Monday, June 24, 2019

2020 Challenger Lineup: Eric Swalwell

Eric Swalwell, the guy whose very face makes me go "why?" He looks like he could be a College Republican but is in fact a Democrat with fairly liberal stances, but I can tell you right now he's not more interesting than many of the other candidates. Feel free to read on but if you're looking for the most progressive candidate or the one with the best ideas, this isn't it.

Swalwell is a California Representative who is pro-education funding and explicitly for repealing the disastrous No Child Left Behind Act. He wants to decrease military spending, which can be unusual for any politician, including Democrats, so that's nice. He wants to make rich people pay more into Social Security, is pro-choice, and pro-marriage equality. He also came up with an idea for letting members of Congress vote remotely so that they can spend more time in their districts, which makes sense to me but I haven't looked into the issue.

His campaign website is full of information on his stances on issues, so at least he's not mystery man like some of them. He's very anti-Citizens United and is one of the original co-sponsors of the For The People Act that would make it easier to vote and fight gerrymandering, plus would essentially reverse Citizens United. He's co-sponsored a LOT of bills that are pro-voting rights, actually, and was/is a key player in the Russian investigation.

He's pro-jobs, can you believe it? He has tried multiple times to raise the federal minimum wage, the latest being to $15 per hour, which is good but not enough. He also takes some time on his job page to say "I will always support any good idea, whether it is proposed by a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, if it will mean more jobs, higher incomes, and a better quality of life for the American people." If that doesn't make your eyes involuntarily roll into the back of your head then you're living a better life than I am.

Swalwell talks a lot about student debt and all the crushing it does but does not seem to be on the debt cancelation train yet. Again, he lists a lot of bills he's proposed that do some good but not enough. It's the same with environment issues. Regulate fracking? No, ban all fracking before we die horrible deaths, Eric.

He has a section on "fiscal responsibility." Remember when that used to be like the main Republican issue? Now they're all for spending as long as they're killing people of color with the money.

His "Equality For All" section again puts him on the right side of all the right bills, but fails entirely to speak on the murder of trans women and police violence against black people.

I would love to see just one candidate talk about our military without humping the flag and using the word "strong" 50 times. Our military is far TOO strong. Somebody talk about the military industrial complex and how all that talk about needing to protect ourselves and maintain a facade of strength is just an excuse to feed the bloated beast and real fiscal responsibility would be cutting the military budget to a fraction of what it is now.

I'm not even clicking on "fostering bipartisanship."

On healthcare, he's for expanding access to Medicaid but NOT for Medicare for All. He's for a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants but also spouts some shit about securing our borders, as though they aren't already as secure as they could reasonably be. He's against a wall, though! Woo hoo!

He's definitely a tough-on-crime guy. He doesn't use that phrase but the language is there. "I know first-hand how dangerous our communities can be and the importance of keeping Americans safe" shut up white guy.

He likes seniors, veterans, and women!

So yeah. All this paints a clear picture of a centrist Democrat who would probably be a total neo-liberal if elected. He flirts with actual progressiveness but I'm pretty sure he's just a tease. Run for Senate instead, Swalwell. C-.

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