It only Tuesday, but Howard Schultz’ possible run for president is already clearly the top story of the week, for some reason. Billionaire announces bullshit centrist run for president, billionaire gets big media tour, people get mad, I get mad, I get hypertension.
This bullshit centrist run for president, as it must always be known, has revealed many weaknesses in our media: The fact that it’s possible to command instant, widespread coverage by being very rich and saying you want to run for president; the weight given to the vacuous nonsense Schultz says he’s running on just because he might run on it and he is rich; the fact that anyone is talking about this at all since he has a smaller chance of being president than of being Miss Teen USA.
But as this segment on MSNBC today demonstrates, it’s also revealed how powerfully fucking moronic a lot of very prominent media people are. When the Washington Post’s Jeff Stein appeared on the network and pointed out Schultz might possibly oppose taxes on the rich because he himself would face much higher taxes under the plan—a thing media people would happily say about a voter opposing Democratic politicians who would raise their taxes, for example—MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle was not having any of it.
She literally, and I cannot believe this, scolds that it is “sort of naive to say” Schultz’ opposition to taxing the rich is because he himself is rich—because “he would make a whole lot more money sitting around as the CEO of Starbucks than he would being president.” She went on to argue that “just because he doesn’t like the plan doesn’t mean it’s because it would hurt him personally.”
So, to get this straight: It’s “naive” to say Schultz might want to prevent himself from paying more money in taxes—but it’s not naive to refuse to countenance that a rich person might run for president to try and prevent that from happening.
Because as we know, Schultz would have to give up his business—it’s not like a president could promote his own businesses as president, or actively use his position to profit from his office, or make money from lobbyists and foreign diplomats staying at his hotels or from his properties charging the Secret Service for golf carts. That would be beyond the realm of possibility, for a billionaire to not only continue to build wealth from his office but to also support policies that enrich himself and his rich friends. Could not imagine. Wouldn’t happen here.
Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter whether Schultz runs because he would personally have less money if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Elizabeth Warren’s tax plans were enacted; I wouldn’t be surprised if he truly believed he was doing it for the good of the nation, since billionaires are not known for their connection to reality or lack of ego. I do not care; I still want to tax his latte-slinging ass into the ground. I would just very much like our esteemed cable media hosts, who are considered wise and good enough to host television programs about national news, not to be so damn naive about it.