Kamala Harris

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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76 Responses

  1. This is as good a case as any. I do think she has a bit of the “it” factor going for her. But I can’t get past her record as a prosecutor, particularly her endangering of sex workers and ignoring law enforcement abuses. And her policy knowledge is … lacking to say the least. She’s taken at least four different positions on healthcare reform in just the last week.Report

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    My only problem with Harris, and it’s not a small thing, is her criminal justice record. She’s shooting for the top executive position, I need to see that she not going to be another “Tough on Crime” democrat who give police and DAs whatever their fever dream tells them they need.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    FWIW, I think the Kamala is a cop thing only appeals to about a few thousand libertarian types that spend a lot of time on the Internet (sorry few thousand libertarian types).

    My preference is for Warren but as you know, I volunteered to do Warren or Harris and am largely split between them. I think Warrene’s folksiness is more sincere than you but she might be too easy to tar as a Cambridge resident/Harvard Law professor despite her honestly modest background and rise to the top. I also don’t want a Republican to appoint her Senate replacement if she wins. This is not a concern for Harris.

    Harris can emerge as a kind of compromise candidate in my view. I don’t mean compromise in a negative way. On the one hand, I think she projects a more professional demeanor than Warren and this can appeal to a lot more moderate Democrats (this might be because she was a prosecutor and not a professor). But she is not a full on “I can bring back the good old days of Ronnie and Tipper” like Biden. Plus Biden scolds the young a bit too much.

    That being said, Biden still has over 50 percent of African-American voters and Harris needs to catch up. Bernie is not doing well this time because the anybody but Biden voters are split between him, Warren, and Harris, with some others polling very low numbers. I also think that there is more connection between Warren and Harris voters in the polls than Bernie and Biden voters.

    But Kamala Harris does come out with some very weak teak policy proposals which sometimes sound like they are trying to appeal to a part of the base but not enough to sound really bold and it can cause some eye rolling. Who is her student loan forgiveness plan supposed to please?

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/07/how-not-to-issue-policy-pronouncements-the-kamala-harris-story

    How are recent college grads with Pell Grants supposed to get the capital to start a business? This plan sounds like it is suppose to appeal to people who kind of, sort of realize that student debt is a big issue but they also don’t want to do anything to serious because it means raising their taxes or some other sacrifice.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      only appeals to about a few thousand libertarian types that spend a lot of time on the Internet (sorry few thousand libertarian types).

      It’s not the size of the group, it’s the influence they wield. You just need the right one to write a witty bon mot to the right columnist and, next thing you know, the mot goes viral.

      “Hey, *DOES* Kamala Harris have a response to those who argue that she went after young members of ADOS with a vigor and verve that was unmatched?”

      “Nobody cares about that sort of thing, besides, the rubes love Law&Order (DUN DUN)” stops working as a response after, oh, the twelfth time somebody asks that.

      Which is only a problem if the question keeps coming up over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

      Which, lemme point out, it will.

      Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying she’s sunk. I *AM* saying that if she doesn’t have an answer that isn’t “nobody cares about that” then she’s sunk.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        My view on the influence and power of libertarians is that they have around the same sway as the Greens. And as Lee says, it seems to be mainly white dudes that get their undies twisted about Kamala being a cop and considering she is an African-American woman, I find that revealing.

        There are a good chunk of men who seem to have politics that boil down to “Fuck you, mom”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          As much as I love the idea of shooting down these ideas because of the ethnicity/color of the people making them, my point stands: the problem of libertarians is the problem of intellectual respectability and influence. The Kamala Harris is a Cop thing will have to be addressed by more than “you’re white (or appear to be).”

          Eventually, a real answer will have to come up.

          And if you don’t particularly like the idea of dealing with the libertarians asking the question, you’re going to not particularly like dealing with the Chapo types even more.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird says:

            Agree with Jaybird. Dismissing my concerns with the specter of racism isn’t going to make my concern disappear, nor will it shut me up.

            Which, let’s be honest, is the whole point of you attempting to play the racism card.

            So let’s put that racism card back in your hand, right along with the sexism card, until you actually have a solid way to play them. Because frankly I don’t give two shats if the person is a POC or a woman, I care about how they used the power of their office.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

            considering that twenty more people just got shot in Gilroy by a not-white man, it’s entirely possible that a sufficient quantity of voters will respond “about damn time” to suggestions that Kamala Harris is a cop who has it in for not-white men.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

              “You’re goddamn right she’s a cop. A cop is what this country needs!” is one hell of a response to the criticism.

