Ethics Observations On This Hilarious Trolling Competition

  • The President  wins, obviously. It does not demonstrate good judgment to challenge a master at his own game, on his home turf.

The ethics values at issue: hubris, competence.

  • It’s good to see that Mike Bloomberg is determined to elevate the level of campaign discourse, isn’t it?

Of course, Trump’s trademarked person insults about adversaries’ appearance are unpresidential and infantile, but they are his unapologetic style. Did Bloomberg not watch the 2016 GOP debates, when Marco Rubio lowered himself to Trump’s level with return personal insults only to see his support erode as a result? Did Bloomberg’s advisors?

Running against a President on the basis that he is a boor and an asshole and behaving like a boor and an asshole to do it is both hypocritical and stupid. Moreover, Rubio’s blunder is a matter of record. Bloomberg isn’t doing his homework.

Ethics values: Honesty, integrity, competence, diligence.

  • Trump deserves some kind of prize for doing what he does, however juvenile, so  well, at least in this case. He also has given us yet another useful test for  Trump Derangement. The exchange is funny, and the President’s topper is unequivocally a Don Rickles-level touché , a perfect heckler squelch.

Anyone who can’t appreciate it has at least a Level 4 case of TDS, and maybe a 5.

  • On a more sober note, the exchange shows how thoroughly the President and his critics have reduced political disputes to the lowest common denominator.

Another Bloomberg billboard says that “Trump eats burnt steak.  Mike Bloomberg likes his medium rare.” How much better is this than  schoolyard taunts like “Your mother wears army boots,” to name one Joe Biden would remember? How do such insults do anything but degrade the office Bloomberg is seeking, as well as the judgment of voters?

Is there anyone who would make a decision about who should be President according to how  the candidates like their steaks cooked?

  • Talk about a fool and his money being soon parted! Much has been made about all the money Bloomberg is prepared to spend to win the White House, but this episode shows that in campaign spending, it’s quality that matters, not quantity.

The valid point is being made elsewhere on the web that Bloomberg’s choice of insults  is redolent of tin-eared billionaire cluelessness.  Golf? Steak? One wag wrote, “I’m surprised the billboard doesn’t read, ‘Mike Bloomberg likes his steak pan-seared to an interior temperature of 146.5 degrees in a roux of 1/2 cup unsalted butter,  1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, 3 cloves garlic, minced, the zest of a lemon, a teaspoon each, chopped, of thyme, basil, and rosemary, plus a half teaspoon of kosher salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.'”


27 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On This Hilarious Trolling Competition

  1. John Kerry’s wind surfing hobby didn’t play well either. Instead of making him seem “cool” it underscored that he was out of touch with most Americans. (Sarcasm font) It’s as if no one ever learns in politics. (/Sarcasm font)

  2. If Bloomberg is willing to waste a half billion and counting to take a prize just so Trump, another billionaire, doesn’t get it, how much of other peoples money is he willing to spend tilting at windmills?

      • Is it his own money? The Democrats have allowed him to buy into the Presidential nomination because they are broke. Very few people are donating money to the Democrats. Amy Klobuchar’s campain is broke, and Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigeig’s are not far behind. The three of them don’t have the money to effectively campaign in the Super Tuesday states. More dangerously, no one is donating to the House Democrats, either. In comes Bloomberg. He is funding the flood of ads for himself and spent $400,000 for ads for our local Democratic House member as well. He spent $100 million on House Democrats in the 2016 election cycle (including my House representative). This is a lot of money to spend because you hate Trump. This is a lot of money to spend on Democrats as a former Republican. Most of Bloomberg’s money comes from China. Who wants Trump gone more than China? Who NEEDS Trump gone more than China?

        Bloomberg states that China is not totalitarian and suggests that China is more Democratic than the US. Bloomberg lobbied heavily for China and against Trump in the trade deals. Bloomberg has reportedly squashed all anti-China reporting in his news outlets. He has lobbied for US firms to be allowed to trade in Chinese currency (weakening the US dollar and putting our entire economy at risk because of our debt). He has possibly sent an extra $150 billion into Chinese investments by adding Chinese stocks to his mutual funds (US 401k purchases), earning commissions on that amount and greatly strengthening the Chinese economy while weakening the US’s. Bloomberg’s Chinese holdings are as big as Trump’s ENTIRE business empire, he owns 88% of the Bloomberg empire, and he plans on maintaining ownership if he becomes President.

        Is all this ‘Russia’, ‘Russia’, ‘Russia’ nonsense just crying wolf so when someone cries ‘China’ at Bloomberg, no one will believe them?

  3. I need to try preparing our steaks that way.

    Doesn’t appear as if Mike has hired the best people. Trump’s already been elected notwithstanding all his faults. Weren’t any of Mike’s people around in 2016? Trump is running on his record at this point, not his personality. (Although that’s not really accurate. He probably is popular to a certain extent because he’s so damned provocative to all the pious lefties. Even, if you can believe it, Clint Eastwood!)

