Ethics Observations On Recent Developments In The Democratic Nomination Race

  • From CBS News: “Congregants at the historic Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama, silently protested 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg as he delivered remarks there Sunday, standing and turning their backs on the former New York City mayor. Bloomberg addressed the congregation at Brown Chapel AME Church during a church service in which he discussed voter suppression and the fight for civil rights. But roughly 10 minutes into his remarks, several in attendance rose from their seats and silently turned away from him.The churchgoers remained standing through the end of Bloomberg’s remarks.”

Comment: Go ahead, Mike, spend your way out of this.

I had so many annoying discussions with Facebook Trump-haters who were  pinning their desperate hopes on Bloomberg to take the Democratic nomination and defeat Trump in November. Their logic: he would spend however much money it took. But people, even smart and experienced people, tend to wildly over-estimate the power of money, marketing, and advertising. People are lazy, gullible and often stupid, but they aren’t that lazy, gullible and stupid: no amount of hype and saturation advertising will persuade a market that a  self-evidently bad product is a good one.  Bloomberg is a bad product, at least for the Presidency. His record is wrong, his tools are inadequate, his character won’t be tolerated outside of the Big Apple. Hatred of Trump isn’t enough, and, as the Beatles sang, “Money can’t buy you love.”

  • Here’s the President of the United States doing a “Dorf” imitation to mock Bloomberg’s height.

Comment: I mention this because it’s funny. Wrong, but funny. Otherwise, I’m not going to complain about how un-presidential it is. This is how Trump is, and if he’s the President, this what Trump being President is and will be. Like it, tolerate it, or lump it.

The Julie Principle.

Comment: GOOD. Mayor Pete, as I have tried to document,  was second only to Elizabeth Warren in demagoguery and a smug jerk as well. We don’t even have to get to the fact that he was too young, had minimal relevant experience, and as a gay man in a same sex marriage, was an unelectable cult candidate in 2020. Pete needs to get a lot more seasoning and acquire some humility before be can claim to be a legitimate Presidential contender.

  • Steyer quit last night.

Comment: Now THAT was an unethical campaign. Steyer spent $253,718,074 through January 31, all but $3,555,597  from his own pocket.  He won no delegates. His message was nothing but Trump-bashing and impeachment hype, mixed in with support for slavery reparations. He cluttered the debate stage, helping to make the debates chaotic and virtually useless.

From the California Globe:

According to the New York Times, Steyer spent over $18 million on television alone in the Palmetto State. Steyer’s campaign spending has been so excessive that the Times reports that his name has “turned into a verb” – local activists refer to a candidate foolishly overpaying as “steyering.” Some of that spending was ethically questionable, such as renting a campaign headquarters from Jennifer Clyburn Reed, whose father is Congressman James E. Clyburn, the dean of the state’s Democratic Party. Some of that spending was just … goofy. When the Charleston County Democrats held their “Blue Jamboree,” Steyer not only sponsored the lunch, but bought a ticket for every member of the Benedict College marching band and rented them a bus to get there. All of that spending was inefficient, ineffective and ultimately inept.

Steyer can spend  his money however he likes, but it’s hard to imagine how an estimated 280 million bucks–assuming the total through January was increased by about 30 million in February—could do less good.

  • This exchange took place on Fox News this morning:

BIDEN: “I can hardly wait to debate [Trump] on stage. I want people to see me standing next to him and him standing next to me. Heh heh heh. We’ll see who’s sleepy.”

WALLACE: “Mr. Vice President, thank you. Thanks for your time. Please come back in less than 13 years, sir.”

BIDEN: “All right, Chuck. Thank you very much.”

WALLACE: “Uh. All right. Uh, it’s Chris. But anyway.”

BIDEN: “I just did Chris. No, no, I just did Chuck. I tell you what, man. These were back to back. Anyway.

WALLACE: No, it’s okay.

BIDEN: I don’t know how you do it, early in the morning, too. Thank you, Chris.

Comment: No comment.

41 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On Recent Developments In The Democratic Nomination Race

  1. Now THAT was an unethical campaign. Steyer spent $253,718,074 through January 31, all but $3,555,597 from his own pocket. He won no delegates. His message was nothing but Trump-bashing and impeachment hype, mixed in with support for slavery reparations. He cluttered the debate stage, helping to make the debates chaotic and virtually useless.

    Steyer could have received a better rate of return using it to help the President of the Bank of Africa transfer funds to the U.S..

