As Joe Biden’s poll numbers crater, and amid fear that the next-most-popular Democratic candidate on the more moderate wing of the party, Pete Buttigieg, lacks experience, establishment voices are looking for a new knight in shining armor.
You can hear it on cable news shows and read it in the pages of left-leaning newspapers, commentators are suddenly finding reason after reason to argue that Michael Bloomberg is the most electable.
This is, no doubt, motivated by a feeling among some that the anti-establishment Sanders will get crushed in a general election because he is too far to the left.
But there’s a new reason to think that Bloomberg’s battle to wrestle the Democratic nomination from the ascendant Bernie Sanders will be nearly impossible.
A leaked tape from a speech Bloomberg gave in 2015 shows the former Mayor of New York staunchly defending the policy of racial profiling and “stop-and-frisk” policing.
While the policies were enacted at many points in the past by Democratic administrations across the country, support among liberals for such policies had already begun to wane by that point. So much so that Bloomberg knew he had spoken too openly, and blocked the hosts of the event from releasing video of his remarks.
But an audio recording of the comments has now come to light, just as Bloomberg is hoping to pick up support from Democratic primary voters.
“Ninety-five percent of murders- murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city (inaudible). And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed. So you want to spend the money on a lot of cops in the streets. Put those cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods.”
This is just one of many conundrums facing the Democratic establishment and moderates vying for the nomination, as has been shown by criticisms that Biden faced for support of policies that were once mainstream even among liberals.
Despite the fact that Bloomberg will be tarred and feathered for supporting targeted, tough-on-crime policies, even the likes of former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder once enacted such policies. He has since been hailed as a hero on the left for working against a tough-on-crime approach, but as Attorney General of the District of Columbia, he spearheaded aggressive policing policies that effectively amounted to racial profiling and stop-and-frisk.
“I’m not going to be naïve about it,” Holder said, speaking in the mid-90s, adding: “the people who will be stopped will be young black males, overwhelmingly.”
But now, despite the fact that the Democrats poll much better on issues besides law and order when matching up against Trump, the party is finding another reason to shoot one of their own in the circular firing squad.