              And I say that without any sarcasm whatsoever.

              I’m just remembering that, 10 seconds before, we were talking about how we shouldn’t vote for Beto because we need to not vote for Republicans.

              Forget it, forget it. Memory hole it.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’ve re-read all the comments on that thread and don’t see a single one that says, in words or substance, don’t vote for Beto because he’s a Republican. He is a fairly standard mainstream Democrat. To the extent that he has positions, they are standard mainstream Democratic ones. If he managed to catch on, which he hasn’t been able to do so far, he would be broadly acceptable to a wide spectrum of Democratic voters.
                KD’s piece was all about how he seems insufficiently attached to whatever views he has to do get any nasty, Democratic things done, and that that, the prospect of not getting nasty, Democratic things done, was what was good about Beto.
                It wasn’t that Beto himself was a Republican, but that, in KD’s view, he would not effectually get in the way of Republicans doing Republican things. Next best thing to an actual Republican.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Oh, I must have misunderstood your comment to Kristin complaining about how she supported Beto because she’s a person who will only vote for a Democrat who is a Republican, part nine-thousand-whatever.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yes, you did.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to CJColucci says:

                Her point was, literally, that Beto has no firm beliefs.

                Say what you will about the tenets of National Conservatism, but at least its an ethos, dude.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to DensityDuck says:

              Just because the guy was named Santino, doesn’t mean he isn’t white:

              https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/29/us/food-garlic-festival-shooting/index.htmlReport

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          To be fair, more that a few Kamala Harris is a cop people I know are white women.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Nearly everybody who is doing the Kamala the Cop thing appears to be white. I haven’t encountered much among real actual African-Americans, although I suppose it exists. There also seems to be a small group arguing that Kamala Harris is not a real African-American because her father was a Jamaican academic immigrant and her mom is Indian. Again, I can’t tell if these happy to very vocal African-American nationalists or white trolls.

      I think you are right about why Harris’ demeanor has greater appeal than Warren’s demeanor. Warren’s folkiness is mainly for the warm and fuzzy sweater set. Harris comes across more like a well-educated professional that is all business.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Nearly everybody who is doing the Kamala the Cop thing appears to be white.

        Speaking of which, here’s a recent (as in last week) New Yorker article on Kamala Harris. The New Yorker has the long knives out.

        (Edit: Apparently, “Kamala Harris is a cop” is also one of the memes on The Young Turks. So I imagine that this will pick up among The Dirtbag Left.)Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to LeeEsq says:

        “Nearly everybody who is doing the Kamala the Cop thing appears to be white.”

        Which does remind me of 2016, where people rolled out Clinton’s “superpredators” remark hoping it would break some black voters away from her, and all the old black voters who were around when she said it were like “uh-huh, what’s your point? We knew what she meant, we agreed, and we still think it was a good idea.”Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck says:

          “This summer: Kamala is Dirty Harris! The Enforcer hitting Trump with Magnum Force!”Report

        • Avatar JS in reply to DensityDuck says:

          I was thinking much the same. Effective with younger voters only , who lacked the required context — or more specifically, had the context of the fallout from the law but not the circumstances that drove it.

          The ‘super-predators’ line was one that could have only arisen in a bubble. it was either never focus tested or the entire staff behind it was really monolithic in some ways. Well, I suppose it could have been some 11-D chess tactic, but it’s never 11-D chess.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to DensityDuck says:

          Exactly. African-American voters are probably the most pragmatic bunch in the Democratic Party. White liberals and leftists like to project revolutionary idealism on them but they are generally more moderate in their policy preferences and choices. Its why Biden is crushing it with older African-Americans compared to other candidates and its why Harris is trying to go head to head with Biden.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to LeeEsq says:

            This. Remember Obama? He didn’t have really overwhelming black democrat support until after South Carolina when he demonstrated he was more than just some flash in the pan (and with Bill stepped in it in South Carolina as well).Report

  4. Avatar Aaron David says:

    For the most part, I don’t see any real difference between the two parties.* I am a libertarian and look at the political situation from the point of What Will Enable More Personal Freedoms to the Population. But, I consider Kamala Harris to be such a phenomenally horrific candidate as to make me vote for Trump.

