The Shade of Bloomberg Stalks the Land

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Michael Bloomberg by DonkeyHotey-CC BY-SA 2.0

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, thane of a Wall Street web and cable news fiefdom replete with palace intrigues, has exited stage right the 2020 presidential race, endorsing the prince-designate Vice President Joe Biden. Mimicking Hamlet’s Ghost, however, his shade “weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living” within the corridors of the national Democratic Party superstructural institutions.

Despite the princeling’s retreat from the campaign trail, his capital injection remains. Bloomberg hired an entire army of well-paid functionaries, operating out of a privately-owned staffing agency offering higher salary and benefits, that will now transition to working for the Democratic National Committee and Biden. We don’t know how the balance of power will end up looking at the end. Could Bloomberg wrest more control from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer at the end of all this, going against everyone’s expectations?

Twinned with this staffing army is a multimedia #DumpTrump project that almost certainly will do the filthiest negative messaging about Sen. Bernie Sanders. That would be a convenient outsourcing operation so the DNC can avoid the internecine nastiness of 2008, when Hillary Clinton sank to the cesspool-level dog-whistles that were the genesis the Birther conspiracy theory.

The conclusion of this project will be two-fold.

First Bloomberg seeks to leverage control over the primary race for the rest of the electoral cycle, pushing Biden to adopt platform planks more aligned with the former New York Mayor’s pro-choice Republican worldview (admittedly not much of a leap for a man whose Senate career was spent representing one of the largest tax shelters in America).

Next, he will be able to force the larger Democratic Party to adopt any number of structural encumbrances that marginalize the progressive-left voices within the base and perhaps even exile from the fold its social democratic elected officials, something Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report elaborated upon brilliantly in a recent speech. Bloomberg brings a war chest to subsidize campaigns primarying people like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the rest of the Squad.

One is compelled to ask whether that latter long-term project would necessarily be a bad thing. Let’s face it, the Democrats have been the bane of radical politics for over a century. If there were to be a McCarthyite internal purge, it could end up creating one or more mass-membership groups trying to actualize an electoral formation outside the duopoly. Would these roaming reds create their own organization? Perhaps take over the Green Party, which certainly would be enhanced by addition of the various radical caucuses within DSA? With the upsurge of radical Black movements congregated around #BlackLivesMatter/Movement for Black Lives over the past decade, is it so far-fetched to imagine an African American-centered electoral formation that wrestles with the Congressional Black Caucus for sole moral legitimacy with the wider Black voting population? Could other groups in the crosshairs of the police state also begin similar projects?

There are always great risks inscribed into such tumultuous circumstances. But it is clear that Bloomberg’s efforts to corporately homogenize the party might end up being capable of unleashing forces far more powerful than anyone imagined.

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