Bloomberg vs. Bernie et al: A Dem Debate Worth Watching?

I have seen much of most of the Democratic primary “debates,” which have largely been a yawn, a game of survivor cutting down the dozens in the field to a more manageable number.   As I said in my last post, zillionaire Michael Bloomberg’s investment of about half a billion dollars into an ad campaign has rocketed the late entrant into contention with Bernie for the lead, though there are still signs of life in others who I’m sure you’re familiar with.

Wednesday’s verbal battle should be more interesting than the previous ones, as it has different dimensions and higher stakes.  I’d say all of the participants have some kind of chance to get the nomination for this one reason.  If Bloomberg believes another candidate has a better chance to beat Trump, he could supply all the money needed to whomever he chooses.

While the main event seems likely to be Bernie vs. Bloomberg, the other candidates will get in their own punches to stand out, in that they also will criticize Bloomberg’s leap frogging the election process.  However, they do not want to make him an enemy as perhaps his wealth could smile on their chances down the line.

His throwing lots of dough Bernie’s way is hard to imagine, since Bernie’s main theme regarding Bloomberg is you shouldn’t be able to buy an election.  That would certainly be an odd combination, but I imagine Bernie would be able to rationalize it.  How else would they get the ton of money Trump has already raised?

And beating Trump should be the absolute priority.

The Mike Bloomberg Factor

This past week seems as bad as can be for the Democrats according to many commentators.  I say let things settle down before judging.  How many weeks of Trump have been declared terrible for him, yet look were he is.  Polls show a 49% job approval rating, his best yet.

The Democrats’ big problem is an inability to become unified while there are so many candidates offering shades of difference.  I found the Democratic debate last night tiresome.  I’ve heard all their arguments.  Personality-wise, undergirded by a solid enough resume for this crew, Amy Klobuchar impresses me most.  Her debate performances get improving reviews.  I think Dems might be able to unify behind her.  But since she remains a long shot, I’ll leave it at that for now.

I am glad Michael Bloomberg is in the picture.  If Dems don’t want him then they need to get together before the March 3 Super Primary (16 states).  If they still seem to be squabbling over issues like differences in their health care plans then Bloomberg figures to look all the better.

As old as he is, he is a fresh face in this primary process.  Also, he seems what Trump pretends to be – tough, smart and super successful.  You might think of Bloomberg as that little guy on the playground who has what it takes to slap the big bully around.

A figure who seems capable of handling the no-holds-barred Trump.  A champion to handle their bully.  It goes against a democratic sensibility, but Trump is not a normal candidate and beating him will require an unorthodox strategy.  He is lawless, and must be battled as the outlaw that he is.

I believe Bloomberg when he says he doesn’t want to splinter the Democrat party.   He just wants to beat Trump.  He and his billions will be invested in whatever he believes will work best to displace our budding dictator Don.

If it is not to be him, one of the other candidates will need to make Bloomberg believe it is him or her.

Add Mitt Romney to JFK’s “Profiles in Courage”

In the 1950’s John F. Kennedy wrote a book called Profiles in Courage telling the stories of politicians who had hurt themselves politically to make a statement or take an action that they believed to be right.  It was a small book.

I think when asked about the size, Kennedy quipped there was a shortage of material.  I just watched Mitt Romney exemplify the courage Kennedy described.  And I was, frankly, amazed.

Romney has often voiced elements of what used to be the Republican party, including a sense of integrity, but he has never really confronted the president like he did today.   So, I wasn’t expecting this.  Apparently Trump’s sins have finally become too much for Romney to tolerate.  Like the boy in the tale The Emperor’s New Clothes, he looks at Trump and finally sees “the emperor is not wearing clothes.”

He announced he would vote to convict Trump this afternoon of at least one of the two charges of his impeachment.  When all other Republican Senators have done a great job of playing hide-go-seek, with a few semi-exceptions like Lamar Alexander, Romney has just come forth to assert that, after much consideration, he believes Trump has committed an “appalling abuse of public trust” an abuse so grave that it merits being ousted from the presidency.

Senator Lamar Alexander did assert that Trump did something “inappropriate” but not sufficiently proven to deserve conviction.  He and other Republicans who fell in behind him said that they thought Trump would learn from this and not do it again.

WHO ARE THEY KIDDING, BESIDES THEMSELVES?  Trump the guy who never admits to making a mistake or doing wrong, including this whole Ukraine affair?   Why on earth would he change now, since he just got away with abusing his power without even a censure vote from the lap dog Trumpublicans in the Senate.

Romney will get endless crap from fellow Republicans for announcing the obvious truth.  Of course, Trump will still be acquitted this afternoon.  Romney knows that.  That’s why he merits a chapter in any revisions of the Kennedy book.

The Pseudo Senate Impeachment “Trial” of Trump

Always so many political events coming so fast in Trumptopia and this week the whirlwind is swirling even faster than usual.   The Democrat’s first primary in Iowa today, tomorrow Trump’s state of the union speech and then the rest of the week finishing up the details of Trump’s impeachment acquittal.

What to take away from the impeachment proceedings.   Well, first of all Trump’s acquittal in the Senate was preordained as it requires two-thirds of the Senators to convict him, something that was never going to happen given that 53 of the Senators are Republicans.

Of course “everybody” knew this, but the Dem’s were pretty much forced to impeach Trump because there was so much evidence showing his abuse of power (and obstruction of Congress) that they had to take a shot at it in the hope their charges would sway that slice of American undecided voters along with firing up their base.

Frankly, I don’t know who was swayed where, though I give praise to the House Democratic efforts as being far more persuasive than those of the Republicans.   The Democrats relied on convincing witnesses and records while the Republicans relied on procedural arguments, distortions and distractions.  Because they had little in the way of evidence to back them up.   Really, Trump did something wrong and it was obvious if you paid close attention to the proceedings.

Republican Lamar Alexander admitted as much late in the Senate “trial”.  He dismissed the arguments of the Trump team saying he was convinced that Trump abused his power regarding pressuring Ukraine to provide dirt on the Biden’s.   He called Trump’s actions “inappropriate,” but he asserted they did not rise to the level of impeachment.  He thought it best to leave that issue to Americans at the ballot box.

A clever position to be sure, but his conclusion that the charges did not reach the level of impeachment is debatable.  However, that debate has been squelched by the Republican majority.  New evidence keeps coming forth, much of it as snippets from a book by former Trump top security adviser John Bolton that contradict many of the claims of the Trump team.  Bolton has offered to testify, but the Republicans have closed down the option for any more records or testimony, so this will have to move to the court of public opinion.

More information is likely to come out (and eventually Bolton’s book), a continuing thread from the impeachment hearings that I will return to in my next post.