So, it’s conceivable that Bloomberg could, in fact, buy himself the presidency. And once in office, his personal fortune could theoretically enable him to overcome other seemingly insurmountable political obstacles. In February 2021, Bloomberg will turn 79. What would a man with more than $50 billion — and only a few years left to live — be willing to spend on securing a legislative legacy? Is it inconceivable that Bloomberg could expand the boundaries of political possibility in the Senate, by promising the Joe Manchins and Lisa Murkowskis of the world giant dark money campaign contributions (and/or, extraordinarily lucrative sinecures for their family members at a Bloomberg enterprise of their choice) if they do his bidding? Can $2 billion in bribes buy president Bloomberg a more ambitious climate law than any other Democrat could hope to pass?
This is the honest case for Michael Bloomberg. It is an argument for Democrats to accept that the best that they can hope for in 2020 is benevolent plutocracy: There is no campaign capable of defeating Trumpism through organizing and reasoned argument, so best to let a billionaire drown it in an ocean of propaganda; there’s no mass movement capable of breaking through D.C.’s gridlock, so let’s see if Lisa Murkowski has a price.
I can’t tell you that this case is wrong. But I can say that we have little reason to believe that it is right.