The People Have Spoken on Kamala Harris

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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  1. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I wrote about this in Michael’s thread as an OT attack.

    There was a brief moment during the summer when I thought Kamala Harris was a good compromise candidate for the nomination. I don’t mean compromise in a despairing way. I thought she could handle bridge the gaps between the Warren/Sanders crowd and the moderates.

    She tried to do this but she needed up reacting to the worst parts of the very online in unpopular ways (felon voting) and being way too moderate in the wrong places (her college loan forgiveness plan).

    What is interesting about this election cycle is that I think it might be the Boomers last stand as they are dying and Millennials are on their way to becoming the new largest voting cohort. Some candidates have basically decided to aggressively court Millennials and late Gen Xers (say voters between 25-42) and which ones are largely if not completely dismissive of that age bracket and largely going boomer boomer boomer.

    Sanders is very popular with a lot of under 40 voters and almost no one else. Harris tried to get these voters but could not. Warren seems to have a larger age range.* Biden and Klobuchar and Buttigieg are the ones dismissive of younger voters so far largely and going for boomer, boomer, boomer.

    *My anecdotal observation is that Sanders supporters were generally more fucked over by the fiscal crisis and have yet to recover. They tend to have student debt and job prospects that don’t align with their educations. Warren supporters tend to be in their 30s-40s, maybe even older and are more secure career wise but still suffered some setbacks because of the fiscal crisis and want reforms. A lot of Boomers, even well-meaning Democratic ones, are still stuck in Old Economy Steve mode.

    A personal example, I spent several years going from one contract position to the next during the aughts. During low-periods of employment, my boomer parents recommended knocking on doors cold or striking up conversations at court because it showed “moxie”. I found this kind of incredible because my dad worked in office buildings, he very well knows that security does not let you in without a valid reason/check in. Everyone my age and younger who tried this pretty much reported that it blows up in your face because at best, you get to speak to a very annoyed HR person. But they remember such things working from their youth when finding employment was different and security more lax.Report

  2. Avatar Philip H
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    says:

    Harris was a slightly left leaning centerist. She was probably as close to Hillary Clinton as you could get without being Joe Biden. I have said several times here in the last year she’s more effective in the Senate. I stand by that contention still.Report

  3. Avatar North
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    says:

    A shocking decline. Still, it should be interesting to see how her absence impacts the dynamic of the race.Report

  4. Avatar LTL FTC
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    says:

    When you come at the king, you’d best not miss.

    Harris made her move against Biden over the summer (on busing) and got tons of praise for it from the usual suspects. The problem with her attack on Biden was that it came from the Four Woke Knocks that have guided Biden coverage since he announced his candidacy: busing, Anita Hill, Crime Bill and HandsyGate. We’ve been treated to weeklong eruptions in center-left media on each of these, screeching with righteous indignation at these obviously scandalous items. Each time, the public treats it as a nothingburger.

    I wish I could find a tweetstorm with a pro-Harris pollster (Danny Barefoot, I think?) from the spring in which he laid out the Four Woke Knocks to an audience of black South Carolinian women in a focus group. Nearly unanimously, they said that the Knocks were pointless BS no matter the spin. The pollster was flummoxed.

    So Harris’s main flaw was confusing how minority voters think with how the progressive white media thinks they should think.

    I’m concerned something similar will happen to Warren if she takes too many cues from her pussyhatted base. Pronouns in the Twitter bio might be the canary in the coal mine on that front.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LTL FTC
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      says:

      Warren’s private school thing has me flummoxed. Did she think that people wouldn’t dig that up? The Indian thing can be spun to some degree with “I believed my family stories!” Yeah, yeah. 80% of everybody has a story about having a Native American ancestor somewhere. But the private school thing? That’s falsifiable as hell and it’s not deniable in the slightest.

      It’s like each candidate appeals “well enough” to 50% of the dem audience, hits it out of the dang park with 20% of the audience, and has a negative appeal to 30% of it. And this 50/20/30 gets reshuffled around for each candidate. Biden is the guy who gets 60/20/20 but that last 20 contains damn near every single one of the Extremely Online Dems.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        I think she was asked a question in public and reflexively said what was best for her at that moment. Maybe she even believed it because we want to believe things about ourselves.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        “Warren’s private school thing has me flummoxed. Did she think that people wouldn’t dig that up?”

