Monday, June 22, 2020

Is Biden Really Choosing Between Two Ex-Cops as VP?


by Thomas Neuburger

According to Charles Gasparino, a Fox News reporter whom you may or may not consider reliable (not because he's Fox; because he's Gasparino), Joe Biden has narrowed his VP search list to two names — Rep. Val Demings of Florida and former presidential candidate Kamala Harris of California.

Both are women, both are people of color ... and both are ex-cops of one stripe or another.

Kamala Harris is certainly a familiar name — ex-Attorney General of California and a former "top cop" who for years ran a "tough on crime" agenda. As the Guardian put it during Harris's candidacy phase, "In her career as a prosecutor, [Harris] supported increased criminalization of sex work, took no action in key police abuse cases and defended a troubled prison system. ... Among the many policies now drawing renewed scrutiny, Harris’s approach to sex work, police reform, prisoners’ rights and truancy reveal the tensions between her record in law enforcement and her current progressive rhetoric."

Tulsi Gabbard famously eviscerated Harris over her record as prosecutor during the August 2019 primary debate in Detroit:

"Senator Harris says she's proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she'll be a prosecutor president. But I'm deeply concerned about this 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."

Gabbard merely scratched the surface of all that's wrong with Harris, but this much is enough in these post-George Floyd times.

Val Demings is less well known, but aside from having been elected to the House in 2016, she's the former police chief of Orlando. A simple search, in Wikipedia no less, produces this damning information:

"According to a 2015 article in The Atlantic, the Orlando Police Department "has a long record of excessive-force allegations, and a lack of transparency on the subject, dating back at least as far as Demings's time as chief."[10] A 2008 Orlando Weekly exposé described the Orlando Police Department as "a place where rogue cops operate with impunity, and there's nothing anybody who finds himself at the wrong end of their short fuse can do about it."[11] Demings responded with an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel, arguing that "Looking for a negative story in a police department is like looking for a prayer at church" and added that "It won't take long to find one." In the same op-ed, she cast doubt on video evidence that conflicts with officers' statements in excessive force cases, writing, "a few seconds (even of video) rarely capture the entire set of circumstances."[10]

"In 2010, an Orlando police officer flipped 84-year-old Daniel Daley over his shoulder after the man became belligerent, throwing him to the ground and breaking a vertebra in his neck.[12] Daley alleged excessive force and filed a lawsuit. The police department cleared the officer as "justified" in using a "hard take down" to arrest Daley, concluding he used the technique correctly even though he and the other officer made conflicting statements. Demings said "the officer performed the technique within department guidelines" but also said that her department had "begun the process of reviewing the use of force policy and will make appropriate modifications." A federal jury ruled in Daley's favor and awarded him $880,000 in damages."

Of course, this just touches on the problems with Demings tenure as police chief. The Atlantic article quoted above says bluntly, "The [Orlando police] department has a long record of excessive-force allegations, and a lack of transparency on the subject, dating back at least as far as Demings’s time as chief."

In a just world, this would damn her VP chances, just as Amy Klobuchar's record as Hennepin County Attorney, home of Minneapolis, damned her VP chances, at least for now.

But this is not a just world. The presidential race has devolved into a contest both candidates deserve to lose, and Democratic voters have a choice of not voting for president or voting for a candidate who, Baptist-like, will prepare the way for the Next Donald Trump as surely as Barack Obama prepared the way for this one.

The presidential race is now Joe Biden's to lose. If indeed he's choosing between two tough-on-crime, pro-police candidates as his VP and successor, he appears to be trying to lose it, or testing how low he can go in progressive voters' eyes and still win.

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At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just one example of why I cannot vote for Biden no matter how bad Trump is, because all we are doing is swapping the official face of the daily two-minutes hate rally.

We. Solve. NOTHING

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, in this post Floyd time, both are women and former cops who have utterly turned their backs on the rape allegations as well as a lifetime of creepy misogyny against the guy who may be their meal ticket to the white house. They refuse to even talk about it except to deny -- ala slick willie and trump.

Both are nonwhite, and are blinkering themselves against biden's lifetime record of racist policy advocacy... most notably, PERHAPS, was his mistreatment of Anita Hill.

Kamala Harris also took money from steve mnuchin for her senate run in exchange for refusing to investigate hundreds (perhaps thousands) of cases of foreclosure fraud committed during the 2008 Clinton housing crash.

In short, both are boilerplate corrupt neoliberal fascist democrap women who put party and career far ahead of principles and service to their own race... if they ever cared about principles and race in the first place.

The preponderance of evidence is that they only care about their gender and race when it serves their career aspirations.

less evil than the Nazis? maybe. maybe not.

if you don't listen to the sheepdogs and look for yourself... well, maybe things might clear up a bit.

Thomas' article was very well done.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*10/10* you totally nail it!

"The presidential race has devolved into a contest both candidates deserve to lose, and Democratic voters have a choice of not voting for president or voting for a candidate who, Baptist-like, will prepare the way for the Next Donald Trump as surely as Barack Obama prepared the way for this one.

The presidential race is now Joe Biden's to lose."

And just like $hillbillary before him, he is maybe the only democrap in history who COUILD lose it.

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing about Harris that makes her at least somewhat viable as a potential VP from my perspective, is the fact that she is a complete and total political hack. She is an absolute weathervane. There are some issues where she may be immoveable -- foreign policy and health care potentially -- but in 2024 she won't have Trump to run against, and she isn't going to be able to build the kind of coalition she might want to to actually win, without tacking to the left. It's somewhat similar to where Obama was in 2012, where he had to adjust towards the party base on a host of issues, in order to win re-election. The problem, however, is that the real opportunity to do something big with majorities is likely going to be in year one and two of the first term of a Biden presidency, and by almost all signs, none of that is going to happen. Demings strikes me as much more right-wing in terms of her background and politics. Over her career 93% of the money she's raised comes from large donors and PACs. With Harris at least a third of her money has come from small donors. She's not exactly good, but probably less bad.

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Either one would guarantee that I vote for someone ELSE other than Trump.

At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the gist, 11:24, but I must disagree.

"tacking" isn't "moving". It's pandering. It's what all democraps since 1980 learned from slick willie: you promise the left what they want to hear while you *DO* for the money what they want.

And when will 'less bad' finally be recognized as 'just plain bad' and, therefore, disqualifying?

should have been 40 years ago. but it really needs to happen right fucking now or it's just plain too late.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm quite sure the democraps are furiously focus-grouping these two as contenders.

I'm actually curious, in a purely academic sense, how the black demographic will react to simultaneously being pandered to (both are blacks) and being told "fuck you" (both are ex law enforcement with horrid records wrt black justice).

Surely the worst ever democrap presidential nom, probably the OTHER one that will lose to trump, in the worst ever incarnation of the ever-worse democrap party, will make the worst, stupidest possible pick for veep. any bets?

At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still watching for Hillary to gallop on the inside track and pass everyone else up for the VP slot. Hey, if she can't get elected into the job, why not be in place when Biden drops dead?


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