing control of the Democrat party, he and his friends want to ensure that after this election, that all future candidates, Republican or Democrat, will be either billionaires or billionaire friendly. At this point, I think that we should all recognize that Trump has been one of the most valuable Presidents in American history. No, seriously. Let me explain.

    Trump’s policies have been basically Republican ones like tax cuts for the wealthy, big bucks for the Pentagon, cracking down on emigrants. But the problem is that Trump is an outsider. He was never meant to be President. That post for decades has gone to insiders like Bush, Clinton, Obama and the like and this to a large degree explains the opposition to him as President. But in trying to destroy him, it has forced the American establishment to literally undress in public. So, what has been revealed.

    The Republicans are just Republicans. The only trouble is that as they get more and more right-wing, they are in danger of meeting the extreme left-wing coming from the opposite direction.

    The Democrats have revealed themselves to be beyond redemption. Corrupt, stupid and absolutely compromised because of their donors. They even argued in a court of law that they did not have to listen at all to the tens of millions of Democrats but do whatever they wanted to do. The have little if anything in common with working class Americans anymore.

    The Media has revealed itself to be even more venal and corrupt and trying to determine the results of elections. After three years of gas-lighting, they are fading into relevance and many talking heads are in total panic at their rice bowls being broken. Their type of news are mostly lies now hence their declining influence.

    Liberals have proven to be even worse. The have shown themselves to be detached form reality (see the Daily Kos) and hate what amounts to poorer Americans. It almost reflects the Wage and Salary divide and are just as likely to vote down measures to help the poor in case their taxes go up by 0.1%.

    The security services like the FBI and the CIA are now actively interfering in domestic elections and are trying to put themselves into the position of vetting any Presidential candidate. Their sedition has tried to bring down Trump, they are trying to end Sanders’s campaign, and they are now trying to push Mayor Pete.

    Having Trump as President has proven wonderfully clarifying, especially when he sounds the silent bits out loud. What more could you ask for from a President?

    Reply
    1. fnx

      To be fair, Obama was never an insider, just willing to be bought by whoever had enough money. I believe Hillary was supposed to win in 2008, but once the overwhelming guilt felt by those who either participated in or failed to prevent so much racist behavior saw electing the black man as a way to redeem their souls, it was decided to throw it to Obama instead.

      Reply
  16. Darius

    This is the iron law of institutions. The DNC would rather destroy itself than hand itself over to Sanders.

    And as for Tom Perez, thanks Obama. He’s the one who put Perez there. You can’t look at Perez’s behavior and cut Obama any slack.

    Reply
  17. Carolinian

    This seems a bit far fetched–CT and deep state-y. It’s far more plausible that Bloomberg is on an ego trip and willing to spend all that mad money he earned since 2000 (when he had significantly fewer billions) to do so. Although money has corrupted our politics people are exaggerating its power in this instance imo. Surely the reason Sanders is doing well is that people see him as authentic. The rest of the party, as represented by Pelosi and the Congressional Dems, have an even lower approval rating than Trump. The same goes for the media. Even Bloomberg’s billions are not going to be enough to buy himself a country.

    Reply
    1. Mel

      Maybe. I would think that Bloomberg is totally familiar with running a payroll, and setting up an organization that does what it’s paid to do.
      There’s a line you see some on Sic Semper Tyrannis, usually talking about U.S. diplomatic failures in the Middle East, that the diplomats don’t understand that “some things are not for sale.” I guess that we’ll see whether the DNC is one of those things.

      Reply
    2. Brooklin Bridge

      What we are measuring here is power, not opinion. And money and power were determinate in who we got to vote for in 2016 regardless of our opinion of the candidates. Moreover one doesn’t need to raise the specter of deep state to suggest that Bloomburg hopes to accomplish more by buying the DNC than simply influence who gets the nomination.

      Surely the reason Sanders is doing well is that people see him as authentic. The rest of the party, as represented by Pelosi and the Congressional Dems,[…]

      The rest of the party? You make it sound like the democrat party as a whole is made up of two simple things; Sander’s supporters who see him as authentic on one side and Pelosi etc., on the other. In reality the party is made up of the usual suspects that run a complex and broad gamut and then a very ill fitting “rest of us” who have no commitment to the party other than a very bad as it turns out historical requirement that we can’t avoid if we want to nominate Bernie so we can then vote for him. No deep state needed to explain a glove that don’t fit but is the only one we got to pull the lever.

      Bloomburg isn’t trying to buy a country; he’s just trying to keep it crooked. He’s just making what he considers to be a shrewd investment in the DNC, enough so that he has influence persisting the election, which will make progressive efforts that much more difficult.

      No deep state-y or far fetched-CT, just business as usual.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Well the above headline itself ends in a question mark. I don’t think any of us really know what’s going down including BAR. This is my take. Bloomberg is 78 and that’s about all I know about him. I can see someone that age wanting to go out in a burst of glory, not take over the world or, if you will, our politics.

