Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me running inside a hamster wheel, 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!

Well, this is very good news in which I have zero faith but I sure hope it's right! "Rachel Bitecofer's Negative Partisanship Model — which nailed the 2018 midterm elections — predicts Democrats will win the presidency in 2020." Terrific!

The only problem that I can see is that there was far less election interference in the midterms than the last presidential election, and less than what I'm already seeing in this one. Which was probably by design, so we would have faith that our democracy still works, ahead of foreign interference that Senator Ron Wyden says will "make 2016 look like small potatoes."

So I'm not sure the same model will work in 2020 that worked in 2018. But here's hoping!

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Candidates are scrambling to meet the ludicrous rules for debate qualifications for the fall debates, which of course were established a million years ago and have fuck-all to do with what is actually happening now in the Democratic primary, including ratfucking to elevate spoiler candidates:
Of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first round of debates in June and July, just six are sure to appear in the September-October round, when the Democratic National Committee requires participants to hit 2% in multiple polls and 130,000 individual donors. Though many campaigns are worried, DNC Chairman Tom Perez has resisted pressure to relax the requirements.

"We put our rules out for debate participation months earlier because we wanted to give people time," Perez said in an interview. "We want to be fair to everyone."

There's still time for struggling candidates to recover. All 20 contenders who appeared on the debate stage last week will return for the late July debates. And, for now, only a fraction of voters are paying close attention to the unfolding Democratic contest.

But failing to qualify for the September-October debates could be lethal to any candidate, regardless of whether they formally drop out of the race.
I swear to the fates if Tom Perez's garbage rules mean FOR EXAMPLE that a certain former HUD Secretary who is one of the Democratic Party's greatest assets does not make the fall debate but a certain dipshit witch does, I will lose my fucking mind.

* * *

Politico declares: "The 2020 Democratic Primary Is Suddenly Wide Open." Why? Because, as Democratic strategist Colin Strother explains, people have realized that old white dudes aren't the only game in town, and "Bernie and Biden were largely living off of inertia." LOL ouch! Harsh but true.

That the content is opening up is a testament to the quality of many of the other candidates — and to the fact that Joe Biden is a terrible candidate. He was a terrible candidate twice before, and he's a terrible candidate now.

[Content Note: Racism and homophobia.]

Following his dire performance during the first debate, Biden gave a speech in Chicago about his civil rights record, during which he actually said the following words: "We've got to recognize that kid wearing a hoodie may very well be the next poet laureate and not a gang-banger." Because you know how those are the only two options for Black kids? JFC.

If that weren't enough, he then gave a speech in Seattle on Pride weekend, during which he said that gay rights have come a long way and, only five years ago, if someone "made fun of a gay waiter" at a business lunch, everyone would have just let it go. The audience did not appreciate that assertion. Nor did most of the adult human beings who heard that garbage.

On Twitter, Ashton Pittman noted: "Exactly 5 years ago, ABC's What Would You Do? planted a hidden cam in a Mississippi restaurant to see how diners would react to blatant, homophobic attacks on a gay couple. They repeated the experiment. Each time, Mississippi diners got up and came to the gay couple's defense."

And if that weren't yet enough, CNN's Andrew Kaczynski located video of Biden in 1981 defending his support of "legislation at the time — that was being filibustered by liberals — which would stop courts' ability to order busing."

Naturally, Biden fans are OUTRAGED by all of this, because apparently they didn't realize they are supporting a dude who, had he not gotten rich pretending to be liberal, would be just another old white dude sitting at home in a recliner watching Fox News right now.

Senator Cory Booker continued to make the case that Biden isn't the nominee we need at this moment in time: "[Booker] questioned Sunday whether [Biden] could be a uniter on race if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination, accusing Biden of having an 'inability to talk candidly about the mistakes he made.' ...'Whoever our nominee is going to be, whoever our next president is going to be, really needs to be someone who can talk openly and honestly about race,' Booker said during an appearance on Meet the Press. 'I'm not sure if Joe Biden is up to that task given the way the last three weeks have played out.'"

🔥 🔥 🔥

Meanwhile, of course Senator Kamala Harris is facing a "backlash" after calling out Biden's shitty record on busing. And it's not necessarily from the people you'd expect. I was truly disappointed to see, for instance, that among the vocal critics of Harris is former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, the first Black female senator: "We can be proud of her nonetheless, but her ambition got it wrong about Joe. He is about the best there is; for her to take that tack is sad." Honestly, that Moseley Braun thinks that Biden is the best there is or could be is what's sad.

Harris stands by her decision to question Biden, because she has integrity and gumption: "'It may make people uncomfortable to speak the truth about the history of our country but we must speak the truth,' the California senator told reporters Sunday outside San Francisco's city hall after marching in the city's gay pride parade. 'We must agree that there not only is fact that is the basis for these truths but that we should recommit ourselves to also agreeing that these things should never happen again,' Harris said." Yes.

[CN: Racism] I mentioned on Friday that Harris is now the target of a gross birther campaign that questions her authenticity, and in some cases her citizenship, because her parents are Jamaican and Indian. Senator Elizabeth Warren is taking up space in solidarity with her opponent: "The attacks against Kamala Harris are racist and ugly. We all have an obligation to speak out and say so. And it's within the power and obligation of tech companies to stop these vile lies dead in their tracks."

As is Senator Michael Bennet: "These attacks on Kamala Harris are racist and disgusting. I'm proud to call her my friend and colleague, and I'll continue to stand with her against these vile comments. They have no place in our political discourse."

And Senator Kirsten Gillibrand notes that "we ladies have to stick together."

Very sweet.

In other news, Harris celebrated PrideA with a glittering rainbow jacket! Yay!

And Julián Castro celebrated Pride with lots of friends!

[CN: Nativism] Beto O'Rourke headed south of the border "to meet with kids and families who came to our country seeking asylum but who have been turned back by this administration's unlawful and inhumane policies," and did a good thread about the human beings he met and spoke to, people to whom we refuse to grant refuge.

Rep. Tim Ryan went off on one about Trump going to North Korea to kiss dictator ass: "I have no idea why he is shaking hands with a dictator who just in May was sending missiles into the Sea of Japan. You don't reward that kind of behavior with a visit to your country from the president of the United States. ...This is historic — him going to North Korea is like Chamberlain going to talk to Hitler." I don't think that's quite the right analogy, cough, but Ryan's outrage is well-directed.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg continues to be a fundraising juggernaut, having raised $24 million in the second quarter from more than 230,000 new donors, which makes over 400,000 total individual donors. That is a lot to keep track of, especially for a new campaign, and I hope they are staying on top of making sure each of those donations is legal. That is not, to be abundantly clear, a commentary on Buttigieg; it is a commentary on the fact that foreign interlopers will be trying to discredit surging candidates any way they can.

Senator Bernie Sanders doesn't believe that the age of a candidate should be an issue. I'm sure he doesn't! Also, he says: "I think we've got a good chance to win this thing. But if, perchance, it is not me, I will do everything I can to support the winner and make sure we defeat Donald Trump." I've heard that before.

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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