        As I’ve said elsewhere, Warren seems to have this idea that she can just wing it on everything, just roll in with no notes and no prep, “fuck it we’ll do it live”, and she’s not good enough to pull that off. And you can argue this-way or that-way about whether “good enough” at that particular thing is a necessarily Presidential quality–I could see a plausible argument that answering assholes’ bullshit gotcha questions is not something that’s part of a Presidential remit–but what matters is that she’s banking on being able to do it, and she can’t do it.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to LTL FTC
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      says:

      It also works the other way, with Online Pundit Knocks.

      Things that seem like massive looming Problems for the online punditocracy, but to the rest of America are nothing.

      Try,p’s strength is that he is skilled at forcing his way to the headline every single day and turning every issue into a referendum on his own greatness.
      His weakness is that this allows any candidate to just be NotTrump.

      I don’t think there is any statistically significant group,who are sincerely undecided between Trump and any Dem, and are persuadable by any sort of conventional campaign gaffe or stumble.

      I think the election will turn on how angry and motivated each base will be.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        I don’t think there is any statistically significant group,who are sincerely undecided between Trump and any Dem, and are persuadable by any sort of conventional campaign gaffe or stumble.

        I think that there are *BUT* they aren’t paying attention yet. These are the people who, if asked who is running for president, don’t know. These are the people who, if asked to name some of the Justices on the Supreme Court, don’t know. “Can you name one of your senators?” “Nope.”

        They *WILL* be persuadable someday by some sort of conventional sorts of things.

        It’ll be in 8 months, though.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          I’d really be curious to know what percentage of the electorate is unaware of Donald Trump.

          His genius is his skill at making himself the subject of every day’s above the fold headline, so I would be shocked if there is a Stone Age villager in the Amazon who is not familiar with Trump’s face.

          But you mention above something about Warren’s “private school thing”;
          I am one of those extremely online and aware political junkies and yet, I hadn’t heard anything about this. Maybe it flickered by while I was in the bathroom or something.

          If even people like me missed that little kerfuffle, what makes you think that people who are unaware of Donald Trump will notice or care about an offhand comment made by Elizabeth Warren?

          The thing about being the braying jackass at a party, is that everyone in the room is staring at the braying jackass, not the polite party guest in the corner.Report

          • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
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            says:

            I hadn’t heard of that kerfuffle either. Turns out that Warren’s daughter spent her entire K-12 education in public schools and her son spent K-5 in public schools, but spent 6-12 in a private school. In response to a question suggesting that her support for more money for public schools was hypocritical because her kids attended private school, she said her kids attended public schools, which was, at least, imprecise. It’s not clear to me whether the kerfuffle is about her terminological inexactitude or about the substantive charge of hypocrisy. If the latter, I’ve never understood why people who pay for private schools for their kids and also advocate policies that would raise their own taxes to increase spending on public schools their kids do not use are called hypocrites. There may be other valid critiques of their proposals, but hypocrisy is not one of them, especially since no one, especially including the people who yell “hypocrite,” is advocating giving people who can’t afford private schools for their kids enough money to pay for them.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to CJColucci
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              says:

              Maybe the media would cover Warren’s children’s school records more, if they weren’t preoccupied with the trivial tidbit of the American President being laughed out of NATO.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to CJColucci
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              says:

              This was asked in Michigan. Michigan Charter Schools are public schools.

              Michigan also has failure factories in Detroit, where every now and then administrators are arrested em-mass for corruption. The hypocrisy is she has the resources to send her children wherever she views as best for their education, but people without resources have to be forced into general public education. Charters are dangerous to Teachers Unions and union support is more important than children.

              I used Charters (and/or the threat of Charters) as a club against the school administration to make them do things my way. If they drop the ball with my kid then we’re out of there.

              A little bit of competition makes the administration a LOT more responsive and responsible.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Except charter schools don’t appear to be any better then “normal” public schools:

                “Charter schools do not appear to produce positive competitive effects on achievement in traditional public schools. One of the hoped-for benefits of charter schools was that they would exert competitive pressure on nearby traditional public schools and encourage them to improve. However, after several studies, there is still little evidence that the presence of charter schools affects the achievement scores of students in nearby traditional public schools either positively or negatively. This might be because there are too few charter schools in most areas to exert a strong influence.”

                https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9428.htmlReport

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                Phillip H: One of the hoped-for benefits of charter schools was that they would exert competitive pressure on nearby traditional public schools and encourage them to improve.

                My personal experience has been strongly otherwise. I’ve talked to others with similar experiences.

