Here we are in this world where a monster shitbag president is doing the most to make sure we all die broke and fucked up, meanwhile the teevee box pundits are telling us that “electability,” the bullshit ouroboros pundit welfare program that keeps milquetoast white dudes on cable news talking to other milquetoast white dudes on cable news about how only other milquetoast white dudes alone can get ‘er done, is the measure by which we should determine our Super Tuesday vote.
I rebuke it.
I said it on Twitter already: You might have to hold your nose and vote for somebody who sucks in November. You definitely will have to do that thing if you don’t vote for the candidate who carries your values in the primary.
We can’t worry about the worst instincts of our neighbors; we need to assert our own best values and expect everyone else to do the same. And especially if we are people of privilege, we need to express our best selves at the ballot box when it comes to demanding that the person at the tippy-top negotiating table -- the president -- be a person who can fucking listen up, shut up, and do right.
For me, that person is Elizabeth Warren. She’s got some dang plans. She fucks up and moves to correct herself. She has a strong group of supporters who are prepared to hold her accountable. She’s the person I most trust to be genuine at the table, and to feel an authentic pull within her own heart and values to do right.
I canvassed in Austin for the Warren campaign last weekend (a thing I have never done for any candidate, ever!) and talked to a lot of people who tore themselves away from the Nevada caucus results to answer the door. Lots of folks were talking about electability. Lots of ‘em talking about whatever we can do, however much it hurts, to beat Trump.
I fucking rebuke it.
I’m voting for the badass bitch who hollers at Mike Bloomberg, who respects Bernie but sees his failures of policy execution, and who defends Amy Klobuchar from sexist attacks but who isn’t gonna pretend like being a woman is an excuse for being an asshole. I feel good about voting for Warren, and I’m excited as hell about it.
I do not, however, know what the fuck is happening in the race for the Texas senate seat currently occupied by Trump toadie John Cornyn.
Do you know what is happening in that race? I am genuinely asking. I know that 4,290 people are running for the position (there was a debate that sounded like a State Fair ag call!), and I have heard from exactly zero of them otherwise. I haven’t gotten a single flyer, text, or phone call from a Democrat running for the Texas senate seat. I know that MJ Hegar is running because she released a good ad against Cornyn last year implying (this is my own personal interpretation, unrelated to any private political fantasy fiction I might produce after a few drinks) that she might run the craven motherfucker down with her motorcycle, an illegal and terrible thing no one should ever absolutely do immediately tomorrow now with no hesitation whatsoever.
Last year I wrote a long-ass thing about Beto O’Rourke’s Texas senate campaign and the excitement he drummed up among progressive Texans during his bid against the lizard glorpman Ted Cruz, and about the down-ballot benefits of being assertive and proud about lefty Texanness.
Beto’s campaign was a joy to watch from afar during my family’s brief sojourn in California before the midterms; I hoped that it would signal even the most minor sea change in the way the Texas Democratic Party operates in this giant, messy state.
I fear that, in fact, nah.
I realize the party can’t endorse all 8,193 people running against Cornyn in this primary. But I also realize that a hell of a lot of voters saw themselves -- ourselves -- in a way we hadn’t been seen before Beto’s bid against Cruz in 2018. If I’m not getting the message (Email! Texts! Insta ads! Literally anything! I’m easy to sell athleisure wear to on the internet!) that Texas Dems need to turn out on Super Tuesday for anybody on the left -- specifically or generally -- what the fuck is the actual plan, my friends? Can we not just send a dang email out about here’s who’s running, good luck to ‘em? Are we going to complain forever about being underfunded and unappreciated while the ozone burns up, endlessly making excuses for what we could have done, but didn’t, because reasons?
Where are you, everyone? I’m a pretty dang politically aware person, and I’ve been opening conversations about the Texas senate race with folks I know who are far more plugged in than I am into this pretty fuckin’ important question, and I get the same thing every time: shrug, who are you voting for, it’s messy, I’ve heard things, did you hear those things?
Of course it’s messy. It’s politics. If I can avoid it, I don’t want to vote for a middle-of-the-road Democrat who I’m going to struggle to defend later -- I’m not looking to do the Doug Jones, Texas edition. I want to know who people are and what they’re for. I am thirsty to cast a vote for someone I feel good about, and I think there might be a few of those options in this race! I wish that just literally any one of them would show me they’re that person, by … showing up.
Undoubtedly there are plugged-in political folks reading this newsletter who are shaking their heads about what and who I should know and how and when and why I should know them. I agree! It is very dumb that I don’t know these things and people with regard to this particular race, and I’m trying harder than most to suss out the known-unknowns and the unknown-unknowns. It feels a lot like being taken for granted, and I don’t think that’s a plan that makes Texas strong. It feels like a plan that creates excuses.
Guess what? I rebuke it.
(Legit, please tell me who you are voting for in the Senate primary and why. I’m so tired.)