Why hello there, dearest Filthy Dreams voters! As you probably noticed, the Democratic primaries are really heating up after last week’s Super Tuesday as Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropped out to rally around walking dentistry ad Quid Pro Joe, Bernie’s Twitter army tried to out-radical voters into supporting their candidate by howling about privilege, and Warren dropped out, inspiring her dog Bailey to stress-eat. All this Super Tuesday lunacy apparently melted everyone’s brain with access to a Twitter account, causing them to believe they’re all experienced political pundits whose wise words and endorsements sway the general voting public. But really, they’re just inflicting their unhinged foam-at-the-mouth insanity on everyone who doesn’t agree with their passionate views (the ones they discovered months ago).
Whew! I don’t know about you, but we here at Filthy Dreams saw only two options in this chaos: quarantine ourselves from the frenzy (and from the coronavirus) or dive headfirst into the fray.
Ok. Clearly there was only one viable option for us: to throw our hats in the ring and endorse! That’s right. For the first time, Filthy Dreams is going to toss our (light)weight behind a candidate, bestowing upon them the much-coveted, frequently rejected Filthy Dreams endorsement in time for today’s primaries.
We’re looking for a special candidate–not just one with shared values (boring), smart policies (zzzzz) or a presidential temperament (yawn!). We want a candidate who really makes an impact, who causes a stir! I mean, why is everyone else receiving furious political messages but us?!
So who is our candidate? Oh I’m so glad you asked. Well all I have to say is:
That’s right. We’re with HER. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard–the only woman left standing.
Oh, did you forget there is still a third person in the race? Someone besides the yell-y old men? You and everyone else. Or perhaps they were just trying to forget. But WE didn’t. As a T-shirt in her merch store proudly states, taking a quote from a New York Times article, we’re “Unusual Americans” for Tulsi!
Know that this decision didn’t come lightly. We picked our candidate at the end of some hard decision-making, long soul-searching and well, really no policy research. It may have even come as a knee-jerk, gut-driven response that didn’t take any actual issues into consideration. I mean, sure, if we had the money, power, and glory of the New York Times, we would have made all the candidates sit down with us too and weather our interrogations about the issues that matter to us: What disco song would they see as defining of their candidacy? What’s their favorite David Lynch film? Is Mayor Pete gay enough? Do they like Lana Del Rey? What is their favorite Lana Del Rey album?
You just know Tulsi prefers Ultraviolence too.
Now, I know, I know. Some people don’t love Tulsi, despite being a woman of color, a Hindu, an Iraq War veteran, a surfer, and someone who knows how to work a devilish and villainous look in that white suit. Some people don’t even like Tulsi. And some people loathe Tulsi. Whenever I mentioned Tulsi during this primary season to someone (which was a lot), the typical response was some version of “I hate her!” Which to me, seems like a ringing endorsement.
But perhaps un-likability is, in fact, why we’re for Tulsi in the first place. With Elizabeth Warren’s campaign ending in a fizzle of Internet screams, snake emojis and barely concealed misogyny, we have to reconcile that it’s very likely that no woman will ever be considered electable. With Hillary, it was easy to brush off the ire against her, but with Warren, a qualified woman with a progressive platform and plans to make it happen, the misogyny was real and inescapable.
Now we know for sure that no woman will ever be likable enough to be president. She’ll be shrill, lecturing, school marm-like. She’ll be too qualified, under-qualified, too opinionated, not opinionated enough, too mean, too soft, too loud, too annoying, and certainly not radical. And never electable.
After considering this depressing realization, it dawned on us: Tulsi was there from the very beginning. Tulsi, from the start, understood this impossibility for women, and courageously and with immense bravery ran a campaign without caring about being likable or electable. And she’s still running! And when a hero comes alooooong….
In many ways, Warren appeared like the perfect candidate. You know who isn’t? Tulsi. But she’s all we’ve got. And maybe she’s what we need! Being an outspoken, sometimes off-putting, often cutting woman is radical. To eschew likability when women are taught from a young age to be people-pleasers is the ultimate refusal. And that’s what Tulsi’s done–refused to drop out, refused to go away, refused to be invisible. Now, we–and Tulsi–know Tulsi isn’t going to win. But, nevertheless she persists.
