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What if Bloomberg Buys the Election . . . For Someone Else?

Lots of complaints lately, here and elsewhere, about Mike Bloomberg spending hundreds of millions of dollars (pocket change for him) to try to, in essence, buy the Democratic nomination. But suppose he doesn’t get it? It’s often been the case that money alone does not get you a win in politics. (Trump was infamously miserly in spending for the 2016 election, though he plans to go all out in 2020.)

Well, Bloomberg is saying that, whether or not he gets the Democratic nod, he will still spend as much as a billion dollars (that’s more than two pockets’ worth of change) to help whoever does get the nomination to beat Trump:

Michael Bloomberg Is Open to Spending $1 Billion to Defeat Trump

Mr. Bloomberg said he would mobilize his operation behind any of the Democratic candidates, even Ms. Warren, the Massachusetts senator, or Mr. Sanders, the Vermont senator. Mr. Bloomberg said he did not plan on running negative ads against any Democratic candidate, even those he strongly disagreed with.

Let’s take him at his word on this, at least for the sake of argument, since he has made a public statement of his intent. And this is exactly the sort of commitment we expect to hear from everyone running for the Democratic nomination.

I also think we should hold him to his offer. First, let me say that in the (IMO unlikely) event he does become the nominee, I will certainly support him and work for him. He’s not my first, second, or even sixth choice (he might be my seventh), but he has had a lot of political experience as Mayor of New York, which is often called the second toughest job in politics. And he should be able to take Trump on like a true New Yorker.

But if he can’t buy the nomination, by all means let him help us with the election. My diary title notwithstanding, he wouldn’t be “buying” the election for the Democrats so much as countering Trump’s attempts to buy it. This is not a time for purity (actually, there’s never a time for purity); it’s time and past time to play the game the way the Republicans are playing it. Not with their lies and appeals to racism and bigotry and their absolute fealty to an incompetent conscience-less monster, but with an acknowledgement that keeping ourselves pure just means we lose.

(Oh yes, we need to spend some of that money and more on Senate, House, and local races, too.)

What say ye, assembled multitudes?

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