January 24, 2016

Bloomberg might run, revealing elite cluelessness and internecine competitiveness (good news for Trump, though)

Michael Bloomberg, the liberal former mayor of New York, is considering running for President as an independent, to be determined by March.

It's like the elites are trying to prove the points being made here lately.

First, it provides yet another example of how our era's hyper-competitiveness has destroyed the ability of an elite group to promote its own group interests, where instead each individual career striver is pushing for their own personal ambitions (or at most including their nuclear family).

The Republican Establishment can't unite behind a single non-Trump candidate to give the frontrunner a run for his money, because every non-Trump candidate refuses to drop out. They're driven by personal ambition rather than the survival of the Party in its pre-Trumpian form.

The Democrat Establishment can't unite behind Hillary -- not because of Bernie, who is not a fellow Establishment member, but because of the feuding between the Clinton camp and the Obama camp, and between the Clinton camp and other federal bureaucracies, both of which have influence over her chances of getting the nomination. They're letting the investigation move forward regarding her unsecure email server with the most secret kinds of information stored on it. If the Democrat Establishment were so united, the investigation would not be proceeding at all.

Now Bloomberg comes in and floats the possibility of running as an independent. He is a liberal who's deeply in bed with Wall Street, just like Hillary. He would be sucking votes away from her rather than from Trump, and everyone knows it. His action is therefore a liberal version of group-destructive competitiveness. Certainly if he does run, it will be a case of liberal cannibalism.

But even if he ultimately does not run, merely floating this possible third-party run and letting it stay out there until March, is enough to unglue a good amount of support from Hillary. Some pro-Establishment voters would prefer Bloomberg over Hillary, so when he's offered as a choice, they're going to latch onto him rather than her. When he decides not to run, they are not as likely to switch back to her again. In that case, Hillary would be their unambiguous second choice -- not very exciting or energizing to get out to the polls -- rather than someone they managed to rationalize as their first choice, in the absence of more appealing alternatives.

Apart from internecine competition within supposedly monolithic groups, Bloomberg's possible run shows how out of touch the Establishment has become. He sees his best chances if Trump or Cruz get the Republican nomination, and Sanders the Democrat nomination. Why? Because then Bloomberg would be the only Establishment candidate left standing -- and you can just imagine how wildly the Jewish brain begins firing at the prospect of cornering a market.

Sure, perhaps some Establishment-desiring voters would stick with Trump or Cruz or Sanders out of party loyalty, but all the rest of them would have to go through Bloomberg if they wanted their desires represented in the general election.

Trouble is, Mikey, that voters couldn't be more vocal this time around about their utter disgust with and anger toward the Establishment principles of laissez-faire economics, including open borders, globalism, and elitism rather than populism. Indeed, in the scenario that Bloomberg considers to be his best shot, this anti-Establishment zeitgeist would be precisely why Trump / Cruz and Sanders would have received their party's nomination.

At least that's what a normal person would conclude. A normal person would also conclude that Bloomberg's best chances would be if Hillary and Jeb won the nominations, and Establishment candidates were clearly in high demand, so why not try to jump on the bandwagon?

In the mind of the insulated elite, however, they would see the success of Trump / Cruz and Sanders not as guided by purposeful laws (away from elitism and globalism, toward populism and nationalism), but rather as two great big freak accidents. Not just random noise distorting the pure signal -- rather an inversion of the intended signal, as though a guitar meant to sound a high note but actually let out a low note. And that this kept happening on two separate guitars, being played by the two biggest bands in the nation.

In the NYT article, the phrase that Bloomberg uses to describe what's going on with the Trump / Cruz / Sanders upheaval is "haywire" -- it's not supposed to happen this way! Well, hell, if those two parties are going haywire, then all I have to do is offer business as usual, and I'll have a great chance at attracting all those who are dissatisfied with their usual party's machinery going all haywire.

The man literally cannot conceive of election outcomes being influenced by what voters actually want -- it's all supposed to happen in a way that's planned, coordinated, and dominated by elites, and the voters are just supposed to pull a lever for this pre-approved option or that one.

