Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me smiling and holding a sign reading 'FML!', while standing 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 something that every one of the eleventy-seven candidates running for the Democratic nomination need to be aware of and have a fight plan ready for: Donald Trump continues leveraging his unparalleled platform to manipulate the press into giving him an unfair advantage.
Trump took his long-running attacks against CNN to a new level on Monday by suggesting in tweets that a consumer boycott of its parent company, AT&T, could force "big changes" at the news organization.

"I believe that if people stoped [sic] using or subscribing to AT&T, they would be forced to make big changes at CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway," Trump tweeted. "It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News!"

The comment, which Trump tweeted in response to seeing CNN coverage while traveling in London during a European tour, fueled criticisms that the president was using his power inappropriately to intimidate critics.
Intimidate critics, yes. But also wage war on the press — which was already favorably disposed toward him during the last election, giving him an estimated $2 billion of free advertising, even broadcasting an empty podium bearing his logo while anticipating his arrival to campaign rallies.

CBS Chair Les Moonves famously said in March 2016 that Trump's dominance "may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS." And there's zero indication that the media have changed their tune on Trump.

One of the many problems with having individually tasked Hillary Clinton with the responsibility for losing in 2016 is that it has made many of the leading 2020 Democratic candidates complacent regarding the real reasons why she lost.

I see two men in particular at the front of the pack breezing through these early days with a brazen confidence arrogance that suggests they have not a care in the world about the foreign interference, the domestic voter suppression schemes, the social media fuckery, and the press failures that await them if they win the nomination.

And that worries me a whole lot.

This is not a normal presidency, and 2020 will not be a normal election.

* * *

Joe Biden is still leading the polls at the moment, though his star has faded: "A new CNN poll finds Joe Biden leads the Democratic presidential race with 32%, down from 39% saying they supported him in April. ...Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to stand alone in second place with 18%, followed by Kamala Harris at 8%, Elizabeth Warren at 7%, Pete Buttigieg [and] Beto O'Rourke at 5%, Cory Booker at 3% support, Julián Castro at 2%, and Amy Klobuchar at 2% each. The remaining 14 candidates tested in the poll landed at 1% or less."

Hey speaking of media fuckery and Bidens who don't appear to be prepared for it... Remember when the New York Times ran that hit piece last month about Biden's son's role with a Ukrainian energy company? [CN: Video may autoplay at link] Well, it turns out that one of the authors of that piece, Iuliia Mendel, has "joined the Ukrainian government as spokesperson for the president of Ukraine." Huh!

In related news...

So, the Paper of Record is now in cahoots with the Kremlin? Cool. I'm sure that won't cause any problems for the Democratic nominee in the general election.

In other Biden news, he released a 22-page climate plan today, which advocates for "the United States to eliminate climate-warming emissions by no later than the middle of the century while attempting to create millions of new jobs and rally the rest of the world to forestall dangerous rising temperatures." Sounds good.

Naturally, Senator Elizabeth Warren also has a plan for that! She "aims to turn the United States into a clean energy manufacturing powerhouse [with a] second climate proposal; the first would require the military to make its non-combat bases go net-zero emissions by 2030. Warren's three-part plan would use the federal procurement process to spread clean energy technologies and improve the lives of workers to advance clean energy, pump billions into research and development, and create an office designed to sell U.S. clean energy products around the world." Okay!

Warren has also released "A Plan For Economic Patriotism" today: "As President, I would pursue an agenda of economic patriotism, using new and existing tools to defend and create quality American jobs and promote American industry. My Administration will pursue fundamental, structural changes in our government's approach to the economy, finally putting American workers and middle-class prosperity ahead of multinational profits and Wall Street bonuses." Basically, she would expect American companies to be loyal to America and American workers. Novel idea.

Senator Kamala Harris is thinking ahead to 2020, tweeting once again about election integrity: "The reason paper ballots would help secure our elections is really simple: Our foreign adversaries can't hack a piece of paper. We have a bill right now in the Senate to require hand-marked paper ballots in all federal elections — we must pass it immediately. This can't wait." Hard agree!

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is on the same wavelength, tweeting: "The power in our democracy belongs in the hands of the people, not politicians and special interests. Voters should know their leaders work for them. Proud to have signed @EricHolder and @demredistrict's pledge to support fair redistricting and end gerrymandering. #fairmaps."

Governor Jay Inslee has climate change on his mind (of course), and I appreciate that he is calling attention to the flooding in the Midwest:

[CN: Sexual harassment] Mayor Pete Buttigieg says that "he 'would not have applied that pressure at that time before we knew more' if he were in the Senate when there was a debate over whether then-Sen. Al Franken should resign over the allegations against him." Um. "Before we knew more" than eight credible allegations? Oh. FUCKING NOTED.

Senator Cory Booker is tweeting about dangerous PFAs being found in the U.S. food supply: "PFAS chemicals are in our food supply, in our water, in our air. People are getting sick and we don't know how this will affect generations in the future. We need to hold corporate polluters responsible for the damage they're wreaking on our bodies and our environment." This is a really important issue that demands more attention.

Julián Castro is taking action on liveable wages and workers' rights, supporting the Fight for 15 and union rights. GOOD. Also, the "People First Policing" plan he released yesterday is getting good reviews.

Rep. Seth Moulton made a funny:

And exciting news for any Bennet Heads in the crowd! Senator Michael Bennet, who is a real person running for president, "has met the polling criteria to qualify for the first Democratic presidential debates at the end of June." And that still doesn't guarantee him a spot on the stage because so many people are running wheeeeeeee!

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