                Charters are at their best when the main school drops the ball; that may not happen often enough to affect the stats. But it’s unacceptable for the public school to fail a kid, sometimes repeatedly, and then have the ability to insist it doesn’t matter in the long term. The implication is that being bullied doesn’t really matter and going from a C student to an A student overnight was a coincidence.

                More importantly, even if true(*) your statement doesn’t conflict with mine. Warren presumably picked her school system for the benefit of her kid. She wants to prevent other people from having that ability. The need of a child to be educated (or well educated) should outweigh the desire of the system to be an unresponsive monopoly.

                (*) IMHO Charter research suffers from treating all “Charters” the same. Charters can have awful problems up to and including being run by bad actors. Combining those types of groups with ones that are well run for an “average” seems like a problem. This is a highly partisan issue with well-funded self-interested groups which want certain outcomes.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                The hypocrisy is she has the resources to send her children wherever she views as best for their education, but people without resources have to be forced into general public education.

                Hypocrisy. You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you seem to think it means.
                Of course people with more resources provide things for themselves or their families that people with fewer resources can’t. Like a larger house, a newer car, better medical care, or elite education. No one calls it hypocrisy if a rich person buys a tailored suit and a poor person gets one off the rack at Marshall’s. And if that rich person were to support higher taxes on himself to improve the quality of clothing on offer at Marshall’s that might be bad policy, but he is shelling out his own money for something that doesn’t benefit him in order to make life better for someone else, even if that someone else’s life will not, thereby, be as good as his. Whatever else this is, it isn’t hypocrisy. So why is it hypocrisy to advocate more spending on public education, to be paid for largely by increased taxes on people who will not themselves use it? And why only for education? I’ve never seen the “hypocrisy” charge floated for any other issue.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                CJColucci: So why is it hypocrisy to advocate more spending on public education, to be paid for largely by increased taxes on people who will not themselves use it?

                Hypocrisy: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

                Money is irrelevant because Charter Schools in Michigan are Public schools. Put your kid into a Charter School and the state’s money for their education follows them to that Charter.

                The issue is Choice. Politicians like Warren try to handicap or destroy Charters to prevent people from having the choice she made. Specifically the choice of not sending their kid into a union controlled school. She viewed her kid’s needs as more important than maintaining the union’s monopoly. Her policies attempt to prevent others doing the same.

                The hypocrisy part would be that she wants to claim that she’s putting the children first and that there’s no conflict, ever, between her “put the union first” policies and our children’s well being. Her personal choices showcase she doesn’t actually believe this. This is why it’s so painful for her to admit she put her kid in a private (i.e. non-union) school.Report

  5. Avatar Michael Siegel
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    says:

    If Biden wins, she’ll probably be the VP nominee.Report

  6. Avatar Michael Cain
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    says:

    Addressed to all the Californians here, why is she doing so badly there? I always thought her overall strategy had to be to have a great day with the Hispanic vote in California, Texas, and Colorado on March 3, then in Florida and Arizona on March 17.

    I keep reading about the black vote in South Carolina. There’s not a lot of delegates in SC, and no EC votes come the general election. But oh, what could happen if the Hispanic voters in Florida and Arizona were excited.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain
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      says:

      Another example. Someone on LGM wrote that Harris failed to have a booth at a major parade/event in Berkeley around San Pablo avenue. This is an event that draws 50K people. Said commentator mentioned seeing booths from Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg. If Harris did not have a booth here, that is a major error.Report

    • Avatar The question in reply to Michael Cain
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      says:

      It’s because Bernie has very carefully cornered the market for minority Democrats who aren’t African-American. in between the top four they’ve divvied up the white folks so much that unless you can truly get monolithic support from you the identity group you’re running to represent you ain’t got a shot.Report

  7. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    Well, she F-ed her way into politics, and hopefully, she finally F-ed her way out.

