Except for the people who are deliberately mean and hateful, seeking to harm others — and those who are inconsiderate, indifferent to the feelings of others, I find opportunists to be the most irritating sort of human being. They don’t seem to believe in anything but their own advancement.
No wonder I was never a great fan of former President Clinton — or his wife. Each Clinton seems to shift his* position, not because of what he* feels in his heart, but what he believes is most likely to further his election. While many gay activists can’t seem to contain themselves at the mere mention of the former president’s name, he showed that he preferred political expediency to helping gay people. Gay people bore the brunt of that Democrat’s opportunism.
When it helped him to have gay support (in the three-way 1992 election), he promised to repeal the ban on gays in the military. When he realized repealing the ban could cost him politically, he signed “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” into law, making it impossible for his successors to do what his predecessors (and he) could have done, repeal that ridiculous regulation with the stroke of a pen.
Yesterday, another political opportunist made headlines. New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, twice elected as a Republican, “left the Republican Party and become unaffiliated in what many believe could be a step toward entering the 2008 race for president.” The Mayor hadn’t been a Republican very long, having switched in 2001 “his lifelong Democratic registration to avoid a crowded primary.”
Just another opportunist, becoming a Republican in order to bypass the Democratic primary. And now leaving the party as he contemplates a presidential bid, knowing he wouldn’t have a prayer in the GOP’s presidential primary, given the presence of his more accomplished predecessor.
Some people, ever eager to blame everything on Bush, seem to think his departure has something to do with the president’s “betrayal of conservatism.”** Except that, as Robbie, who tipped me off to that silly statement, noted Bloomberg hasn’t been much of a conservative. And he doesn’t seem to be leading the charge for fiscal prudence, either as Mayor of New York or in his prospective presidential bid.
Nope, Michael Bloomberg is a political opportunist plain and simple. (As Robbie puts it, “Should” Bloomberg run for president, “his leaving the party will mirror the purpose of his original joining – pure political expediency.” So, there’s not much of a story to his second change of partisan affiliation since George W. Bush became president. Except that he may be trying to succeed that man in that office.
* this pronoun is grammatically correct.
**This blogger agrees that the President hasn’t been all that conservative.