Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me laying on a chaise with a drink beside me, 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!

This is a very good article by Will Bunch at the Philly Inquirer about how misogyny is working against Senator Elizabeth Warren, despite the fact that she is "offering the boldest and the most thoughtful policy solutions for the ravages of the 21st Century's flawed capitalism — a wealth tax that would pay for education and other programs, the forgiveness of America's massive college debt load for the middle class, breaking up the Silicon Valley tech monopolies."
I've talked with Democrats — both professionals and rank-and-file neighbor types — and I keep hearing the same things from people who, for the most part, would have swooned over a Warren campaign in the year 2015 B.H. (Before Hillary). That they love her and her ideas but that America would never elect someone like her. A woman who'll turn 70 this June, attractive but unglamorous, with the raspy voice and sometimes didactic syntax of a school marm. A woman whom Trump and his pale-faced mob would endlessly ridicule as "Pocahontas."

A woman who can be Hillary-ed.

In other words, a woman.
And this is a very good article by Xorje Olivares at Teen Vogue about the significance of Julián Castro's presidential run:
As someone who grew up on the border, I see Castro as a new kind of politician, one combating perceived bigotry by presenting sharp ideas and moral understanding, going beyond racial and ethnic identity, like supporting universal pre-K, Medicare for All, a renewal of the assault weapons ban, and combatting the effects of climate change. He's no stranger to criticizing Trump's treatment of Latinx people, and sees his vision as the antithesis of the anti-immigrant agenda currently underway.

The lifelong Texan, whose grandmother immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, roused the San Antonio crowd by highlighting the benefits of welcoming immigrant communities to the state, touting his comprehensive "People First" immigration plan, which, among other things, calls for ending immigration detention and classifying undocumented migration as a civil, not criminal, offense.

Castro's passion matches the flame that now serves as the accent mark atop his name on logos and marketing materials that appear at his campaign events. It's about time we talk about and celebrate that accent, which notes the correct Spanish pronunciation of who-lee-AHN.

That small punctuation mark in Castro's name serves as a powerful example of nonwhite visibility, particularly for Latinx people, in a presidential race where the country is now vetting Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, and John Hickenlooper, after electing Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Castro referenced the significance of the accent mark last fall, telling The Daily Show's Trevor Noah that it "would be the first time that anybody has run for president accent over a letter." It represents "who you are, and you should run as who you are," he said.
Senator Cory Booker impressed in Milwaukee when he "made a campaign stop Tuesday at Coffee Makes You Black in Milwaukee where he held a roundtable discussion on gun violence. ...The issue is one that anti-violence advocates in Milwaukee are happy to be seeing addressed by a presidential candidate. 'Any time a call for prevention can be amplified on this level I think is critically important,' said Reggie Moore, Director of the Office of Violence Prevention in Milwaukee."

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] During an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand let loose on Jared Kushner for shit-talking the Mueller report: When presented with Kushner's remarks, which he made on Tuesday at the TIME 100 Summit in New York, the senator lit into the president's senior adviser. 'He clearly hasn't read the report himself,' Gillibrand said. 'But what he said is an outrage. For him to make light of a foreign adversary purposely trying to undermine our elections is untenable,' she continued. 'I am gravely concerned that this administration continues to not take this seriously,' the senator said. 'And those statements are highly inappropriate.'" To say the least.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg believes that imprisoned people should not be allowed to vote:

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Just before we go to the audience, one more question: Senator Sanders earlier this evening said he's in favor of felons being able to vote even while serving their prison terms. He was asked specifically about people like the Boston Marathon bomber, people convicted of sexual assault, rape, and other things, pedophiles. He said the right to vote is inherent to our democracy, yes, even for terrible people. Senator Kamala Harris just said we should have that conversation. She didn't really answer one way or another. What do you think? Should people convicted of sexual assault, the Boston Marathon bomber, should they be able to vote?

BUTTIGIEG: While incarcerated?


BUTTIGIEG: No, I don't think so.

[audience applause]

I do believe that when you are out, when you have served your sentence, then part of being restored to society is that you're part of the political life of this nation again. And one of the things that needs to be restored is your right to vote. As you know, some states and communities do it. Some don't. I think we'd be a better country if everybody did it. And frankly, I think the motivations for preventing that kind of re-enfranchisement in some cases have to do with one side of the aisle noticing that they politically benefit from that, and that's got some racial layers, too. So that's one of many reasons that I believe that re-enfranchisement upon release is important. But part of the punishment when you're convicted of a crime and you're incarcerated is you lose certain rights. You lose your freedom. And I think, during that period, it does not make sense to have an exception for the right to vote.
Yikes. This is a very bad answer, and it is a very bad answer no matter whether you agree or disagree on felons having the right to vote, because Buttigieg's justification for his answer is dependent on the highly faulty premise that everyone who is in jail is definitely guilty. That is not accurate.

That particular inaccuracy is something we take into consideration when we are discussing the death penalty, and it is something we cannot abandon just because the right to vote isn't regarded as having the same stakes.

It may not on the individual level, but on the systemic level, it surely can be a matter of life and death to disenfranchise millions of people who have the most vested interest in voting for people who support criminal justice and prison reform.

(See also on this subject: Luke Darby at GQ.)

Here is how some of the other candidates, including Senator Bernie Sanders (good answer) and Senator Kamala Harris (not so good answer), responded to the same question.

Harris' answer on another question, however, was pretty stellar: "During a Q&A portion of an event held at Keene State College in New Hampshire Tuesday, the California senator addressed the issue, when a member of American Civil Liberties Union asked her about the rights of people who don't conform to the traditional idea of male or female genders. Responding to a question by a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, who asked if 'as president, would you recognize a third gender marker on federal IDs?' 'Sure, sure,' Harris said matter-of-factly. 'Absolutely.'"

You're in luck if you're interested in how the 2020 candidates' fundraising is stacking up. I've already seen one headline about how James Comey and his wife gave money to Senator Amy Klobuchar, and I have no idea how that is supposed to work against Klobuchar, but I'm sure I'll find out!

Joe Biden is supposedly going to announce tomorrow now. Okay. I really don't give a fuck. I was not a fan of Biden before he was vice-president, I was not a fan of Biden while he was vice-president, and I'm not a fan of Biden now. The end.

John Hickenlooper is still definitely 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