    Good riddance to bad trash.Report

    • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Aaron David
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      says:

      OMG! An attractive woman had a sex life. With people in her line of work. Bring me the smelling salts.
      Some time back, I asked here for the reflections of women, who had sometimes had opportunities to vote for attractive Presidential candidates, on the prospect of men for the first time having a candidate (there were then two or three) that they might like to f**k. Unfortunately, no women took up my invitation. Some men did, and the responses were cringe-worthy to anyone with any self-awareness. Now we will be spared that.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to CJColucci
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        says:

        Thinking someone is attractive and you might want to sleep with them is miles different than what Harris did to get her job. Fascinating that you don’t see that…Report

        • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Aaron David
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          says:

          OK. If anyone took you seriously, you could easily be sued. Fortunately, this whole exchange will escape the attention of anyone who might want to bother. Obscurity has its advantages.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to CJColucci
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            says:

            No, I couldn’t.Report

            • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Aaron David
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              says:

              You know what they say about a man being his own lawyer…..Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                She is a public figure. What I have done and said is no different than all that was said about Trump and various women. Or Kavanaugh and various women. Or Clinton. Or Kennedy.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                And looking at the career trajectories of those men, what does that tell you about the charges of sexual impropriety?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                In fact, we only know about them is that Clinton received BJ’s under the table. Everything else is speculation or he said/she said.

                Which is perfectly normal given a public figure. If someone wants to believe Clinton was a rapist, Kavanaugh was a groper, and so on, that is up to them. How much it is weighted along with considering the credibility of the accuser, is up to them if they do believe it.

                Democrats thought what Clinton could do for them was of much more import then claims against him. Vise-Versa with Republicans and Kavanagh. And so it goes.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                Given those historical precedents, we can look forward to Kamala Harris having a long and wildly successful career in the Senate, and possibly the Presidency or SCOTUS.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Well, considering it was Dems who dumped her (misogyny and racism?) I wouldn’t bet on that. Unless Black Lives Matters was just a flash-in-the-pan for the left or the black vote tanks for them.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                The Republican Party dumped Ronald Reagan in 1976, signalling the end of his political career.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                Any of whom could have sued, if they thought they could show the statements to be false, and that the game was worth the candle. Nobody is going to bother to sue you, so you can safely spout off. Doesn’t mean you couldn’t be sued if somebody cared enough.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                “if they thought they could show the statements to be false”

                Almost. They have to prove that the sayer knew what they were saying was false. Otherwise, no.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                That’s just wrong, but keep doing your own lawyering.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                Cool story, Bro.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                You forget the President (before becoming president) being taped recorded bragging about grabbing women’s genitalia. One assumes he knows where his own hand has been.

                And the paying off a porn star to hide an affair.

                But yeah, its still all about the Clintons.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                The president told a ribald locker room story. No more, and no less. Vulgar? No doubt, but that is only an opinion. It is certainly much tamer than what the women I used to play pool with would say. But illegal? Only in wildest imaginations.

                As far as gifting a former lover (see what I did there) it was as illegal as a consensual affair in the WH. What nailed Clinton was lying under oath. No more, no less. And Dems, rightly or wrongly, put more faith in his politics than his love life. Reps seemed to have learned that lesson.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
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                says:

                He “gifted a former lover” to keep quiet about his affair with her during an election. Regardless of the consensual nature of their relationship his intent with the money was to buy silence on a subject he felt would harm him. Pretty sure that’s bribery.

                And with respect to his grabbing statements – I never said anything about legality. You said up thread that your statements about Ms. Harris sleeping her way to political power were akin to statements in the public square about Mr. Trump grabbing women and thus you were free to make them and to impugn her character.

                If you really believe that then I’m free to remind you that Mr. Turmp impugned his own character with his “Ribold” humor. And frankly you come off as a misogynistic a$$ because you believe that you and he get passes for your statements denigrating women.

                See what I did there?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                So, you get caught with your pants down not knowing much of CA politics, conflate a tale with an actual deed akin to rape and confuse relating facts with impugning women. All the while ignoring that I called Trump vulgar (overall reading comprehension score; zero.) But I am a misogynist because I believe in facts, not fantasy and can look at things from multiple angles and possible interpretations?

                OK then, stay classy!Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
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          says:

          So you have actual evidence (as opposed to vastly over taxed misogynist prejudice) that she used sex to climb the political ladder? Lay it out – this will be fascinating to read.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
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            says:

            Well, other than HishonorWillieBrown saying so…

            She chose to be a politician, perceptions and opinions are Her Fucking Job!Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
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            says:

            Philip_H: So you have actual evidence (as opposed to vastly over taxed misogynist prejudice) that she used sex to climb the political ladder? Lay it out – this will be fascinating to read.