    What prosecuting attorney Robert Murray did was produce a translated transcript of the defendant’s interrogation to which he had added a fraudulent confession. The defense attorney got a copy of the audio tape of the interrogation, but it “ended abruptly.” Eventually, Murray admitted to falsifying the transcript, presumably in the hopes of either coercing a plea deal, or ensuring a victory at trial.

    When the trial judge found out, charges against the defendant were dismissed. Incredibly, the State of California, via Attorney General Kamala Harris, decided to appeal the case. The state’s key argument: That putting a fake confession in the transcript wasn’t “outrageous” because it didn’t involve physical brutality, like chaining someone to a radiator and beating him with a hose.

    Well, no. It just involved an officer of the court knowingly producing a fraudulent document in order to secure an illicit advantage. If Harris really thinks that knowingly producing a fraudulent document to secure an illicit advantage isn’t “outrageous,” then perhaps she slept through her legal ethics courses.

    [emph added]
    When a state’s attorney gets caught making up false confessions, you don’t double down on it, not in a country of laws. That is what totalitarians do. That’s what Nazis do.

    This, along with attempting to jail parents of truant children, is bad enough, and leaves no doubt in my mind that she will double down on many of the abuses of civil liberties that happened under Obama; the title IX abuses, assassinating US citizens, attempts to use the IRS and other government agencies as political weapons, and an overall push to destroy the rule of law to promote “progressive” ideals. Many of which I find abhorrent in the execution.

    None of this says Trump is good, just that the Dems/left are so bad about the things I care about and feel make a healthy republic. I truly feel that in a Trump v. Harris election, that he would be the lesser of two evils.

    *I am sure someone will start screaming BDSI or false equivalence, but that isn’t doing what they think it does.Report

  5. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Kamala Harris is Hillary Clinton without the baggage of the 1990s. And a little less hawkish on foreign policy, but maybe that’s just from not being involved in it previously the way Hillary Clinton was when her husband was in office (and subsequently when working with the State Department.)

    If she’s nominated I’ll vote for her. I don’t think she’ll be any better in the role than Donald Trump, but maybe it’ll help people calm the fuck down, and I think we all felt better when someone under seventy is sitting in that office.Report

  6. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    I have a somewhat particular bone to pick with Harris. Someone leaked Christine Ford Blasey’s letter to Diane Feinstein, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Senator Feinstein. That leaves either Harris or Corey Booker.

    If the process had resulted in Kavanaugh losing the nomination, I might well be willing to overlook this, but as it stands, this was a breach of confidentiality for personal political gain, and a poorly calculated one at that. I don’t know it was Harris, but the odds are pretty good.

    One point about Warren, since you brought her up. She has been engaging relentlessly in town halls, and her polling trendline shows a steady upward surge. It seems as if she’s doing what the best standup comics all do – workshopping her act in front of a live audience, and figuring out what works the best. This is a very promising sign.

    But I’d be happy to support pretty much any of the top 5, like you.Report

  7. Simply put, I don’t think it is the job of the executive branch to be dictating things that are spelled out to be the legislature’s domain.

    You may believe that. I may believe that. But for 120 years, Congress’s belief in it has steadily declined. Environmental policy will largely be made by the executive branch. Energy policy will largely be made by the executive branch. The list goes on. At least for those policy areas, I want to hear the candidates state their day-one priorities.

    It’s not getting better. This past weekend I read the voting systems bill passed by the House (the SAFE Act). It mandates that federal elections from 2020 will be done by counting paper ballots, printed on recycled paper, marked by hand or a marking system. Beyond that, well, the Election Assistance Commission will be responsible for the huge mass of actual rules that will be laid on the states, and for distributing a sizeable pile of money. (It is entirely possible that my state, which wins awards for accuracy and security in conducting elections, will not be in conformance with the EAC rules. But that’s a debate for another day.)Report

  8. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    In a matchup of Harris to Warren or Biden, the prosecutor record might be a valuable critique.
    In a matchup of Harris to Trump it collapses.

    It isn’t because Trump himself wanted to lynch those five innocent men in the Central Part case (and has never recanted).

    Its more that Trump’s entire governing philosophy is an attack on liberal democracy, the idea that we are all equal under the law.

