She has first class brains. Passion. A quick wit. The finely-honed questioning and debating skills of the seasoned prosecutor she was. Knowledge. Experience. Mettle. Charisma. Hell, she’s even photogenic and highly attractive. What does it take to be a viable candidate these days?
It sure starts to look like it’s best to be both white and male, doesn’t it?
I decided long ago that Kamala Harris was the one I wanted to join battle with Trump, and I wrote this back in January, advocating the merits of someone whose intellect, competence, command of the facts, and terrifyingly unbowed female strength, made her – I was sure of this – the one Democratic Presidential hopeful most likely to destroy Donald’s sanity and beat him like a rented mule in 2020:
Now she’s out of the race, not having made it as far as the Iowa primary.
Is it too facile to lay the failure of the Harris campaign at the doorstep of bigotry? Yeah, sure, maybe. After all, she never polled well with black people either, who perhaps found it hard to get behind a former prosecutor with a reputation for some pretty hard-line law and order policies pursued during her tenure as California AG, given what “law and order” has tended to mean for their community. Black voters are famously strategic, too; they’re known to play a shrewd game of “wait and see”, with the aim of backing a winner, identity politics be damned. They didn’t get behind Obama until he proved he could compete with Hillary in the primaries, and they may well have been supporting Biden to this point because dear old Joe looks good to beat Trump, everybody says so, and Trump clearly thinks so too, so there you go. A black candidate is a luxury. Right now the imperative is to beat the demon who currently sits in the Oval. So maybe the people of colour were waiting to see if the white base of the party would back her, and the white base was wondering why they should back her if people of colour didn’t…
Maybe. That sort of pragmatic calculus doesn’t stop the white people from backing Mayor Pete or Elizabeth Warren, but this stuff is complicated, isn’t it?
Look, I’m just a wannabe pundit. Really, I’m a policy wonk. I’m great at advocating what’s right, and decrying what’s wrong, but I’m out to sea when it comes to calling the horse race. I’m the guy who knew Trump could never win, because women would never vote for him (oooooooops). I’m like the shiny new computer that the Chief didn’t trust in that episode of Get Smart, in a jokey little aside that’s actually endlessly relevant, which I saw as a kid and never forgot – when Agent 86 told him that the machine couldn’t make mistakes, the Chief replied “Oh yeah? Then why did it pick Egypt in the Six Day War?” That’s me. I picked Egypt. I always pick Egypt. Egypt looks good on paper, right? Then, just six days later, its air force is destroyed on the ground, its army is routed, the Sinai is lost, and I’m sitting at the rim of a smoking hole going “wha’appen?” I suck at this.
Fine, but nevertheless, you ask me, half questioningly, half accusingly, what happened? We just went over this – didn’t we just go over this? Don’t ask me. Politics happened, OK? Maybe race and gender bigotry. Maybe Kamala just plain ran a shitty campaign. Maybe she had everything needed to impress the hell out of guys like me, but nothing that grabs the attention of the gen. pop., or the media. Maybe she comes off as “elite”, whatever that means – usually it has something to do with being near the ocean and having your wits about you, two mortal and universally disqualifying sins. Murricans just hate educated coastal elites, right?
She wasn’t firing up the base, and the stars weren’t aligning. She lacked a central message. You couldn’t sum up what she stood for on a T-shirt. She wasn’t warm and fuzzy.
Maybe she was too much like a man, strong, unapologetic, sometimes angry, everything we adore in a guy and won’t tolerate in a woman.
I don’t understand.
All I know is that we just missed a huge opportunity to put the right warrior in the saddle, somebody who could have whupped Donald’s fat ass to a frazzle, and somebody who would have been a fine President, trustworthy on both domestic and foreign policy matters, who knows the ropes in Congress, a sure terror to America’s foes both foreign and domestic, and a guaranteed hit with America’s allies. Losing her is a huge deal. The American political process has once again produced exactly the wrong outcome, and the Democrats are once again looking as if their main goal is to avoid winning no matter what it takes.
Stupid donkey. It hurts to love it so. Time and again, that damned critter kicks me right in the teeth, and I always come back for more. Thank-you donkey, may I have another?