  2. We got home from church this morning just in time to catch the end of the Biden interview with Chris Wallace. My wife and I both laughed out loud at VP Biden calling Wallace “Chuck”. It’s a relatively minor gaffe when compared to his others, but it’s just so perfect…so typical of Joe, who just can’t think things through anymore. Blue Falcon wouldn’t consider him an upgrade over Dog Wonder. He may stick around for the convention, but the proverbial fork has been stuck in him. He’s done. And to think I badly wished he was a candidate in 2016.

    I am reluctant to call any candidate “loathsome”, but Tom Steyer was, at the very least, repulsive. The reparations stuff is awful, race-pandering and a blatant manipulation of Black America. Good riddance.

    Pete’s departure really surprises me. I really thought he would stick longer than he did.

    So that leaves Bloomberg, Biden, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, and Gabbard (is she still in?)…the first four are all in their 70s (the first 3 approaching 80), and Gabbard has no shot. The fire of the refinery is removing the dross, but there’s no gold in the pail.

    So…overall, a day of really good news as far as politics go.

  3. Biden is the most experienced candidate the Dems are putting out there.

    But, I feel sorry for him. Maybe this is just his way, but he looks like he is in decline.

    It is pitiful. For a leader, that is even worse.

    I hated Clinton, but I hated more that she seemed too sick to be eligible. Her problems were pathetic, and it seemed to be only her hubris that kept her in the race.

    Mark Dayton, my governor, was the same way. He would slur his way through speeches. It was probably the meds and they made him seem incoherent. It was sad to see.

    If Biden is afflicted, I feel sorry for him.

    And, sadly, he would be the best (most experienced, that is) candidate in the Democratic field otherwise.

    That is how bad they have it.


    • Biden’s senior moments (something I understand all too well) are just coming too often, and his supporters should be concerned. Bernie Sanders is older and Bloomberg the same age, but both are far more lucid than Biden.

      That’s a bad sign, and people should take note.

  4. Trump will be re-elected. No one will vote for a Socialist, and people will be so disgusted at the backroom politicking at a contested convention that many liberals will sit out 2020.

    The Democratic Party is eating itself.

    • It’s a lovely feast to watch. Maybe 2020 indigestion will bring them back to reality, if my dire predictions don’t come true. (Would that to be so.)

    • Bobby Hill says: Trump will be re-elected. No one will vote for a Socialist…

      It certainly looks like Trump will get re-elected. But the ‘no one will vote for a socialist’ declaration interests me. I never have paid attention to Bernie Sanders but watching this:

      I realized that what he is promoting is very likely, and extremely likely, to be things that ‘the average American worker’ desires. What Sanders himself points out is very true: the wealth-class in America — the traitorous, deceiving class who have contributed so much to the general corruption and the sell-out of America in which effects and outcome we now live, but more importantly that class which does not, in any sense, represent the ‘American worker’ (as Bannon says, fairly and accurately), that wealthy class will do everything in its power, will spend any amount of money needed, to defeat any person who advocates for things that are contrary to the interests of that class.

      It is important to realize, and to state, that powerful interests stand behind everything that is going on in our present and are directly involved in selling corrupting influences. They pay extremely close attention, for obvious reasons to what goes on in the social arena. It’s their arena, they own it. The American consumer is an owned and sold *commodity*.

      Errol Morris (a famous, left-leaning documentary maker) interviewed Steve Bannon for a movie about Bannon that incidentally was suppressed for a certain while (no one would bring it to the theaters). There was this exchange:

      Bannon: You may be better fed, better clothed, in better shape than eighteenth-century Russian serfs, but you’re nothing but serfs. You’re not going to own anything. They’ve got you in this consumer environment where you’re always paying off your credit cards. They’ve destroyed thrifts so you can’t save anything. Saving doesn’t make any difference. And then digitally, they’ve taken all your rights, they’ve taken all your personhood, and they’ve written these algorithms to treat you like a hamster. You’re totally controlled. . . . You can’t fulfill your dharma. You’re nothing but a serf. You voted for that. And you’re a reflective, smart person, you actually thought about it and made a conscious decision. Why? Oh, “I fear you. I fear Trump.” It’s bullshit.

      Morris: Just to clarify, my fear is that Trump represented nothing.

      Bannon: There’s going to be a revolution in this country. It’s coming. We can’t kick the can down the road like this. We can’t. We’re going to have another financial crisis that everybody that’s smart sees is coming.

      Morris: What would revolution mean?

      Bannon: A complete rejection of the system. It’s gonna cut like a scythe through grass. It is coming.

