2020 Democratic Contenders

Let’s pin this to the front page and keep a running list. Hit up the comments any time you come across important updates on the intentions of any of these folks:

*Legitimate Candidates*
Sen. Kamala Harris (California)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (New York)
Former VP Joe Biden

*Legitimate Longshots Worth Following*
Beto O’Rourke (Texas)
Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles) withdrew late-January 2019 but will consider VP.
Gov. John Hickenlooper (Colorado)
former Gov. Deval Patrick (Massachusetts) withdrew Dec 2018.
Sen. Corey Booker (New Jersey)
Mayor Mitch Landrieu (New Orleans)
Gov. Steve Bullock (Montana),

*Candidates Who are Running for Reasons Other Than to Win*
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont),
former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (Virginia)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (New York)
Rep. Tim Murphy (OH)
Rep. John Delaney (Maryland)
former Attorney General Eric Holder
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (IN)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI)

*Irrelevant Candidates Who Will Be Ignored by Everyone But the Press*
Howard Schulz (Starbucks CEO),
Tom Steyer (billionaire), withdrew January 2019
former Mayor Michael Bloomberg (New York City),
Michael Avenatti (obnoxious lawyer) withdrew Dec 2018
Richard Ojeda (Trump supporting WV Democratic activist)


I added Buttigieg and Gabbard to the list of those running for reasons other than to win, and removed the handful of people who have formally announced that they do not intend to run.

As of today, it seems to me that Biden isn’t likely to be a legitimate contender, both because I don’t think he really wants to run and because I think Kamala Harris will crush him should he choose to. She is to me the very clear front runner as of this moment, and barring some kind of screw up, she is the one most likely to win the whole thing.

Gillibrand has been surprisingly quiet since announcing, and although it is obviously still very very early, it seems to me that she’s going to have a very hard time getting traction so long as Kamala Harris maintains the perception that she’s going to be hard to beat.

Warren….is who she is? I love her as my Senator. I think she’ll be a powerful force for good in the campaign. But no way do I think she wins the nomination. I thought that before she formally announced, and I think it much much more so since.

Tulsi Gabbard unexpectedly threw her hat into the ring, which is bizarre given her truly bizarre past, and it’s all quite predictably gone sideways very quickly (see, for example: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/tulsi-gabbard-2020-election-1134055). Not only is she not going to win the nomination, she’s not likely to make it past the spring, and now she’s got a DailyKos-backed primary challenger to boot. Which is great, because she is truly awful

Schulz, the Starbucks dude, is out there pretending to be a disaffected Democrat preparing to run, but no way he sees this through to the end, and anyway, he’s really just a disaffected moderate Republican confused about how partisanship works in American politics. The fact that he hates what the REpublican Party has become does not even remotely mean he is a Democrat, or that he will appeal to Democrats, or that his influence will somehow help Trump get elected. That’s all very backwards.

Beto is making exactly the kinds of noises that a person who doesn’t want to run but feels sort-of-but-not-really compelled to , so while I’m making predictions, let me put myself down as him formally announcing he will NOT run sometime in late-Spring.

And hey….why not go all in. If I had to bet money today, I’d either go with Harris-O’Rourke or Harris-Hickenlooper.

Due process is the process by which you determine who is guilty and who is innocent. It doesn’t protect “them.” It protects you.

And yes, if you ignore due process, you will inevitably end up unlawfully retaining citizens, because a) all detention without due process is illegal, and b) due process is how you determine who is and is not a citizen. There literally is no other way.


Labor fight roils Bernie Sanders campaign, as workers demand the $15 hourly pay the candidate has proposed for employees nationwide – The Washington Post

Dude has always been this fraudulent, but I honestly never expected him to make it so blindingly OBVIOUS. This wasn’t even a hard thing to get right. Not even close to hard.

The senator’s campaign was the first to unionize, a fact Sanders has touted, but its employees say they are struggling to make ends meet, documents show.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/politics/labor-fight-roils-bernie-sanders-campaign-as-workers-demand-the-15-hourly-pay-the-candidate-has-proposed-for-employees-nationwide/2019/07/18/3a6df9f4-a966-11e9-9214-246e594de5d5_story.html

Imagine this world with me: Court documents show President Clinton directly involved in scheme to hide illegal payments in advance of the election

Imagine the news broke that Hillary was directly involved in an illegal scheme to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in the weeks prior to the election to keep the news of her or Bill’s affair quiet. How would people react in this world?

Republicans would lose their minds, obviously. And before you say “Democrats would rally behind her,” remember how they reacted to far less damaging news about Senator Al Franken? THAT would be how they react.

I point this out not to scream HYPOCRISY. That’s pointless, and all y’all need to stop with that. No. I point it out to remind you once again that when they cloak their outrage in the language of morality and ethics, you shod forevermore ignore that rhetoric, safe in the hard earned knowledge that they never meant any of it. It’s a cloak and a disguise designed to help them achieve their purely partisan goals, no different from the manner in which their pious pleadings about how debt threatens THE CHILDREN disappear a short nanosecond after they take control from their opponents.

