Krystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy

Opinion by: Krystal Ball 

At a grassroots fundraiser last night in D.C., Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic MORE had a message for our fragile ruling class.

His utter mockery and ‘F your feelings’ attitude towards billionaires is just sublime and, of course, perfectly timed given that the ruling class is truly in full meltdown panic mode. First, Tom SteyerTom SteyerTop 12 political donors accounted for almost 1 of every 13 dollars raised since 2009: study California Democrats weigh their recall options Why we should be leery of companies entering political fray MORE jumped into the presidential race after saying he wouldn't. When pressed for a justification by Politico, he said it's because no one was prioritizing climate change. This, of course, in spite of the fact that he still has investments in oil and gas companies, not to mention an undying faith in the consumerist capitalistic system that led the planet to the point of collapse in the first place. Then, after numerous reports of Manhattan donor hand wringing, Michael BloombergMichael BloombergPress: Even Jeff Bezos should pay income taxes What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship 5 former Treasury secretaries back Biden's plan to increase tax enforcement on wealthy MORE decided to get in on the action. He is now officially on the ballot in at least a few states and his advisor Howard Wolfson says that he will skip the early primary states to focus on Super Tuesday.

The billionaire former NYC mayor would enter the primary race with a worst in field negative 31 favorability rating among Iowa voters.

Next up, Deval Patrick who brings quite a record of white-washing corporate malfeasance to the table. He's got a classic up by the bootstraps story that ends with him as VP at Coca-Cola, VP at Texaco, and managing director at Bain Capital. But maybe his most revealing resume item was his time with Ameriquest, which was written about by Zach Carter over at the Huffington Post. Ameriquest was the largest subprime lender in the housing crisis. Described as the "worst bottom feeder of them all,” Deval Patrick sat on their board. Patrick has called Biden and others to indicate he may jump in the race. I guess the donor class loves Pete but can see the polling that has him near 0% with black voters. I personally see no reason to believe that a similar corporatist background wrapped in a different identity will achieve significantly better results— but sure, whatever.

As if that wasn't enough, now Obama A.G. Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderObama planning first post-2020 fundraiser Democratic group launches seven-figure ad campaign on voting rights bill Biden: 'Simply wrong' for Trump DOJ to seek journalists' phone records MORE is taking another look at the race. He's reportedly talking to strategists about a late entry. And of course, the matriarch of the Democratic establishment herself, Hillary Rodham Clinton just told the BBC that she's "under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about" running.

So why now? Why has full freakout set in over the past couple weeks? After all, as Estuardo Rodriguez pointed out on our show yesterday, he was just with Governor Patrick two weeks ago, and at that time, he was completely clear and firm in his commitment to not run. Very interesting.

Of course, all of these people are claiming that they're taking another look at the race because they're just simple patriots concerned that the field isn't strong enough to defeat Trump. Here's Bloomberg's Guy Howard Wolfson again:

"We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated, but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that."

By the way, I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone as consistently ratioed as that guy is. Anyway, don't believe the bullshit that this is all about their patriotic duty to defeat Trump. They aren't afraid Democrats will lose to Trump, they are terrified that a real progressive may actually win.

After all, it's hard not to notice that the sudden ruling class meltdown and rush to enter the race has occurred during a time period when Bernie Sanders has seen a surge in endorsements, crowd sizes, and polling numbers. He had the best debate of his career, won the endorsement of A.O.C., Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarYoung Turks founder on Democratic establishment: 'They lie nonstop' Hillary Clinton backs Shontel Brown in Ohio congressional race The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters MORE, Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHouse Republicans introduce resolution to censure the 'squad' Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries MORE and now the National Nurses Union. He hosted the biggest rally of the cycle in New York and just garnered the largest rally crowd in Iowa so far. That new momentum is also showing up in the polls, where he's gained 5 points in Iowa, 7 points among college students, a recent CNN poll had him leading in New Hampshire, and polls consistently show his supporters to be the most enthusiastic and the most committed. Warren and Biden, meanwhile, have both slumped during this time period and it’s hard to imagine that the elite freakout is in reaction to Mayor Pete's media-fueled rise.

Now the great irony of course is that nothing could be better for Bernie than a bunch of billionaire and establishment types jumping into the race to siphon off votes from his more elite-friendly rivals.

But you know, while the ruling class may be good at foreclosing on middle class homes, giving closed door speeches to Goldman Sachs, and profiting off of climate catastrophe, they're not always so great at figuring out this whole politics thing. Their ego and undying faith in their own brilliance will never allow them to see what is so patently obvious to all of us: no one outside of your tiny enclave wants you. And your candidacies will only enable and inflame the exact populist movement you are so desperate to quash. Prepare to see many more billionaire tears in the days to come.