If the essential goal is beating Trump, from which all other progressive goals follow, then it’s hard to dismiss Tom Friedman’s logic. Tom likes Mike.

Let me know what you think.

And on stop and frisk?  Can we just always note that — though a mistake! — its goal was NOT to oppress or humiliate young black men, but, rather, to save their lives.

Friedman did not make this point, nor have I heard Mike make it.  But to me it seems relevant.  Motivation matters.

To those who’ve written me outraged that DNC rules have changed to allow Mike on the debate stage, I would argue there are two things they may not have considered:

First, that it was always known and agreed that the criteria would change as the primary process proceeded.  The bar was set low at first to assure a great many people (twenty?) could get noticed and perhaps catch fire . . . and then gradually set higher so that, now eight months after the first debate, only viable candidates are being subjected to scrutiny.  Does anyone believe that today — truly wonderful though they are — Cory Booker or Deval Patrick or Michael Bennet (to take just three), were they on stage in Las Vegas, could have realistically captured the nomination?  Or, conversely, that Bloomberg is not realistically in the running?

Which brings me to the second point: shouldn’t the other candidates and their followers demand Bloomberg be on stage so they can confront him?  And so Democrats get to  see him under fire?

(And by the way?  If the DNC had required him to show hundreds of thousands of small contributors, does anyone doubt he could have gotten them?  The email writes itself. “Some of my advisers thought I should use my not having donors as an excuse to avoid the debates.  Blame the DNC.  But at the end of the day, I only want to win the nomination if people, evaluating me along with my worthy opponents, decide I’m their best choice.  Which is why I’m revising my no-contributions policy to accept contributions of $1 each.  Please click below to contribute that dollar and subject me to proper scrutiny on the debate stage.  And by the way?  May I just repeat here that if the people don’t choose me as their nominee, I will spend a fortune trying to help elect whomever they do choose.  I’m not in this for some egomaniacal publicity stunt, as Trump was when, like a king, he descended the escalator.  I’m in it because we need to restore competence and decency as we confront wages that are too low, health care costs that are too high, infrastructure that is crumbling, and a climate crisis that threatens the habitability of our planet.”)

So please don’t fault the DNC for allowing anyone polling at 10% or more onto the debate stage — applaud it.  It was the right decision.  Click here.



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