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The Primary Primer – June 4, 2019

7 min read

This isn’t going to be a daily feature, it’s too early for that, and too jumbled. Rather, it’s going to be more of a weekly or bi-weekly digest of things that happened in the primaries that may have flown under the radar, or you might want to bookmark to look back on later.

The Media Is Getting Antsy For Action. Ignore Them — The media isn’t being obvious about it yet, but it’s starting to creep in around the corners and under the door, they’re getting impatient with the Democrats. Joe Biden is the clear front runner early, and they want the rocks in the slings, locked and loaded. More and more on MSNBC and CNN, you’re hearing panels discussing the fact that the Democrats running behind Biden are not seriously engaging with him, and are incredulous that they aren’t unloading the big guns yet. They want blood, and they want it now.

Yesterday was a perfect example. Jason Johnson, whom normally is pretty spot on, said that the Democratic field was making a mistake in not bringing Biden back down into the rest of the field. He said something like, “It’s way too early for anybody to be nice to anybody yet. It’s so early. There’s plenty of time at the end of the process for the Democratic party to come together behind the eventual candidate, just like they did in 2016.”

No Jason. Just no. If the party had come together so beautifully after the Thunderdome of 2016, we would not be talking about the Democratic primaries this year, Hillary Clinton would be running unopposed for a second term. The party did a piss poor job of coming together in 2016, and that’s exactly what the DNC, the candidates, and Democratic primary voters are terrified of this year, and are striving to avoid. The candidates will draw contrasts and disagree, but God willing, it won’t be the Crips vs the Bloods again.

Speaking Of Biden, Learn A Lesson From Trump In 2016 — The media is continuing to push the narrative that Joe Biden is going to face real problems once the other candidates start to dig into him, regardless of how respectfully they do it, simply because of the rich background of questionable decisions Biden has made in his 40+ years in politics, especially in the Senate. They raise issues like the Anita Hill hearing, his votes on the crime bill and Iraq war vote, and his apparent chumminess with racist southern Republican Senators while legislating. These are all things that they feel Biden will struggle with explaining under the glare of the front runner spotlight.

I think they’re missing the point. In 2016 Trump couldn’t win. He couldn’t win because of the HUD suits against him and his father over renting to minorities, his misogyny, his treatment of the Central Park 5, his history of sexual escapades and even persistent groping allegations, even the Access Hollywood audio tape.And none of it amounted to a bowl of piss Jack Daniels. The people who wanted Trump wanted Trump, and that was that. They were fully aware of his past foibles and missteps, and none of it mattered, they wanted Trump.

It’s the same thing with Biden. For the moment, right or wrong, people who support Joe Biden obviously see him as the best vehicle to getting rid of Trump in 2020. They already know all of the stuff in Biden’s past, and none of it matters, Biden can do the job they want, so they’ll suffer those warts to turn the frog into a prince. Biden can be attacked, but it’s going to have to be on current issues, and not on his past.

Hey Guys! *Snap! Snap!* Get With The Program! — The performances of HIckenlooper and Delaney at the California Democratic convention this weekend, and the response they received, was a stark example of why they’re interesting to nobody but themselves, and a message to other more centrist candidates like Klobuchar and Booker. The oldest rule in politics is still alive and well, “Run to the base in the primaries, and moderate to the middle in the general election.”

Strangely enough, I think I understand why they said what they said, but question their tactics in doing it. It’s true, there is a sizable portion of the country that doesn’t want Medicare-for-all, are at least tolerant, if not thrilled with, their current insurance, and resistant to change. That’s who they were playing to. The problem for them is that this is the group that is least likely to drag their carcasses out to vote in a primary. Oops. Unforced error.

This is also the warning to more centrist candidates that tout their record of bipartisanship, and of being able to work across the aisle for results. Bipartisanship is a two way street, and todays GOP is the Talledega speedway, one way only. They had 8 years of attempted bipartisanship under Obama, and have squat diddly to show for it, and they’ve been cuffed around by Trump and the GOP for the last 2 ½ years. Just a helpful hint here. Ixnay on the ipartisanshipbnay.

Bernie Put It Perfectly. But Still May Have Missed — At the California convention over the weekend, Bernie Sanders laid a perfect slap on Joe Biden, and in perfect form, when he said something like, “There is a debate going on between the candidates who spoke to you in this room, as well as the candidates who, for whatever reason, did not speak to you in this room about the direction of the party. Make no mistake, we cannot go back to the old ways, we must move forward with a progressive agenda!”

This was classic Bernie Sanders, and music to his supporters ears. But it may have fallen flat to the people Sanders was trying to convert. Did you ever have a really shitty vacation? The weather was terrible, the kids were brat, and you spent the entire damn thing doing nothing but arguing with the spouse? And by the third day, all you wanted was for the stupid thing to be over with, get back home, flop down into your easy chair, and binge watch Ash vs Evil Dead?

That’s where a good portion of the Democratic base is right now. Trump has been the vacation from hell, and all they want to do is to get home, put on the slippers, grab a brewski, and zone out in front of the TV. They don’t want to take the film to the Walgreen’s, and they sure as hell don’t want to plan the next vacation! All they want to do is to somehow or other get back to normal. That i the allure of Joe Biden, and if any of the other candidates want to challenge him, they are going to have to find a way to break that spell.

Nancy Pelosi Got The Memo. But Did She Read It?  It’s always one thing to plan for a rainy day, put a little money aside for an unexpected car repair or something. But it’s something else again when it turns out that the damn car needs a whole new engine and transmission, and you’re looking at having to rep;ace it entirely.

Welcome to Nancy Pelosi’s world Hearing those shouts of Impeach! Impeach! from her own constituents during her speech at the Democratic convention in San Francisco over the weekend must have felt like plunging her head into a sink full of ice water on New Years morning. And now that the whole gang is back together again in the clubhouse, she is likely getting similar progress reports from her caucus, many of whom just spent a week getting a similar earful from their own constituents concerning the antics and eventual disposition of the Orange Shitgibbon.

The matrix has hanged. As I said above, bipartisanship is dead as far as the Democratic base is concerned. The base is under no illusions, they know that the Senate will never vote to convict Trump, but they want the stigma of impeachment stamped into his forehead. And they don’t want to hear about how impeachment will tear the country apart, as far as they’re concerned, the country already looks like a used movie ticket.

As I write this, we’re likely already at if not over 60 members of the caucus supporting starting an impeachment inquiry, and that number will only grow in the coming days. The only question for Pelosi now is whether she wants to be seen as “leading the charge” on an impeachment inquiry, or be “converted” to it when the caucus count reaches a majority, which may not take long. My guess is that she’s going to try to straddle the fence a bit longer, as evidenced by Jerry Nadler’s announcement of upcoming weekly hearings into the basics of impeachment. This seems to be a clear attempt to “educate” the public more fully on the actual mechanics of the impeachment process itself, to lay the groundwork so to speak. 

Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are still sitting around collecting dust, and Amazon is starting to send me nasty e-mails. And what better time to get reacquainted with the roller coaster that was the 2016 election cycle than before the release of the final volume of the trilogy, President Evil III, All the Presidents Fen.

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