Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me sitting exhaustedly 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!

I am starting to have real complicated feelings about this series, because all signs point to the terrible likelihood that we are not going to have anything resembling free and fair elections in 2020. If the election happened tomorrow, it would probably be a joke, so imagine what things will look like in two years! But I don't know how to proceed except as though we are somehow still going to have a legitimate election, in the desperate hope that we will, so here we go.

One of the things that is super weird about this timeline is how much Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin and I agree on things, because previous to 2016, Jennifer Rubin and I pretty much never agreed on anything. That is preamble to recommending this piece by Jennifer Rubin about how Senator Bernie Sanders still has not released his fucking taxes, in which she points out that it has now been one month since Sanders promised CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he would be releasing his taxes "soon."

February 25:

If your tax returns are so boring, Bernie Sanders, then why don't you release them so we can all look at them and then take a nap?

* * *

Senator Kamala Harris has a very ambitious plan to increase teachers' salaries across the country: "The junior senator from California talked about the plan over the weekend at a campaign event in Houston, saying it would represent 'the largest federal investment in teachers' salaries in the history of the United States.' The plan is one of the early key policy priorities of her 2020 run for the White House. ...'You can judge a society by the way it treats its children, and one of the greatest expressions of love that a society can give to its children is educating those children with the resources they need,' Harris said Saturday. 'And teachers are our greatest resource in that endeavor.'"

Senator Elizabeth Warren ran to catch a train and a paparazzo followed her and once he caught up to her she was happy to answer all his questions, and it was pretty damn terrific!

Senator Cory Booker was in South Carolina saying good things: "Stock prices are at an 85-year high and wages are at a 65-year low. Most families can't take a $400 hit. Many of us are two flat tires away from having to sell something or go into debt. Over 40 percent of Americans have zero net worth, which means they're living paycheck to paycheck. And this is not because productivity has gone down. Society does not value work any more. It's stripping away the dignity and many people in this room know this. We have a real crisis in this country over financial stability." This reminds me of John Edwards' "Two Americas" story, which is to say that I like and appreciate this rhetoric very much.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is on quite a wild ride at the moment, and he is now polling third among likely Iowa caucus voters, just behind Joe Biden and Sanders. That is really something, especially considering that there are five experienced senators comprised of four women and a Black man who are also running. All the pundits tell me it's because Buttigieg is uniquely talented, so I'm sure that's it.

Speaking of white men, Beto O'Rourke just hired a sought-after political consultant who worked for Obama and on four other presidential races, and she's a lady, so he's already making good on his promise to hire people who aren't white men to help him get elected as the 45th white male president.

In other Beto News, he says he'll campaign "one living room at a time," so watch out, America! And make sure you tell him to take his shoes off at the door, just in case he decides to clamber atop your dining room table.

John Hickenlooper is still definitely running for president.

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

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