He wasn’t even in Iowa, but with the predictable collapse of Joe Biden, Mayor Mike had a better night than Mayor Pete.

Bloomberg is doubling his paid staff to 2,000, and doubling his anticipated campaign spending to unheard-of sums approaching a billion dollars. Bloomberg’s hunch that Biden would crater paid off. So the center lane will now be a contest between him and Buttigieg, with Sanders and Warren contending for the left.

Even in Iowa, with its leftish Democratic electorate, the center candidates outpolled the left ones. And with Warren still in it, the left still has an embarrassment of riches.

We need one strong progressive candidate, ideally not one who will be 79 on Inauguration Day. But we are blessed and cursed with two—and there is no good scenario for an early winnowing down.

Get ready for dystopia on stilts.

For several decades, the Democratic Party has been afflicted by pro-corporate candidates and presidents, who were too cozy with Wall Street billionaires. Peter Buttigieg is another such candidate.

But Bloomberg eliminates the middleman—he’s not a wannabe or a sycophant but a real-deal, full-on Wall Street billionaire. He’s good on social issues, terrible on the rigged rules that enable oligarchs like himself and invite Trumpism.

Appallingly, Bloomberg has every intention of going Trump one better. He has more billions, and he is prepared to spend them. If Trump the entertainer reached the White House by way of reality TV, Bloomberg is prepared to buy the Democratic nomination by way of TV ads and little on-the-ground campaigning, at which he’s not very good. He’s a cleaner, greener version of the Swamp.

For decades, the undertow afflicting Democratic politics has been big money. Warren and Sanders both promise small money and citizen activism as the remedy.

But with Bloomberg, it’s our Wall Street billionaire, disconnected from grassroots democracy, versus their unhinged billionaire. Not exactly a recipe for winning back workaday voters disgusted with the elite domination of both parties.

We still have time to avert this catastrophe, but Sanders, Warren, and their supporters had better get their act together.