How Racist Is GOP's Claim That Mike Bloomberg 'Bought' Lucy McBath? Pretty Damn!
Mike Bloomberg donated a crazy amount of money to Democratic candidates in 2018. That was very much appreciated. Unfortunately, at the Democratic debate Tuesday, Bloomberg might've accidentally on purpose implied that he owned the new Nancy Pelosi-led House.
BLOOMBERG: Let's just go on the record. They talk about 40 Democrats. Twenty one of those are people that I spent a hundred million dollars to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bough — I, I got them.
Just get Bloomberg a monocle and a top hat and he's Mr. Billionaire, the cackling lead in a political satire co-written by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It's bad enough that Bloomberg is assuming ownership for the blue wave, but his slip of the tongue is a gift to Republicans who'll -- without any sense of irony -- shame Democrats for accepting his money.
Lucy McBath, who represents Georgia's sixth district, endorsed Bloomberg last week. That's neither surprising nor skullduggerous. An asshole with a gun murdered McBath's 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, in 2012. She's dedicated her life since that horrible night to fighting for sensible gun regulations. That fight is what brought her to Congress. Bloomberg co-founded and funds Everytown for Gun Safety. It's kind of his issue. Bloomberg and McBath have an established relationship and share a common goal.
MCBATH: I first met Mike when I was searching for ways to fight against the dangerous gun laws that ripped my son from my life. Mike gave grieving mothers like me a way to stand up and fight back. Nobody running for president has done more for the gun violence prevention movement than Mike.
Some prominent anti-Bloomberg liberals got into McBath's grill about the endorsement. How dare a black woman support Mr. Stop and Frisk? New York Times columnist Charles Blow denounced McBath's endorsement and tweeted that "everyone has a price." I personally disagree with that assertion. McBath's "price" was not thirty pieces of silver so she'd overlook Bloomberg's complicated racial history. Bloomberg didn't "buy" her support. If there's anyone in Congress who never for a single second loses sight of why they're in Washington, it's Lucy McBath.
I can appreciate Blow's frustration, even if I don't agree with targeting McBath. He raised two black sons in New York during stop and frisk. What I will never appreciate are ragamuffin Republicans coming for McBath. Camille M. Gallo, the press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, thought was just hilarious to send a "For Sale" sign to McBath.
McBath's 2018 opponent, Republican incumbent Karen Handel, spent almost four times more money on that race, but Gallo didn't let facts get in the way of her slave humor. The NRCC should consider having a separate Diamond and Silk division for crap like this. It's not a great look to have Elle Woods with a pug trolling black women and suggesting that they're the property of wealthy white men.
Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood, who is black, also received a "for sale" sign. The NRCC might argue it's targeting Democrats of all creeds and colors who accepted money from Bloomberg, but as McBath herself points out, the group's focus on her is consistently petty.
Most Democrats who ran in 2018 refused corporate PAC money. This put them at a financial disadvantage against Republicans, who'll gladly take bags of cash from suspicious looking men with handlebar mustaches. Now Republicans want Democrats in 2020 to reject Bloomberg's largesse.
They have no electoral strategy that involves anything resembling a fair fight.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).