“Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire asshole!”

The Starbucks guy threw a launch party for himself at a Manhattan Barnes & Noble last night; attendance was minimal.

Schultz had no sooner begun to answer his first question from moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin, the CNBC host and New York Times columnist, when he was interrupted by a voice in the back of the room.

“Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire asshole!” a bearded man in an Adidas track jacket shouted. “Go back to getting ratioed on Twitter!”

Schultz started to respond, but the man kept going: “Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elites who think they know how to run the world!”

Well put.

When Schultz eventually regained the floor, he said he was running to put a stop to President Donald Trump’s agenda. But there is already a process by which a lifelong Democrat with center-left policy positions can run for president: It’s called the Democratic primary. It is the responsibility of the person reinventing the wheel to explain why what he is doing is necessary.

Or, in this case, it’s his responsibility to not do the thing he’s doing.

The buzzwords flew this way and that as he laid out the case for his candidacy. “For the first time since George Washington,” Schultz said, “an independent person can ignite a national movement to say, ‘It’s time for us to come together, to send a powerful, strong, robust message to everyone they see that we want change, real change, we want to reimagine the system, we want to disrupt it.’” He was tired of “the toxicity of both parties.”

I’ve been tired of the timidity and conservatism of the Dems my whole damn life, but that doesn’t mean confused narcissistic Starbucks guy is the solution.

The prospective candidate is right about one thing—there is a vocal faction of Democrats who have begun to speak more aggressively against concentrated wealth, and the policy prescriptions they offer would come down hard on billionaires like himself. Asked about New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent comment that the existence of billionaires is immoral and a reflection of a failed economic system, Schultz expressed frustration.

“It’s so un-American to think that way,” he said. For all his rhetorical nods to unity and civility, Schultz has a habit of dismissing people who don’t agree with him as “un-American.” On Tuesday, he suggested that Harris’ proposal to get rid of private health insurance was “un-American” and tweeted that opponents of his third-party bid were, too. (Yes, of course, that tweet got ratioed.)

He’s right that it’s un-American to think the combination of a few billionaires with millions in poverty is a reflection of a failed economic system, but that’s because we have a failed economic system and an ideology that props it up. (Short version: too many Americans have read and believed Ayn Rand.) We’ve been indoctrinated to accept a system that leads to a few billionaires and millions of people in poverty.

Schultz told the crowd at Barnes & Noble that he likes the Affordable Care Act and wants to expand it; he’d like to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. He thinks corporate taxes are too low and inequality is a serious problem, but that free college, universal health care, and a federal jobs guarantee are also bad because they cost too much. He’s worried about the debt and less worried about, though generally aware of the existence of, the ongoing crisis of food insecurity.

Schultz is, in another words, an extremely generic moderate Democrat in 2019, not so different from the kinds of Democrats who have won the party’s nomination in the recent past. The only real mystery is why he thinks that makes him George Washington.

Or even interesting.

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