Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me sitting in a giant cocktail glass and using a cocktail umbrella as a parasol, waving and smiling, 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, as I'm sure you're positively shocked to hear, Joe Biden's indefensible support for the Hyde Amendment didn't go over well with Democratic voters! Such a surprise that espousing support for a misogynist, classist, abortion-stigmatizing, piece-of-shit law didn't impress people are who desperately fighting to keep abortion legal (and who got to vote for a presidential candidate in the last election who promised its end, had she been inaugurated).

After a massive wave of criticism, Team Biden further covered themselves in disgrace trying to backpedal: "Now his campaign is suggesting he didn't understand the question and never meant to favor repeal of Hyde (the campaign said Biden thought he was being asked about the 'global gag rule'). This isn't getting any better for him." Yikes.

Biden's competitors weren't any more impressed with his bullshit than voters.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted: "Repealing the Hyde Amendment is critical so that low-income women in particular can have access to the reproductive care they need and deserve. Reproductive rights are human rights, period. They should be nonnegotiable for all Democrats."

Senator Cory Booker tweeted video of himself talking about what trash the Hyde Amendment is (I'm paraphrasing lol), accompanied by text reading: "The Hyde Amendment is a threat to reproductive rights that punishes women and families who already struggle with access to adequate health care services."

Julián Castro tweeted: "All women should have access to reproductive care, regardless of their income or the state they live in. Abortion care is health care — it's time to repeal the #HydeAmendment."

Senator Kamala Harris tweeted: "No woman's access to reproductive health care should be based on how much money she has. We must repeal the Hyde Amendment."

Even Rep. Tim Ryan, who was anti-choice until a couple of years ago, tweeted his opposition to Hyde! "The Hyde Amendment is a tax on millions of Americans seeking abortion. It's wrong and should be repealed. Access to abortion care shouldn't be limited by your zip code, income, or health care provider. It is a RIGHT." (Hey, Joe Biden: When you find yourself to the right of Tim Ryan on abortion, you have derailed.)

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Beto O'Rourke came right for Biden: "He's absolutely wrong on this one. ...I hope that Joe Biden rethinks his position on this issue. Perhaps he doesn't have all the facts. Perhaps he doesn't understand who the Hyde Amendment hurts most — lower income communities, communities of color. I would ask that he rethink his position on this."

And, naturally, Senator Elizabeth Warren had a message for Biden, too:

MSNBC's Chris Hayes: There was an interesting thing that happened today — the former vice-president, Joe Biden, came out and said that he would not support repealing the Hyde Amendment. That is a provision of federal law that bars the federal government from funding abortion services through Medicare and Medicaid and others. You disagree with that position?

Warren: Yes I do.

Hayes: Is Joe Biden wrong?

Warren: Yes!

Hayes: Why is he wrong?

Warren: Here's how I look at this: I've lived in an America where abortions were illegal.

Hayes: Yep.

Warren: And understand this: Women still got abortions. Now, some got lucky on what happened, and some got really unlucky on what happened. But the bottom line is they were there. And under the Hyde Amendment, under every one of these efforts to try to chip away, or to push back, or to get rid of Roe v. Wade, understand this: Women of means will still have access to abortions. Who won't will be poor women; will be working women; will be women who can't afford to take off three days from work; will be very young women; will be women who've been raped; will be women who have been molested by someone in their own family. We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.

At the same town hall appearance, Warren also had a message for Nancy Pelosi: "Warren said she read the full 448-page report from former special counsel Robert Muller and concluded impeachment was necessary, putting her at odds with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders in the House. 'I get that this is politically tough,' Warren said. 'But some things are bigger than politics. This matters for our democracy — not just now, but under the next president, and the next president, and the next president.' And pointing to instances of Trump's potential obstruction of justice detailed in the report, Warren said, 'If he were any other person in the United States, based on what is documented in that report, he would be carried out in handcuffs.'"

* * *

The DNC has informed climate change warrior Governor Jay Inslee that they will not dedicate a debate to climate change. That is a very stupid decision, and none other than Al Gore himself has weighed in, tweeting: "It's a mistake for the @DNC to refuse to hold a #ClimateDebate, on the most critical issue of this election. Why wouldn't the party listen to its voters and give a platform to Dem candidates' ideas on the #1 issue, to contrast with this President's denial?" GOOD QUESTION.

[CN: Lost pet] This is a sad story about a lost dog (which I sure hope will have a happy ending!), but, again, seeing the candidates giving each other this kind of support is so great:

Former Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams may still run for president, but she's not making any quick decisions (and frankly she doesn't have to): "Abrams is leaning into her indecision, seeing it as an opportunity to more fully and intelligently explore her possible paths forward after her dramatic run for the governorship of Georgia last year ended in defeat — but catapulted her on to the national stage. 'We often push ourselves to make quick choices simply for the expediency of either ourselves or whoever is asking the question,' she said in a private side room of the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington DC, where she's just off-stage from a speech at a liberal thinktank conference. 'If you haven't fully investigated, you can decide in haste and repent at leisure,' she said." Love her.

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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