It’s that time again, time for a laundry list of candidates, many of whom most Americans have never heard of, to announce that they will be running for president, or at least creating an “exploratory committee” to think about it. According to my estimate there are about 9 or 10 that have already done this. This does not include Richard Ojeda who has already withdrawn from the race, an idiotic move in my opinion, though I agree with him on a lot of issues, because he resigned from his position in the West Virginia Senate. This number also does not include other names that will almost certainly run like Bernie Sanders (Run Bernie Run) and Joe Biden.
Now we have yet another candidate throwing her hat into the ring, Amy Klobuchar. Many of you may be saying “Amy who?” Klobuchar is a sitting senator from Minnesota. She has held her seat for over a decade now.
Before she was a senator she was a prosecutor, just like Kamala Harris, another Democratic candidate for 2020. This may have been a good thing for her prospects of gaining the presidency a decade ago, it is a less and less popular position to hold in our current climate. As with Harris, Klobuchar’s ‘tough on crime’ stance may end up costing her votes in the Democratic primary.
She held the position of prosecutor from 1999 to 2007. She was in favor of longer sentences for repeat offenders and going after small crimes such as graffiti. She also went very hard on drug offenders, which is certainly not popular as of late. This is likely why she received a D rating from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Klobuchar, early last year, also voted in favor of reauthorizing NSA’s warrantless wiretapping. This is not only a vote in favor of gross privacy invasions, but is also unconstitutional.
While she has voted against many of President Trump’s appointments, she voted in favor of a few who are terrible. One vote was to make Dan Coats the Director of national intelligence. Coats, for those unaware, was against LGBT individuals serving in the military. He was in favor of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He was also against the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Klobuchar also voted in favor of Linda McMahon to become the administrator of the Small Business Administration. McMahon is a large GOP financial backer and is also a co-founder, along with her husband, of what has become the WWE. She and the WWE both have a very muddled record, and her connection to the company could create some conflicts of interest with her position.
This is not to say all her policy ideas are bad. She is in favor of women’s right to choose. She is in favor of getting troops out of Afghanistan and Syria. She opposed rolling back protections of Dodd Frank. One of her biggest issues is that she is a mealy-mouthed centrist and often does not go far enough.
She has not come out in favor of a national healthcare system, instead in her announcement speech she called for everyone to have “coverage”. This can be seen in a number of unexciting candidates who don’t want to rock the boat or have ties to pharmaceutical companies.
In the same speech she also showed other issues that she only backed half way. She believes in climate change, most people who have read any of the studies do, but she didn’t mention the Green New Deal in her speech even once. To be fair to Klobuchar, a spokesperson did say the senator would support the bill, though she a bit late to the game as nearly every other ‘serious’ 2020 candidate co-sponsored the bill.
The Senator is also nominally against Citizens United. This is obviously a good thing. However, like many of her ideas, it doesn’t go far enough in addressing the real problems our nation faces. Her ideology on this front is similar to Hilary Clinton. She wants more transparency. So we will be able to see who bribes our politicians more clearly. However, what is truly needed is a total overhaul of the system that guarantees free and fair elections with no corporate or PAC money, only small dollar donation, or better yet publicly financed ones.
I could go on and on about her specific policies, how she votes with Trump over 30% of the time, compared with Bernard Sanders’ 14.8%. I could talk about how she only receives 23.16% of her money from small dollar donations. I could talk about her silly clapbacks about Trump’s hair. I could spend a thousand words comparing her policy void announcement speech with that of Elisabeth Warren’s who essentially only discussed her powerful, people first message and ways to implement them.
Science is on my side, @realDonaldTrump. Looking forward to debating you about climate change (and many other issues). And I wonder how your hair would fare in a blizzard? ☃️
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) February 10, 2019
My whole point in writing this is not to attack Klobachar individually, though I always relish in a chance to dismantle a milquetoast Democrat. I do so to say that she will get destroyed in the primary. The American people have moved past this, hell over 50% of Republicans support Medicare for All according to recent polling.
The old 1990s politician that tells us how they came from ‘humble beginnings’ and they will fight for the working class, while being immensely wealthy, Klobuchar was estimated to be worth over $1 million in 2015, while pushing for minor, incremental change. That doesn’t get anyone excited.
Calling for jailing criminal bankers, that gets people excited. So does a national healthcare system that is free at the point of service. People get amped for a living wage and the idea that maybe their planet won’t be on fire in the next decade because President Cheeto and his unlovable gang of gargoyles don’t believe in science.
I only hope that this election, along with actual up-and-coming stars in the democratic party like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , not the ones mainstream media tries to manufacture and force upon the American people like Cory Booker, will prove to the Democratic Party that centrism is not the way to go. Sure there are broad differences between how you need to run in each state. That being said we need a litmus test.
No more expanding healthcare, we need Medicare for All. No more endless wars. No more tax cuts for the rich, we need increased taxes on the wealthy and corporations that steal our labor. We need more unions. We need to break up monopolies. We need to jail bankers that break the law. We need to fight for working people. We need to expand voter enfranchisement. We need to legalize drugs, and at least decriminalize sex work. We need to get serious about climate change, we need a Green New Deal. We need real leaders not the weak sellouts that we currently have. We have to fight, protest, boycott, and end oppression. We don’t need more bland centrist politicians. We don’t need Klobuchar and her ilk.