Monday, December 31, 2007

Run Bloomberg, Run

I love the idea of a Michael Bloomberg run for president — not because I’m dying to vote for him (I don’t know enough to make that kind of judgment) but because the very thought of such a candidacy is already ruffling feathers on both sides. Hyper-loyal Democrat Paul Krugman poo poos the idea and Republican propagandist Scott Johnson is equally as dismissive.

You see, nothing irritates a partisan quite like knocking over and rearranging his carefully stacked and sorted opinions. Independents, by nature, don’t sign on to pre-approved platforms and tend to see those who do as, well, lacking the good sense God gave them. What really disturbs the partisans is the fact that they really don’t know how many independents they have in their own party. A lot of people with party affiliations, even loyal ones, are independent of mind and thus subject to change that mind. If enough change, those carefully arranged platforms will get scattered, making a huge mess for the parties and their true-blue (or red) believers.

Dismissing Bloomberg as a egotist or out-of-touch billionaire provides the partisan mind a sense of comfort. But if Bloomberg marches on, expect more fearsome attacks. This isn’t a Ralph Nader or Pat Buchanan whose candidacies clearly stole from one party over the other. This is a guy who could steal from all sides and neither party wants to be the one who loses the most voters.

Just watching the parties have to compensate for Bloomberg would make the mayor’s presidential run worthwhile. Political parties are at their best when they stay dynamic. A strong independent candidate could force both parties to do just that.

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