Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Bloomberg Triangulation

Loyal TPV reader and commenter "ajh" has the audacity, the sheer nerve, to disagree with my disturbing political man-crush on Mayor Bloomberg. He makes the cogent if misguided argument that (1) we live in a two-party system that is notoriously unreceptive to third-party or independent candidates and (2) we have an electoral college system that is also stacked against such candidates.

Yes, yes, but. Here's why I think ajh is mistaken: the political landscape for 2008, to the extent we can discern it today, is incredibly fertile for an independent candidate like Mike Bloomberg. That's so because:

(1) The GOP is trapped in Karl Rove's nightmarish plan to cater to the most extreme, religious elements of the party. In order to win the nomination, candidates must either kowtow to these extreme elements or else fight them -- and fight them hard -- to win the nomination. This is no keen insight on my part: hopefully you've been watching the amusing spectacle for yourselves. Indeed, the recent flirtation with Fred Thompson is proof positive of my theory; everyone in the GOP is so exhausted from watching their nominees behave like nincompoops, they're ready to nominate a "Law & Order" actor with no discernible political beliefs. And this is probably the best guy they have! You're telling me there isn't a healthy number of moderate, sane GOPers ready to jump ship for a moderate, sane independent candidate?

(2) Given the disaster that is the party of the elephants, the Democrats should waltz into the White House in an FDR-like landslide. That is, unless, they did something so incredibly stupid like nominating the one person in their party that is universally loathed by centrists and moderates because, well, she seems to have no discernible principles (other than being against video game violence). Oh, and she happened to vote for the Iraq War too, but refuses to admit it's a mistake.

In these circumstances, you're telling me someone who could (a) bypass the primary bloodletting, (b) self-finance his campaign, and (c) is relatively untouched by the political landmine that is the Iraq War (more on this in a moment), couldn't mount a viable independent run at the presidency? Really? With the exception of the deep south, what states wouldn't be in play? NY, California, Penn., Ohio, all of the northeast, all of the northwest, Florida -- each of these states could swing independent -- remember that in electoral system, Bloomberg would just need 34% of the vote in these states to capture ALL the electorial votes.

Man, I'm all juiced up. I need to work for this guy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, what are his postions on:

1. Iraq
2. Iran
3. Israel/Palestinian qustion
4. Darfur
5. Relations with China and Russia

Well, anything not in NY....

-- Big Daddy

5:57 PM  
Blogger AJH said...

A good read Ben (as usual).
In addition to Big Daddy's points, there is also this thing called bigotry in our country. NY Jew. Billionaire. Americans are so superficial. "As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand."
My hypothesis is that without the party machinery to back the guy up, it is a long, uphill battle. I don't like Hilary. And I like all the Republican a lot less than Hilary so I'm stuck (again) with the lesser of two evils. I prefer Obama and Edwards but I don't think the former is electable. IMHO.
One final point: anyone who is willing to dedicate their lives to becoming President is a twisted individual with a serious ego problem. It's always going to be the lesser of the evils. (Wow, I'm really, really cynical.)

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An article in today's Salon quotes Bloomberg as saying:

"I'm voting for George W. Bush and it's mainly because I think we have to strike back at terrorists," he said in September 2004.

If this is accurate, it's impossible for me to imagine ever voting for him and I would guess that I'm not the only one....

-- Big Daddy

7:02 AM  

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