Ralph Nader Yelling At Dems To Support The Billionaire Who's An Actual Corporation
The number of Democratic presidential candidates for whom Donald Trump will have to come up with insulting nicknames might've increased by one last week when Mike Bloomberg changed his political party affiliation back to blue. (The former mayor of New York was formerly an Independent. During most of the Bush years, he was a Republican but, hey, with W. at the helm and a disastrous Iraq War, who wasn't eager to ride that elephant?) Now that he's returned to his political home, will he receive a hero's welcome as prelude to a presidential run? Not exactly.
Bloomberg is obviously not a great fit for the current Trump-led GOP that's basically the corpses of Ayn Rand, Phyllis Schlafly, and Al Capone stitched together in Frankenstein's lab. He supports same-sex marriage, gun control, and non-flat-earth science. But the billionaire also isn't some penniless hippie who spends his weekends at nude love-ins with fellow New Yorker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He's mostly rejected progressive views on big business and singled out Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up Wall Street banks as "wrongheaded." Bloomberg is also not beloved among black voters -- a significant Democratic primary electorate -- for his administration's stop and frisk policy, which he continues to defend.
Yet Bloomberg could have appeal as the Democrat's fun-sized, actual billionaire answer to the president. Like Trump in 2016 and arguably even now, he is viewed as a "moderate" by white voters. He's not some “free money for fools" or #MeToo-emasculated liberal. A sufficiently crowded field with no real heir apparent candidate could also improve Bloomberg's chances if he were to run. But what true progressive would fall for this? Well, for a start, how about Ralph Nader?
In case you don't remember, Nader is -- and I'm literally transcribing from an encyclopedia here -- directly responsible for helping George W. Bush defeat Al Gore in 2000, which future historians will note was the divergence point when our universe became the "evil" one from "Star Trek" where Spock has facial hair and Sulu is oddly sexy. Why should I care what Nader says about anything? There's only so much slack I can give someone for seat belt laws, but fine, whatever, here's what the jolly Green Party giant had to say about Bloomberg on "The Beat with Ari Melber."
Liberal Shock: Ralph Nader Touts Mike Bloomberg 2020 | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC youtu.be
Nader: Wall Street is his weakness. He's for corporate welfare, but on the other hand...
WTF? When did Nader find another rhetorical hand? Did Al Gore get him one for Christmas? Melber presumed that Nader would dismiss Bloomberg as a "corporate" politician, because Nader has a history of denouncing Democrats as corporate puppets who are no different from Republicans, which is a fair point if you ignore civil rights, the environment, health care, criminal justice, a social safety net, and accused rapists on the Supreme Court. Nader had already doubled down on the annoying rightwing talking point that Democrats have “no message." This is what straight white men say with exasperated eye rolls because they are “uninspired" by any and all platforms that do not directly center them. Anything else is a "distraction" from "serious" and "pressing" white-male-centered issues.
But no, Nader thinks a Bloomberg run for president would "shake up" the Democratic party, presumably like a can of soda before you hand it over to some unsuspecting sucker.
Nader: [Bloomberg] isn't your routine Wall Street guy. He's an entrepreneur and he thinks for himself.
Nader derided Hillary Clinton as a "corporatist, militarist Democrat," but on the other hand, Bloomberg, who is literally a corporation and who militarized the act of simply walking the streets of New York while black, is the Democratic party's great white hope. Have I mentioned that Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar are both awesome and are less interested in "shaking things up" than they are actually "making things work" for all Americans. Hey, that's another possible Democratic message the dudes will ignore.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."