Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me smiling and holding a cup of steaming coffee that says 'I hate myself,' while standing in front of a patriotic stars-and-stripes graphic, to which I've added text reading: 'The Democratic Primary 2020: Let's do this thing.'

Welcome to another edition of Primarily Speaking, because presidential primaries now begin fully one million years before the election!

So, Joe Biden still hasn't announced that he's running for president, and lots of people are quite reasonably wondering what the hold-up is, because it's obvious that he is running despite the fact that he shouldn't be. And it's probably because he's sorting out what goddamned stupid gimmick he's going to use to try to convince people that he's the best candidate.

For some time, there have been rumors that Biden might announce with a running mate already in tow and/or that with a promise that he would only serve one term. Maybe a combination thereof. Today, Axios reports that his out-of-the-gate running mate may be Stacey Abrams.

First of all, we all need to understand that this "report" is Biden's team floating a trial balloon to gauge public reaction to the idea — and, if Abrams isn't already on board, potentially a way of publicly putting pressure on her.

This is a very bad idea. Mostly for whoever agrees to be Biden's running mate, especially if it's Abrams. For one thing, Biden's disgrace during the Anita Hill testimony against Clarence Thomas is going to come up if Biden runs. Surely Abrams doesn't want to be associated with that mess. For another, Abrams has cultivated a good reputation for speaking honestly about her personal debt, while Biden has been handing out gifts to predatory lenders in Delaware his whole career. The questions about that mismatch aren't going to serve Abrams well.

And, in any case, that Biden is even contemplating that his road to the presidency starts with some sort of godawful stunt is disqualifying, in my estimation. We need serious people, not prankster doofuses.

In other news... Senator Bernie Sanders is quite deservedly getting eleventy shitloads of criticism for his deplorable hires. And it isn't just on social media. At the Washington Post (though in the Style section?!), Paul Farhi makes the very good point that David Sirota's failure to disclose to his readers at the Guardian and elsewhere that he was working behind the scenes for Sanders while trashing other candidates not only makes him a shitty campaign hire but also a shitty journalist.

On Twitter, @eclecticbrotha additionally notes: "The Intercept's Briahna Joy Gray was also devoting a lot of her time attacking Sanders' presidential rivals in the months before officially becoming Sanders' campaign press secretary. That relationship could stand some investigating as well." Indeed.

Speaking of Twitter, here is just a terrible but necessary reminder that the company on whose platform much of our political debate now takes place is managed by a bunch of fascist shitwheels:

They then deleted that tweet and replaced it one now reading: "Update: This replaces a previous Tweet to reflect that the electoral college exists, in part, to give a greater voice to less populous states." Hahahaha fuck you! The electoral college exists because of classist patriarchal white supremacy.

[Content Note: Disablism] Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced legislation ostensibly to address the opioid addiction epidemic but will, in actual practice, be incredibly harmful to people who rely on opioids for pain management. Ana Mardoll has published two excellent Twitter threads on the subject. The first ends with this tweet (scroll up to get to the beginning), and the second begins with this tweet (scroll down to read the rest). Having supported this legislation is really bad, and failing to listen to the people whom it will harm is even worse. It's a terrible move as a presidential candidate, and it's a terrible move as a sitting senator. Really disappointing stuff.

From the other side of the aisle: "Mike Pence woos 2016 anti-Trumpers to bankroll billion-dollar reelection: The vice president is serving as a conduit and Trump translator for the traditional GOP donor set." Keep your eyes on Pence.

Just after I recommended an interview with Mayor Pete Buttigieg yesterday, I saw that he said some more objectionable shit in a different interview:


Not to be outdone, John Hickenlooper yonked open his maw and jammed his entire clodhopper in there:
"Governor," CNN's Dana Bash said at a presidential candidate town hall, "some of your male competitors have vowed to put a woman on the ticket. Yes or no, would you do the same?"

"Of course," Hickenlooper said, before saying he wanted to ask Bash a question.

"How come we're not asking more often the women, 'Would you be willing to put a man on the ticket?' " he said with a shrug, to audible groans from the audience.
Oh for fuck's sake. Look, I get that he was trying to make the point that women aren't reflexively presumed to be the nominee, but this is not the way to make that point. It's not in the same galaxy as the way to make that point. In one sentence, Chloe Angyal makes plain precisely why: "Have you considered including more men in your trailblazing feminist accomplishment?" Exactly.

Jay Inslee is still definitely running for president.

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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