WTF: August 5, 2020
Nevertheless They Persisted
The search for Biden’s Veep rolls on…
Washington Post: Democrats are trying to unseat a bully. They need to stop using a bully’s tactics to do so.
But right now it resembles a prickly reality show where the women who might make history must first walk head high through a rain of fists from aging men “critiquing” their talents by speaking sideways to the dudes in the political press. It feels like a bunch of high school jocks assessing potential homecoming queens. In that worldview, the expectation is that the woman who wears the smaller, daintier crown will herself understand that her primary purpose is to adorn the fellow seated to her left but never rise to his stature.
Former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) has no business on the VP selection committee given his history of womanizing, harassment and general drunken rapey frat boy behavior. His comments about Sen Kamala Harris’ lack of remorse for her debate performance as reported in a Politico article only demonstrate that Dodd is a relic from an age that celebrated and rewarded misogyny and his binder full of women might have a hotness index/sandwich filling desirability rating that might make your head explode.
The Hartford Courant: Chris Dodd is not helping Joe Biden
Biden announced in a March debate that he would select a woman as his running mate. Dodd, who served with Biden in the U.S. Senate for 30 years, has emerged as the leader of the committee vetting Biden’s prospective vice presidential candidates. It must be an incongruous experience for the women on Biden’s list to be interviewed by Dodd, who boasted of his friendship with convicted rapist and former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Dodd, who became the movie industry’s top lobbyist after public disapproval caused him to drop his bid for a sixth term in the Senate. Weinstein was a generous Dodd campaign contributor.
In 1990, Dodd gained unusual national attention when GQ published a chilling account of a 1985 assault on a Washington restaurant waitress Carla Gaviglio by Dodd and the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy. Gaviglio told the New York Post in May she never received an apology from Dodd for the “waitress sandwich” episode.
Almost every American politician comes with more baggage that Queen Elizabeth II, who is rumored to travel with her own toilet seat. Few of these guys would have amassed enough points to get to The Good Place. (An excellent show you should watch if you haven’t already.) But sometimes that baggage contains such ugliness that you’d hope they’d just stay home and shh rather than accept a high-profile assignment evaluating a slate of women. But apparently no man is ineligible for redemption as demonstrated by the Discovery Channel building their annual Shark Week programming around a convicted rapist and ear biter?)
Speaking of Shark Week, this extended vetting process has created some space for oppo dumps on the potential running mates. Some coming from inside the house.
Washington Post: A nasty preview of the attacks on a female VP
In a separate Politico article an anonymous consultant for the Biden campaign came up with a new standard for the vice president: “There is no one ideal home run choice.” The headline of that article characterizes Biden’s search as “coming up short,” effectively denigrating the eventual pick and casting her as the best Biden could find…
That said, this may be a disturbing preview of things to come. Prepare for the slights, sneers and snide remarks about whomever the nominee turns out to be. Get ready to see her background and accomplishments diminished. The campaign will need to take this on directly and show they have zero tolerance for the double standard women have had to put up with for decades.
Politico: Biden’s Shortlist Comes Up Short
The strategist said Warren “checks the box of can-be-president tomorrow. The question for Elizabeth is whether it’s too much octane for the tank. Trump is desperately looking to turn Biden into a scary radical lefty. He can’t do that so his tactic is to make him seem like a tool of the scary radical lefty. She would become the nominee for president in the mind of Republicans. Trump will say, ‘Biden is so old that he won’t survive a year and she is going to be calling the shots and then she will be president.’”
Too much octane in the tank? So she’s too prepared? Too bright? Too aggressive, ambitious, shrill, bossy? Does she have blood coming from her wherever? Advisers giving the media sexist smears about the potential #2 on the ticket? Seems really, really, really dumb.
CNN: Top Biden VP contenders face sexist tropes, intense scrutiny in final stretch
Joe Biden’s decision on his running mate is drawing closer by the day, and the tensions over whom he should pick spilled out into public view this past week, as the women who are his top contenders find themselves navigating around sexist tropes about their ambition and intense scrutiny of the most controversial aspects of their pasts.
One theme oft repeated: Biden wants a VP loyal to him who is not eyeing 2024. But I think It is political malpractice for a 77-year-old candidate to intentionally select a running mate who isn’t eyeing Air Force One – actuarial tables tell us that this VP has a reasonable chance of sitting behind the Resolute Desk before Biden’s term is up. It is insane not to view succession planning as the most important deciding factor and the first question should be: Will you run in 2024?
Washington Post: Biden’s delay in choosing a running mate intensifies jockeying between potential picks
Even some longtime Biden allies worry the process has become “messier than it should be,” pitting women, especially Black women, against one another.
The dynamic threatens to undermine Biden’s effort to use the vice-presidential search to spotlight some of the party’s brightest female stars during the highly public vetting process. And it’s already providing President Trump’s campaign an opening to dig up dirt and launch attacks on potential rivals.
“It’s been relentless. It’s been unfortunate. But I must say it’s been predictable,” said Donna Brazile, a former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee. “It’s extremely disappointing, because many of these attacks . . . are being made by Democratic men who should know better.”
This is just so fucking exhausting. Every single man who has occupied either the presidency or vice presidency has been deeply flawed. It’s not a “double” standard. It’s an intentionally impossible one. So let’s close with a quote from Kamala Harris during a virtual conference, Black Girls Lead 2020:
“There will be a resistance to your ambition. There will be people who say to you, ‘You are out of your lane,’ because they are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don’t you let that burden you.”
The Sideshow: Trump on Axios
Watched the Axios video in its entirety and couldn’t help but think back to the Couric-Palin interviews; which, in turn, had me thinking a fair bit about the way gender affects our perception of political competence.
You cannot convince me that this isn’t satire or a sick joke oh my god pic.twitter.com/xAZTbV5QiV
God, I wish this was just a dumb show like ours. https://t.co/n3edLDiqiq
Many thought Trump’s Axios interview felt like ‘Veep.’ The showrunner says, ‘We’re being outdone regularly.’
Almost as soon as President Trump’s tense interview with Axios’s Jonathan Swan aired, Twitter accounts started comparing it to HBO’s political satire “Veep.” “It’s like an episode of Veep but real,” tweeted Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan. “‘Oh my god it’s just like VEEP!’
Just finished watching the Axios interview and it’s definitely not a train wreck for Trump. It’s more a train wreck crashing into another train wreck in the middle of a tsunami as the earth spins off its axis and flies directly into Satan’s gaping asshole.
You’ve been warned. But you should still watch the entire interview.