Stop the presses!
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially quit the Republican Party!
I couldn’t believe it.
Why am I so shocked?
I was surprised to learn he was a member of the Republican Party in the first place.
I was surprised to learn the party of Ronald Reagan would permit him to join.
I was surprised to learn that, having made such a mistake in associating with the likes of Bloomberg, the Republican Party didn’t have enough discretion to quit him first!
This guy’s record is remarkable only in its extreme divergence from any principle ever held — in word and deed — by the Republican Party.
He’s for same-sex marriage. He’s for abortion on demand. He thinks the First Amendment affords U.S. citizens "the privilege" of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. He banned smoking in most restaurants. Under his leadership, only 18 percent of New York City high school students get diplomas. He doesn’t think the Second Amendment means what it says. He’s for every silly and fanciful notion of "diversity" and "multiculturalism" and "tolerance" and "sissyhood" you can imagine …
You get the idea.
In short, he’s a bored billionaire dilettante who feels a sense of entitlement to rule over less-enlightened people.
So, now he wants to run for president — as an independent. You can’t do that if you are a registered Republican and holding office as one. Therefore — the old switcheroo.
How serious is this guy about politics?
Well, let us boil it down to dollars and cents.
He spent $73 million of his own money to win his first race for mayor in 2001 — just his own money!
Officially, he’ll tell you, he’s not a candidate for president. Officially, he’ll tell you it’s preposterous to even consider the possibility. Officially, he’s not even exploring the idea.
"A short, Jewish billionaire from New York?" Bloomberg told William Safire when asked about a run. "C’mon."
But, in fact, he is running.
He’s worth more than $5 billion personally, which means he could spend $1 billion of his own money and compete head to head in dollars and cents with the Democrat Republican candidates. If the New York mayor’s office was worth $73 million to Bloomberg, do you think the White House is not worth $1 billion?
Actually, I knew all along that Bloomberg was officially a Republican. A lifelong Democrat, he joined the Republicans because he knew it would be easier to get the Republican nomination to run for mayor of New York than the Democratic nomination. He was right.
Call it a marriage of convenience with the GOP.
Consider it officially annulled.
Now it is more expedient to become president of the United States if you’re an independent. So Bloomberg has become an independent.
But it does raise an interesting question: Should political parties have some minimal standards for membership? Should they actually stand for something? If they don’t stand for something, what’s the point? And if the Republican Party did, in fact, stand for something, why did it permit itself to be used so shamelessly by the likes of Bloomberg?
Is party politics just about numbers? Is it just about money? Is there any sense of principle involved at all?