Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of my screaming face as the O in a giant 'OMG,' 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!

Current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden thought he would do a little reaching out to Republicans by praising former Vice President Dick Cheney as "a decent man." I wish I were making that up. I am not.

Between this and Mayor Pete Buttigieg going on about Mike Pence's integrity and respect for democratic institutions, I don't want to hear another goddamned thing about how terrific Republican leaders are from Democratic presidential candidates.

But I'm guessing we're not even close to hearing the end of it, especially from Biden, who in March called Pence "a decent guy" and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "a good guy."

In a matter of months, Biden has publicly complimented Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, and Dick Cheney — but has trashed Hillary Clinton in deeply dishonest ways over and over and over and over, and had some shit to say about her supporters, too.

I have a problem with that.

* * *

Now that Senator Bernie Sanders is a frontrunner, he's finally getting vetted. I bet he doesn't like that at all!

At the Washington Post, Michael Kranish takes a look "Inside Bernie Sanders's 1988 10-Day 'Honeymoon' in the Soviet Union." And it's quite a straightforward and gentle accounting of Sanders' visits to the Soviet Union and Cuba, levying no judgment on Sanders, but the facts themselves are damning.

These are the final two paragraphs, so most people will never make it that far, but yikes:
"Under Castro, enormous progress has been made in improving the lives of poor people," Sanders said before leaving, while noting "enormous deficiencies" in democratic rights. While he failed in his goal to meet Fidel Castro, he returned home with even greater praise than he had for the Soviet Union.

"I did not see a hungry child. I did not see any homeless people," Sanders told the Burlington Free Press. While Cuba was "not a perfect society," he said the country "not only has free health care but very high-quality health care. ...The revolution there is far deeper and more profound than I understood it to be. It really is a revolution in terms of values."
Just shocking.

(More than a million Cubans fled for the United States following the revolution, and not because the country was merely "imperfect.")

And I want to underline, especially for younger readers who may not grasp the global politics of that era, that Sanders, as the mayor of a small town in Vermont, was not a U.S. statesman making a state trip, and, however he may spin it or what his intentions were, the only reason government officials of Russia or Cuba would agree to meet with Sanders at that time was because he was an American stooge in their propaganda campaigns.

Given that Sanders still refuses to be accountable regarding his own campaign boost from Russians in the 2016 election, I have real concerns about his willingness and/or indifference to be used as a prop by foreign adversaries. Or worse.

In other news, Senator Cory Booker takes absolutely the right position here, which also indirectly throws some shade Sanders' way:

In the final section of Part 4 of her Looking for Bernie series, Aphra_Behn detailed Sanders appalling support of "the Texas-Vermont-Maine Compact, a bill that would allow the latter two states to dump their nuclear waste at a site near Sierra Blanca, a small, impoverished, hispanophone community in Texas." I encourage you to read it.

[CN: Video may autoplay at links] After Senator Kamala Harris showed off her prosecutors' chops while grilling Attorney General Bill Barr, Donald Trump said she was "probably very nasty," to which Harris responded by saying: "His primary interest has been to obstruct justice. My primary interest is to pursue justice. You can call that whatever name you want, but I think that's what the American people want in a leader. TELL HIM.

My favorite (cough) new genre of articles about Senator Elizabeth Warren is: "She has so many policies, but why doesn't anyone like her?" (Asks the same press that barely gives her any coverage, while slobbering all over a small-town mayor with zero policy proposals.) Today's entry, care of Grace Segers at CBS: Elizabeth Warren Bets Big on Policy to Break Through Crowded Democratic Field.
Warren has taken a clear stand on just about every major political issue facing the country, and even some more esoteric ones, while many of her opponents eschew policy minutiae. She has a vision. She has an agenda.

And despite being the first major candidate to enter the race last December, she's lagging in the polls.
That is followed by a lot of words about Warren facing misogyny, how her policies are detail-dense, electability, etc., but here's the thing: I guarantee if the press steadily delivered fawning coverage of Warren accompanied by photos taken by iconic fashion photographers, in which we heard all about her idiosyncratic talents peppered in between languid descriptions of the precise color of her eyes, she'd be "breaking through" in a big way, too.

Instead, if we even get to hear about, say, her adorable dog, it's accompanied with a goddamn subhead about how she "has turned to Bailey the golden retriever to help humanize her." FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

Speaking of candidates getting shit treatment from the political press, I've now twice had occasion to post in comments this observation about Julián Castro, so I'm going to go ahead and publish it here on the main page, too:
He should be a leading contender.

He's everything that the media claims to pay attention to when they try to justify ignoring certain candidates: He's experienced, he's competent, he's interesting, he's media savvy, he's terrific on TV, he's young, and he's even handsome (not that that should matter, but it does and he is — I mean, did you see the photo accompanying that New Yorker interview?!), which basically makes him the whole package, according to the press' own definition. He's also a dude.

The one thing that he isn't is white.

And, given all his other qualities, it's tough not to conclude that that's the only one which really matters, in the end.
[CN: Ableist slur; homophobia] During an interview with the vile Laura Ingraham, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick used an ableist slur against Beto O'Rourke and implied that he is gay:
Patrick, a Republican, had a long list of complaints about O'Rourke, a fellow Texan and former congressman. His gripes ranged from O'Rourke's describing immigration as "modern-day bondage" to his support for reparations for the descendants of slaves.

"What a moron," Patrick said of O'Rourke.

"Whatever happened to this guy?" Ingraham asked. "Wasn't he a little more reasonable not so long ago?"

Patrick responded, "He is so light in the loafers he floats off the ground at times."

Later in the program, Ingraham asked Patrick to clarify his use of the phrase and whether he intended it as a "pejorative."

"No, no, no! What I meant, to me, you know, he flaps his arms a lot," Patrick, a long-time conservative radio host, responded. "He's just a lightweight."
That is not what "light in the loafers" means. That's not what it has ever meant. Fuck Dan Patrick and his dogwhistling and his gaslighting.

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