In fact, that's why Bloomberg has waited until now to seriously plan a campaign. Before, it was Establishment Democrat vs. Establishment Republican, and he would not have had a monopoly on the supply of Establishment policies. Now that Trump is poised to get the Republican nomination, and Sanders stands a decent shot at getting it from the Democrats (or at worst, Hillary takes a beating from Sanders and remains unappealing), Bloomberg spies his opening to corner the market on Establishment policies.

Too bad this chucklehead hasn't been paying attention to the trend in the demand for Establishment policies. He's like some eBay scalper from 2000 buying up all the Beanie Babies after the fad was dead, blindly dreaming of instant riches.

Finally, he paid top dollar for a bunch of quants to provide "detailed studies" of every third-party Presidential campaign. Big data, big waste -- like I discussed in this earlier post. This election has no historical precedent from the time that we have any big data to analyze.

His team is focusing most on the 1980 and 1992 third party campaigns, even though those are useless today -- opposite of today, in fact. Those belong squarely within the laissez-faire renaissance period, and we are decisively moving in the opposite direction. The rules that governed those worlds are of no use in navigating this uncharted territory we are sailing into now.

Not to mention the fact that third-party candidates are typically anti-Establishment, or at least the farthest away from the elite consensus du jour. Running a third party in 2016, when Trump is a perfectly viable choice, would be pointless to the kinds of voters who would consider "voting third party". The Trump movement might as well be a third party in today's world, and soon it will displace the neoconservative majority in a major party.

In the scenario that would get the Bloomberg campaign rolling the hardest, the two major parties would be fielding anti-Establishment candidates, and he would be the sole Establishment choice. That is the exact opposite of the relationship between major-party and third-party candidates in 1980, 1992, 1912, or whenever else. How dumb can the data junkies get?

"We analyzed terabytes of data to micro-map the Arabian Desert, and we are confident that the results will show us the easiest path up Mount Everest."

After decades of insulation from real political competition, today's elites could not be more mind-blowingly retarded. And the atomic cognitive dissonance when they crash hard will only embolden the triumphant populists, who will discover just how unprepared and atrophied the Other Side has truly become.

20 comments:

  1. Cocooning means that the coming changes will be more abrupt and spectacular. Not just talking politics, but society in general.

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  2. Your line about cornering the market is very apt. Bloomberg made the bulk of his fortune because he was granted a monopoly on providing the Federal Reserve "inside quote" on his terminals. Without that fortunate monopoly he would have gotten swamped in a very competitive, well-funded financial data market. It was quite literally a multi-billion dollar gift. Nobody really knows how he was granted this monopoly...ethnic networking is the best guess, of course.

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  3. Hey Agnostic,

    I've read up on your take of group/collectivist mindset vs the individual/striving mindset and how it relates to the elites; that the elites of today are poisoned with constant status-striving.

    Question though: do you know of any historical examples of elites with a group/collectivist mindset? Did they embody the noblesse oblige?

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  4. Steve Johnson1/24/16, 5:06 PM

    I think you're missing the intra-Democratic dynamic here.

    The left wouldn't publicly state it but they really don't want to nominate Hillary. She's too nakedly criminal. The left wants to "regulate" Wall Street and if the actual results of that happen to be a bunch of sinecures and bribes to leftist activist organizations (frex, payoffs to ACORN to get a stamp of approval on the CRA for acquisitions) well then, great - they get paid and get to pretend they're not parasitic. In contrast, Hillary is shamelessly criminal and is Boomer-ishly selfish. She doesn't want ACORN and the various groups on the left to get the payouts - she wants the money to go to the Clinton foundation. She's running for president to literally (not figuratively) loot the country in an extortion racket. Not being a prog my guess is that this is over the line for them. You're supposed to loot the economy in a deniable way - it's also more public spirited (in a perverse sense) since various parasite groups get paid.

    Ok, so the base isn't comfortable with Hillary but they'll put up with her. Someone in her camp is smart enough to know this (although there's no way anyone told Hillary that in those words) so they need some way for the base to vent some steam at Hillary without damaging her candidacy - enter Bernie Sanders. Zero appeal to the voters that the Democrats need to win a national election (NAMs - or in this case just Ms since the As vote like the rest of the non-whites) but lots of appeal to white Dems - finally someone arguing in favor of free college and nice Scandinavian socialism! White Dems get to go out and vote for Sanders, he blocks any other Dem candidate that might go after Hillary's actual weaknesses (she's not that bright, is vindictive and criminal, Dems see her as being owned by Wall Street even if that's not strictly true, etc.) then when the time comes he steps aside and collects a payoff in the Rodham-Clinton administration.