They mean none of it. Not the rank and file. Not David Brooks. Not Eric Erickson. Not Steve Bannon. Not Bill Kristol. Not Rand Paul. Not a single one of them.

Y’all didn’t believe me before. Now you’ve seen for yourselves. None of it.





“Go back to where you came from” isn’t a “dogwhistle.” It’s been a core feature of racism in America for centuries

Remember when they tried to pretend he wasn’t really calling other countries “shitholes?” When the real racism was Democrats and independents agreeing that’s he’s actually a racist, and not just an old guy accidentally wandering too close to racist rhetoric? And when calling a fellow American “deplorable” because they said things EXACTLY like this was therefore beyond the pale?

Good times

Our president is a racist. He looks at Americans of color and says to the world “they should go back to where they came from.” Because to him, they aren’t Americans at all. Because racism.


“To me free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposefully write bad. To me that’s very dangerous speech and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech.”

I realize it’s like an endless stream of this right now, but….remember all the “don’t tread on me”s and pocket constitutions and OUTRAGES over threats to free speech from “shadow bans” and “political correctness” and college campuses activists and…whatnot.

They mean NONE of it, not really. They never have. It’s always been an exercise in special pleading, not principle.

They hate identity politics because its encroaching on their turf. They hate moral relativism because it threatens to level the playing field. They hate when they see others “policing speech” because they want to own that game. And wear use the language of principle as a disguise, both because it makes them feel better about themselves and because it works. But only so long as YOU let it.

Whatever else this absurd excuse for an administration has or has not done, it has forever exposed that fact to the world, so long as we all pay attention.

Trump Rants About Tillerson: ‘Totally Ill Prepared and Ill Equipped’ To Be Secretary Of State

I like how Trump thinks this exonerates him somehow. “How could I know he would be so bad?!? After all, I’m only the guy who chose him for the position and to whom he directly reported. What did you expect me to do here?!?”

it’s like he sees even his own Presidency as a reality show outside of his control. Which in some ways is really funny, but in others…

Source: Trump Rants About Tillerson: ‘Totally Ill Prepared’ To Be Secretary Of State

“The court concludes that the plaintiffs have not raised any serious questions…(and) even if the questions were sufficiently serious, injunctive relief would be unwarranted.”

Judge Ramos throwing serious legal shade:

The Manhattan federal judge who immediately blocked an attempt from President Trump to halt a Congressional subpoena for his financial records told private attorneys hired by the President that their case was not “serious.”

During the hour-long read of his opinion on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos drew a distinction between the “serious political ramifications” of the investigation into a president’s finances, and what constitutes a “serious” question to be considered by a judge.

“The court concludes that the plaintiffs have not raised any serious questions,” Ramos said.

He added that, “even if the questions were sufficiently serious, injunctive relief would be unwarranted.”


The judge drew special attention to the question of timing during his ruling, saying that “any delay in the proceedings may result in irreparable harm to the Committees.”

He added that the law in the matter was “well-settled.”

“Courts have long recognized a clear public interest in maximizing Congress’s power to investigate,” Ramos intoned.

Trump had argued that because House Democrats’ motives for accessing the information was “political,” the judge should strike down the subpoenas as unconstitutional.

“Propriety of legislative motives is not a question left to the courts,” Ramos said. He added that, rather, the question was “left to voters, not judges.”

Source: Judge Offers Total Rejection Of Trump Bid To Block Subpoenas

This is one of those instances in which the law is so clear and so settled that SCOTUS will eventually affirm this without comment. In its own way, that will help strengthen our system, as it will once again show just how resilient it truly is.

The Freedom Caucus has always been fraudulent

House Freedom Caucus decides that Rep. Amash’s defense of the constitution is a bridge too far. Remember this the next time they mount a “principled constitutional conservative” defense against something. They never meant any of it. It was never principled, always partisan.

And partisanship is fine! Just stop pretending this has anything to do with immutable first principles. It doesn’t. It’s entirely and only situationalist opposition to actions of their opponents. Nothing more, nothing less.

The House Freedom Caucus on Monday night formally condemned Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), one of its founding members, for calling for President Trump’s actions “impeachable.”


Trump Shows Signs He Will Pardon Servicemen Accused or Convicted of War Crimes

These last few months have been so relentlessly exhausting that I haven’t really had much to say around here. But this…THIS…pardoning people convicted of war crimes?!? Do you know how hard it is to get convicted of something like this under the UCMJ? It’s as unlikely as a cop getting convicted for shooting a civilian. It’s THAT hard.

And what’s the point of this? Convicting the men and women who commit crimes such as these isn’t just done because it morally right; it’s also done because it’s in our own self interest, both narrowly as a military and more broadly as a nation.

If ever you wanted to do something to demonstrate to the world that we’ve never meant any of the things we’ve said, that our ideals were just a smokescreen hiding naked amoral self interest, I cannot think of much that would do so more clearly.

War crimes. He’s going to pardon people CONVICTED of war crimes. War crimes. On Memorial Day. War crimes.

Military officials received expedited requests for paperwork needed to pardon several military members on or around Memorial Day. — Read on www.nytimes.com/2019/05/18/us/trump-pardons-war-crimes.html