Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me making a WTF face with the letters WTF sitting on my head, pictured 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!

YES, Senator Cory Booker, YES!!! "Cory Booker is detailing a proposed overhaul of how Americans vote, bringing a message that intersects voting rights and reproductive justice to a place with deep resonance for his campaign's message of moral courage."
Booker, who teased the pursuit of a "new Voting Rights Act" in his official kickoff speech last weekend in Newark, connected voting rights to reproductive justice in an address in front of a group of students [in Atlanta] Wednesday afternoon, on the heels of the Georgia legislature's passage of a "heartbeat bill," which bans most abortions when a doctor can detect a heartbeat...

Booker's campaign told BuzzFeed News his new voting rights proposal would protect the right to vote, including by reversing the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision that narrowed the scope of the current Voting Rights Act, and make it easier to vote with provisions for automatic voter registration and expanded voting access.

His campaign said Booker plans to propose that as president he'll end gerrymandering; stop voter suppression efforts, such as purging voters from the rolls; expand vote-by-mail, early voting, and same-day and online voter registration; make Election Day a national holiday; rid the election system of language barriers; and give U.S. citizens returning from incarceration the right to vote. A spokesperson for his campaign said Booker will continue to link the movements together in an effort to find a common purpose.

"For years, the right to vote for millions of Americans — disproportionately in communities of color — has been under assault," Booker said in a statement. "It is time for a new Voting Rights Act to finally put an end to systematic attempts to limit access to the ballot box and strip citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. During my presidency, we will fight to protect and expand every American's right to take part in our democracy."
*fist pump* Honestly, given the major news today, it's really quite amazing that I can feel this excited about any political news, but what'll do it every time is someone taking seriously that we need to have free and fair elections if there is any chance at all of extricating ourselves from this precipitous slide into an authoritarian abyss.

Senator Kamala Harris has expressed regret over the way the truancy law she supported led to the criminalization of parents. To be honest, I think it should have been apparent that was going to happen, and probably people from those communities warned her, and it was always a shit law from the start, so talking about intentions isn't very helpful. But the upshot is that she has changed her mind about the policy, and, as I always say, what we want and need from progressive candidates is for them to progress. I just wish she'd be a little more forthright about how it was bad policy from go.

In Utah, Senator Elizabeth Warren, aka Professor Policy, railed against corruption — "When you see a government that works great for those who have money and can hire armies of lobbyists but isn't working great for anyone else, that's corruption, pure and simple" — and promised she's got a plan for what ails us: "We need big, systemic change in this country. And I got a plan." Heck yeah she does!

Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney (who is totally running for president, I swear) "announced a plan to create an independent agency to address national cybersecurity threats. The proposed Department of Cybersecurity would be led by a cabinet-level secretary who would be in charge of implementing the United States' cybersecurity strategy. The proposal is the first major cybersecurity push from any presidential candidate so far this cycle." That's probably a good idea? I don't really know! Is it better to have your cybersecurity responsibilities diffuse to make it harder to hack the whole system, or concentrated with the most impenetrable defenses around that single department? I await Elizabeth Warren's policy to tell me!

Beto O'Rourke says he might consider doing cable news shows at some point, and I want to know if it's really a conscious choice that he's not doing cable news shows or is he not being invited? Does he not like cable news because there's no stuff to stand on? I am not a professional political advisor, but I would advise Beto O'Rourke to get his ass on cable news now, because, if he waits much longer, he won't be a candidate anymore.

Oh, Senator Bernie Sanders, what are you even doing?

Speaking of Sanders, his former strategist Tad Devine is meeting with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio about his possible 2020 presidential bid, and the fact that de Blasio even took a meeting with Devine after all of this is disqualifying. Keep walking, Mayor.

At least Terry McAuliffe has decided not to run. Smart. "I'm going to work the next six months every single day to make sure Virginia, we win the House and the Senate, and then next year I'm going to work like a dog to make sure that we are blue." Necessary. I doubt that's the reason why he's not running, but I'm glad that's the way he's going to spend his time now that he isn't.

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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