The effort to steal the 2008 Presidential election is already underway.
I've been listening for months now, and it's becoming increasingly apparent that the "buzz" being generated over "Michael Bloomberg" (you know, the billionaire Republican who literally BOUGHT the mayorality of New York City a couple of years ago by spending the greatest amount ever in a mayor's race, at a rate of $92.50 per vote*) is meant to jump start a "Ross Perot" type of insurgent candidacy. "President Bloomberg?" asks the hyper-liberal Wall Street Journal editorial page, this morning.
[* New York Times:
By MICHAEL COOPERThe New York media never seem to notice that it's NEW YORK buzz, and that the rest of us are staring in bewilderment at this notion. It may seem like "smart" speculation in Manhattan, but I can assure you that elsewhere, and here on the banks of the Pacific Ocean it is sheerest science fiction. (Maybe he can run Bigfoot as his Vice Presidential nominee, to "balance" the fantasy of the ticket between the coasts. )
Sixty-eight million, nine hundred sixty-eight thousand, one hundred eighty-five dollars.
That's how much Michael R. Bloomberg spent from his personal fortune on the election that made him the mayor of New York City, according to documents his campaign filed yesterday with the city's Board of Elections. It breaks all records for spending in municipal elections by tens of millions of dollars....]
And, as with Perot, the hope is that he will siphon off the progressive majority of the Democratic candidate. It is doubtful that Bloomberg will attract any GOP votes. After all, he disavowed his Republican partyship last year, becoming an "independent" after having disavowed his Democratic partyship a few years earlier (viz. the only party that Bloomberg gives a damn about is himself). The Wall Street Journal:
The billionaire mayor has no shortage of cheerleaders for such a contest, including his staff, assorted consultants, and even the usually hard-headed editors at the New York Sun and New York Post. He's rich enough to get on the ballot in every state, and has been widely quoted as saying he'd spend $500 million or more if he did decide to run. That's more than enough to get his message out, if he can find one.The buzz has been going since forever now, including last fall's pronouncement by Bloomberg that he won't be a candidate. And today's.
[Let's not speculate on the obscene wealth of the new guilded age that allows the ultra-rich to engage in these attention-getting antics, e.g. the new owner of the Chicago-based Tribune Media. Wikipedia:
The Tribune Company is a large American multimedia corporation based in Chicago, Illinois. It is the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher, responsible for the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Hartford Courant, and the Baltimore Sun, among others. Through other subsidiaries, the Tribune Company also owns Tribune Broadcasting, Tribune Entertainment, Tribune Media Services, and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.Talk about a 'vanity press'! Think about the media clout that Sam Zell just purchased.]
On April 2, 2007, Chicago-based investor Sam Zell announced plans to buy out the media company for $34.00 a share, totalling $8.2 billion. Zell's intentions were to turn the company private. The deal was approved by 97% of the Company's shareholders on August 21, 2007. Privatization of the Tribune Company occurred on December 20, 2007 with termination of trading in Tribune stock at the close of the market. (emphasis added).
And yet, the drumbeat has started anew (with retiring Senator Chuck Hegel, R, Nebr. as his V.P). Well, I watch this stuff kind of carefully, and I just DON'T RECALL ever hearing about the convention where that ticket was hammered out. And yet, every reporter in New York City knows about it.
Let me tell you a truth about America: most every bit of news that we see is the news AS IT AFFECTS AND IS SEEN from New York City. If you doubt me, consider 9-11: the attack on the Pentagon virtually VANISHED for weeks, as all of New York's media focused on ITSELF. (The famed New Yorker poster in spades.)
Let me put that $69 million that Bloomberg spent to run for mayor into perspective. From the same New York Times article (i.e.: ibid.):
The nearly $69 million Mr. Bloomberg spent is more than 10 times what a candidate typically spends running for United States Senate, and roughly 97 times what a candidate spends, on average, running for the House of Representatives, according to Mr. Noble of the Center for Responsive Politics. It is more than half the $133 million -- not counting soft money -- that Al Gore spent running for president in 2000. (George W. Bush spent $193 million, according to the center.)So, don't doubt that he can run an "independent" campaign if he feels like it. Nader and Perot spent LESS to run for president in 1992*, 1996, 2000 and 2004 than Bloomberg spent to run for MAYOR.
[1992: Perot $60 million]
Is that what America's come to? Because the "political professionals" have refined electoral science to the point that the amount of money spent translates directly into electoral success (and often, as I learned when I ran for State Rep. in 2004, EXACT proportion to expenditures, i.e. of a theoretical $100,000, 56% would translate to $56,000, 22% would be $22,000, etc.) elections are for sale.
And since they're for sale, some billionaire on an ego trip can successfully BUY a presidential campaign, and be adored by gullible Americans across the continent, travel with a key to every city, and be lionized by the media?
... campaign filings show that [Bloomberg] spent more than was spent on either race. Rick A. Lazio spent $40.5 million in his unsuccessful bid against Hillary Rodham Clinton, who spent $29.8 million. And Mr. Corzine spent $63 million in the Senate race in New Jersey.Are you kidding me?
Bill Cunningham, a senior Bloomberg campaign strategist, said that he did not think it was fair to compare Mr. Bloomberg's spending with Mr. Corzine's, because the figures had not been adjusted for inflation.
Talk about getting your ultimate "I'll show THEM" adolescent wish-fulfillment fantasy gratified:
A brave new world will rise from the ashesto quote lyrics from unjustly neglected masterpiece, 10 cc's How Dare You! lp ("I Wanna Rule The World,"), band nomenclatural pun intended:
And there upon a rock titanic, I'll cast a giant
Shadow on the face of the deep;
And never again will they dare to call me
A freckled, spotty, specky, four eyed
Weedy little creep!
A presidential run by Bloomberg could well be the single most expensive masturbation fantasy in the history of Humankind. Because that's ultimately what it is: an act of obscene self-gratification, with the only difference being that it's perfectly legal to do it in the public square at high noon in full sunlight.
The effect of both, however, is the same.
So we don't need to question Bloomberg's motivation. Most men are vain enough that when enough sycophants and flatterers show up telling them that "the Nation needs YOU," and "only YOU can solve this," they dispense with any pragmatic understanding that they WILL NOT be elected. They have no chance in hell of winning, and the last "third party" candidate who ever won the presidency was Abraham Lincoln, only because the "second party" (the Whigs) and the large third party (the "Know Nothings") had collapsed and folded INTO the Republican party.
And the beauty is that the tactic works just as well on Ralph Nader as it does on Michael Bloomberg. Or Ross Perot. Or, for that matter, George Wallace, who stole enough votes from the "Dixiecrats" of the South that Richard Nixon won in 1968.
The only thing we need to question is: who would vote for a Bloomberg run?
Answer: the disaffected moderates, the "protest" vote in the GOP, and those Democrats sickened by the "inaction" of the Democratic congress in the face of the "Road Block Republicans -- who have set the all time filibuster record in the senate, this session).
That, coupled with other Republican vote stealing tactics can effectively steal a November election, with the worse case scenario being that the Democratic victor comes in with a slim enough margin that they can't claim any sort of "mandate."
(The last presidential Man Date was Dick Cheney, and he didn't work out so well.)
So, who would benefit from flattering Michael Bloomberg into a presidential run?
The third party has become a tactic to steal votes, so that the election isn't a fair fight, and this year's stalking horse is Michael Bloomberg, vain billionaire mayor of New York City, a city so vain that it thinks its last two mayors are qualified in the least to run for president.
The Mayor of Cleveland would be laughed off the stage. The Mayor of Los Angeles would provoke giggles. The Mayor of Chicago wouldn't make a blip in the polls.
But the last TWO mayors of New York City are legitimate presidential contenders? Are you kidding me? Do you Manhattan reporters ever notice the world outside of your personal bubble? Have you ever heard of "hubris," New York?
Didn't think so.
cross posted from his vorpal sword