Michael Bloomberg plays the Democratic party leadership’s game

Matt Taibbi has an excellent rant about the way that people like NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg manages to win over the upper-middle-class liberal Huffington Post types while advancing the most reactionary economic policies. He is essentially playing the traditional Democratic party con game: as long as you take progressive stands on choice, gay marriage, and the like, you can siphon money to the wealthy and beat up on the powerless and still have the crowds lap it up applaud you. The fact that he is a Republican makes him even more attractive to this crowd.

Bloomberg’s great triumph as a politician has been the way he’s been able to win over exactly the sort of crowd that was gathering at the HuffPost event that night. He is a billionaire Wall Street creature with an extreme deregulatory bent who has quietly advanced some nastily regressive police policies (most notably the notorious “stop-and-frisk” practice) but has won over upper-middle-class liberals with his stances on choice and gay marriage and other social issues.

Bloomberg’s main attraction as a politician has been his ability to stick closely to a holy trinity of basic PR principles: bang heavily on black crime, embrace social issues dear to white progressives, and in the remaining working hours give your pals on Wall Street (who can raise any money you need, if you somehow run out of your own) whatever they want.

But most of the article is devoted to ripping apart Bloomberg’s analysis of the financial collapse that seeks to avoid placing blame on the financial oligarchs. You really should read the whole thing.

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