Michael Bloomberg, a “wolf?” Bernie Sanders, a “sheepdog?”
From the title, you probably think I’ve got a touch of “Joe-Biden-itis” on the brain. But, no, you lying dog-faced pony soldier; I’m not losing my marbles just yet. In fact, based on the reactions I’ve seen to Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy online this week, I may be the only one who’s not!
Don’t worry, Michael Bloomberg is not going to be President; I highly doubt he even wants to be. The former Mayor of NY and the current ninth-richest man in the world is merely playing his role. If you’re keeping up with the news, you’ve seen that it’s quite an expensive role for him take up – but it will be worth it to the $60-billion-dollar-man when all is said and done.
What’s a Sheepdog Candidate?
In 2015, Bruce Dixon wrote an article for Black Agenda Report titled “Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016.” The author goes on to explain a “sheepdog” candidate’s role:
“The sheepdog is a card the Democratic party plays every presidential primary season when there’s no White House Democrat running for re-election. The sheepdog is a presidential candidate running ostensibly to the left of the establishment Democrat to whom the billionaires will award the nomination. Sheepdogs are herders, and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two-party box.”
Bernie Sanders was never going to be allowed the Democratic nomination last election cycle; the powers that be had chosen Hillary Clinton well before the 2016 primaries ever began. It never mattered how large or enthusiastic his base grew – Bernie’s job was to excite the left and graciously deliver them all to Hillary when the time came, maintaining the spirit of their grassroots movement in the process.
That’s why the Hillary Clinton/Neera Tanden wing (more like the core) of the party hates Bernie’s guts so much still; the sheepdog didn’t do his job. Years later, they’re still seething that Sen. Sanders didn’t drop out earlier or support Clinton more enthusiastically – despite Bernie doing much more for the former First Lady than she’d ever done for anybody else.
It’s also why, in 2020, the neoliberal Democrats are always droning on about “unity,” repeatedly asking Bernie to promise his support the eventual nominee “no matter who it is,” and proposing cultish ideas like making all of the so-called “Bernie Bros” sign loyalty pledges to do the same.
The party’s donor class now knows that with social media, today’s grassroots movements aren’t so easy to herd behind the moderate candidate. Especially when the Democratic leadership keeps gets caught red-handed trying to steal the nomination from their guy.
It turns out; it’s hard to flip that switch from being blatantly wronged to supporting the very entity that did everything in its power to show you your vote doesn’t matter.
Enter the “Wolf”
So, this time, the DNC elite and Beltway think-tank crowd have something new up their sleeve. Instead of counting on a mix of Trump’s obnoxiousness and accusations of racism or sexism for not getting behind one of their approved choices, they’re going to show what happens when you stupid sheep run away.
Faced with absolute slaughter at the hands of an oligarchic predator, the flock will greet their Democratic nominee with all of the joy and obedience of sheep whose lives were narrowly saved. That’s what the liberal elite are hoping, anyway.
There Are Some Things Money Can’t Buy
There’s no way the Democratic Party is serious about running Michael Bloomberg as their presidential candidate in November. Yes, he’s extremely wealthy, but his nomination effectively contradicts everything liberal pundits, consultants, strategists, and politicians have pretended to care about these last couple of decades.
Bloomberg was a Republican from 2001 through 2007, then became an Independent until 2018. Now, he’s a Democrat, with all of the political leanings of a Republican, save a few social issues.
Michael Bloomberg has a well-documented history of sexism and has been named in 40 sexual harassment and discrimination suits by 64 different women. You can’t protest over “grab ‘em by the pussy,” then give a pass to the guy who, when told about his employee’s pregnancy, told her to “kill it.”
“He told me to ‘kill it’ in a serious monotone voice,” alleged Sekiko Sakai, who filed the lawsuit in 1997. “I asked, ‘What? What did you just say?’ He looked at me and repeated in a deliberate manner ‘kill it.'”
You also can’t make Sanders’s supporters out to be “Bros” who want to “erase” Hillary Clinton; or weaponize “believe women” when Bernie denies Elizabeth Warren’s accusations of sexist remarks, then get behind Michael Bloomberg.
You know; the billionaire who, when Mary Ann Olszewski alleged to have been raped by a Bloomberg executive in her Chicago hotel room, testified that he’d believe the allegation to be genuine, only if there were “an unimpeachable third-party witness” to back up her claim. It exposes the affluent neoliberals’ “woke-ness” for what it truly is, a way to weaponize the suffering of minorities and women for cynical gains.
It’s much easier to believe the liberal outrage when they’re not cheering on the man who, as Mayor, approved of and has since repeatedly defended the NYPD’s racist “stop and frisk” policy. Sure, he apologized once he was running for President, but does that really count?
Think any of these quotes will come up in campaign ads?
He also can’t purchase Bernie’s progressive movement, many of whom would gladly vote for Donald Trump before they’d acquiesce to supporting a Republican oligarch. If you’re forced to choose between two megalomaniacal billionaires, best to choose the less competent one, after all.
Contested Convention Compromise
The Democratic elite knows all of this. That’s why I’m confident in saying that Michael Bloomberg is not in this race to win; he’s here to stop Bernie Sanders from winning.
I’ve written at length about my belief that this primary is on a collision course with a contested convention in July. Between the rule change to allocate each state’s pledged delegates proportionately to the over-crowded field, the need for multiple rounds of voting on the convention floor is inevitable.
Bloomberg was forced to step in to split the delegates with Bernie Sanders in states in which Joe Biden was supposed to be competitive. He just needs to use his ungodly resources to stop Bernie short of obtaining 1,991 delegates before July and pick up enough support along the way to put the fear of God in progressive voters once the brokered convention begins.
After months of feeling cheated by the Democratic Party – like what we’ve already witnessed in Iowa – the Sanders voters will be expecting the worst: to have the convention rigged in favor of Michael Bloomberg; the man who represents everything wrong with the system they so badly wanted to fix.
If Bloomberg does his job playing the “wolf” well, when the superdelegates step in and throw their weight behind a “compromise candidate,” those Bernie Bros will be thanking the DNC for giving them Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, or Amy Klobuchar. Sure, they’ll still be disappointed and angry that Sanders lost the nomination, despite winning the most delegates; but it could have been worse.
I’m not so sure; I suspect their moderate compromise candidate still gets spanked in the general. But it’s a better plan than nominating a billionaire oligarch that was recently a Republican.