Just Run in the Republican Primary, Dude!

Illustration for article titled Just Run in the Republican Primary, Dude!
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Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.

Michael “Stop-and-Frisk” Bloomberg, who ran for mayor of New York City as a Republican and is now spending hundreds of millions of his own dollars in an effort to buy the Democratic presidential nomination, happily destroying any remaining pretense that we live in a democracy, has said that he cast his hat into the ring for one reason, and one reason only: “Let me be clear about why I am in this race. I am running to defeat Donald Trump.”

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If that’s the case, then maybe Bloomberg, a terrible, incredibly sexist man who endorsed George W. Bush for president, has donated millions to Republicans over the years, bemoaned the decline in the use of the racist practice of redlining, and evinced a particular disdain for civil rights and liberties as mayor of New York City, should consider running in a different primary? Perhaps, and I know this is a wild idea, the Republican primary, where he is a natural fit and where his direct opponent would be the man he claims to want to defeat?

Just a thought!

[NPR/ABC News/Center for Media and Democracy/CNN/The New Republic]


Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to embrace full-on authoritarianism, writing in a tweet that as president, he has the right to intervene in Justice Department cases.

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This comes after Attorney General William Barr intervened earlier this week to reduce the recommended sentence of Trump’s pal and crime guy Roger Stone, after Trump complained about the length of prison time on Twitter, a move so brazen that all four federal prosecutors who had worked to convict Stone quit the case in protest, with one quitting his job altogether. And right on cue, Barr has now called on an outside prosecutor to review the criminal case of Trump’s former advisor Michael Flynn.

So many authoritarians in U.S. politics these days! Since it’s a Friday, and a long weekend to boot, I’ll leave y’all with this Sophie’s choice—Would U (Vote For): Donald Trump or Michael Bloomberg?

[NBC News/New York Times]


  • In news that clearly demonstrates we do not live in an authoritarian police state, ICE is now planning on sending what are essentially SWAT teams to sanctuary cities around the country “as part of a supercharged arrest operation” meant to retaliate against cities that have passed laws limiting local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration officials. [New York Times]
  • Some good news: a federal appeals court ruled against the Trump administration’s rule allowing states to require Medicaid recipients to work in order to receive coverage. [Politico]
  • Did you know that LGBTQ actually stands for “Let’s Get Buttigieg to Quit?” [The Guardian]
  • In related news, please enjoy this nice video of Pete Buttigieg forgetting how to speak Spanish, one of the many, many languages he speaks. To be fair, he apparently answered several other questions in decently fluent Spanish at that event, but it’s Friday and we deserve to feel good, if only for a brief moment!
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  • Bernie Sanders is leading the polls in Nevada.
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  • And in Texas:

Senior reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Well, let’s be real, just a teensy bit. If Bloomberg were to run as a republican he’d be in a fight with The Orange One for the nomination, and it’s a fight that he’d be 100% guaranteed to lose. What’s more, his money would not just be going to foil to The Orange One, but also to beat up on the democrats. As a more-or-less liberal republican (in the parlance and political spectrum of our age), he has more in common with the democratic party. No question, he used to be to the right of most democrats. He’s now actually inside the tent from an ideological perspective.

So, I get that you want to flip the whole thing Yeezy-style and it makes you feel good to kick Bloomberg because of crappy things he’s done that are legitimately bad and deserve consequences. Cancel culture feels good! Yet, suggesting that he should run as a republican so that he’s easier to beat up and we won’t have to include him in the tent might be “a thought” but it doesn’t represent much serious thinking. Why not let him spend a half billion dollars on GOTV and ground-level organizing on the democrats behalf? He’s unlikely to get the democratic nomination, but boy that data-gathering and ad/social micro-targeting sure could come in handy. Bloomberg’s core business is data gathering and trend analysis for the global economy. His assets are just the thing every democrat should want. He’s also going to tamp down a mental path for old-school republicans to make a vote for a democrat that might be left of their usual focus. It’ll be a lot easier for a Main Street republican in Lansing or Charleston or Boise to vote for Elizabeth Warren if they know that Mike Bloomberg is going to support her. You want to push that help away?! ... for the sake of some ideological purity? Really?! Think again, please.