But if we’re being honest, Tulsi was probably always the one for us. Sure, Marianne Williamson is who we’d like to be: the woo woo aunt reading our astrological charts after a few glasses of Chardonnay. Her crystal witch, junk science energy is the stuff of aspirations and dreams.
But, Tulsi is who we are–relentlessly alienating but doesn’t give a shit. Someone who institutions will go out of their way to make sure doesn’t have a platform like the DNC trying with all their might to keep Tulsi from the next Democratic debate. With two delegates, Tulsi, given the previous debate qualifications, should be able to be on the stage with Bernie and Biden on March 15. But the DNC just changed the rules, making it so the debaters need at least 20% of the delegates to qualify. I mean, come on! I’m not ready to have to deal with the grim prospect of Bernie and Biden screaming about their respective health issues.
For her part, Tulsi is trying to appeal to the other two candidates on Twitter, writing:
“@JoeBiden @BernieSanders I’m sure you would agree that our Democratic nominee should be a person who will stand up for what is right. So I ask that you have the courage to do that now in the face of the DNC’s effort to keep me from participating in the debates. #LetTulsiDebate”
I mean, Tulsi did get in a fight with the DNC over Bernie, resigning from the Committee to endorse him in 2016. In my mind, he owes her.
And the American viewing public is owed this television event! Remember her previous debates late last year when she almost single-handedly destroyed Kamala Harris (who I like, btw)’s candidacy? Or when she grinned while Pete blistered her about meeting with Syrian despot Assad only to suggest he would “lack the courage to meet with both adversaries and friends”? She debates like a kamikaze, waiting and smiling patiently to rip everyone to pieces like she has nothing to lose. “Fight me cowards,” as Cecile Strong said in her heroic impression of Tulsi on SNL.
Look, I know Tulsi has her problems. There’s the meeting with authoritarian leaders like Assad and Modi, but who hasn’t taken meetings they regret?
There’s also her ongoing battle with Hillary Clinton who hinted that Tulsi was a Russian asset (if she is, they’re slipping), and her numerous insults lobbed at Hillary and other politicians. For example, she called Hillary “queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.” But how wrong is she? She also went after Elizabeth Warren more recently calling her a “fake indigenous woman of color.” As a stan of Azealia Banks, well-crafted insults are an art form in my mind. And Tulsi is a master.
And she did just vote “present” during the House’s impeachment vote of Donald Trump, citing the division the impeachment proceedings caused in the country and how it would help him win reelection. Principled. Look my baby has standards! Morals! Convictions!
Of course, her early anti-LGBTQ record poses the biggest problem. In 1998, she worked for her father’s organization Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values that attempted to block same-sex marriage in Hawaii and as late as 2004, she said those seeking marriage equality were “a small number of homosexual extremists.” And here I thought same-sex marriage wasn’t radical enough for the queers! Also there should be more homosexual extremist groups. However, she’s since apologized several times and has supported on a number of bills in Congress for LGBTQ equality. I mean, she said she was sorry! It’s not like the queer community doesn’t forgive–everyone is still all playing Donna Summer despite what she said!
Tulsi does, however, believe in Medicare for all and she hates war. So there you go.
It’s not that the Democrats are really giving us much better options. Two nearly 80-year-old men with tenuous grasps on good health. I mean, at least neither of them are scarfing down Big Macs under the covers, but they don’t look much better! And unlike Bernie who hides behind his Wifi-draining cult members (Read Raven about the Peoples Temple, and then tell me you don’t see rhetorical similarities), allowing them to do his dirty work ripping apart the competition while he stays relatively out of the dust-ups, Tulsi will tear you to shreds to your face. I’m sorry, but that’s just good manners!
Okay, sure, maybe we just like endorsing the underdog. Someone’s got to! She’s an actual outsider–not someone who claims to be not from the establishment after working in Congress for 30 years.
And anyway, she may just be the only presidential candidate still in the race that would survive a bout of coronavirus.