This morning at the Plum Line (which is no longer free), Greg Sargent reported on Holding Dems Who Vote Wrong Way on Guns Accountable. It explained that Michael Bloomberg has sent out a letter to Wall Street fat cats telling them not to give money to four red state Democratic Senators who voted against the Manchin-Toomey background check bill. It is not altogether clear where Sargent stands on this move by Bloomberg, but he provided only the last paragraph to argue against the move and then pretty weakly.
To a large extent, this makes me angry because of my priorities. Economics is what most matters to me and Michael Bloomberg is very much the enemy. And this little move of his might please a very small part of me, but its bigger effect will be to help Republicans win. And on economic issues, those Republicans agree with Michael Bloomberg. I doubt that is his specific intent. But it certainly doesn’t hurt that he will be switching out a Democrat who disagrees with him on guns and the economy for a Republican who only disagrees about guns. Why New Yorkers think that Bloomberg is on their side, I will never know. I also don’t know why he calls himself an “independent.” He is a typical blue state Republican: liberalish on social issues and that is all.
Just on the merits, this “kill off the conservative Democrats” is a bad strategy. It does nothing to increase the pro-gun reform movement. In fact, it may do the opposite. By lowering the competitiveness of Democrats in red states, it weakens the environment in which people can discuss gun law reform.
What we all need to remember is that gun reform is a single issue. Michael Bloomberg is not a Democrat. Other than a couple of issues, he is very much against the liberal project. There are plenty of gun reform groups one could support that don’t have a vested interest in getting Republicans elected by default. Look, I have no love for blue state Democrats either. But the truth is that on the vast majority of issues, they go along with the party. If voting against largely symbolic gun reform bills is what it takes for them to stay in office, I’m all for it. And so should be any Democrat, or even any left-leaning person.
And there is another part of the whole Michael Bloomberg circus that I hate. It shows that just because he has a lot of money, he can cause great harm to the democratic process. He doesn’t care if he destroys the Democratic Party or even the whole country as long as he gets his way on his pet issue. Sargent wrote, “They view this as a battle that could take many years to win and will require a major shift in basic thinking about gun politics among many top Democrats.” Why the focus on Democrats? This reminds me of David Frum’s ridiculous argument that we should vote for Romney because the Republicans would just continue to misbehave if Obama were re-elected. In this case, Bloomberg is saying that the Republicans are just wacko. So let’s reward them by attacking Democrats.
Michael Bloomberg is an evil and dangerous man.