Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially entered the Democratic primaries. He will skip the first four primaries and join the race on Super Tuesday, focusing on the states holding their primaries then.

One of the world’s richest men, with a net worth estimated by Forbes to be $53 billion, Bloomberg is positioned to be a force to counter the candidates who emerge from the first four nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. In defiance of the traditional nominating calendar, Bloomberg has planned to skip those contests to spend heavily in states that will vote in March, including the 14 states including California and Texas that will award delegates on Super Tuesday.

Will Bunch is a regular opinion writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He earlier wrote a scathing critique of Mike Bloomberg’s decision to enter the Democratic primary race. 

Bloomberg enjoyed an adoring press in New York City. Things have changed now that he is going national.

Bunch opens by describing a posh black-tie dinner in D.C. where Bloomberg boasted of his success as mayor in restoring a vibrant polity in New York City.

As those exact words were leaving the mouth of the tuxedoed mayor, a couple hundred of “the people” whose freedom of political expression Bloomberg had just hailed were wet and shivering on the main roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge, tied up in plastic handcuffs that cut into their wrists as they awaited a bus and a trip to a dank city jail cell. New York’s police force — heavily militarized under Bloomberg, now able to shoot a plane from the sky — had just arrested 768 Occupy Wall Street marchers, allowing them onto the iconic bridge but then surrounding them in a kettle tactic. The Occupy protesters were speaking out against the kind of inequality that Bloomberg and his mid-sized cop army had vowed to protect and serve: economic inequality.

Bloomberg, he writes, is the candidate of the “black tie oligarchy.”

Bunch adds:

Was Team Bloomberg really paying close attention to Tuesday’s off-year election results? If so, did they not notice that the ousting of a Republican governor in red Kentucky was largely the work of public school teachers, the kind of voter who recoils at Bloomberg spending a chunk of his vast wealth to support charter schools that are wrecking public education? Or did they take heed of the election of radical reformer Chesa Boudin as San Francisco’s new district attorney, the latest sign that voters in Democratic strongholds have had it with the mass incarceration regime that Bloomberg long championed? Oh, and did they think Democrats here in Pennsylvania — a key battleground state — will forget the cool $1 million that Bloomberg dropped to foist Trump-supporting Sen. Pat Toomey on the state for six more years?

It’s utter cluelessness, but we’re seeing this more and more from the kleptocrats of America’s top 1 Percent. Since Ronald Reagan’s ascendancy in 1980, these men of vast wealth have created an entire culture around a myth, that their billion-dollar paychecks were a tribute to the sheer genius of an indispensable man, the modern CEO, and not the result of a game that was rigged by political corruption to tilt the playing field of postmodern capitalism their way, at an angle that would daunt climbers of Mount Everest…

Their long con is finally getting exposed, and that in turn is exposing their moral emptiness. Consider Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who launched a tech monopoly with the same ruthless ambition that John D. Rockefeller showed in creating a 19th century oil empire. But now Gates wants people to love him for giving some of that wealth away for causes that range from the admirable (global health) to the misguided (charter schools) in the hope that targeted, billionaires-know-best philanthropy will divert the masses’ rage away from structural inequality. That so many voters now support presidential candidates who would tax just a sliver of Gates’ unfathomable wealth for the common good has revealed him as a sputtering liar.

Gates recently insisted that he’s willing to pay some higher taxes “[b]ut, you know, when you say I should pay $100 billion, O.K., then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over.” Except Elizabeth Warren’s tax proposals would only cost Bill Gates an estimated $6 billion, which would leave him with $100 billion to play around with. Gates is just the latest of a half-dozen or so billionaires to go public with their panicked predictions that the left-wing populism of a Warren or a Sanders will destroy America as we know it. But only other billionaires and their paid consultants seem to believe them. They can’t accept the fact that — to borrow the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez line that became the title of Ryan Grim’s recent, excellent book — they’ve got money but we’ve got people…

Mike Bloomberg didn’t have to enter the 2020 race to see how all of this is going to play out between now and next summer’s Democratic convention in Milwaukee. He could have watched last week’s results from Seattle, where Amazon — run by Gates’ billionaire soul mate Jeff Bezos — spent a whopping $1.5 million to promote City Council candidates who would quell all the crazy talk about affordable housing and sheltering the homeless, funded by taxes on tech giants. Almost all of the anti-Amazon candidates won, including the movement’s leader, socialist Kshama Sawant. Ditto in Philadelphia, where the Working Families Party’s Kendra Brooks — opposed by chamber of commerce types, endorsed by Warren — won a historic City Council seat.

These voters are the ones who will decide 2020′s Democratic primaries — along with those school teachers in Kentucky and West Virginia, the women of the #MeToo movement, and African Americans tired of cops acting like an occupying army. And yet these are the same citizens that a graying misogynist media mogul who once created an army to preserve the unequal social order in New York is certain he can now seduce with a fistful of dollars?

Hmm. One of the slogans of the Network for Public Education is that “We are many. They are few.”

That is important to remember at election time.

Each person has one vote. No matter how rich you are, you personally own only one vote.

Even when politicians flood the political arena with money, we each have one vote.

Together we can reclaim our democracy.