February 18, 2020

Should we be cheering for Bernie Sanders?

It's early in the Democratic primaries.  President Trump is the strongest Republican president and candidate since Ronald Reagan, and he's fearless.  He should trounce his Democratic challenger in November no matter who it turns out to be.  Biden is a gaffe machine. Buttigieg is a lightweight with no staying power.  Warren is a complete dud.  Klobuchar is equally uninspiring. Tom Steyer is as appealing as taxes.  That leaves two candidates that merit discussion. Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg.

Both are completely beatable.  Bernie Sanders winning the nomination could split the Democratic party asunder, and that alone is enough reason to cheer him on.  Not only would a Sanders nomination ensure a Trump re-election, it would probably ensure a victory for Republicans in Congress and Republican presidencies for at least two more cycles.

But that's not it.

I think a lot of Republicans seem to be secretly worried about the tidal wave of Bloomberg spending (>$400 million and counting, more than 10 times that of his nearest spending competitor who happens to be Sanders).  Money changes everything and billions can change a lot of minds.  I know president Trump tricked the media into A LOT of free publicity in 2016, but he can't count on them being that stupid this time around (true, they've given no reason for anyone to think otherwise so far).  But what we are looking at is the bombing of Dresden in political advertising form.  Bloomberg could overwhelm everyone.

I'll admit, I'm worried.  Yes Bloomberg could easily crumble when he has to debate, he could easily fail in facing reporters which he has so far avoided.  But he may be taking a page from Trump's book - run the campaign he wants and not what is expected.  If he manages that he can just approve messages and hide until election night hoping to have voters not know what a terrible leader he would be.  But the money, geez. I've always said that America has to have a robust economy because a strong military, strong alliances, a strong bargaining position internationally, pretty much everything, flows from a position of economic strength.

That's the case here.  Bloomberg represents an existential threat.  I think we should be propping up Bernie Sanders.  I don't think I'm alone in that.  I don't know, maybe it's just time now that he's starting to attract attention but it seems like in conservative circles, he's getting more attention now.  I think that's nerves.  Here's just one example of subtle coaching of other candidates to attack Bloomberg.

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