    A Trumpian judiciary isn’t one that is overzealous; Its one which assigns justice based on where you sit in the social hierarchy; White or black, male or female, rich or poor.Report

  9. Avatar CJColucci says:

    This is as good a place as any to ask the question. There have been male Presidential candidates who have been sexually attractive to women. Not many, I grant you, but some. This time, we may get a female candidate young and attractive enough to be sexually attractive to men. I’d be interested in hearing from women how sex has played in past elections, and from men on how they think it might play this time.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

      There were a couple thousand essays written about Margaret Thatcher and how her appeal was to British men who grew up with nannies who were harsh disciplinarians and Thatcher was obviously a dominatrix who only won the election because of all of the weak Brits who wanted a spanking.

      These essays always struck me as a fairly long-winded way to say “I’m not even going to look at her policies. The people who voted for her are morally inferior.”

      I’m not sure that essays talking about Harris being sexually attractive will be illuminating?

      I mean, I spent a couple of minutes trying to write sentences that started with “if I spent a couple of sentences talking about” and then I kept writing, then erasing, examples of things that people might find physically attractive/unattractive and every single one was a Rorschach blot that told you more about me than it told about her.

      Like, seriously. I couldn’t come up with a single example. And I tried.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to CJColucci says:

      There have probably been others, but off the top of my head the only two national-level candidates I can think that were intentionally packaged by their own people as “you know you want to f**k them” candidates for opposite sex voters* were JFK and Palin.

      I can’t really speak to Kennedy, partially because I’m a straight male, but mostly because it was a very different culture in a very different time for which I was not quite alive.

      The Palin thing is also a little hard to judge, but for different reasons.

      There’s no doubt that male conservative pundits trying to pass her off as the hot-swimsuit-model candidate hurt her with voters who weren’t going to reflexively vote for anyway her because she had an R in front of her name. But a lot of that is because she turned out to be such an unserious candidate and incurious person – that is to say, she fit into the swimsuit model stereotype in a more robust way than the McCain camp had hoped. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a woman national candidate who is considered to both have strong sex appeal *and* be considered mentally sharp and extremely professional. And there are probably a lot of deep-seated reasons for that that have everything to do with how we demand women be pigeonholed in certain ways that we do not demand of men.

      * I should probably add “and were successful in doing so.” In ’92 the Bush/Quayle PR people really pushed the “he’ll woo suburban mom and young women voters with his raw JFK sex appeal” right after Quayle got the nod. But none of the suburban mom and young women voters were buying.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to CJColucci says:

      Being more physically attractive than the average politician was part of Sarah Palin’s appeal. They even made some of those types of movies about it.Report

  10. Avatar North says:

    Great post my Tod, it’s really wonderful to hear your voice round here.

    I think Harris is my #3 pick right now so I’m relatively content that she’s in the top 5.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Uh-oh…

    Report

    • Avatar JS in reply to Jaybird says:

      I am very, very surprised that several months before the first primary, in a field of 20 people, voters are not quite sure what candidates stand for. They had that one debate and everything. Well two debates, because there were 10 people in each.

      More seriously, it’s months before the first vote. At least 2/3rds of the field are vanity candidates who haven’t admitted it. Nobody knows what anyone really stands for, because every candidate is currently struggling to both define that and inform people against the noise of a far too large field.

      At this point, random twitches are just random twitches, and prognostications are pointless exercises in intellectual masturbation. And, as I’m sure Silver would be the first to note, polls are incredibly useless beyond charting the day to day twitches, because the voting remains too far away.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JS says:

        Nothing to worry about, then.

        It’s not like we know what Biden stands for.

        Heck, the only two candidates that we know what they stand for are Andrew Yang (UBI) and Marianne Williamson (Love, Light, etc).

        Nothing to worry about.Report

        • Avatar JS in reply to Jaybird says:

          I’m beginning to see why people find you frustrating to talk to. You ignored everything I wrote to create a flippant response to something I didn’t say.

          All so you can avoid actually discussing the merits of the situation we’re discussing.

          That’s a fun party trick, but I have to ask — if you’re not here to converse with people, why are you here? Wouldn’t blogging with the comments off suit you better?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to JS says:

            Well, my main point in my main comment was that Nate Silver was getting Mitt vibes off of Kamala Harris. She’s polished but nobody knows what she stands for.

            Your response was that his criticism of Harris was a criticism that applied to everybody in the Primary.

