‘Stop & Frisk Mike’ in the pages of The Financial Times and The Times: Old Socialist comments

Headline: Michael Bloomberg: the magnate shaking up the 2020 election

Sub-headline: Money on top of his success as New York’s mayor make a formidable candidate despite a late start


Should the reader look at the candidacy of Mr. Bloomberg as a frontal attack on the ersatz Leftist, nee New Democrat, Warren, and an actual Left-Wing Social Democrat Sanders? Is the speculation that Obama and Bloomberg may have made alliance, as the in-order-too of checking a ‘Left’ takeover of a party still mired in Neo-Liberal self-delusion, post 2008? The Fate of American hangs in the balance equals made for Television political melodrama!

How fitting that John Micklethwait co-author of ‘The Right Nation’, ‘The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent The State’, ‘God Is Back:How The Global Revival Of Faith Is Changing The World, is Bloomberg’s editor, not to speak of former editor-in-chief of The Economist. A Hoover Institution association is here, though it seems to have lapsed:


The lily-white hands of an Oxbridger insures what? Should that give the reader a clue of the politics of this ‘privately held financial, software, data, and media company.’ If ‘Mike’ is such a ‘Centrist’ , then that reader can conclude, that the political center, in America, is as skewed to the Right as it has ever been. Joshua Chaffin does a workman-like job of writing this ‘news story’ that should have appeared as an editorial endorsement, or have I missed that?

Here is the good grey Times endorsement of ‘Mike’ framed as a ‘pep up’ in the presidential race:

Headline:The Times view on Michael Bloomberg entering the Democrat race: Billionaire’s Row

Sub-headline: The media magnate and philanthropist has only a slim chance of winning the nomination, but should pep up the race for the US presidency

Again Bloomberg is presented as an antidote to Leftists Warren and the  Political Apostate Sanders and billionaire Tom Steyer. In true Oxbridger hysterical Anti-Left rhetoric is a pronounced riff on Obama’s Anti-Leftism.

Mr Bloomberg will present himself as a champion of the centre ground vacated by many of the Democrat frontrunners, including Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont, who has tweeted that billionaires “should not exist”. Another Democrat rival, Elizabeth Warren, mobilises her supporters by hitting out against the unfairness of income inequality. She wants an “ultra-millionaire” tax. One of the Democrat contenders, Tom Steyer, is himself a billionaire and is campaigning on the need for America to beef up taxes on the rich. In this overheated and one-sided discourse, wealth not poverty is the problem. For them, countering the rich 73-year-old white male president with a very rich 77-year-old white male rival is an absurdity.


Recall that Obama didn’t rhapsodize about  Franklin Roosevelt but about Ronald Reagan as transformational :


Both The Financial Times and The Times are not true believers in Bloomberg’s candidacy, but will take what is on offer! ‘Stop and Frisk’ was the offspring of The Manhattan Institute’s ‘Broken Windows Policing’. Read Judge Shira A. Scheindlin’s exit interview in the New York Times, for her withering comments on Bloomberg and Ray Kelly:

Headline: Departing Judge Offers Blunt Defense of Ruling in Stop-and-Frisk Case

She would never forget, she said, seeing a front-page photograph in a newspaper the day after she released her ruling, showing Mr. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, as she put it, “looking like two angry white men.”

“They seemed out of touch with the issues that the communities cared about,” Judge Scheindlin said. “They didn’t seem to understand the impact of these policies on real people and real neighborhoods and real communities and the detrimental impact it was having, even on policing. And that’s the point. They didn’t seem to get it. It was all about fear — New York would blow up.”


Old Socialist

P.S. The final paragraph of The Times endorsement of Bloomberg’s candidacy is instructive.

Mr Bloomberg is a full-square Democrat on gun control and climate change, a multilateralist and business-friendly. He may be worth $54 billion, but he is not a son of privilege. And in the topsy-turvy world of contemporary politics, where tribal allegiances are worn thin, he may yet stand a sliver of a chance. American politics can only benefit from listening to what he has to say.









About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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