    The only problem is that the Dem's nomination process isn't set up so that the candidate who gets the votes gets the nomination. In contrast the Republicans figure that they can jam establishment candidates down the voters' throats as long as they can rely on the media to push the establishment candidate for long enough (right up until he gets nominated is good enough for them). The Dems don't trust the press and the voters not to just go insane lefty on them so they make sure that the voters don't influence the decision too much.

    Bloomberg is too late to get on primary ballots but he's sure as hell not too late to get Bernie delegates and Dem super delegates to nominate him. By now the entire Dem establishment must know that Trump would demolish Hillary (and that she might possibly die on stage during a debate) so they are all looking for a way out and Bloomberg knows it. He's also a billionaire so can afford to grease palms to buy loyalty from insiders that are in the Hillary camp for purely monetary reasons. He's putting out feelers to get drafted as the Dem nominee.

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  5. Byron York just wrote an excellent article that echoes what you've been saying, Fear and Loathing in New Hampshire. Incredibly, despite Trump's massive lead, at a Republican confab, most of the apparatchiks did not know any Trump supporters!
    One guy was so familiar with New Hampshire politics that he was even up on which homes put out and signs and which don't. He said he's noticed many "signless" houses have put out Trump signs. The other noteworthy thing about the gentleman is that he's the only York speaks with whose senses match the polls: the others are in some kind of schizophrenic sensory deprivation tank where the polls do not match at all how they experience the world.

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  6. BTW, of all people, Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an enthusiastic Bloomberg supporter :(

    Personally, I just think of him as the anti-gun guy.

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  7. "She's running for president to literally (not figuratively) loot the country in an extortion racket."

    I can see that, but she is still the presumed next-in-line -- former First Lady of popular Pres, Senator from NY, Sec of State, edged out by affirmative-action Pres last time around. And so far, the favorite by far with voters.

    So I don't see her as the stubborn buttinsky whose overweening ambition is throwing sand into the gears of the group she belongs to. And it isn't Bernie, since he isn't part of the Dem Establishment.

    "White Dems get to go out and vote for Sanders, he blocks any other Dem candidate that might go after Hillary's actual weaknesses... then when the time comes he steps aside and collects a payoff in the Rodham-Clinton administration."

    This assumes that there's not only a strong, cohesive Dem Establishment, but that it includes the Bernmeister as well -- all playing their roles for the good of the greater Establishment goal.

    It's way too fractured for that to be going on. Bernie may caucus with Dems in Congress, but he's been running and getting elected as an Independent for over 30 years -- beating Democrat candidates time and again. The simplest explanation for taking on Hillary is that he wants to beat yet another lukewarm liberal Dem, in order to get his Scandi-socialist policies put through instead. He's not a useful or controlled opposition.

    The hyper-competitiveness here is coming from the Obama team, also separately from Biden who keeps popping in to keep Establishment voters from becoming too attached to Hillary, and now from Bloomberg -- whether he runs for the Dem nomination or as a "third-party" Establishment candidate.

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  8. "the others are in some kind of schizophrenic sensory deprivation tank where the polls do not match at all how they experience the world."

    Another aspect of why big data is worthless in this election. Trump is bringing in a qualitatively different group of voters this time, and that doesn't get reflected in the shallow polls where they survey the typical Republican likely voters.

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  9. "do you know of any historical examples of elites with a group/collectivist mindset? Did they embody the noblesse oblige?"

    Well the elites during the Great Compression did -- circa 1910 or '20 through 1970 or '80. They agreed to 11 new Constitutional amendments that reduced inequality (income tax) and made it harder for elites to stay out of touch (direct election of Senators, term limits for Pres, etc.).

