Three liberal members of San Francisco's city school board were booted last week, and while some say not to read too much into one local vote, others are concerned that the special election could be a "bellwether" of sorts for nationwide politics. In that latter camp is Michael Bloomberg, who, in an op-ed on, well, Bloomberg, frets about "a wipeout in November, up and down the ballot" for the Democratic Party unless it shifts to a more moderate path that can appeal to swing voters. The former New York City mayor and presidential candidate writes that the "political earthquake" that took place in California should serve as a "dire warning" to Dems, "because the same fault line stretches across the country and the tremors are only increasing." Bloomberg outlines the three main factors he saw that led to the San Francisco ousters—factors he believes could play a role in other parts of the US.
First, he notes Dems have to prioritize getting kids into (and keeping them in) schools, which didn't seem to be a priority in San Francisco, "even when it was clear that doing so was safe" during the pandemic. Bloomberg also blasts that city's board for becoming mired in political correctness—it focused on changing controversial school names instead of reopening schools—and for nixing merit-based admission to one of its area high schools. "Lowering standards in the name of fairness only exacerbates injustice and inequality," he writes. "Voters understand this, and they will keep casting their ballots for candidates who do, too." In short, Bloomberg is still pulling for Democrats to stay strong so they're able to "[beat] back the Republican Party's dangerous turn toward authoritarianism." That won't happen, though, if there's not an "immediate course correction," he notes. Read his piece in its entirety here. (Read more Michael Bloomberg stories.)