Blue on Blue: Bernie Bros vs. Mini Mike

Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to campaign workers and supporters in Minneapolis Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, as he opens the first field office in Minnesota and meets with local community leaders and voters to share his vision for the country. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

A new front opened in the ongoing Great Democratic Civil War, with bitter fighting between the party’s far-left progressive wing and Mike “Money Can Buy Me Love” Bloomberg.

But before we get to that, here’s a selection of Mini Mike quotes which Bloomberg’s “friends and admiring colleagues” collected long before he went into politics:

• “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdales.”

• “Make the customer think he’s getting laid when he’s getting fucked.”

• “Always pick a fight with someone smaller than you.”

• Summarizing a competitor: “Cokehead, womanizing, fag.”

• Describing the Bloomberg terminal: “It will do everything, including give you a blowjob. I guess that puts a lot of you girls out of business.”

• “The three biggest lies are: the check’s in the mail, I’ll respect you in the morning, and I’m glad I’m Jewish.”

• “There are certain states you don’t go to.”

• “The only liberal I trust is a rich old liberal. Because they’re old enough to understand what they’re saying, and they’re rich enough to pay for what they say!”

For what it’s worth, I don’t find any of these quotes offensive, and a couple of them are downright funny — and I suspect you might be thinking the same thing. You might have thought, as I did, that comments like those would have triggered the easily triggered the Democrats’ Professional Outrage Brigade. But as it turns out, not so much.

What about Bloomberg’s openly racist desire to strip blacks and Latinos of their civil rights without anything resembling due process? That’s no exaggeration, as I’m sure you’re aware. Bloomberg was recorded on audio telling the Aspen Institute in 2015 that “95% of your murders, murderers and murder victims fit one M.O.,” so you’ve “got to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed.” And how do you get that done? According to Bloomberg, you “throw them up against the walls and frisk them.”

Then you take their guns, simply because they’re young and minorities.

Maybe that has the Professional Outrage Brigade all riled up?

Well, some — but mostly just Twitter cranks. Bloomberg’s anti-gun cred is so secure that most Dems understand that Bloomberg would take guns away from everyone, regardless of age or color, given the chance. That’s certainly the agenda his Everytown organization has been pushing in Virginia and elsewhere.

The POB’s main complaint seems to be twofold: Bloomberg is really rich, and not nearly as progressive as Bernie.

“Progressive Army” podcaster Benjamin Dixon puts it bluntly:

Over at left-leaning (way leaning) Vanity Fair T.A. Frank warns that “Bloomberg’s Money Bomb Could Blow Up Bernie.” Frank says that out of all the other contenders, Bernie has the most to lose:

If any other Democrat gets the nomination, that person can expect a big financial push from Bloomberg. If Sanders wins the nomination, he can expect an endorsement but much less munificence. Nearly all of the current Democrats in the field have reason to expect that Bloomberg, if he were to be elected president, would appoint them to executive-branch positions or tap them as running mates. Bernie Sanders has no reason to expect such things. As Bloomberg has said of Sanders, “I don’t agree with him on virtually anything,” and Bloomberg’s very presence in the race is intended to offer voters a robust anti-Sanders alternative.

Earlier today, our own Paula Bolyard gave you a look at the election machine Bloomberg is putting together just in Ohio:

The Democrat longshot announced last week that he has 91 paid staff on the ground in Ohio and is reportedly paying field organizers $6,000 per month, plus health insurance—double or triple what other campaigns are paying, according to The Week. He’s opened 13 field offices, with more on the way, and is snapping up top talent in the state, including state campaign director Aaron Pickrell, who headed up Obama’s Ohio campaign. No other Dem candidate has such a large footprint here—or anything close to Bloomberg’s massive war chest.

Bloomberg isn’t just buying up airtime; he’s buying up all the talent at pay-rates the other campaigns can’t match. It’s one thing to find a rival candidate’s people going door-to-door in your neighborhood. It’s another thing to find that there aren’t any people left for you to hire to do the same thing.

The best line of the day comes from New York City Mayor — and one of the most powerful progressives in the country (unfortunately) — Bill De Blasio: “I have spent literally six years undoing what Michael Bloomberg did.”

The threat of Bloomberg’s money buying up all the airwaves and organizational personnel, plus well-founded suspicions that the DNC rigged 2016 against Sanders has the Bernie Bros all up in arms.

We’re still months out from the convention in Milwaukee but for now, the situation looks like this for the Democrats:

• If Sanders wins the nomination, he won’t get much support from Bloomberg, exacerbating tensions within the party and — this next part is intertwined with the first part — likely worsening just how badly Sanders would lose to Trump. The finger-pointing would go on for FOUR! MORE! YEARS!

• If Sanders doesn’t win the nomination, it will look like he got robbed not once but twice by the DNC. The temptation among Bernie Bros will be to burn the whole thing down. Can a Democratic nominee fly without his left wing? I dunno, but it sure would be fun to watch them try. Assuming the Not-Bernie nominee also loses, the finger-pointing would go on for FOUR! MORE! YEARS!, but in the other direction. Sweet.

The usual disclaimers apply: It’s a long time between now and the convention, a lot can change between now and Election Day, and also I drink.

But right now, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way for either side to win or for anyone to heal the wounds of the Great Democratic Civil War.