      I am inclined to think that Bannon has a very good point. And when a whole class of people, within a Republic of such lofty republican values, has been through circumstances reduced to serf-like conditions, that people no longer has *ownership interest*. That in itself is a very interesting starting point for numerous conversations.

      To say ‘no one will vote for a socialist’ is not so. It may be that no one will vote for Bernie Sanders, but it is definitely not so that many people would not vote for a candidate who they feel better represents their interests, their well-being, their future.

      He is very right when he refers to the average citizen as a ‘hamster’. That is how they see them and that is how they see *you*. In fact, that is what you are in their eyes. The whole notion of sovereignty is a joke in very very bad taste. Your most sacred values, to the degree you have them and have the courage to stand up for them, are bought, sold, modified, re-packaged or tossed out the window. This is what the political class has become, and when referred to as the Swamp, shows what we are up against.

      It is an appropriate hope that they be cut through like a scythe cuts through grass.

      • Among the Dissident Right Bannon is known to have an interest in Traditionalism. (Julius Evola and René Guénon are two exemplars). His use of the word ‘dharma’ is kind of interesting:

        Dharma is a Hindu, Buddhist and yogic concept that refers to the idea of a law, or principle, governing the universe. For an individual to live out their dharma is for them to act in accordance with this law. In Buddhism, it is said that acting in this way is the path to enlightenment.

        The implication of dharma is that there is a right way for each person to carry out their life. Dharma is closely related to the concepts of duty and service to others, or seva. It has no single-word Western translation, which sometimes makes it a difficult concept for Westerners to grasp. One close translation, however, is “right way of living.”

        What is the dharma of a hamster, I ask? 🙂

  5. So Steyer spent a quarter of a billion directly attacking Trump on network and cable TV and all over the internet.

    Hillary Clinton spent 2 BILLION dollars, backed by most of the very wealthiest U.S. corporations, including media giants.

    Google manipulated search results leading up to the 2016 election, which experts say could have swayed millions of potential votes in favor of Hillary. Twitter and YouTube have now been confirmed to also be manipulating results.

    But guys, some Russians bought Facebook ads! Multiple thousands of them! Drumpf ain’t my president.

    • Don’t you love it that Donald Trump supporters are not allowed to have a voice on any major tech platform? Look what happened to ‘The Donald’ subreddit. Only one side is doing this.

  6. Thanks Vlad, umm Xi , or whatever. It’s hard to tell you guys and your interpreters apart.
    Where did you say Mao and Uncle Joe went? These back to backs are tough. It’s hard to keep you commies straight at this time of day….

    • Except that in your extremely limited vision you don’t seem to be able to recognize that American managers (in the sense of The Managerial Revolution of James Burnham), because they are managers and bureaucrats and executives in those companies that *sell* to the largest ever market, in their various ways they imitate and emulate the Chinese. In a sense we ‘do it better’.

      If you follow all the reports and documentaries about the extremely intrusive AI mechanisms that follow your every move, your every key-stroke, and they who developed the machine-technology that surveils you, paying some attention to that would lead to certain questions about how *the powers that be* see citizens, and indeed see citizenship.

      Presently, all across the Internet, dissident voices have been and are being silenced. A very wide-spread deplatforming has gone on and continues to go on. These actions correspond to what the Chinese do far more openly. There are fierce battles going on within our own system now to define (or re-define) the political center and to exclude those toward the so-called *extremes*.

      I do not know if it is such a wise idea to always see *Vlad* and *Xi* as ‘over there’ or in a ‘them’ that is separate from *you* (I mean from *us* and from our own systems). That could be a severe mistake.

  7. My wife and I took our old found dog for a walk yesterday and we bumped into Pete’s predecessor Steve Luecke and his wife on our municipal Riverside walking and biking path. And thought Steve and I had served on a couple of committees together back in the 90s, he did not remember me. As we continued our walk it occurred to me it was not Mayor Pete who did the heavy lifting to prepare South Bend for its improved circumstance, but instead Mayor Steve .
    My wife said it best, “Mayor Pete was a great bow placer and ribbon cutter, but not much more.” She’s right. So long, Pete. See you around the neighborhood.

  8. On Buddagieg:
    When your commercials talk about building coalitions to take action against “who we are against” you really show your true beliefs.

    Many a coalition were built in history to attack and destroy those the coalition was against; most were not honorable.

  9. Definitely not a fan of Bloomberg, but methinks that the reporting on the “demonstration” was yet another attempt to turn a molehill into a mountain. And push a candidate that was more acceptable to the media:

    At least nine people took part in the protest, according to CNN, as they gathered to commemorate the 55th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when civil rights marchers were attacked by police.

    Nine. People.

