For the last several days I’ve fallen into the nasty habit of sending horrible stories about Mike Bloomberg to my friends of the centrist persuasion.
Not particularly fond of this. Sort of passive aggressive. Though I justify it as a scientific experiment: How far can my centrist friends bend their core principles until they snap in half?
You might think because I’m a lefty from the Bernie branch of the Democratic Party that I have no centrist friends. Not true—my life is crawling with them.
They’re always telling me what they heard on MSNBC or sending me columns by New York Times columnists dedicated to the theme that Bernie is too wacky to beat Trump. So, stop supporting him—now!
They’re ecstatic over Bloomberg’s entrance into the race because he’s spending millions and millions and millions of dollars on commercials bashing Trump.
I must admit—it is kind of entertaining to watch Bloomberg needle Trump, as when he recently tweeted:
“We know many of the same people in NY. Behind your back they laugh at you & call you a carnival barking clown. They know you inherited a fortune & squandered it with stupid deals and incompetence. I have the record & the resources to defeat you. And I will.”
Unfortunately, the big problem with Bloomberg is that he has—oh, how to put this?—issues with women and race.
Both articles cite a booklet calledThe Portable Bloomberg: The Wit & Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg—which was assembled by a sycophant in Bloomberg’s company and given to the boss in 1990 on the occasion of his 48th birthday.
It starts with the following “editor’s note” . . .
“Yes, these are all actual quotes. No, nothing has been embellished or exaggerated. And yes, some things were too outrageous to include.”
The booklet includes such words to live by as . .
“Make the customer think he’s getting laid when he’s getting fucked.”
And: “A good salesperson asks for the order. It’s like the guy who goes into a bar, and walks up to every gorgeous girl there and says ‘Do you want to fuck?’ He gets turned down a lot—but he gets fucked a lot, too.”
And . . .
“If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s.”
And so forth . . .
In addition, Bloomberg’s company has been sued by several women employees over the years, including a sales employee named Sekiko Garrison.
According to Gawker, Bloomberg “is reported to have conceded saying ‘I’d do her’ in relation to Garrison, but he insisted that he thought ‘do’ meant to have a personal relationship with someone. Other reports from the deposition [related to Garrison’s lawsuit] say Bloomberg almost stormed out of the proceedings when the opposing attorney asked him if he thought the porn film Debbie Does Dallas meant Debbie has a personal relationship with everyone from Dallas.”
I know this is a serious topic, but that is one clever lawyer.
Apparently, Bloomberg has a particular aversion to employees who get pregnant.
Garrison alleges that Bloomberg told her “Kill it!” when she told him she was pregnant.
Bloomberg’s spokesman denies he said “kill it,” though the Post quotes someone who claims he heard Bloomberg say it.
Now, I realize these comments don’t square with the Democrats’ promise—in the #MeToo era—to take a strong stand against sexual harassment and predatory behavior in the workplace.
On the other hand, President Obama—the lodestar of centrists—has cautioned Democrats not to be too “woke” if they want to beat Trump.
Guess that means putting up with the “wit and wisdom” of billionaires who can self-finance their campaigns.
Then there’s the matter of Bloomberg’s curious attitude toward the connection between young Black men and crime. Which boils down to this:
In order to stop the latter, we must mass arrest the former, even when they’ve done nothing wrong.
Or as Bloomberg put it in remarks delivered in 2015: the majority of murderers and murder victims “fit one M.O. You could just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 15 to 25 [years old].”
Bloomberg noted that people complained that “we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do you do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.”
“And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them.”
Bringing new meaning to the word chutzpah, Trump, of all people, tweeted: “WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!”
This reminds me of the refrain I hear from New York Times columnists about Bernie being unelectable because Trump will call him a socialist. When told that Trump will say that about all the Democratic candidates, the columnists say: yes, but in Bernie’s case it’s true.
So, if Trump calls all the Democratic candidates racist, in Bloomberg’s case . . .
Now, I’m not saying Bloomberg’s a racist—though I may have done just that.
And I realize that in the Obama age of being “unwoke,” we’re not supposed to give a shit if we offend our base because it’s all about winning swing voters in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc.
Still, I’m not sure how Bloomberg’s going to win over those swing voters once Trump starts airing “kill it” commercials. As you know he will.
On the other hand, Bloomberg promises to spend billions on commercial after commercial blasting Trump.
So, who knows—after hearing all those commercials, swing voters may just raise their hands and say no más—like Roberto Durán in his fight against Sugar Ray Leonard.
Guess that’s why my centrist friends are willing to look the other way regarding Bloomberg’s past comments about race and women.
Looks like they have a lot in common with the MAGA hatters. Forget all the big talk of principles—winning is everything.
I’m embarrassed to say that in my weaker moments, I sort of agree. v