It's pretty clear that Howard Schultz's nascent presidential campaign is headed for a trip down the toilet of history pretty fast. If you clicked that link you know even Michael Bloomberg doesn't want him to run! Though Bloomberg might run himself as a Democrat if the party doesn't get its act together...
That's a lot to unpack isn't it? I'll do it as plainly as I can. Based on his appearance on Morning Joe today (during which he humiliated himself repeatedly, including not knowing the cost of a box of Cheerios) Howard Schultz likes the Trump tax cuts and doesn't want the Democrats to reverse them. So he's thinking about running for president as an independent. As illustrated by the previous links, Michael Bloomberg thinks that's a bad idea but agrees with Schultz about the Trump tax cuts and may run for president himself to save them! He's just smart enough to understand you have to have a major party nomination to mount a successful political campaign in today's American and being an asshole to Schultz about it.
But what do we care about a couple of billionaires who are clearly so out of touch with the grass roots of even the most NIMBY liberal corners of the Democratic Party? Frankly it's because these kind of "common sense" business candidates are dangerous. Wendell Wilkie was motivated to seek and win the Republican nomination because, fundamentally, of his fear of the empowering of labor unions by the New Deal. Wilkie was in favor of 99% of the New Deal. The one part of Roosevelt's platform he really disagreed with was unions. A millionaire businessman wanted to protect his cost margins to maximize his profits so he ran for president. Wilkie lost but he arguably pushed Roosevelt to the right on labor after the election by making a deal to transform his supporters into the core of what would become the WWII "Republican for Roosevelt" movement. H. Ross Perot ran as a spoiler to insure a business friendly Democrat's victory because he was mad at George H.W. Bush for raising taxes above the levels of Reagan's tax reform deal with Tip O'Neil.
Indeed we are already seeing tangible results of Howie and Mikie having a temper tantrum. Before Howie humiliated himself on Morning Joe, Kamala Harris appeared to back off her previous commitment to Medicare for All at a CNN Town Hall on Monday. As several Twitter friends and I decided in an impromptu discussion Tuesday evening, if it's not "Medicare" and it's not "For All" then how can it be "Medicare For all?"The simple answer is that it cannot possibly be "Medicare For All" under these conditions. So we have to wonder why Medicare For All suddenly became a slogan instead of a policy to Kamala Harris.
The answer lends itself to a magic word used by both Howie and Mikie to describe Kamala Harris's current leading rival for Democratic front runner status, Elizabeth Warren. What was the word? It was "socialist" of course. Howie spent a significant amount of time on Morning Joe bashing 70% marginal income tax rates (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's idea) and Elizabeth Warren's Wealth Tax. Both ideas "will never pass" because "Americans don't want socialism." Mikie had very nearly identical words on both topics and both singled out Warren as what they believed to be the "mainstream of the Democratic Party." It's fairly clear that a Bloomberg Democratic nomination campaign and a Schultz independent campaign would primarily be "Stop Warren" or "Stop Sanders" campaigns rather than serious projects bringing real policy ideas to the table.
So Kamala Harris tacked right to align herself with the billionaires and not with us. If neither Bernie Sanders nor a genuine progressive candidate from the African-American portion of the Democratic Party establishment (opposed to Kamala Harris on the issues of penal slavery and police brutality) enters the race then we have a clear choice. Howie/Mikie/Kamala or Elizabeth Warren, which do you trust more?
Matters of Principle
2 weeks ago