Primarily Speaking

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

Speaking of which: The first two Democratic debates will be held this June, more than a year before the Democratic National Convention at which the nominee is chosen, and an entire year and a half before the 2020 election. Cool cool cool that doesn't make me want to jump into a Christmas tree at all.

At least we won't have to tune into Fox News for any of the debates, because the Democratic National Committee "has decided to exclude Fox News Channel from televising any of its candidate debates during the 2019-2020 cycle as a result of published revelations detailing the cable network's close ties to the Trump administration."

That would be the Jane Mayer piece at the New Yorker I shared here, about how Fox News has become Donald Trump's propaganda arm. Haha well thank goodness for Jane Mayer, because before she wrote about it, no one knew that Fox News was garbage! J/k! I'm legit glad she provided the DNC with the excuse they needed to give Fox News the stanky boot.

image of Councilman Jeremy Jamm from Parks and Recreation kicking his leg in the air and saying 'Gave you the stanky boot'

Speaking of the Democratic debates, we're likely to see entrepreneur Andrew Yang on the debate stage, because he's working to "game the system" to meet the requirements to get there. Okay!

If you're interested in reading even more about how Joe Biden still hasn't made up his mind (sure) about whether he's going to run for president, the New York Times has got you covered, because of course they do.

Julián Castro is facing a significant primary scheduling problem: "Castro holds the distinction of being the only Latino in the race at a time when many Democrats are appalled by [Donald] Trump's fight to block immigrants from entering the U.S. from Mexico. So Castro, whose grandmother emigrated from Mexico, has set his sights on scoring delegates in states with big Latino populations, among them California, Nevada, and Texas. But the first states to hold 2020 presidential contests — Iowa and New Hampshire — are overwhelmingly white. Candidates who fare poorly there are often eclipsed by front-runners and forced out of the race before voting starts in more diverse states." We really need a rotating schedule so the primaries don't always start in two of the whitest states.

In good news for Senator Kamala Harris, she has picked up some more notable endorsements from mayors of major California towns. In not-so-good news, there is a piece at the WaPo detailing a crime lab scandal when she was San Francisco's District Attorney that reportedly "undercut Harris's image as a polished leader and raised questions about her management style." Sure didn't seem to stall her career, though. I'd love to hear from San Franciscans who lived through her time as D.A. and what they made of this issue.

[Content Note: Sexual assault] Senator Kirsten Gillibrand gave a long interview to New York Magazine, during which she was asked (again, sigh) about Al Franken. Her responses are pretty great:
It's been 14 months since Al Franken resigned from the Senate. Are you surprised that people continue asking you about it, talking about it, now that you're running for president?
Well, I understand many Democrats miss him and may be sad. But the truth about Senator Franken is he had eight credible allegations against him. Many were corroborated in real time. At the time they happened — two them were since he was a senator, and the last allegation that came to light was about a congressional staffer. And for me, I have been leading on issues of ending sexual violence and sexual harassment in the workplace for a long time. Leading on sexual violence in the military, leading on sexual assault on college campuses, leading on ending harassment in Congress. And so, for me, I didn't believe I could stay silent, I didn't believe I could defend him with my silence. I'm also a mom of boys, and the conversations I was having at home — Theo is 15, when he said, "Mom why are you so tough on Al Franken?", I had to be very clear with him. I said, "Theo, you can't grope a woman anywhere on her body without her consent. You can't forcibly kiss a woman, ever, without her consent. It's not okay for Senator Franken, and it's not okay for you." So clarity was necessary for me. And, you know, Senator Franken was entitled to whatever process he wanted. If he wanted to stick it out and do a six-month Ethics Committee investigation that was his right. If he wanted to sue every woman who came out against him, that's his right. Those were his decisions, not mine. The decision I made was whether to stay silent and defend him, and I didn't think it was defensible.

You were clear about all of that at the time, but…

…But it's been over a year, and, again, people still talk about it in the context of your candidacy, whether in national commentary or on the trail. Does that part surprise you?
You know, if a few very wealthy donors across the country are angry that I stood up for women who were demeaned and devalued by a sitting U.S. senator, that's on them. I mean, I don't know what to say. It shows I will do what's right, especially when it's hard. And it's part of who I am.
Right on.

Senator Amy Klobuchar gave an interview to the Washington Post, where she talks about how the United States has a "major monopoly problem" that's harming average Americans: "We have a major monopoly problem. We've seen a 50 percent increase in mergers in the last five years, and we've seen now a number of trillion-dollar companies. It doesn't mean every big company is bad; it just means we're seeing more and more consolidation of power. The problem is, our antitrust laws haven't attacked changes in the kinds of businesses we have." This is really wonky shit, but it's just so important.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Senator Cory Booker is taking on criminal justice reform with new legislation: "The Next Step Act, co-authored by New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, would implement a series of sweeping reforms to 'sentencing guidelines, prison conditions, law enforcement training, and re-entry efforts.' ...Booker's bill would go even further [than other candidates' proposals], pushing for long sought-after reforms like eliminating the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences, reducing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses, and reinstating the right to vote in federal elections for the formerly incarcerated."

Senator Bernie Sanders is signing pledges left and right: He signed a pledge that he's totes a Democrat, and he signed another pledge that he won't go negative in campaign ads. We'll see! One pledge he hasn't signed is to be less grumpy, despite the fact that his staffers are urging him to tone down the grump.

It's a genuine problem to which Sanders should start paying attention. I can't stand listening to Sanders speak, because I don't like feeling like I'm getting angrily lectured by a resentful curmudgeon.

image of Bernie Sanders at a rally, gesticulating and looking angry

Above is a screenshot I grabbed from a video of his first 2020 presidential campaign rally, which was held recently in Brooklyn. I waited until he was saying something positive, as you can see from the closed captioning: He was talking about how his campaign was the answer what is ailing the country. And still he looks angry.

That article about his grumpiness is also pretty interesting, juxtaposed against recent reporting about Klobuchar's alleged anger problems. Again we see the double-standard in how we receive female anger and male anger.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is off to campaign in New York, while Washington Governor Jay Inslee will make his first visit to New Hampshire.

John Hickenlooper is also still running for president.

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

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus