week five begins with another page worth of links, a big presidential announcement, and the long creep of this cycle that will make us all go fucking crazy by the end of it. the [LONGFORM] tag continues, but i don't think there's any longform this week either, so c'est la vie.
the usual note: common sense should be able to generally dictate what does and does not get posted in this thread. if it's big news or feels like big news, probably make it its own post instead of lobbing it in here. like the other weekly threads, this one is going to try to focus on things that are still discussion worthy, but wouldn't necessarily make good/unique/non-repetitive discussion starters as their own posts.
from FiveThirtyEight: What The Potential 2020 Candidates Are Doing And Saying, Vol. 15. if you're curious what candidates have been up to, FiveThirtyEight has you covered with this week's roundup.
from FiveThirtyEight: Who Might Make The Democratic Debate Stage?. this is probably the most important question now that the field is basically set: how many people will qualify for the debate stage? the DNC has said the cap is 20 candidates, and we have at least 21 running with potentially more on the way. a lot of them meet at least one criterion for being included. the DNC seems to have prepared extensively for that possibility, so it's not like they're on the backfoot here, but i suspect the politicking surrounding this for some of the smaller candidates is going to be pretty wacky.
from The Atlantic: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet, like CBS News's roundup, this extensive piece covers every candidate currently declared, why they're running, and what they're running on. pretty good resource for those of you needing to cite something.
from The Atlantic: The Strategic Move That Gave Bernie Sanders a Fundraising Edge. despite its title, this article mostly focuses on fundraising and how it's been either lackluster for democrats or not been, depending on who you ask and under what criteria, and whether or not that even matters in the grand scheme of things. it's an interesting discussion.
we begin with two words: HE'S RUNNING. The Atlantic first reported this in a piece on the 19th called Joe Biden Is Running for President, and he was expected to announce yesterday but curiously, something (Biden's team was warned about announcing 2020 bid on same day as forum focused on women of color) seems to have interfered with that master plan that joe biden should have known about, so he announced this morning instead.
here is his announcement video:
The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy...everything that has made America -- America --is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.
and nobody was really surprised. anyways, onto articles covering his announcement. take your pick of source:
- NPR: Biden Launches 2020 Campaign As Rescue Mission For America's 'Soul'
- NBC: Biden launches 2020 presidential bid, says 'we are in a battle for the soul of this nation'
- The Guardian: Joe Biden announces 2020 presidential run
- CBS: Joe Biden says he's running for president, in video announcing bid
- Buzzfeed News: Joe Biden Is Running For President
moving on to analysis:
from Time: Joe Biden and the Hard Choices for Democrats in 2020. this article mostly focuses on biden as a living example of the wedge between the progressive, youthful faction of the democratic party and the older, more traditionally moderate wing of the party. whether or not he gets selected is probably mostly going to come down to what voters prioritize, since the next biggest frontrunner is sanders who is on the literal opposite side of the spectrum from biden. for an alternative perspective on this angled more with respect to biden and #MeToo, you may refer also to this Vox article: The Joe Biden culture war - There’s a split among Democrats on #MeToo and more. Biden might have picked the losing side..
from The Guardian: Biden brings broad appeal in battle for 2020 – but don't expect a revolution. biden's appeal as a candidate is definitely not going to be for his progressive chops. aside from his... frankly odd ideas and not-ideas of what "progressive" means in the modern discourse (and his identification or lack thereof with the term), it's pretty obvious he's not going to be approaching this race with the intent of radical change. whether that endears him to voters or sinks him also remains to be seen.
from Buzzfeed News: Bernie Sanders Isn’t Fighting The Wars Of 2016, His Campaign Says — The Democratic Establishment Is. in case you haven't noticed, we're still religitating the bullshit that characterized the 2016 primary because nobody can drop it. nowhere is this more clear than with the sanders campaign, who feel like they're still having to defend themselves from the same lines of attack they did back then. whether or not this is accurate is probably debatable, but it's pretty obvious that this isn't going to just go away, so expect it to continue to be a fracture point this year.
from The Guardian: Sanders dares Democrats to stop him – but is he the man to beat Trump?. in a similar vein, the sanders campaign seems to be contending with the prospect of the democratic party trying to meddle in the primary and anoit a non-sanders winner, as they were accused of doing in 2016. this is going to also likely remain a fracture point, because the democratic party no doubt feels it has reasons to step in here--but also, it would absolutely be inviting trouble if sanders is the leading candidate when everything is said and done at the convention and they step in, given 2016.
from Vox: Republican strategist Karl Rove says Bernie Sanders could beat Donald Trump in 2020. whether realpolitik or genuine concern (and in contrast to rick wilson in the above piece), karl rove seems to think that sanders is the exact sort of candidate who would beat donald in 2020.
- from Buzzfeed News: A Top Adviser To Beto O’Rourke Has Left His Presidential Campaign. beto's campaign lost two people significant to his presidential campaign a few days ago on what appear to be mutual, pre-determined terms. the article gives the reason for these two departures:
In a statement about her and Malitz’s departure to BuzzFeed News, Bond said it was “time for us to move on to other challenges.”
“Launching a presidential campaign without a big staff or even a campaign manager was no easy feat and it took everyone pitching in,” she said. “We’re proud to have been part of the team of deeply dedicated staff and volunteers who nearly pulled off a historic upset in the 2018 Texas Senate race and broke records launching Beto’s campaign for the presidency.”
