Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Kamala Harris May Turn Out To Be Great-- Give Her A Chance


God save us!

I'm old. New Rule: When you're old you don't have to vote for the lesser of two evils any more. Now if a candidate isn't offering me something I want, I won't vote for them. I've never voted for my Democratic congressman, Adam Schiff, who was, until recently when he switched to the almost-as-bad New Dems, a Blue Dog. I never voted for Dianne Feinstein-- which includes when she ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and, later, for mayor-- and last year I didn't vote for Kamala Harris in either the primary or the general. I don't hate Kamala Harris. I don't even have much against her-- other than her generally mediocre job as Attorney General. The problem was that although her opponents were much worse, she wasn't offering anything to me that I thought worth me voting to give her the incredible job of senator from the best state in the union. Now they-- the powers that be-- want her, for some unfathomable reason, to be considered as a candidate for president. She's hasn't done a fuckingthing, not.a.fuckingthing. Yes, she's a woman. She's she's got a bunch of races in her bloodstream. Very nice. But that isn't how I pick who I'm going to vote for for president. Elizabeth Warren is accomplished and has done a lot. I'd die happy if I could vote for her and see her become leader of our great country. Or Bernie. But Kamala Harris? Are you kidding? She shouldn't be a senator. I don't even know if she'd be a good City Council member. Maybe. But why don't we wait and see what she does before we start nattering like a bunch of imbeciles about her as a presidential candidate! This is insane!

Writing for the New Republic last week, Sarah Jones asserted that Harris is widely considered one of the party’s rising stars. Widely? Really? By someone who isn't on her payroll? By people with 3-digit IQs? I never met or spoke to one person who sees Kamala Harris as a potential 2020 candidate other than people who have something to directly gain financially by that prospect. Not one! It's beyond comprehension why this is even a discussion that doesn't involve identity politics and demographics.

Jones writes that it's "a problem for the left" that Harris is being considered. Thank God, someone is awake! Recently Ryan Cooper wrote that "Harris is mistrusted by the left mostly because of her roots as a prosecutor" and he also criticized two other heavily self-promoted theoretical candidates, Senator Cory Booker and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Establishment liberals who have invested in these three went crazy. Some have their futures tied up in their futures. But as Jones pointed out, "Harris has a deeply troubling record: As a district attorney, she implemented a law that penalized the parents of truant children with a fine of up to $2,000 and a year in jail. Later, as California’s attorney general, Harris fought a transgender prisoner’s attempts to access necessary health care. And her record on prosecuting financial crimes is poor, particularly her decision to refrain from going after OneWest Bank for allegedly breaking foreclosure laws. And she’s not the only one-- as David Dayen wrote for the New Republic, virtually the entire Democratic Party has been criminally negligent when it comes to taking on corporate malfeasance during the housing crisis.
The Democratic Party hasn’t met the left’s standards in this area, and that is a problem with the party, not the left. But all of this prompts a question: Under what circumstances could the left accept a flawed candidate for high office?

To understand where the left might draw that line, it is necessary to first understand the substance of its critique. By questioning Harris and the party’s other rising stars, the left performs necessary political work. It’s vital to criticize Harris’s record as a prosecutor, Cory Booker’s ties to pharmaceutical companies and school reform groups, and Deval Patrick’s work for Bain Capital, as Cooper did in his article for The Week. The problem of extreme income inequality in this country, in which the vast majority of wealth goes to the very people these politicians have either protected, solicited, or worked for, can only be combatted with a similarly drastic redistribution of wealth. Activists are right to wonder if a Patrick or a Booker will deliver the changes the country needs.

Which is precisely why the left doesn’t restrict its criticism to Harris, Patrick, and Booker. As Cooper noted in a follow-up piece on Monday, the same left-wing concerns apply to the white, male members of the party’s establishment. “Leftists like myself believe that in addition to traditional civil rights policy, nothing short of a total overhaul of American capitalism will suffice to actually eradicate oppression from our society,” he wrote. “Neoliberals like Andrew Cuomo and Joe Biden, by contrast, believe that the capitalist framework only needs minor tweaks.” The left’s real focus is beyond Harris or even the Democratic Party: It has more systemic concerns.

However, that broad goal is impossible without allies in government, and the left is not spoiled for choice. A cluster of lawmakers-- Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Ro Khanna, Keith Ellison, Mark Pocan, and other members of the House Progressive Caucus-- come closest to the mark, on issues including Medicare-for-All, free college tuition, a federal $15 minimum wage, trust-busting, immigrant rights, and police brutality. But with the exception of Sanders and Ellison, these politicians did not come up through the ranks of the activist left. They have flawed records, as most politicians do, marked by bad positions and dubious compromises.