    Yet, this is how it was headlined by CBS news:
    Churchgoers in Selma turn their backs on Bloomberg during service

    Nope. No media bias here.

  10. I find it enlightening that a bunch of Democrats hate Trump, but love Bloomberg. What are the differences between Trump and Bloomberg? I mean, both are New York billionaires that are moderates and have been both Republicans and Democrats in their lifetimes. The Democrats insist that the most important thing for the country is to get rid of Trump, he is so bad. We should even be expected to sacrifice our jobs and the country’s economy to accomplish this task, it is that important. So, what are the huge differences between them that make this so crucial?

    (1) Bloomberg is richer. Do the Democrats feel that Trump is too ‘poor’ to be President?

    (2) Bloomberg is more beholden to foreign countries than Trump. Bloomberg’s assets in China, which he only holds as long as the Chinese government allows him to, are larger than Trump’s entire empire. Bloomberg has repeatedly defended China and its leaders, who are direct competitors if not outright enemies of the US. So, do the Democrats want MORE foreign influence on the President?

    (3) Bloomberg controls more members of Congress than Trump. Bloomberg spent $10 million on Democratic candidates in the 2018 election. The Democrat majority in Congress is due in large part to him. He owns those members. He is funding them by millions again because no voters would give them money in 2018 and the voters still won’t give them money. Bloomberg’s control of members of Congress threatens the separation of power in the federal government.

    (4) Bloomberg has more government experience than Trump when Trump was elected. But not anymore.

    (5) Bloomberg is more autocratic than Trump. Bloomberg wants government to intrude on even the smallest choices we currently are allowed to make. Straws, drink sizes, what we say, what freedoms we will be allowed to keep, are all things Bloomberg wants to control. Funny, I thought they wanted Trump out because he was going to be a dictator. I guess the real problem is that he isn’t dictatorial enough.

    (6) Bloomberg is an elitist. Bloomberg is an anointed member of the leftist elite, unlike Trump. You can tell because of the utter contempt he has for the average American. Trump actually seems to like Americans. So, hatred and contempt for common people…check.

    (7) Bloomberg is more Presidential. As a member of the elite, Bloomberg is more Presidential. He won’t have to tweet out rude things, he can have the press do it for him. He won’t have to worry about the deep state messing with his plans, he will be working with/for them. When he says nasty things about people, the press will tell us how that was justified. The whole press/academic/government employee monolith will be working in unison again without interference.

    I suspect for most Democrats, number 6 and 7 are the main reasons they like Bloomberg over Trump. Democrats love to feel superior because they are Democrats and supporting someone who despises them just shows how good their taste is (they probably eat their steaks medium rare). For the ruling class, I think Bloomberg’s appeal is that he is one of them (#6) and they really like #5 as well. Trump just hasn’t been very autocratic at all. Trump also has been reducing the size of the bureaucracy, I’m sure Bloomberg understands the advantage of increasing it. I’m sure most Democrats just stick their fingers in their ears and say “LaLaLaLaLa…” when anyone brings up #2 or 3.

    Bloomberg, 5000% more elitist, 10,000% more autocratic, someone the press won’t fact check, and he has bought Congress. Truly, this is a moving campaign platform.

  11. I thought that churches, as a constitutionally suspect component of tax exemption laws, could not participate in endorsing or campaigning. This happened during a Sunday service!!?

  12. Senator Klobuchar just dropped out…what the heck?!?

    That’s three candidates in about thirty-six hours, right ahead of the biggest set of primaries. I don’t understand. These candidates have already invested the money in their campaigns ahead of Tuesday – why not just ride it out and see what happens tomorrow?

    Somebody explain to this relative novice what’s going on. I told my wife this is some kind of political shenanigans

    • Yeah, and Buttigieg is apparently about to endorse Biden. You have to figure Klobuchar will endorse Biden as well.

      Sure sounds like the last desperate attempt to make Biden a viable candidate again and derail Sanders.

      Now if only Biden had gotten the memo that he’s supposed to be a viable candidate …. I watched strokes turn my father’s mind to mush, I can feel sorry for him.

    • They’re dropping out to consolidate the anti-Bernie vote. Warren is staying in to split the pro-Bernie vote. Delegates are awarded proportionally among all of the candidates who receive 15% or more of the vote in a state. The problem was that there are several states where Bernie was the only candidate who was polling above 15%, so there was a possibility that he might win all of those states’ delegates and clinch the nomination. Now, it’s likely that Biden and Bloomberg will both exceed 15% and get delegates in those states. They’re setting up a brokered convention.

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