by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
New York Mayor and nanny-in-chief Michael Bloomberg is inserting himself and his anti-gun philosophy in elections across the country. Noah Rothman at Mediaite explains why that could mean good news for Republicans.
Bloomberg’s activism is the best thing to happen to Republicans since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United for three reasons. First, and most obviously, Bloomberg’s unashamed efforts to ban or curtail those pleasures his unelected bureaucrats deem harmful is unvarnished progressivism’s oldest and most distasteful impulse.
Second, Bloomberg is the physical embodiment of the hypocrisy the Democratic Party and the media display on campaign finance reform issues. Combined with the news that the liberal Tides Foundation had contributed five times more progressive causes than the oft-maligned libertarian Koch Brothers contributed to Republicans, Bloomberg’s financial contributions to liberal candidates demonstrates that progressives and the media establishment are only concerned about campaign finance issues when Democratic candidates are in danger of losing elections.
Finally, from a Republican’s perspective, Bloomberg is also having a much more beneficial effect on the political landscape than any reform the GOP could institute on its own. Bloomberg is singlehandedly helping the Democratic Party unlearn the lessons which led to the 1974 campaign reforms.
Empowered by the public desire for major reforms in the wake of the Watergate Scandal, the 1974 amendments to the 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act were embraced by Democratic lawmakers because, in concert with the primary election reforms recommended by the McGovern-Fraser Commission, the disclosure requirements now mandated by law would make it far more difficult for a handful of donors to bankroll candidates unrepresentative of the broader electorate.
Today, Bloomberg is actively fomenting a liberal, issue-oriented insurgency from within the Democratic Party. Undeterred by Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) efforts to shield his vulnerable members from a damaging vote, Bloomberg leads a coalition of progressive voters forcing the party’s officials to the left of the electorate.