...When a politician changes course, recognize this for what it is: a concession, won by a newly invigorated movement. It’s too soon to say #NeverKamala.
I agree. It's too soon for #NeverKamala... and it's too soon for #Kamala2020. Maybe Kamala will turn out to be great; let's give her some time to prove herself-- a decade or so should do. Maybe she won't turn out to be a flip-floppin' opportunist. Maybe even Kirsten Gillibrand won't, although that's really a stretch. Meanwhile, we have some political leaders who already have... you know, proven themselves. Jones mentioned Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Ro Khanna, Keith Ellison, Mark Pocan-- all good people with records of accomplishment. I'd add Ted Lieu and Alan Grayson. As for president... the Kings Landing establishment and their egg-sucking minions hate Bernie-- just totally loath him-- but real Americans love him and the hatred from an Establishment stinking of unspeakable corruption makes him even more attractive as a presidential candidate against Trumpanzee or Pence. If he doesn't run... Elizabeth Warren-- or after his term, she could run, hopefully having been Bernie's VP. Impossible? A dream? Insane? Really? More so than candidate Kamala Harris or candidate Cory Booker or Andrew Cuomo as 2020 nominees? Wake up.

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At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am SO disappointed. I looked at the image on the attached video, thought it was going to be Pussy Riot. Nadezhda is a goddess.

At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent perspective here. I already DQ Harris precisely for her 'see no evil...' approach to finance fraud she coupled with her acceptance of shit-tons of bribe money. IMO, you do that once and you are DQ'd from consideration and any benefit of the doubt.

Same problem with Bernie and Elizabeth too. Bernie did not take his campaign independent as he endorsed and campaigned for the anti-Bernie candidate who had defrauded HIM in the primary.
As did Elizabeth (who also persistently refused to endorse Bernie before the convention.)

You talks a good game but does the opposite of it? You're DQ'd. effing period!!

There are certain non-negotiable things a presidential candidate must be. Honesty, fidelity to the law, non-corrupted, consistency, equal treatment of all persons... are just a few. You betray any even once, you will never get my vote.

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Mark Gisleson said...

Harris, Booker and Patrick exist as candidates solely because Hillary Clinton never had to answer for her electoral malpractice. Clinton's book of excuses will be out soon, and needs to be fact-tased into a late night comedian's monologue ASAP.

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 6:10:

For those of us on the left who also have learned through long experience, and beyond very much doubt, that "politics is the art of the possible," I wonder how we can ever build a lasting, effective political movement that has a chance to prevail and create something positive in this world, if we are to be saddled with unicorn believers such as yourself?

Pardon me if I assume too much, or if I can't hide my contempt, but attitudes like yours brought us this heinous Trump and his heinous administration, every bit as much as ten Powell Memos, ten Koch Brothers, and ten Heritage Societies did. At this point we are fighting for survival, the outcome is uncertain, President Hillary Clinton would look pretty damn good right now to this Bernie Sanders supporter, and whoever doesn't believe that is an irredeemable sick fuck.

As for Kamala Harris, Howie's right. Give her a chance. But Christ on a cracker, don't lump her in with that corporate whore Booker just yet.

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is this "give her a chance" attitude of yours, when it comes to Tulsi Gabbard? DWT, you have nothing but bad things to write about Tulsi. But, when it comes to Kamala, you are all "let's give her a chance". Why?

At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

President $hillbillary would already be at war in Iran and Syria vs. Russia. And if you think she whored for goldman-sachs, you would be shocked at how many of their alumni would be in her admin ratfucking everyone as bad or worse than now.

And $he wouldn't be an inept dipshit in doing her damage. $he would know just how to do it without imbeciles like you realizing it.

At this point in our history, a democrap candidate (and party) needs to be DQ'd when they accept bribes, fail or refuse to advocate for NECESSARY changes like MFA, lie the way the Clintons, pelosis and scummers do, refuse to treat women as equals (ie: abortion) and dozens of other fundamental issues that cannot get worse.

At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If politics is only the art of the "possible", then FDR was a wizard and committed witchcraft, because in '32 what he did was IMPOSSIBLE.
Rationalizing lesser evilism with this jingoism is defeatism at its worst.
Perhaps America has devolved to the point where no improvement is ever possible ever again. This seems to be your point.


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