The semi-official entry of Michael Bloomberg into the Democrats’ 2020 primary brawl is producing an array of reactions from political analysts, ranging from the euphoric to the near suicidally depressed. Two of them that encapsulate this wide divide cropped up this weekend and they seem to set the tone for this debate. At one end of the spectrum, you have Michael Goodwin at the New York Post. He sees Bloomberg’s bid as “the great centrist hope for Democrats.”

Goodwin bases this scenario on two assumptions. One is that Joe Biden doesn’t have enough in the tank to finish the primary race. He draws this conclusion from Uncle Joe’s less than inspiring (and frequently error-prone) speeches, his decline in some recent polls and his tepid fundraising. The second is that a splintering of Biden’s support could open the door for either Warren or Sanders to take the nomination, and neither could defeat President Trump in the swing states. So Bloomberg’s announcement has left him “delighted.”

Count me as delighted. While there’s a big mountain to climb for him to win the nomination, it is actually easy to see how he could help save the party from following Sanders or Warren into the political wilderness. That alone would be a major achievement and a service to the nation.

America succeeds when the two parties must compete for centrist voters, a fact that tends to moderate radical impulses on both sides. Trouble is, the nation is polarized, and Dems are in the process of banishing moderates, with Warren especially vicious in demonizing those who don’t agree with her pitch to break the bank on Medicare for All and other harebrained schemes.

If you’re hoping for a Democratic victory next November, I can see how this logic would be appealing. But this scenario rests on the belief that Bloomberg can somehow clear the moderate lane in time for Super Tuesday and make it all the way to the finish line. Goodwin himself concedes that this would be “a big mountain to climb.” Personally, I think that might be an understatement.

At the other end of the scale, we find Peter Beinart at The Atlantic. He describes the Bloomberg announcement as a moment where Elizabeth Warren “couldn’t be luckier.”

In order for Beinart’s scenario to play out, we must accept his starting premise. He, like Goodwin, believes that Joe Biden is heading for yet another primary collapse, but he sees Pete Buttigieg as the primary beneficiary. Beinart portrays Mayor Pete as having effectively moved into second place at this point and being poised to win the end game against whichever socialist (most likely Warren) comes out on top in that lane. And he also sees Mayor Pete as being able to beat Trump in the general election.

But now, along comes Michael Bloomberg, letting the air out of Buttigieg’s tires and reinvigorating Warren’s candidacy, which he sees as having recently stalled or hit her hypothetical ceiling. And that ceiling would have been too low to seal the nomination.

A Bloomberg candidacy could give Warren her mojo back. What could be better for the Massachusetts senator, who has built her candidacy on the claim that plutocrats control America’s government, than to run against a billionaire 51 times over who keeps slamming her proposed wealth tax, which more than 80 percent of Democrats support. By last night, Warren’s campaign was already fundraising off a possible Bloomberg candidacy. Ironically, the former New York mayor is empowering the very forces that he means to thwart.

While we’ve discussed this here before, I find some flaws in both of these theories, though Beinart probably comes closer to pegging the long-term implications. First of all, there is little to suggest that Bloomberg has any clear path to victory in the primary. As Goodwin points out, when Bloomberg’s name has been included in polling of likely Democratic primary voters, he’s virtually the only candidate left with less than 50% approval. Further, he offers nothing that the Democratic base doesn’t already have in spades, primarily in the form of Joe Biden. He also carries the stench of being part of the hated .01% that the base is supposed to be trying to “hold accountable” for economic inequality.

But with the kind of money Mike will be able to use to flood the airwaves, he could indeed draw down Biden’s mojo even further and dilute his base of support. But what then? I disagree with Beinart about Pete Buttigieg being poised to take the lead. He checks most of the progressive boxes, but his utter failure to generate any excitement (or even support) among black voters will probably lock him out of too many key states and could sink his chances in the general election even if he won the nomination.

Still, it seems to me that Beinart is correct in assuming the final benefactor will either be Warren or Sanders. And that’s great news for the GOP in general and President Trump in particular. Either of the two top socialists will do fabulously well in many blue states that the Democrats were already destined to carry anyway. And they would likely win the popular vote. But the radical, budget-busting and disruptive plans they are pitching on climate, Medicare for All, abandoning border security and all the rest are scaring the pants off more moderate voters in swing states. And recent polling supports that concept rather solidly, with the President beating out Warren in the states that will matter the most next November.

If these assumptions prove correct, there are only two likely outcomes from Mike Bloomberg jumping into the race. And neither of them bodes well for the Democrats next year.