Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me looking unenthusiastic, standing next to a giant purple F, 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!

[Content Note: Nativism; racism; misogyny; othering] Former HUD Secretary and immigration reform leader Julián Castro came for Donald Trump over his racist tweets about congresswomen of color:

...four Congresswomen should go back home, he said. [crowd boos] You know, this isn't the first time that we've seen this in our country. "Go back to Mexico," they said. "Go back to Africa," they said. "No Irish need apply," they said. "The Chinese are excluded," they said. Throughout the generations, there have been people who build their political careers on hate and division and fear and paranoia and making people "the other." We are not gonna do that; we're gonna be about everybody in this country, and America for all people that believe in basic compassion and humanity and respect. [crowd cheers] That's the kind of America that we're gonna build.
I'm so glad he's in this presidential race.

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[CN: Homophobia] Over the weekend, the liberal magazine The New Republic, which has been absolute garbage for years, published a profoundly homophobia piece about Mayor Pete Buttigeg. It was penned by a gay man, but nonetheless used grossly homophobic language to talk about what the author views as Buttigieg's unfitness for the presidency.

After massive pushback, the piece was eventually taken down with a brief note from the editor reading: "Dale Peck’s post 'My Mayor Pete Problem' has been removed from the site, in response to criticism of the piece's inappropriate and invasive content. We regret its publication." Invasive content? Okay. What meaningless drivel.

Lots of people have made the case in good faith that Buttigieg is not yet qualified for the presidency without engaging in homophobic trash. It's not even a particularly controversial position, given Buttigieg's relative inexperience. Indeed, it's so commonplace that one imagines some avaristic desire to make a pretty banal case "sexier" is the answer to the widely asked question of how TNR's editors ever let that hateful codswallop reach publication. Revolting.

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Joe Biden is rolling out his healthcare plan, which is basically Obamacare 2.0: "Biden today will unveil a health plan that's intended to preserve the most popular parts of Obamacare — from Medicaid expansion to protections for patients with preexisting conditions — and build on them with a new government-run public insurance option." Meanwhile, Biden's presidential run means his cancer initiative is closing down, due to the potential of conflicts of interest if he wins the presidency. Well shit.

Senator Cory Booker has introduced a new plan "to expand access to high-quality, affordable long-term care, and to empower the workers who provide it." His complete plan for "Bringing Dignity and Choice to Long-Term Care" would: 1. Expand eligibility for long-term services and supports to every low and middle-income American and give everyone the choice to live at home; 2. Pay, train, and empower care workers as the essential workforce that they are; 3. Support family caregivers; and 4. Finance the new costs associated with the expansion of Medicaid LTSS eligibility and workforce standards for care workers entirely by the federal government.

Senator Kamala Harris will be introducing a National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights: "It's time we changed the way we value domestic work in America. Today I'm introducing the first ever National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights to guarantee domestic workers across our country the dignity, benefits, and legal protections they deserve." (The text was not yet available at the time of publishing this post.)

Harris is also the focus of a lengthy profile in the New Yorker, which I found in turn fascinating and infuriating (because of how it's written): "Kamala Harris Makes Her Case."

Senator Elizabeth Warren is profiled by McClatchy, through the eyes of her supporters: "Now, [Joanna Berens, a 57-year-old event planner] isn't just convinced Warren would make a strong general election nominee — she's thrilled about the prospect of her confronting [Donald] Trump on the debate stage. 'Oh my god,' she said. 'She will flatten him.'" May it be as you say, Joanna!

Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign is again complaining about how the press doesn't like him: "'This isn't intended to be a sweeping generalization of all journalists,' [campaign manager Faiz Shakir] told Politico, 'but there are a healthy number who just find Bernie annoying, discount his seriousness, and wish his supporters and movement would just go away.'" I mean, it probably isn't helping their case that any reporter who says anything even vaguely critical of Bernie Sanders is immediately subjected to days of relentless abuse by some number of his most fervent supporters.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is talking about white privilege and how she's benefited from it. She's also giving very fucking good responses about what white privilege actually means.

[CN: Slavery] In sort of related news, Beto O'Rourke is writing about what it means to him that both his and his wife's ancestors were slave owners. I dunno. It's hard for me not to see this as just another reason that O'Rourke should step aside. I would be more impressed with him if he just dropped out already and said he's going to put all his energies toward getting any one of Harris, Booker, Castro, Warren, Gillibrand, or Klobuchar elected.

There was a major blackout in New York City over the weekend, and the editors of the New York Daily News are not happy that Mayor Bill de Blasio was campaigning out of town during it: "It's not just that Bill de Blasio, currently polling at 0% nationally and 0% in the key early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, was out of town on a campaign jaunt when a blackout struck Manhattan, trapping thousands on steamy trains underground and cramped elevators on upper floors unknown. Any mayor of the largest city in the country is a national figure. They go out of town sometimes; it's inevitable. ...It's that just Wednesday, de Blasio appeared so eager to use the city as a national stage, photo-bombing on the main parade float as he tried to bask in the U.S. women's soccer team's reflected glory. That's what bugs us." Ouch.

Joe Sestak is still definitely running for president.

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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