    • Yes, this is a substantial point that Democrats and the Facebook Borg seem incapable of appreciating. Trump 2020 is far, gar stronger than Trump 2016. Yes, he’s the same irritating asshole, but now you can’t say he has no experience or credentials for the job: being President is the best credential.

      • It’s not just that Donald Trump is president – although the advantage of being the incumbent helps.

        It is because, with all their hatred and vitriol, the Democrats have made a huge mistake: They all but predicted the world would end because Trump was president, and they focused so much effort on removing him on those grounds.

        The effect of the doomsday predictions was to lower the bar Trump had to clear.

        I would argue, based on the economy, and a number of other successes, he has cleared that lower bar by a huge margin.

        As a result, the Democrats can keep up the doomsday stuff, but Trump can point out that the predictions haven’t come true. They have no credibility left.

        The one person who seemed to have a partial clue was Tulsi Gabbard, and they couldn’t push her to the fringe of their party fast enough.

        • I think this is right, although Trump has done his level best to try to nullify as much of the benefit gained by clearing that bar by making himself less appealing to the demographic he most needs to woo.

          Not exactly “stable genius” stuff. But your points, I think, are perfectly valid and I agree with them.

        • They all but predicted the world would end

          Just like Obama, Al Gore, and others predicting that the coastlines would be swamped by now, yet they buy houses along the seashore. Years have gone by with these predictions being refuted by reality.

          Just like the ‘blood running in the streets’ predicted by the anti-gun crowd when Concealed Carry laws were passed. Yet… the only blood running is in Democrat enclaves like Chicago, where the illegal guns cause fuel the carnage, a result born of incompetent administration and ideology ruling over reality and human nature.

          It is almost as if they expect Americans to be so uneducated as to not be able to see past their lies, like they have tried to dumb down the population… and believe they have succeeded.

          • Well there is, after all, the small matter of who runs the public schools, for how long, and how well.
            The expectation is not without merit.


  4. I snickered out loud when I saw Trump’s reply – but, that’s not who I really am. I am a deep, serious, knowledgeable thinker who looks forward to campaign ads that present a true picture of the candidate and what she or he stands for.
    Ok, I snickered at that as well.
    But, I do look for candidates who espouse the principles they stand for, what they hope to accomplish, a bit of how they expect to achieve those things, and, at least, an acknowledgement that they will need some help along the way, from voters, from other politicians, and from the elected officials and the government they will inherit.
    If those things are out there, I’m somehow missing them. Well, I do abstain from the talking heads of cable ‘news’ and a lot of social media. I haven’t watched an entire newscast by one of the biggies in many years. Frankly, I don’t trust any of the above to present an accurate picture since they, along with all the political ads, are designed for quick consumption, without reflection, without thought, without serious analysis. And, more so, they are designed to grab the viewers and the ad dollars that go with that.
    For many people, consideration of important issues was short-circuited when television came along and that degradation of political discourse has been exacerbated drastically with the growth of social media. For far too many, debate is reduced to: “Trump is a Nazi” versus “Bernie is a Socialist.” The historical significance of those terms fades away, and, as epithets they serve the god of quick, un-thoughtful response.
    The ethical thing, of course, is for any voter to fully inform herself/himself before voting. But, alas, the forces of much of our most popular media are opposed to that.
    Meanwhile, we laugh at the shortcomings of our would-be presidents, positing that we are better than they, exactly the things our parents and teachers used to tell us not to do, that we don’t elevate ourselves by putting down others.

  5. “Trump eats burnt steak” is one of the dumbest slams I’ve ever read. Bloomberg actually spent money on that?!?

    Jack, your assessment is right, and it’s what scares me about what the President is doing, despite the fact that he’s doing a pretty good job in many other respects. We risk losing the ability to respect the office of the Presidency. My mind goes to Saruman’s fiery response to Theoden’s rejection of peace in “The Lord of the Rings”…to paraphrase it…”What is the house of the President but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll on the floor among the dogs?” Is that what people will think of our most powerful office?

    I don’t like this ridiculous trading of insults one bit, even from the President, who does it more effectively than anyone.

    • Joel, I think you want Republicans to unilaterally disarm. Everybody always seems to want that. It’s a really dumb idea. Impeach the motherfucker? Tear up a SOTU address script? Call a president a NAZI and a traitor and Putin’s cock holster? Unilaterally stand down in the face of that? Stupid. You don’t go into a war suing for peace. (Unless you’re in the Obama administration. And look how far that got us with the Iranians.)