            In 1990, Harris was hired as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California…

            Harris dated then-California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown from 1994 to 1995.[35][36][37] Brown began introducing Harris to his political network, resulting in Harris being increasingly featured in local newspapers and society columns. According to Jack Davis, the manager of Brown’s campaign for mayor of San Francisco, “‘Brown [was] the darling of the well-to-do set… And she was the girlfriend, and so she met, you know, everybody who’s anybody, as a result of being his girl.'”[37]

            In 1994, Harris took leave of her position in Alameda County when Brown appointed her to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.[38][34][37] The position paid $100,000 per year.[35] Harris served on the board for six months. Then, during a lame-duck session, Brown appointed her to a three-year term on the California Medical Assistance Commission, overseeing Medi-Cal service contracts.[39][40] The Commission reportedly met about once per month and paid commission members over $70,000 per year.[38][39][34][17]
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamala_Harris#Early_career

            In 1994 she was an attractive 29-30 and he was 60.
            Google has multiple photos of her in a little black dress with Brown (Google Kamala Harris and Willie Brown and go to images).
            Wiki has quotes from her acknowledging that the highly paid fluff positions she got were a result of her relationship with Brown.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
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              says:

              I was not aware.

              And it changes nothing.

              She’s being held to a standard that white men are never held to. It has to stop.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                Ah, so women using their sexual market value to get ahead is A-ok, but men, as men, using a patriarchy system to get ahead is a complete sin…..

                There are times you guys appear to be operating in the seven circle of Daft.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to JoeSal
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                says:

                No. If men get to use the patriarchy to get ahead, women get to use their sexuality. If women can’t men can’t. And you can’t praise one and condemn the other.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                So your good with saying grace over the whole patriarchy thing?

                I just don’t see that happening.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to JoeSal
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                says:

                I’m good with women being recognized for being as worthy and as powerful as men. If that means the patriarchy has to suffer – fine. If that means a woman has to use her inherent sexuality to get around the old boys club – fine. But if it means old white men can go around grabbing women by their genitalia and bragging about it and suffer no consequent loss of power or prestige – Not fine.

                We don’t get to have it both ways and call ourselves a society built on equality.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                That’s what I thought.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                Big picture Aaron is factually correct. Brown was arguably the most politically powerful man in California (and twice her age and married-but-separated). Harris leveraged her relationship with him into a political career. She might have even begun that relationship for that purpose.

                IMHO it is always ok to point out facts. Her male equiv would be a 29 year old man who had a relationship with Nancy Pelosi and then used that relationship to further his electoral career, and it would most certainly be used by his political foes.

                This is serious tabloid material, intuitively we seem in gold digger territory. That I don’t care who she was banging 20+ years ago and will (politically) evaluate her based on other criteria doesn’t change that it’s serious tabloid material.

                The good news is we seem to have largely moved past caring about that. Trump’s relationship with Stormy (etc, etc, etc), while serious tabloid material, isn’t really relevant for evaluating his politics.

                Having said that, it’s fair game (and expected) for political opponents and members of the opposing team to pull out tabloid material and use it. If Harris had run against Trump, he would have used that card. If Harris had run against Bush, some minion would have. Trump’s wife (and the rest of his history) was certainly used against him in the primary and during the election.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Tulsi Gabbard was Chris Christie to Kamala Harris’s Marco Rubio.

    Poor Maya Rudolph.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    @Michael cain,

    I don’t watch much TV but I don’t see any advertising in California. Warren did a rally in Oakland over the summer. Our primary is not until March 3rd. What we get is residual from the early states and the debatesReport

  10. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    From Lauren Duca:

    Come on Yang!Report

  11. Avatar The question
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    says:

    I mean one of them I know is Jewish which we’ve only counted as white when we want to one of them is gay who we only count as people when we felt like it two of the others are women and one of them’s an establishment hold over and a rich guy buying his way into the primary.

    I mean it’s some point you just have to accept that the candidate you love is not generating energy enthusiasm or money and just go shit maybe it is our faultReport

  12. Avatar Philip H
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    says:

    CNN has an analyst who thinks along similar line to many of us:

    “Rather, it’s to underscore that context is key. A better understanding of the political foundation that’s influenced Harris offers valuable insight into the dueling interests she had to navigate as a top-tier Democratic candidate; and that’s to say nothing of the pernicious alchemy of racism and sexism she contended with compared with some of her rivals. (“Success within the system was still a laudable act of subversiveness — whether as an investment banker, a corporate lawyer or a district attorney,” The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan recently wrote of Harris’ time as an undergraduate at Howard”

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/04/politics/kamala-harris-race-history/index.htmlReport

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