Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Elections

Why Kamala Harris Doesn’t Even Pretend to Care

It’s the “basket of deplorables” all over again.


- August 15th, 2019
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Joe Biden whispered to Kamala Harris before the last debate, “Go easy on me kid.” She blankly stared back, managing eventually to mumble, “How ya’ doin, ya good?” It was as if Mickey Rooney turned to Judy Garland and said, “Let’s put on a show, kid” and she responded, “And how has your day been?”

It was funny and weird at the same time.

In election seasons, Lunchpail Joe starts talking the way he thinks ordinary guys do after their shift before they go to Walmart to buy antifreeze. The Democratic path back to the presidency is to pry Trump’s golf-gloved hands from any combination of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He thinks he’s just the guy to do it, kid.

Biden has taken the regular guy act so far that he once actually threatened to punch Donald Trump for his treatment of women. Which was surprising, because Biden spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate, and he never once punched anyone there for mistreating women. Not even Ted Kennedy.

He is putting on a show, obviously. Although he was born in Scranton, he is as much a gritty son of the middle class as anyone who leveraged political office to sell influence in China and Ukraine to build his family’s enormous wealth in Delaware.

How do you explain Kamala Harris, though, and her position as first choice of the Democratic establishment?

By preferring Cool Kamala over Lunchpail Joe, the Democratic elite is signaling that it wants to replay the identity politics of 2016. The lesson they culled from Trump is never again to brand a political campaign on behalf of the marginalized around a former Wellesley College valedictorian who is white.

She could not even manage to fake a reaction when confronted on stage with an accusation that she let an innocent person rot on death row. She looked at her notes, looked sideways, and deliberately projected indifference.

Who does the guy facing lethal injection think he is, Jussie Smollett? Instead of answering the charge, she had her campaign and its lemmings in the media accuse her critic, Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), of being Vladimir Putin’s stooge.

Harris would be the second presidential candidate in a row the Democratic Party sent into America’s heartland whose political career was hatched as the confidante of a powerful political man.

The wife of Bill Clinton and the paramour of Willie Brown, in succession, is a statement. As in Hollywood, where no actress who got the big part on a casting couch has yet returned an Academy Award, #MeToo really means that if you play along and give in to important men, you get ahead.

By preferring Cool Kamala over Lunchpail Joe, the Democratic elite is signaling that it wants to replay the identity politics of 2016. The lesson they culled from Trump is never again to brand a political campaign on behalf of the marginalized around a former Wellesley College valedictorian who is white.

A differently hued candidate with a superior claim of historic persecution, the smart people think, should be enough to swing some of the swing states that went for Trump. To those who actually live in those places, though, Harris comes off like she wants the presidency for the power it confers.

Like Mean Girls on the Playground

The insightful socialist pundit Ian Samuel tweeted during the last Democratic debate: “Harris has a deeply authoritarian mindset. Her only moments of genuine conviction come when she’s in a fantasy reverie about ordering people to do things.”

He said it better, but the point is she cares as much about the guy on death row as she will care about the Peshawar peasants who will be at the business end of her drone strikes.

The real lesson of Trump is that America’s middle class is sick of Washington’s know-it-all-ism about their families, schools and neighborhoods. The Washington elite don’t bother with them except when they suddenly appear drone-like to demand coequal treatment for the transgender goalie on the girls’ lacrosse team.

Hillary’s handlers at least attempted to make her seem like a gal from the Chicago suburbs with brothers named Tony and Hugh, swigging scotch in the aisle on campaign flights. With Harris, the Democratic establishment is abandoning even the pose.

They have their reasons. To run on a claim that America is racist you need villains to play the part of the racists. Those would be the ham-and-eggers Biden tries so hard to impersonate. And, too, membership in any governing aristocracy—think mean girls on a playground—is not so fun if you can’t point to the kids you’re not playing with and say, “Yuck.”

Michael Anton, arguably the intellectual father of Trumpism, has explained Trump’s victory using Machiavelli’s expression: “The multitude is wiser and more constant than the prince.” The Washington elite have a problem with the multitude in America. They can scoff that they’re deplorables. They can condescend by sending Lunchpail Joe to save the day. But they can’t beat them.

Especially not with Kamala Harris.

Get our
daily email

Our top articles every day

© Copyright 2012 - 2019 | All Rights Reserved