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Morning Briefing: Go Home, Joe, and Take Tom and Chuck and Andrew With You

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 20, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 20, 2018 |


— I mean, I really don’t care that Ivanka Trump used her personal email to do government business. Even in a normal Presidential Administration, it wouldn’t be a big deal, and in this one, it’s maybe 4,329th on the list of priorities. With that said, House Democrats absolutely should demand that Ivanka appear in front of a House Committee and answer questions under oath for six hours, and the first question should be, “Do you think it’s OK that you engaged in the same activities for which your father threatened to imprison Hillary Clinton? And if so, why do you believe that you’re above the law?”

— We should have expected this, but the battle-for-show between Jim Acosta and the White House has led to some unintended consequences, which were completely foreseeable given the pettiness of this White House. One of the reasons a federal judge reinstated Acosta’s hard pass was because it was taken without due process. The White House has responded by establishing a set of rules — which they call “decorum” — so that should a reporter violate a rule, the White House can pull their hard pass.

These rules ensure one of two things: Either the White House press briefings will be even more useless than before, or — more likely — the journalists will disregard “decorum,” ask follow-up questions, and have their passes revoked. It’s a goddamn reality show. Jim Acosta won’t make it a week. But then again, the only news value now in White House press conferences is if a journalist gets a hard pass revoked, which is exactly what Trump wants. As Jon Stewart said, Trump wants to maintain focus on the fight and not the policies, and in this, he got exactly what he wanted.

The upside is, when the Democrats choose their 2020 nominee, she can present herself as available and accessible, and if the press had any goddamn sense, they’d take advantage of that and afford her more airtime. But they won’t. Trump will relax the rules, and the press will run back into the arms of their abuser. It’s a painfully predictable routine.

— Speaking of 2020, I have seen that Tom Steyer is making a bid. Joe Biden is in the mix, and I think I saw something about Andrew Cuomo this morning. Go home, fellas. Thank you for your service (and your contributions to the midterms). But go home. Your time is up. Your iteration of the Democratic party is done. The only way for Democrats to win in 2020 is to nominate someone who can command the attention of the press. Step aside and make way for a new generation. I’m not worried about any of those guys (or Sherrod Brown) winning the nomination, because the press doesn’t care about them, but I’d appreciate it if they’d just stay the hell out of it, so we can focus our attention and enthusiasm on candidates who have a shot in hell. And if Buzzfeed or Vox or, uh, Pajiba doesn’t give a shit about your candidacy, pack it up.

— Meanwhile, I’m not interested in getting into the bullshit between Donald Trump and William McRaven, either, except to note that Trump does not give two shits about veterans, and he illustrates that time and time again. The list of slights is endless. Veterans who still support Republicans are like those Yellow Dog Democrats in the South who didn’t figure out until the 1980s and ’90s that the Republicans were no longer the party of Lincoln. Democrats would be wise to exploit that weakness, and if someone like Jason Kander or Tammy Duckworth is not on a VP shortlist, then get the fuck out. There are 22 million veterans in the United States just waiting for someone to show them some actual affection instead of using the military as a stunt.

It’s Tuesday, November 20th, 2018, and I’m fucking done with these people. With Trump and Biden and Pence and Schumer. The old folks, the white dudes, the mainstream media, and the “centrists.” If you’re too old to live long enough to see the cataclysmic damage of climate change, then step the fuck aside.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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