            While I suppose that might, technically, be true… I can’t help but notice that it’s not. My intention of bringing up Yang and Williamson was to inspire noticing that other Democrats have things that they stand for. Inslee, for example. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, for example. Hell, even Biden, has a vague “what he stands for” kinda thing going on (“I was VP during Obama, I represent a return to normalcy” kinda thing).

            I mean, seriously, there are a *LOT* of candidates that we *DO* know what they stand for.

            But Nate Silver, no slouch, looks at her and sees someone who represents a cipher.

            And waving that away by pointing out that it’s too early to worry about that is something that makes me say “okay, this is something that Harris will really have to wrestle with”.

            I mean, if you came back and said “dude, Harris is the Law and Order candidate! You’ve seen the criticisms! ‘Kamala Harris is a cop!'”, I’d say “okay… maybe Silver needs to catch up with the narrative.”

            Instead the counter-argument was not “that’s not true” but “that’s true but it’s not important”.

            But I know that I can’t convince you that it is important if you think it’s not important. (Good Lord, I can’t even imagine how I’d go about doing that.)

            So I can only say “Nothing to worry about” and give examples of other candidates who do have obvious things that they are about and hope that you will see that, yeah, there are other ones who do… a lot of them.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

              Well, thing is that the winners often pull it off by both standing for something AND being a cipher. Obama, for instance, was really good at looking professorial and letting the left wing project their hopes and dreams onto him while he didn’t actually verbally promise anything beyond pretty practical middle of the road centrism.

              So you and JS are probably both right. Maybe Harris stands for nothing and that’s a weakness… or maybe she’s good at being vague where it’s useful and it’s a strength. It’ll probably take us getting further into the primary before we can get a better idea of which it is.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

                She’s the only one who, so far, has drawn blood against Biden.

                But by taking a position that she had to walk back the next day.

                That’s a trick you can’t rely on.

                And thinking about this some more, Obama was someone that you could project your beliefs onto pretty easily.

                You didn’t ask “what does he believe?”

                You knew he believed what you did.

                Which is a different dynamic.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird says:

                Possibly a better skill? Or a better honed one?

                Believe me I was far from thrilled with Harris’ debate stunt and her raising her hand on abolishing private insurance just to walk it back was pure amateur hour; but it’s pretty early to say that Harris doesn’t stand for anything.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to North says:

                Please understand: I’m not saying that she doesn’t stand for anything.

                But if your answer to the question “what does she stand for?” begins with an “Uh…” rather than, say, a noun or a verb, then that is an indicator that she ain’t established what it is yet. (Heck, maybe she should pull a Trump and argue that she is a cop. “When you have criminals in the White House, you need a cop. When you have gun violence all over the country, you need a cop. I am Kamala Harris, and I AM A COP.” See? She could run with that.)

                I think that she stands for a naked thirst for power but, hey. That’s a criticism that probably applies to everybody up there except for Marianne Williamson (who is batshit insane).Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to North says:

                Yeah I was going to bring up 2006 Obama.

                Beto, I think, deliberately tried to be a charismatic cipher but couldn’t pull it off.
                The feedback I heard is that his videos were too heavy on the inscrutable, and a bit too cutesy for the environment we are in, without enough Nat-C punching. In short, we need a wartime consigliere.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well Harris certainly can put the knife in; we know that.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to North says:

                The other thing is that Romney was no slouch. He lost in 2012 for just two reasons, neither of which was he was a “cipher”:

                1. He was forced waaay further right than he should have had to go after the primaries instead of tacking toward the middle because his own party kept threatening to abandon him. (Which might well happen to whoever comes out of this primary, btw.)

                2. He ran against an insanely popular & charismatic incumbent.

                Honestly, everyone in 2019 looks at how much Fox News hated Obama and assumes that meant everyone hated him, but that was just never true. (If he had been able to run in 2016 he would have beat Trump with historic numbers.)

                Run Romney in 2000 and there is a damn good chance he wins without needing the SCOTUS to declare him the winner.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

                Nobody on the planet would have won against Obama in 2008.

                I am skeptical that anybody could have beaten him in 2012. If anybody could have, I suppose Romney would have been that guy. (I kinda wonder what would have happened if he held his powder until 2016… but that means that someone else would have had to have lost the battle for America’s soul that was the 2012 election.)Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      “but voters aren’t entirely clear what she stands for”

      Then they aren’t paying attention… and who says she doesn’t have policy chops?