    They agreed to shut the borders, to let workers form unions in order to collectively bargain with managers and owners, and to build all sorts of useful things all over the country with tax revenues, particularly in the more needy areas like the Deep South, which was modernized by the New Deal. That's why Southerners were solid members of the Democrat coalition with Yankees -- without the tax revenues, know-how, and machinery that the Northeasterners had, the South would still be one great big monocrop plantation like the rest of the shitholes around the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.

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  10. Steve Johnson1/24/16, 8:31 PM

    "This assumes that there's not only a strong, cohesive Dem Establishment, but that it includes the Bernmeister as well -- all playing their roles for the good of the greater Establishment goal."

    Nah, it just has to mean that there's a party machinery that has inordinate control over the nomination process and that Bernie is amenable to some kind of bribe or is willing to engage in tacit collusion. There really is Democratic party machine and it was stocked with Clinton loyalists during the Clinton presidency. Who knows how effective Obama was at rooting them out? Did he even try? It wouldn't seem like him.

    They're not playing for the greater Establishment good - they're playing for Hillary's good because they believe she'll reward them with some of the skim that she loots.

    "The simplest explanation for taking on Hillary is that he wants to beat yet another lukewarm liberal Dem, in order to get his Scandi-socialist policies put through instead. He's not a useful or controlled opposition."

    Ok, then why not actually try to win the nomination? Hillary is amazingly corrupt, a literal criminal and has no personal charm - Bernie doesn't even try to go after those qualities. He just talks up free stuff that dopey prog whites tend to like. The fact that he's not running an effective campaign is really telling - it sure looks like he's playing the controlled opposition role.

    As far as the signals from the Obama team go I interpret them as more of a cry for help for someone to stop Hillary and that cry is getting more desperate as it becomes clearer that she's not going to win against Trump.

    "I can see that, but she is still the presumed next-in-line -- former First Lady of popular Pres, Senator from NY, Sec of State, edged out by affirmative-action Pres last time around."

    Once you lose a nomination badly you lose the next-in-line title unless you have the press (McCain got to still be next in line after losing because the press loves him (because he's pwned by blackmail material)) and Hillary lost the nomination in the first place because she lost the press to Obama.

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  11. Hillary is next in line because she is a woman. Bernie is useful but not controlled opposition. I think he wants to be liked as much as he wants to be President and this is why he is hopeless. I also think he thought he would play nice and Hillary would reciprocate which hasn't happened. When you take a bunch of money from small donors(some people who probably couldn't afford it) you owe it to them to run a tougher campaign. He is doing that now but it is probably too late. Bernie has also shown the Democrats what energy and passion look like and the contrast hasn't helped Hillary.

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  12. Yeah, let's not forget that while Hillary has solid support in the South, Bernie is doing increasingly well. If he gets a good win in Iowa, and crushes Hillary in New Hampshire he could start to build up some real momentum. He may not be a tough campaigner but be wants to win.

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  13. "Bernie is amenable to some kind of bribe or is willing to engage in tacit collusion."

    Doubtful based on over 30 years of running as a Democrat-beater. If that was his bag, he would've been handing Democrats those offices rather than winning them for himself.

    "They're not playing for the greater Establishment good - they're playing for Hillary's good because they believe she'll reward them with some of the skim that she loots."

    So like I said, there's no cohesive Establishment within the Dem Party. Just a group of hangers-on hoping to win spoils from supporting the frontrunner, and only held together by opportunistic quid-pro-quo.

    Unfortunately for them, Hillary's beta orbiters don't include large swathes of the rest of the Establishment Dem world, including the Obama camp, Biden, Bloomberg, federal bureaucrats who may be Dems but want to put Hillary on trial for screwing up their bureau's operation, etc.

    "The fact that he's not running an effective campaign is really telling - it sure looks like he's playing the controlled opposition role."

    Running as an unrepentant socialist in 21st-century America, and landing within striking distance of the Establishment puppet in major states -- is not exactly an ineffective campaign.

    Why isn't he doing more to win? For one thing, because he's a short wimpy Jew who let the Black Lives Matter lardasses steal his microphone and harangue the SWPL audience for an hour, without responding. We don't need a conspiracy theory to account for his lack of killer instinct.

