Joe Biden made the pick that maximized his chances of continuing to make the race a straight referendum on Trump while also selecting someone whose resume suggests being ready to step in, if and when Biden decides to step aside. | Analysis by @CillizzaCNN https://t.co/Ek4d6sfGfT
— CNN (@CNN) August 11, 2020
Senator Kamala Harris could become president of the United States. Joe Biden, who enjoys wide leads in national polls and battleground-state polls, may well win the election. Many people on both Left and Right, including the socialists at Jacobin and Republican congressman Matt Gaetz, suspect Mr. Biden is mentally declining. When a black reporter asked Mr. Biden if he would take a cognitive test to prove his mental fitness, Mr. Biden replied by asking if the reporter was a “junkie.” If elected, Mr. Biden would be the oldest man ever to become president. Most voters, including about half of Democrats, think he won’t finish his first term. Kamala Harris would then become president.
Some progressives, especially former Bernie Sanders supporters, are unhappy with the Biden-Harris ticket. Mr. Biden is a white man who has said “racist” things by today’s standards. Kamala Harris’s lackluster presidential campaign had only one high point: when she shamed Mr. Biden for his friendship with segregationists and opposition to forced busing. “[T]here was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” said Senator Harris. “And that little girl was me.” Senator Harris even sold T-shirts with this clearly rehearsed line.
Kamala Harris’s campaign sputtered out after Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard exposed the former prosecutor’s own record:
There are too many examples to cite but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.
She blocked evidence — she blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California. And she fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) August 1, 2019
Sen. Harris was rattled, but arrogantly claimed to be a “top-tier candidate.” Her support vanished.
The senator has always been willing to bite in the clinches. A Politico story about her first political campaign had the title, “Ruthless.” And she has run brazenly on race. When she campaigned for San Francisco district attorney, her final mailer said “it’s time for a change,” and showed a picture of her white opponent.
But there wasn’t much change; she stayed tough on crime. In 2010, DA Harris smiled when she told an audience about using her staff to threaten parents with jail if they didn’t send truants to school. In 2013, she chided liberals who didn’t believe in prisons, saying that they didn’t understand “why I have three padlocks on my front door” and that there should be “a broad consensus that there should be serious and severe and swift consequences” for criminals. “Kamala is a cop” was a devastating slogan during the campaign because it was true.
Harris' beliefs in retributive justice are deeply held. Here's a video of Harris from 2013 at the Chicago Ideas Week mocking criminal justice reformers as unrealistic and ideological. pic.twitter.com/DWk6bliLmw
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) January 29, 2019
Sen. Harris locked up plenty of pot smokers, but cracked a joke when someone asked if she had ever smoked it. “Half my family’s from Jamaica” she said. “Are you kidding me?” Her Jamaican father, an economics professor, wasn’t laughing. He said his ancestors “must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics.”
In 2004, the Los Angeles Times profiled her, calling her “a privileged child of foreign graduate students whose academic pursuits led them to UC Berkeley.” Her mother is Indian and a scientist. Kamala Harris married a Jewish lawyer and became stepmother to his two white children. They reportedly call her “Mamala.”
My ancestors didn’t own slaves, but hers probably did, at least according to her father. Like Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris is a poseur, pretending she’s an oppressed minority. Unlike Elizabeth Warren, she has enough melanin to make it plausible.
In 2018, Sen. Harris said that people who criticize “identity politics” are trying to “divide” and “distract,” or to “shut us up.” “Identity politics” is the game she plays, and its purpose is to split Americans into competing racial and sexual groups. In February 2019, she said Columbus Day should be renamed Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which implies that European settlement was wrong. She called America “the scene of a crime when it comes to what we did with slavery and Jim Crow and institutionalized racism in this country, and we have to be honest about that.” Is she going to be “honest” and tell us about her slave-owning ancestors? Later in 2019, she asked whether “America was ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States of America.” Pure identity politics.
Still, her specific black agenda is as vague as her identity. In 2019, she called President Trump a racist and said “there has to be some form of reparations and we can discuss what that is.” She told Al Sharpton’s National Action Network she would sign a bill to “study” reparations. She also co-sponsored Cory Booker’s bill for a commission on reparations. She’s even mused that mental health treatment could be “reparations” and talked about putting “extra resources” into “those communities that have experienced that trauma.” It’s hard to say what all that means.
But Sen. Harris does want to eliminate the “racial wealth gap.” Her plan would give money to “families living in historically red-lined communities.” This may not be a straight handout to blacks because it would be based on geography, and racial housing patterns no longer fit those old maps. In an October 2019 report, the Brookings Institute found that plans built around “redlining maps” “will prove to be insufficient in dismantling the legacy of racial inequalities in homeownership and wealth in the United States.”
Senator Harris’s most worrying policies would be for “combating violent hate.” Her plan (now archived) called “anti-immigrant manifestos” a sign of “impending violence” that could justify removing suspects’ Second Amendment rights “if they exhibit clear evidence of dangerousness.” Who defines “dangerousness?” Candidate Harris said she would “immediately direct the National Counterterrorism Center to address the threat of global white-nationalist terrorism, and seek authority to include domestic terrorism in its mission.” She would also “reverse President Trump’s dangerous efforts to deprioritize countering white supremacy and commit $2 billion to investigate, disrupt, and prosecute domestic terrorists.” This includes making it a “priority” for the FBI to “more vigilantly monitor white nationalist websites and forums – consistent with well-established legal requirements and civil liberties protections – where extremists discuss and encourage violent acts.”
The next sentence reads, “This will put pressure on online platforms to take down content that violates their terms and conditions.” She therefore wants the federal government to pressure platforms to remove legally permissible speech, not just violent content. She would also tell the FBI to “identify and penetrate extremist networks and seek Domestic Terrorism Prevention Orders to preempt terrorist attacks.”
Her plan is silent on antifa and black identity extremists. She has only whites in her crosshairs. And if the federal government splashes out billions to combat “hate-based violence,” the bureaucracy will invent a threat to justify its existence. We already see this in the “non-profit” sector, where phony hate crimes justify constant fundraising.
As I write this, Joe Biden is invoking the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as a specter of white terror. The violence that day was the city’s fault. However, even if we accept the worst possible interpretation and blame “white nationalists” for everything, Charlottesville was a picnic compared to the riots, property destruction, and deaths that have gripped the country since George Floyd’s death. President Trump’s timid efforts to grapple with this violence, which Democrats openly opposed, are far less intrusive than Kamala Harris’s plans.
Would President Harris do what she says? Her record suggests she would. As a district attorney in 2005, she rejected suggestions from her staff that defendants be informed of police misconduct. She changed policy only after a political scandal. In 2013, she refused to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage because she disagreed with it, even though it was her job, as California attorney general, to defend state law. In other cases, she pursued her duty to a fault, fighting against compensation for men wrongfully convicted. In one case, she did her best to keep a man in prison even after a judge tossed the conviction on the basis of police misconduct, incompetent defense, and a lack of evidence. The man was allegedly tied to a Nazi gang, but the case was so outrageous that even Jacobin blasted Kamala Harris for it.
Sen. Harris is not particularly extreme by today’s standards, but her life is about acquiring power. Once she has it, she would surely wield it against us. She is likely to restrict freedom of speech and other constitutional rights. Even those who have criticized her in the past would cheer it on.
She has the right skin color, right sex, and enemies. Sounds like privilege to me.