Michael Bloomberg – what can you say? First, he tried to place a ban on the personal choices of the citizens of New York City by imposing a ridiculous ban on how much Diet Coke they can drink. It came as little surprise, after that failure, that he opted to take on the national gun battle all by himself. I won’t go into arguments that are making the rounds on Facebook and all the national media outlets, the reasons why he should or shouldn’t – mostly because it’s been argued to death. And let’s face it – this man is as stubborn as a mule tied to a fence post. He doesn’t get it now and he won’t get it tomorrow – he’s too wrapped up in an ego that continues to propel him into the spotlight. This is a man who doesn’t back down, even if his efforts are falling woefully short.
Bloomberg announced over the weekend that he’s prepared to spend millions to keep the NRA at bay. I’m pretty sure he and Donald Trump share some DNA somewhere down the line because this falls into the category of that embarrassing announcement Trump made just before the elections that promised to change everything – and by “everything”, Trump meant it would keep Obama from becoming a two term president. The only thing it changed was the tolerance factor many of us already felt for him -another exhausting ego that forced itself front and center, if only for a very brief moment. The only thing worse for these two when it comes to American tolerance is the fear that either or both decide to run for president. Not that either would win (Bloomberg shows no loyalty to any party; he’s been a registered Democrat, Republican and is now an Independent), but can you imagine these two doing anything else other than pulling out all of the million dollar stops they have access to? The day they didn’t access those unlimited funds is the same day I dig deep and try to find any shred of respect for Jamie Dimon – which, ironically, is another public image who lacks ethics but makes up for it with his own brand of narcissism.
From a common sense angle, it’s curious that Bloomberg believes it’s money well spent, until you consider a few facts – one being he’s worth more than $17 billion. He also spent millions in his efforts of getting re-elected; in fact, it’s believed he’s spent more of his own cash than any other American politician in history. Bloomberg says his only interest is making sure universal background checks become part of the process any of us must go through before buying a gun. That’s a lot of money to spend on something that, if it were realistic, would already be well on its way of becoming law. Contrary to what the rest of the world believes, America is still home to plenty of folks with common sense. It’s not realistic because he’s wanting these background checks to be based on an imperfect system. The results of those checks, were they ever to become law, are only as good as the system providing the results.
More importantly, Bloomberg has taken on the responsibility of speaking for all, whether they agree with him or not. Making the Sunday morning rounds, he said during an interview on Meet the Press, “We’re trying to do everything we can to impress upon the senators that this is what the survivors (of the Connecticut shooting) want, this is what the public wants,” he said.
And that’s the problem…that one declaration he muttered: “this is what the public wants”. I think a more accurate, across the board statement would be something along the lines of “the public wants accountability and ethical leaders who aren’t dictating their Diet Coke (or Sprite or Dr. Pepper) intake nor putting their own spin on the Constitution”. Not holding my breath on that one either.
I reckon it’s a combination of a lack of ethics and an oversized ego, not that he’d ever slow down long enough to see it.
If I live to be one hundred, I’ll never forget this quote from Hendrik Hertzberg in the November 2009 issue of The New Yorker:
The Mayor has ruled us well, but he has infantilized us…If Bloomberg had been satisfied with two terms, he would be leaving office a beloved legend, a municipal god. He’ll get his third, but we’ll give it to him sullenly, knowing that while it probably won’t measure up to his first two—times are hard, huge budget gaps are at hand—it’ll probably be good enough. The Pax Bloombergiana will endure a while longer. But then what? Will we have forgotten how to govern ourselves?