    And for another, because he's an old-school idealistic socialist -- his goal is primarily to fight the good fight, *not* to win. If he wins, he wins, if he loses, he loses. As far as I know, he doesn't have a strong connection to the far lefties who wanted to win by any means necessary, up to "propaganda of the deed" stuff. And buh-lieve me, he was surrounded by opportunities to join such a group during the counter-culture days.

    It's the same mindset that is shown by "being on the right side of history" -- whether your side prevails or not.

    Bernie is more of an old-school Hebrew prophet than Hebrew king. He feels his calling is to prophesy about crony capitalism, too-big-to-fail banks, and so on.

    I'm not sure he thought he'd be doing as well in the polls as he is -- I'd guess his main motivation was to "speak truth to power" in order to influence the atmosphere of the next administration, which he did not plan on actually winning.

    But now that so many more are supporting him than he'd expected, he's going with it.

    You see that in his Senate record, too, BTW. He has almost no accomplishments over the years. He wants to be there to sermonize to the actual legislators, to guide their actual accomplishments in a more socialist-y direction.

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  14. FWIW, Sanders is confident he'd easily beat Trump.

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  15. I must admit, he did a better job in NYC then has Deblasio. Keeping the Giuliani crime fighting initiatives was smart. I can't see how much traction he would get as a candidate for President outside of Manhattan though. Some in the office at my job think he would hurt Trump but I fail to see the correlation and the same for Bernie to be honest. Hillary is the ultimate loser if Bloomberg runs.

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  16. Sanders would get creamed by Trump. The Sanders supporters are expressing their populist / anti-Establishment desire. If they had the option of not one but two such candidates, for both major parties, each with a distinctive New Yawk accent, without a doubt they'd choose the one who has gotten shit done his whole life, and not the idealistic prophet -- as much as they may heed his prophesies.

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  17. Everything you said about Sanders in these comments is gold, Agnostic. Right on the money. How it will end is most likely scenario, too.

    Just today, it's come out that South Carolina (just think Blacks) is moving toward Sanders. Blacks did not start moving toward Obama until the very end, just as or before the voting began taking place (many have written the history in their mind that Obama always had Blacks with him. No. He always had the white liberals). I've seen them as a toss-up, but if they continue to move, it will be an exact repeat of '08.
    What an interesting election if Sanders pulls this off!

    What do you put the odds at for a third party if it's Trump vs. Sanders? Me? 90% and it will fail for all the reasons you gave in your previous post.

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  18. If both Hillary and Jeb lost the nominations, it would speak much about the mood of the public. In a routine election cycle, they would already have it locked up.

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  19. If Bloomberg's people analyzed 1980 properly, they'd tell him, "Michael, it's 1980 all over again, except you're John Anderson."

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  20. "If both Hillary and Jeb lost the nominations, it would speak much about the mood of the public. In a routine election cycle, they would already have it locked up."

    Events don't occur in a vacuum, so I suspect that each party's proffer of the heir of its putative reigning dynasty has fed resistance and contributed to the rise of Sanders and Trump. I'm not saying that anti-establishment candidates wouldn't have been popular in this cycle, but effectively telling both parties' voters that there were going to be inevitable nominees was such a naked revelation of the inner mechanics of the ruling elite that it could not be ignored. Recall Jeb! stating plainly that he'd be planning to lose the primary in order to win the general election? Supreme arrogance and a rather explicit statement of how the modern GOP really works - ignoring the concerns of its base in favor of the priorities of its donor class. Nobody had been stupid enough to state it so clearly before and for that alone Jeb! deserves to lose the nomination and be exiled into obscurity. Naturally, Sanders has the only politically coherent argument a Democrat could be making at this point - Obamaism was inadequate because it was not far enough left. Democrats' claims that an economic recovery has occurred simply ring hollow with most people. Ironically, the party elites could have settled on favored candidates with less baggage who would not have met and fed the same degree of resistance and who would nevertheless do their bidding when elected. And one thing that I just can't wrap my head around is that the GOP donor class and elites haven't chosen a single alternative to Jeb! (at least after he was rejected) who would then be the recipient of donations and organization and stand a chance of precluding a Trump nomination. That they haven't even at this late date seems downright incompetent unless there is some eleven dimension chess angle that I'm not seeing and which hasn't been working at all up to this point.

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