I missed last week’s column because Washington Babylon had our own 2020 announcement to make. If you have not already heard, the 2020 race has a new, historic ticket. Petunia the Skunk and Bella Robinson are running together as President and Vice President, respectively. You can read all about their bold, campaign here.
Last time we looked at the highway to hell, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) had announced her run with a exploratory committee sprint in Iowa, and the Republic of MAGA party is doing the primary version of cock-blocking so they can keep the King of Little Cocks in office. (Hmm, that was a little mean and unfair and it’s probably better to just stick with facts. I’ll try that again.) The Republican party is keeping their primary relatively closed so they can keep the racist, Donald Trump, in power and their privilege protected.
This week the Democratic Primary finally starts to grow into the big beautiful mess we all anticipated. Here is a complete line-up list with a few notes on each candidate.
- Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda: Ojeda is an interesting character to say the least. Coming off of a failed campaign for the United States House of Representative, the former state senator is making noise on social media by beating all the right progressive drums. However, he did vote for Trump in the 2016 election, and I do not see this as forgivable with #ImStillWithHer Clinton supporters. He is a war vet and he puts forth the alpha man bravado that Trump desperately tries to emulate. He is pro-labor and Medicare For All. The question will be will blue-all-the-way-through democratic voters find him believable. (Confession: I’d like to see him remain in race at least through the debates because he will definitely add spice to the mostly boring forum.)
- Former US Representative John Delaney: Ok, Delaney should actually be in the first spot on our lineup list because he actually announced he was running in July of 2017; however, who cares? In all seriousness, Delaney understands that name recognition is important which is why he has been campaigning early. Delaney certainly can afford to campaign early with one of the highest net worth in Congress at 92.6B. No matter who Delaney tries to dress himself up as, at the end of the day he is the cookie-cutter model of the rich, white politician and is unlikely to inspire much of a following.
- Senator Elizabeth Warren: Warren has progressive chops, but she also has a couple of tailspins in the past that might be hard for her to outrun. For instance, she runs some progressive anti-capitalist ideas but also publically claims “I am a capitalist.” This sends a mix-message because capitalism itself grows from capitol created by big banks and Wall Street. It is very similar to Hillary Clinton touting a progressive environmental platform but also promoting fracking across the globe. Warren will have to show real teeth in her wealth inequality platform for her fight against the corrupt cronies to resonate.
- U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard: I find Gabbard to be either be the most misunderstood or the most problematic of the “progressive” candidates. For some progressives, they are excited about her announcement but others bring up her anti-LGBTQ past. She seems to be that kind of candidate who is a great progressive, except when she’s not. She’s cozied up with Assad, voted for restrictions on refugees, does not see problems with referring to Islam as Radical Islam. I’d like to see how she moves forward in the race and how she handles tough questions, her constituents feel she avoids.
- Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro: This Castro *did* fall far from the revolutionary Castro tree. A former secretary in Obama’s administration, it appears he will be the Obama candidate of 2020. He was briefly floated around as a potential vice-president for Hillary Clinton. There is not much controversy that surrounds him, but not much fire either. The 2020 race will demand a strong, fierce and fearless candidate, and Castro may fall short of that need.
- U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand: Gillibrand is not afraid to take a bold stand, and that is definitely a trait that is needed to go toe to toe with Trump; however, it is exactly that reason that she will face pushback with the Democratic establishment and its loyal supporters. That is because she was very outspoken about the sexual harassment revelations regarding Al Franken. Gillibrand called for him to step down, which he did. She then received and still receives backlash for not staying silent in the face of a sexual harassment claim, which seem to be a selective cause for the democratic national party.
- Last but certainly not least, US Senator Kamala Harris: From the recent coverage of Harris’ announcement, it is evident that the talking heads feel she is the best bet to run against Trump, demonstrated in the saccharine and adulatory MSNBC video above. However, those endorsements are absent of progressive critics who take serious issue with her past as a prosecutor. She has ruled in favor of authoritative truancy laws and stood against reform that would allow non-violent second offenders released early in over-crowded prisons. More notable is her opposition from sex-workers and the sex-work industry. Falling in the conservative “trafficking” trap, Harris has repeatedly pursued charges against sites and publication that actually help sex workers advertise in a safe environment. It looks like Kamala is going to be pushed as the frontrunner by the democratic establishment and media and we will have a replay of a divided left in the primary.
Who is your favorite so far, Babylonians?