      • Other Bill,

        Actually, I’m hoping for just the opposite of unilateral disarmament. I want Republicans to fight, but I don’t want that fight to look a bunch of 5-year-old children trying to one-up each other in a game of juvenile insults. Our military fights with precision and it fights with the best tools available. The President – and by extension, Republicans – should fight the same way…not standing down, not worrying about political correctness, not trying to make peace, not working to preserve the feelings of the Left…nothing like that.

        I want the office of the President to be respected, maybe even feared a little. President Trump should present solid counterpoints, he should be free to call ideas stupid or worthless by giving evidence to the contrary. Steve O’s COTD from today is just the kind of argument the President should give. It’s frank, it’s firm, it takes no prisoners, it doesn’t stand down or make peace, and it doesn’t sound like it came from junior high.

        I apologize that my previous response gave you the impression it did…that was not my intent at all. I love the President’s fighting spirit…I just want it to be more mature.

        • Joel, I feel you pain and think your desires are admirable, but Trump’s not going to change. I know it’s the Popeye’s excuse/rationalization (“I yam what I yam and that’s all’s I am!”), but it’s just too late in his life and his professional career and his (brief, but wildly successful) political career to expect him to change his spots. Nor do I think it will cause irreversible damage to the presidency. Trump is a one off, appearing in response to a peculiarly dire situation. I don’t see other traditional politicians trying his shtick and I certainly don’t see any of them succeeding at it (See, eg., Michael Bloomberg above). Can you imagine Mitt Romney tweeting? Marco Rubio? I can’t. Let’s just applaud all the things he’s done to push back against the abuses of Obama and the Clintons and Nancy Pelosi and The Squad and be grateful. I’d encourage you to resist expecting him to change into William F. Buckley. He’s Andrew Jackson in the 21st Century. He’s an intemperate persona fit for intemperate times.

          And consider this: If he loses because of his tweeting, he’ll move onto something else content he did it his way. However, If he began listening to political consultants and elites about how he needs to tone it down to get the soccer mom vote and ends up failing to get re-elected, I suspect he’d feel he’d let himself be duped. He may be an idiot savant! Who’d you rather believe this election cycle? The polls that have any random Dem beating Trump or your lyin’ eyes that see the economy booming, him packing rallies, and raising all kinds of dough?


          • We must continually remind ourselves that the insults and ad hominem attacks continue because the work. They work because we allow to work. They are just feeding us a tasty treat we want to consume.

        • Maybe you don’t want it to be more mature. Members of the State Department defied the President’s order and intentionally infected a planeload of people with Corona virus. Now, they have spread those people around the country, intend to quarantine them for only 1/2 the incubation period, and then release them into the population. Thousands or more will die now. Many times that many will be hospitalized with viral pneumonia just to try to make Trump look bad. That is how Donald Trump’s opponents fight. They weaponize the DOJ, the FBI, and the intelligence agencies against anyone close to Trump. They put people near him in jail for ‘lying to Congress’ while they lie to Congress with impunity, in the public eye, with no consequences. They have corrupted all of our government agencies and our media, turning them into an organization opposed to the public good. They use every dirty trick they can to keep us in foreign wars with no end in sight. This is how the ‘mature’ people fight.

          Donald Trump fights by cutting regulations, negotiating good trade agreements, bringing back jobs to the US, and by tweeting asinine things about people he doesn’t like and mocking them with juvenile insults. It isn’t an ideal situation. It is what junior high school kids do. However, I will take juvenile stupid and rude tweets to mature and serious dead bodies any day. Donald Trump is juvenile and rude, but effective in making this country better than it was. It is hard to describe his opponents as anything but a threat to this country’s wellbeing, our rights, and a free society.

    • Even worse, it was an utterly incompetent attempt at being a jerk. Trump is a jerk, an unabashed boor who can’t wait for the next opportunity to demonstrate the validity of his credentials.

      Doofus Mike is a jerk wanna-be. He thinks his money makes him like Trump, and he’ll be just as good at trolling the wags on Twitter. He is wrong. He is a soulless mini-Romney without any of the character Pierre Dilecto possesses. He has almost as much personality as a piece of gravel (in his case, pea gravel) – but not quite.

      He’s so far from a competent jerk, he doesn’t even make a decent narcissistic asshole.

  6. “I know you are, but what am I?” can’t be too far in the offing at this point, can it?

    That said, Trump’s response is absolutely perfect.

  7. ‘Mike Bloomberg likes his steak pan-seared to an interior temperature of 146.5 degrees in a roux of 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, 3 cloves garlic, minced, the zest of a lemon, a teaspoon each, chopped, of thyme, basil, and rosemary, plus a half teaspoon of kosher salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.’

    I don’t think that is even ethical. While I can understand some butter, some garlic, and a pinch of spice, there was no mention of black pepper and the cayenne is questionable. Mincing the garlic is overkill. Just crush it!

    I will not vote for a man who eats like that.

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