Monday, August 26, 2019

2020 Challenger Lineup: Joe Sestak

Two more white guys have popped up as potential Democratic nominees on Wikipedia, so alright, let's look at these probably centrist neoliberals.

Today's subject, who I will henceforth be referring to as Other Joe, is a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania. He's a retired Navy man. Interestingly, there was some controversy over Other Joe's reassignment or whatever as people suspected he was fucked with because he was actually trying to implement spending cuts to the Navy.

The U.S.? Spend LESS on the military? Unheard of!

Possible begrudging respect for Other Joe.

Other Joe has also passed a good deal of legislation that is some good shit. The nicknamed "Sestak Amendment" "moved the first significant federal funds into autism care and research," though I am not sure how the actual autistic community feels about the amendment or the use of those funds. He also passed the Elder Abuse Victims Act and a bill to expand COBRA benefits. He also created the House Pediatric Cancer Caucus, likely motivated by the fact that his daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer at age three. He was an original cosponsor to the bill that repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell and another to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. He made the first bill to restrict Citizens United, but it failed.

In terms of his positions, he's got a 100% pro-choice rating and is good on environmentalism. He has an F rating with the NRA. He has fought to reduce healthcare costs, calling it "payback" for the health coverage given to him and his family, including his daughter, while in the military. He is good on unions and is an original co-sponsor to some legislation that would make encourage workers to join them. He campaigned to end the war in Iraq but also voted in favor of giving George W. Bush a blank check to fund military efforts there.

What I don't get is this: "Sestak supports requiring Congress to offset the cost of all new spending." That is some Republican bullshit that only ever applies to helping the poor.

On his campaign website, Other Joe outlines many of his positions and paints himself as a real progressive. He says he supports universal healthcare (via transitioning from a public option) as well as many progressive initiatives such as free preschool, overturning Citizens United and limiting lobbyist activity, family and medical leave, and ending family separation while ensuring all asylum seekers get lawyers. He has an entire section on "Corporate Abuse of Power."

At the same time, there is some language that concerns me, like the usual about "securing our borders" and something about "dominating cyberspace" with our military. He doesn't mention the Green New Deal and seems to be much more interested in trying to motivate corporations to please stop polluting so much with taxes.

There's a ton to look at and I'm not particularly interesting in Other Joe, nor do I expect him to be the nominee, so I'm just gonna give him a B and get back to my day. He was better than I thought he was but gas nothing to make him stand out. Happy Monday.

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