- from the Huffington Post: Beto O’Rourke’s Non-Media Strategy. on a more strategy-driven note for beto, his campaign has interestingly been one of the only thus far to not have a nationally televised town hall. this seems to be intentional. as the article notes:
O’Rourke ... sa[id] he preferred interacting with voters “eyeball to eyeball” rather than by doing TV, as evidenced by his dozens of events where he regularly takes questions from the audience and reporters alike. But he acknowledged “at some point, I may have to give in” to doing cable television.
it's a bold strategy for certain, but i do suspect that he's going to have to at some point get his voice out nationally. he's been slightly slipping in recent polls, mostly to candidates like buttigieg, and it suggests that he's lost a bit of his lustre with democratic voters.
from TIME: Elizabeth Warren Calls for House to Start Impeachment Proceeding Against President Trump. warren decided to become the first democratic candidate to stake her claim to this particular idea. as far as i'm aware, nobody has gone out on this limb with her, but i'd be shocked if she isn't eventually joined by someone else.
from NBC News: Warren's plan to wipe out student debt (and how she'd pay for it). another one of warren's seminal policies is wiping out student debt, which NBC News helpfully has a piece on (and of course, how she intends to pay for it since the question is literally inescapable). to save you some trouble: she pays for it with her wealth tax.
from Buzzfeed News: Pete Buttigieg’s Presidential Run Has Many LGBT Democrats Eager For Their Obama Moment. buzzfeed has a piece on the significance of pete buttigieg to LGBT americans and how he's been able to leverage that to tap into a donor network that's usually pretty splintered. it's unclear to me that he's going to be able to parlay that untapped base into success, though, and more recent polling seems to have buttigieg sorta stalling out around 10% with the logjam of other sorta-kinda-frontrunner candidates.
from CBS News: Pete Buttigieg on the presidency as a "moral office". this is mostly a personality piece on buttigieg and both his history in afghanistan and his electoral history, and how that has influenced his current candidacy and what he views as priorities. it's kinda straightforward and the title sorta speaks for itself, so there's not actually that much to be said for it.
- from Buzzfeed News: Kamala Harris Says She’ll Take Gun Control Into Her Own Hands As President If Congress Doesn't Act. kamala harris has decided that congress will do something about guns in a reasonable timeframe if she becomes president, or else she's just gonna take the nuclear option and just start dropping executive orders:
Harris said she would mandate universal background checks on anyone selling more than five guns a year, ending a loophole that allows private gun sellers to bypass background checks on 1 in 5 gun sales nationwide, bar people classified as fugitives from buying guns. She would also, her campaign said, close a loophole in federal law that allows perpetrators of domestic violence to keep their guns if they are not married to their partner.
- from POLITICO: Kamala Harris says she supports adding third gender option to federal IDs. she also supports the fairly small idea of adding a third gender option to federal IDs. i guess you gotta have some tiny policies in there too with the big ones for maximum efficiency. it is possible this raises questions about her history of LGBT policy, though, which is probably not something that she wants to litigate because it's not the best.
- people who joined the race this week: Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts representative
- people who did not join the race this week: Terry McAuliffe
from the Guardian: Joe Biden is the ultimate centrist Democrat. Is that a liability or strength?. this oped mostly focuses on whether or not biden's whole centrism thing is actually good, or whether or not it's just going to end up splitting the party now that biden is in the race. this is a legitimate question, and i'm not sure anybody really knows how it's going to shake out.
from NBC News: Cory Booker wants to be the nicest Democrat running for president. But his own past makes that difficult.. this one, i think i'll just quote directly since the last paragraph kinda summarizes the whole thing:
For voters, Booker's Wall Street ties and his T-Bone stories are part of the same problem: Authenticity. Can you be a liberal Democratic willing to take on billionaires, entrenched corporations and the deregulation unleashed by the Trump Administration after years of cozying up to Wall Street and pharmaceutical donors? Can you address the racial divides in America — not just what's in people's hearts, but the problems of differential education, mass incarceration and inequality of opportunity — if you can't bring yourself to call Trump a racist? And can you be trusted to tell the truth of why you've arrived at your liberal politics if you made up a T-Bone to explain to white people a cartoon version of black intergenerational trauma?
from NBC News: Kamala Harris' candidacy requires a nuanced debate about her record, race and gender. Is the left ready?. this op-ed focuses on the issue of parsing out where harris is being actually held accountable for things she genuinely took a "bad" stance on, and where she's just being held to a standard that nobody would expect of a non-minority, non-female candidate. it's a tough question, of course, and it's also not exactly one you can have with soundbites and hashtags--but that's probably not going to stop people from continuing to do that.
from NBC News: Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign will face the scrutiny Clinton got in 2016. Here's what voters missed.. this op-ed mostly focuses on the not-exactly-perfect record of voting and policy positions of bernie sanders prior to the 2016 election, and how that will likely come to the forefront this time around since it was barely focused on in 2016 and sanders wasn't running against literally 20 other people.
from NBC News: Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton and the sexist hypocrisy of the 'likability' media narrative. Here we go again.. this op-ed is not necessarily about elizabeth warren in the same way the other op-eds are about candidates--rather, it's more of a piece that uses warren as an example of how the standard of "likability" that tends to be assigned to female candidates is kinda arbitrary and usually bullshit, and how the narrative of warren's candidacy has changed as she's gone from a sort of outsider-looking-in to a near frontrunner.
finally, from NBC News: Elizabeth Warren's ideas blow rival 2020 Democrats away. Her public lands plan is no exception.. this other warren op-ed is more candidate focused, and basically makes the case that warren's plans are super good and that literally no other candidate comes close to having policy like it.
anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.