Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me standing on the side of a road hitchhiking while holding a sign reading 'I need a hug,' 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!

So, Senator Elizabeth Warren is gaining momentum, which means it's time to roll out the shitty hit pieces on her! To wit, this heap of trash at the Washington Post: "While Teaching, Elizabeth Warren Worked on More Than 50 Legal Matters, Charging as Much as $675 an Hour." WOW SCANDALOUS! A woman didn't work for free! Call the police!

Lots of hourly consulting fees include payment for assistants, too. She might have been paying associates, researchers, etc. out of that hourly rate. The story doesn't make that point, nor does it report whether Warren's hourly fee in reality paid for a team.

And why would it? That would undermine the entire premise, which is to imply that Warren is a greedy hypocrite who isn't allowed to say that the wealthy should pay more in taxes because apparently only poor people with zero political power are allowed to say that and then be summarily dismissed at bitter class warriors.

Barack Obama held office as president for 8 years, and ran for the office for 2 years before that, and, in that entire decade, I don't believe I ever once heard anything about the hourly rate he earned as an attorney.

What was Mitt Romney's hourly rate at Bain Capital? How much did George W. Bush earn hourly consulting for Satan? Where are Donald Trump's motherfucking taxes?

Get a grip, WaPo.

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Speaking of hit pieces, the Daily Beast published an article about Senator Cory Booker headlined "Mr. Nice Cory Booker Is Quietly Knifing His Rivals," which then goes on to detail some of the mildest criticism of fellow candidates you'll ever encounter.

In an era where the sitting president will literally just spew bile about his critics' appearance and calls for his political opponents to be jailed, it's quite the choice to accuse Booker of "knifing his rivals" for stuff like a tame criticism about rich candidates funding their own vanity presidential runs.

I also have to say I find it objectionable to use violent imagery about a man of color, especially one who has spoken passionately, personally, and at length about being animated in his public service by the violence he has seen in his community.


* * *

Senator Kamala Harris has changed her view on investigations of police shootings, now believing "that cases of fatal police shootings and alleged police brutality should be handled by an independent investigator." She gives a very cogent explanation for why she didn't feel that way before but does now, and adds: "There's got to be an independent investigation conducted from the first moments of the incident, so that we can be certain and sure that there has been a thorough investigation that is not informed by bias and so that there will be justice for all of the people concerned." I am glad she has changed her mind. I appreciate it when our progressive candidates progress.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is righteously pisssssssssed about the Trump Regime's trans hatred:

Senator Amy Klobuchar and Governor Jay Inslee are talking about the urgency of action on climate change:

Julián Castro was a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers last night, and [video will autoplay] here is that segment, if you'd like to give it a watch!

Senator Bernie Sanders is "inching" toward supporting impeaching Donald Trump: "I do understand where House members are coming from. And you've got this guy who is refusing to respect the Constitution, equal powers, and is rejecting requests for members of the administration to come forward. So, you know, I think it may be time at least to begin the process through the Judiciary Committee to determine whether or not there are impeachment proceedings." Oh god, Bernie. Don't strain yourself with all that strident bravery.

Compare that answer to Beto O'Rourke's answer during his CNN town hall Tuesday night:

CHRIS, a female audience member: Two arguments for starting impeachment proceedings against [Donald] Trump are: First, that impeachment would bring into the open information withheld by the administration; and second, that it is the duty of Congress to protect the Constitution. There seems to be a concern, however, that the move could backfire politically. What is your stance on starting impeachment proceedings against [Donald] Trump and why?

O'ROURKE: Chris, thank you for the question. We should begin impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. Not something— [audience applause] Not something that I take lightly. It's an incredibly serious, sober decision that we should make as a country — really the last resort when every other option has failed us.

And at this point, where the president has refused to respond to any subpoena, where his attorney general will not testify, where he will not furnish other witnesses so that we can find out what happened to this great democracy in 2016, and how we prevent future attacks in 2020 and beyond, a president who invited the involvement of a foreign power in this democracy in 2016 and then did everything in his power to obstruct the investigation into what has happened — if we do nothing because we are afraid of the polls or the politics or the repercussions in the next election, then we will have set a precedent for this country that, in fact, some people because of the position of power and public trust that they hold are above the law.

And if this great democracy, 243 years into this idea and this experiment, is to survive for another 243, or even another year or two, we cannot allow that precedent to stand. There must be consequences, accountability, and justice. The only way to ensure that is to begin impeachment proceedings.

Chris, thank you for asking the question. [audience applause]

DANA BASH, CNN moderator: So just to follow up on that: You said that impeachment proceedings should start now; Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, says that the president— impeaching the president would be very divisive in the country and would only help the president solidify his base. Do you think there's something to that?

O'ROURKE: I do. You know, I understand the political implications of this. But I think this moment calls for us to look beyond the politics and the polling — and even the next election.

It's the very sanctity of the ballot box and the very future of the world's greatest democracy. And if this is important to us — and I think it is — then we need to look past those short-term consequences to the consequences to the future of this country.

And the only way that we're going to get the documents and the facts and the truth to be able to pursue them as far as they go, as high up as they reach, is to compel the testimony, the furnishing of those documents through impeachment proceedings. It's the only way that we're going to get to the facts necessary to have that accountability and justice.

BASH: Because short-term pain could be for you, if you were the Democratic nominee. That's okay?

O'ROURKE: That's possible. But, listen, the consequence of the alternative is to turn a blind eye to this and, in doing so, turn our back on the future of this country. And I cannot be part of that. We're going to have to make the tough decisions now.
RIGHT ON. An absolutely excellent answer. Great job, O'Rourke!

Joe Biden is probably somewhere drafting his plans for a round of fisticuffs with Donald Trump in Scranton.

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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