Our Country is a Dumpster Fire, A Non-Exhaustive List

21 Nov

I have so many thoughts on what all has been going on over the past few months and so I am going to list them here, in the order in which they enter my brain. This list is not by any stretch exhaustive. There will probably be more lists to come. (Am I supposed to say “don’t @ me?”)

  1. Julian Castro should have been at the debates last night. The fact that he wasn’t, and that a billionaire was essentially able to buy his way onto that debate stage, is evidence of how badly we need to get big money out of politics. And I don’t mean this should happen through the decision of one or two campaigns to accept only small donations – I mean that we need reform to our campaign finance laws in such a way that it disallows donations of over a certain amount so that there is more of an even playing field and we are able to hear all the important voices, not just the ones who made a bunch of money in a past life before seeing the light and giving a shit about the future of our planet. (Ahem, Tom Steyer.)
    1. SUBPOINT! I was irritated to see Chris Matthews use Castro’s argument on MSNBC last night about how we shouldn’t use overwhelmingly white states as the first-in-the-nation caucus and primary states because they are not reflective of the diversity of our primary participants or of our voters writ large. The point was valid and, I believe, 100% accurate. BUT! This was a point originally made by Castro, not Matthews, and while it is important to platform the point it is also important to platform the person who originally stated it. This is just another way in which the white majority coopts the arguments of POC without giving them due credit and thusly continues to control the narrative.
  2. I really have grown to like and respect Eric Swalwell and so I feel it is only right for me to apologize for watching the video of him farting during an MSNBC interview for the better part of the day on Tuesday and laughing like a god damn 5-year-old. You are a respectable and respected Representative and I am glad we have you at these hearings. I am also glad you farted on national TV.
  3. Tulsi Gabbard: why?! If you want to run for president run against Donald Trump for the REPUBLICAN NOMINATION because actually you are a Republican. During the debates last night, Gabbard said “Our Democratic Party, unfortunately, is not the party that is of, by and for the people.” This statement was retweeted by the Trump War Room Twitter account that is connected to his reelection campaign. That is not a good endorsement, Tulsi.
    1. SUBPOINT! We are in the middle of impeachment inquiries during which the Democrats, led through the questioning by Representative Adam Schiff, are working doggedly on a fact-finding mission while the GOP are simply trying to secure soundbites that they think will play well to Trump’s (hopefully) dwindling base. But the Democrats aren’t working on behalf of the people? Okaaaaay. Tulsi. Stop going on Fox News. Stop criticizing Hillary Clinton. And stop taking space on a crowded primary stage from people who deserve to be there. And take Tom Steyer with you.
  4. Last night we had a question about discrimination against women – directed to Joe Biden, who smells women’s hair? – when one of the first people to drop out of the race was Kirsten Gillibrand who was running her campaign primarily as a champion of women and families. She dropped out in August. And I am going to go out on a limb (pst, it isn’t really a limb) and argue that the reason she dropped out was that she was loudly and rightfully critical of Al Franken. Who, might I add, resigned of his own accord. That The New Yorker ran this bullshit article by Jane Mayer (who I otherwise respect) was sort of the icing on the cake. Listen. Al Franken made some bad choices. The most publicized of which was his inappropriate interactions with Leeann Tweeden during a USO tour before he was in government. But that wasn’t the one that troubled me the most. The more troubling to me was that while he was out and about acting like he gave a shit about women’s bodily autonomy and equality and all that, he was grabbing women’s asses at the Minnesota State Fair (and other places) while he was a sitting senator. Was I really disappointed by all this? HELL YES! Was Al Franken a really important and effective voice on the Democratic side? For sure. Do I think he should have resigned? Absolutely. To assume that Al Franken is the only person capable of being an important ally in government is insulting to all the other people who are qualified and capable of holding that position, many of whom are not (gasp!) white and male. And the fact that Gillibrand’s bid was largely derailed because people were mad at her for treating Franken unfairly and forcing him to resign without “due process” just underscores the ridiculous sexism that we constantly endure in this god forsaken country.
    1. SUBPOINT! Why do men get to assault women, treat women inappropriately, rape women and still hold positions of power? Why do we have at least two men on the Supreme Court and one in the Oval Office with credible accusations of assault and/or rape against them? And why is the current front runner a man who – even after all the revelations of the most recent incarnation of MeToo – still can’t seem to understand that smelling women’s hair and calling them sweetheart is creepy as fuck and also wildly inappropriate. (If you can’t tell I am currently yelling.)