        Reply
        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Reasonable and agree that it’s hard to know at this point, but then your arguments: 1) age narrowing scope of intentions, 2) assumption: leave in burst of glory, 3) another assumption: variant of 1 – the bones they creak, leave while the leaving is good); are in themselves a bit airy except perhaps for the first that he’s humble enough to realize that age limits ambition. I think such self awareness is a stretch too far for the average tycoon, and a lot farther at least than Bloomburg wanting to keep his thumb on the scales of power (and who says he wants to rule the world, just the DNC and from there the world :-), and possibly feeling he is acting on behalf of other like minded plutocrats.

          Anyway, I hope we find out for there is only one way of that happening…

          Reply
    3. Michael99

      I’m sceptical too. If Sanders wins the Dem nomination and defeats Trump, tradition holds that he gets to name the new DNC chair. Then the new chair gets to appoint up to 75 voting members. This looks more like a Sanders takeover of the DNC than a Bloomberg takeover, which is ironic in that Sanders is not really a Democrat, but then neither is Bloomberg.

      Of course the Dem neoliberal establishment knows this, so they likely will resort to treachery to try to keep control of the DNC even if Bernie becomes President. Failing that, they will try to starve it of funding. But they are on the defensive.

      The Vox article linked below discusses who the DNC members are and how DNC chairs are elected.

      https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/23/13703720/dnc-chair-election-rules-members

      Reply
  18. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    Not the first to state this idea, but I think Bloomberg is keeping the seat warm for Hillary, the favored champion of the Oligarchs. Basically Trump with plausible deniability built-in. If he can blunt Sanders’ edge, she can ride into the Convention on a white horse (in a white pantsuit, betokening Purity Of Essence) and save the day for the guilt-ridden faux-left bourgeoisie.

    Reply
    1. elissa3

      Disagree. There just aren’t that many of this bourgeoisie left. HC’s favorability score must be very, very low, and any attempt to boost her after all that has happened simply cannot succeed. Also, she seems as nuts as Biden is senile.

      Reply
  19. King

    A lot of the money thrown around in elections seems to be just to keep the professional campaigning staff happy, or otherwise paid off while not doing something else. So what happens when Bloomberg’s cash dries up at the end of this election? It was tough luck for the rust belt when the factories closed so I expect the same for the campaign staff. Could be some interesting dynamics ahead.

    Reply
  20. Kiers

    Donna Brazile’s book on 2016 DNC finances should have provided plenty of precedent, that the Democrat operatives, not just the DNC itself, are wholly owned. Obama strategically drained the coffers of the DNC so that Hillary could own it. Now Bloomberg wants it, or is RENTING it. The clinton’s have NO other skill imho, so they will never let go of their golden calf, the party.

    Bloomberg on the other hand, could be a dark money conduit from the entirety of wall street, the 1% et al, to stave off financial transaction taxes, inheritance taxes, wealth taxes whatnot. For Bloomberg, it’s pure arbitrage in doing what he’s doing. (I don’t even think it’s ALL “his” money he’s spending; such is the privilege of the American elite, no one will ever find out how the dark money flows; no journalist is even on the trail). This guy conveniently “owns”a home in Bermuda, lets’ not forget.

    Reply
  21. Anarcissie

    In view of the recent Bacevich article and this one, and my own thoughts about Bloomberg, I wonder if we are not witnessing a breakdown of the corporate mind of the Ruling Class. They do not seem able to manage either their version(s) of reality, or their representations of reality, or whatever else they want to represent. For instance, Bloomberg supposed that he could stop Sanders merely by appearing with his well-organized billions. What his appearance actually accomplished was to draw votes and attention away from the other conservative Democrats, but not away from Sanders, whose followers are interested in Bloomberg’s billions only as an object of hostility. And this may be true of Trump’s followers as well. Trump may lie constantly, but what he represents is not a lie. He has authenticity, like Sanders. The Ruling Class does not know what authenticity is because it is incompetent and narrowly focused, and because in replicating itself it has degenerated. Its young and its subordinate classes are selected for style, team spirit, and submissiveness, not for competence or strength of will.

    Trump seems to have intuited the situation and has run with it, but fortunately lacked the imagination to fulfill his authoritarian fantasies — so far.

    A lot of stuff has now come loose and is banging in the wind. Further interventions by the R.C. are not likely to still the wind, or even get the shutters closed.

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  22. Tony Wright

    An outside opinion:
    If Sanders wins the most delegates, but is shafted by the DNC in favour of Bloomberg, many of those energised by Sanders’ campaign simply will not vote in the Presidential election. Consequently, Trump would win in a landslide. This would be a disaster for the US, most other countries, and the Planet.
    The economic domino effects of the likely Covid19 pandemic could overwhelm all of the above, however.

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