A Sudden Outburst of Concern Over Kamala Harris’s Departure

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Vikram Bath

Vikram Bath is the pseudonym of a former business school professor living in the United States with his wife, daughter, and dog. (Dog pictured.) His current interests include amateur philosophy of science, business, and economics. Tweet at him at @vikrambath1.

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar InMD
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    says:

    These lamentations are idiotic. Race and sex have nothing to do with competence, virtue, or having what it takes to win this particular job. I see no evidence that the right woman couldn’t become president. We’ve already established that a black man can and an incredibly politically compromised woman won the popular vote last time around.

    Identitarians make excuses, leaders find a way to win. It’s clear what Harris is and even clearer what she isn’t.Report

  2. Avatar Doctor Jay
    Ignored
    says:

    I just wanted to say that I really like this sentence:

    Harris faced two gates, the first of which required her to pick up a wrench, and the second of which required her to have never have picked up a wrench. Such is life though.

    Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Doctor Jay
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      says:

      It’s an interesting contrast between her and, say, Biden, who also has a disturbing criminal justice history.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        Biden has two things that help him. The first is that his history can pretty well be compartmentalized into the 80s and early 90s where what he did was widely popular and within the spirit of the times, as wrong as all of that has turned out to be. Kamala was doing all of this in the aughts well after the crack epidemic, when spiking urban crime rates were a thing of the past, and when attitudes about things like marijuana and the death penalty were becoming much more liberal.

        The second, and more disingenuous, is that he’s just a better politician and knows how to ‘evolve’ with the times, even if it’s in a cynical way. As gaffe prone as he is I can’t see him ever running on his record from that long ago whereas Harris made being top cop central to her strategy.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to InMD
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          says:

          I haven’t seen any evidence that most people care about Harris’ record as a prosecutor. The main people doing Kamala is a Kop are white make libertarians who wouldn’t vote for any Democratic candidate.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to LeeEsq
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            says:

            “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. And she fought to keep a bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.”

            -Tulsi Gabbard

            Harris’ numbers tanked after that debate. I would say that lots of people who will vote Democrat cared.

            P.S. Gabbard is neither white nor male…Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to LeeEsq
            Ignored
            says:

            Keep telling yourself that and see where it leads us. That plus what Aaron said.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        Biden also has decades of building support in the African-American community in a state with a big African-American population.Report

  3. Avatar Silver Wolf
    Ignored
    says:

    This is similar to the argument that there are no black quarterbacks on the Miami Dolphins. When you reduce something, even something as important as POTUS, to just 3 or 5 (viable; vanity campaigns aside) people, large swaths of the population will not just be underrepresented but unrepresented. This is the law of small numbers.
    The more offensive idea is that every important group needs to have the infamous token representation to be taken seriously. Not only does it make a person’s wokeness transparently fake, but where does the line of representation stop? Do we complain that the Democrats are not fielding an Aboriginal for POTUS? How about a Buddhist? Every time someone demands that one demographic be in, they implicitly reduce the value of all the other minorities.Report

    • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Silver Wolf
      Ignored
      says:

      And the fact remains that the Democratic Party in recent memory nominated a black candidate, twice. The first time, he beat a seemingly much stronger white opponent. As someone who was sympathetic to a Harris candidacy, I was very unhappy watching it implode. I saw it coming and didn’t like what I was seeing. But for all I could see, it was a personal failure, pure and simple.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to CJColucci
        Ignored
        says:

        I tend to agree with this. Harris could have led out of the gate with how her work as a prosecutor informed her later political career. She could have moved people with her personal story – and probably made in roads by pointing out how middle America and apple pie it was. She could have done a bunch of things to move the needle.

        She didn’t.

        So now shoe goes back to being a Senator representing the 6th largest economy in the world. Not a bad gig.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to CJColucci
        Ignored
        says:

        I also have a lot of warm feelings towards Harris, but have to agree that her candidacy just wasn’t coming together, for reasons which were entirely internal.

        Which isn’t a criticism necessarily; Not every gifted eloquent official can or even should be President; Harris has a fine future as a powerful voice in the Senate, or AG.

        Heck, she’s young enough to run again in 2040 and still be younger than Biden.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to CJColucci
        Ignored
        says:

        But for all I could see, it was a personal failure, pure and simple.

        That. The electorate treated her like a candidate and not as a token. Thats a good thing.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Silver Wolf
      Ignored
      says:

      Do we complain that the Democrats are not fielding an Aboriginal for POTUS? How about a Buddhist? Every time someone demands that one demographic be in, they implicitly reduce the value of all the other minorities.

      “Dang it. The Democrats have a Hawaiian Hindu running for President, and it looks like the GOP’s alternate for 2020 is Nikki Haley, a Sikh, but now they demand we hold out for a Buddhist!”

      Harris’s problem was obvious from the moment she joined the Senate. She’s an unlikable, self-promoting hack with blind ambition and a willingness to crush anyone that she finds inconvenient to her quest for power. She seems to be one of those women who will viciously stab all her co-workers in the back so that she gets the promotion. She’s just plain mean. Eventually people noticed.

      As an illustration, when she exited the race, she blamed all of you for being racist and sexist. Obviously the GOP voters had absolutely nothing to do with her dropping out of the primary, so clear implication is that Democrat voters are the ones with all the ugly “ism” problems. Yep, she threw you right under the bus.

      On the bright side, I imagine that there are few better signs that your life is improving than having Kamala Harris viciously denounce you, pack up her things, and storm out. You should throw a party. I’ll bring beer. ^_^Report

  4. Avatar Kristin Devine
    Ignored
    says:

    As always, a wonderful and insightful piece. Thanks for writing it.Report

  5. Avatar LTL FTC
    Ignored
    says:

    The failure of Harris is reflected in her supporters: progressive white women who reinvented the magical negro trope with an intersectional flourish and a handful of elite POC with something to sell them. For this entire campaign, the the mainstream left-of-center press has been telling a story that is being contradicted by the polls. Feeling an obligation to vote on an Oppression Olympics scale isn’t widespread; it’s an affectation that places you in a certain sociopolitical class.

    And the best the Lauren Ducas of the world can do is a halfhearted false consciousness argument.

    One of these days, someone will notice that all the “representation” pundits represent nobody by themselves.Report

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