  5. I feel bad about this one because I might be being really unfair and ageist and a horrible person but… While I am on the case of Joe Biden, can I just make a general statement that I would like our next president to NOT be a septuagenerian? So that means I am passing over Joe Biden. And Bernie Sanders. And, yes, Elizabeth Warren even though she has largely been my preferred candidate for the majority of this never-ending circus of a process to find a Democratic nominee for President. I am sorry, Elizabeth. I really do love your plans. I love that you are organized and motivated and seemingly have all the energy of a 25-year-old but I just think we need to look towards someone who won’t be approaching (or surpassing, ahem, Biden and Sanders) 80 by the beginning of their second term. But we have such an exciting field of candidates (Harris! Castro! And, surprisingly to me, Klobuchar!) who I really think could crush the presidency. Also, I know Tom Steyer is only in his 60s but I would like to just include him here because, whatever. And also Tulsi Gabbard because if she insists on having that ridiculous swoop of grey died into her hair to look “distinguished,” or something, I would like to just cast her aside. Also I am just looking for more reasons to get her to go away.
    1. SUBPOINT! We are going to have to do a lot of work to combat Climate Change over the coming decades and I feel it is important to have someone at the helm who will feel the gravity of the decisions being made because it will effect their lives for a few decades as well. I just think, it isn’t an existential crisis, as Biden kept saying, it is a looming disaster that we need to think of as the most important duty of the next 50 years and beyond if we want the planet to continue to exist in a state somewhat similar to how it is currently.
  6. Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan are clowns. That is it. That’s the point.
    1. SUBPOINT! Omg can Jim Jordan wear a damn jacket?! Remember that time everyone went crazy over Obama’s tan suit and this asshole is participating in one of the most important processes of his (far too long) political career and he refuses to wear a suit jacket?! Also remember that time he turned a blind eye to rampant sexual abuse in the Ohio State wrestling program? I do.
  7. I wish Bernie Sanders would stop yelling. Seriously, he yells all the time. If a woman were to yell constantly like he does she would never get anywhere. And, if a person of color of any gender were to yell like he does they would never get anywhere either. This is a privilege bestowed only on white men (or white passing men, if you are of the belief that all Jews are non-white which, okay, we can talk about that in person) that I wish they wouldn’t take advantage of. It is stressful and diminishes whatever point they are trying to make. Especially when we take into consideration the optics of an old, white dude yelling at a panel full of female moderators.
    1. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a Bernie Sanders fan. Never have been. I take issue with a number of things involving his campaign and their approach to certain issues, but that is neither here nor there and not something I wish to get into. That being said, if he were the nominee which, for reasons number 5 and 7 listed above I hope he is not, I will absolutely vote for him and advocate for him to be elected. As we all should. We should all vote for whomever the nominee is.
  8. Did anyone else notice the not-so-veiled anti-Semitic remark lobbed at Lt Col. Vindman? Because I did. I jumped up so fast when I heard it that I scared the shit out of my dog. (Sorry, Goose.) At some point during the minority counsel’s questioning of Lt. Col. Vindman, he took up a line of attack with the intention of sowing doubt into Vindman’s loyalties to the United States. Lt. Col. Vindman is a Jewish man who’s family fled the USSR because being Jewish in the USSR was terrible. As is being Jewish in a lot of places these days, including the United States. According to the Washington Post, “Accusing someone of split loyalties is a long-standing xenophobic and anti-Semitic trope.” We have long known that a lot of people hold thinly veiled anti-Semitic beliefs. Things relating to the Jewish role in the media and at banking institutions; the idea that George Soros is at the helm of some sort of “globalist” agenda; that Jewish people care more about Israel than we do about the United States. This shit is wrong and it is dangerous. And to hear it during live, televised hearings in our nation’s capital and to not have it called out in real time by ANYONE or by any of the commentators on the MSNBC broadcast that I was watching was chilling. It brought to mind the fall of 2016 when Richard Spencer was on all the news channels doing a Heil Hitler, and of the following summer when (mostly) men carrying Pier One Tiki torches marched through Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Blood and Soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” This is some vile shit. Lt. Col. Vindman is a goddamn patriot and a hero and we are fucking lucky to have him serving selflessly on our behalf.

Okay, I have to go to work now but stay tuned, I might write another list that will basically be a continuation of this one but will start over again at the number 1.

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