      “Under Harris’ proposal, borrowers who received a Pell Grant, the money the government provides to low-income students to attend college, will have up to $20,000 of their student debt forgiven if they start a business and operate it for at least three years in a disadvantaged community. In addition, qualifying borrowers would have their loans deferred interest-free for an up to three-year business formation period.”

      Kinda sounds like a prank/dare her friend Mitt told her was a “sure thing” policy proposal.Report

  12. Avatar DavidTC says:

    My second reason for eschewing policy-matching for POTUS candidates is more values-centered. Simply put, I don’t think it is the job of the executive branch to be dictating things that are spelled out to be the legislature’s domain. If I were hiring an executive for my company, an exhaustive list of how they stood on every controversial Culture War issue wouldn’t scratch my Top 10 Skills Needed list. (And if you suggested in all seriousness that I not hire someone because they ate arugula, I just might fire you.)

    Yes and no. While the legislature should be doing a hell of a lot more, two points: First, wishing that something worked differently than it does does not change how it actually works.

    More importantly, there is a very important thing that some policy proposals demonstrate: That the candidates have actually _thought_ about issues.

    But not via the general ‘I will come up with an X to solve problem Y that is basically the same as everyone else’s’ policies that every candidate comes up with. There’s a whole list of things that Democratic candidates have to come up with a position on, and those positions will be mostly the same-ish, and it’s utterly silly to worry about differences between those two.

    The important thing is when someone steps forward with a detailed policy about _something no one has tried to fix_. Who has identified a problem no one else has, and has stepped forward with a solution. Heck, even if it’s not ‘their’ solution, if they just found some obscure wonk talking about it and had them come up with it. That shows they actually…listed to people with problems, actually operate in the real universe of ‘maybe we should try to fix things’.

    This is basically why I like Warren. And I think, if people understand that what you should care about with presidents _isn’t_ ‘policy-match’, also means if they have some problem with a random policy of Warren’s, they should understand: Most of that won’t really get done. It can’t.

    But right now the problem in politics is politicians literally just ignoring problems, so someone who says ‘Hey, we should solve this actual problem that’s hurting a lot of people, and here’s a dumb solution’ and everyone says ‘No’ is much better than people who just ignore it, because now that problem has shown up within politics and other people can come up with solutions.

    Which also is happening in the election, so while I support Warren right now, I honestly won’t be that bummed if she drops out after Harris steals all her ideas.Report

  13. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Trump being beaten by an Indian-American woman who was raised in a black community would be more than a lost election for these groups – especially if that same woman casually and matter-of-factly calls Trump a “coward.” Trump’s defeat by Harris would be an existential blow, one that would be utterly demoralizing. So much so, I believe, that more mainstream Republican leaders would finally be able to grow the stones required to tell them to get the Hell out of their party.

    Honest question- since the complete opposite of this happened while Obama was President, why would it be different during a Harris presidency?Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Kolohe says:

      My thought as well.
      White supremacy was dealt a devastating blow in 1865, then again in a series of court and legislative defeats in the 50’s and 60’s, then by cultural shifts in the 70’s, then by Obama and yet each time has resurrected itself.

      It will never be defeated for good, instead it will just be something that needs continual struggle.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Kolohe says:

      @kolohe: “Honest question- since the complete opposite of this happened while Obama was President, why would it be different during a Harris presidency?”

      I don’t believe it is what happened.

      There are two things that everyone in 2019 tends to forget about life before the spring of 2016. The fist is that even though Republicans & right wing media opposed him no matter what he did, Obama was an extremely popular president.

      The second is that, while people within the alt-right movement existed, they weren’t open a part of the GOP or movement conservatism until Trump gave them permission to do so. If you go back and look at the most terrible things Trump said in 2016 and early 2016, it was aways followed by Republican leaders and right-wing pundits saying, essentially, “thanks for playing; you’re finished now.” Most of the people you see on Fox or places like the Daily Caller or the Federalist who are giant Trump boosters in 2019 railed about him being a blight on politics back in 2015, and they pretty much all condemned whatever Richard-Spenser-lite characters initially tried to jump on Trump’s coattails early on. They didn’t buy into Trumpism or start defending the so-called deplorables until Trump thoroughly kicked their asses. Anyone who felt the way Steve Bannon did back in 2014 either kept it to themselves, only talked abut it in anonymous chatrooms, or was thoroughly ostracized from everyone in mainstream politics and almost everyone in regular society.Report

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