Kamala Harris, Vice-Presidential Candidate

Some of you may recall, back in June 2019, when I surveyed the landscape of potential Democratic presidential candidates, Kamala Harris was my first choice. This is what I said at the time about why that was:

Because she’s hella smart, pretty savvy and because I think her background and daily practice in politics shows she’s not scared of anyone, least of all the Republicans. I also suspect that she would put together a very fine cabinet of equally smart and savvy people and be the best chance to reverse the four years of stupidity and cupidity we’ve endured to this point. Is she perfect? Lol, no, and I suspect people will be more than happy to expound on this in the comments. But I don’t need perfect at this point, and additionally I think she’s smart enough to know where she’s not smart enough, and will collect people to her to compensate. Also, she’s not old as fuck, and her personal baggage seems dealable. Plus she’d shred Trump in the presidential debates like he was a chicken straight out of the crock pot. Yeah, I’d watch that.

Now it’s August 2020, and as we know, Harris did not become the Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden did (what I said about him at the time: “I mean, honestly, meh?” which is an assessment I stand by). But, Joe Biden just today decided to make Harris his partner on the Democratic ticket, in the Vice-Presidential seat.

So how do I feel about that?

Not surprisingly, pretty good. One, to be blunt and gross, if Biden keels — and he might, he’s 78 — then I get what I wanted in the first place, and beyond that, the current thinking is that Biden will stay in office for one term, teeing up Harris for ’24 (someone should check with Biden about that thinking, however). But two, presuming Biden stays perfectly healthy for four years, he has a super-competent vice president who will almost certainly have her own portfolio in the White House; I can’t imagine Harris agreeing to be Vice President if all she was going to do was twiddle her thumbs for four years, hoping for Biden to kick off.

In the meantime, she’s a net plus for diversity on the ticket and I expect will be excellent campaigner. Plus, while she regrettably won’t get to shred Trump in the debates, watching her tee off on Pence, who writer Elizabeth May just memorably described as “an actual jar of heated mayonnaise in human form,” will be delight enough. And I imagine she’ll get her punches in on Trump while campaigning, which will infuriate Trump to no end; we know how angry competent women make him.

As a former attorney general and someone whose crime policies were not, shall we say, the most enlightened, Harris is not a huge favorite of the more progressive folks who are aligned with the Democratic party. Inasmuch as the Republicans will try to scare the white folks with the idea of “soft on crime” Democrats, however, her being on the ticket will make that slightly less effective. Given that half the white people in America are currently and inexplicably still planning to vote for Trump, these little things will matter. I mean, honestly, what the hell, fellow white people, why are at least half of you this way, please stop.

This is not an election cycle for people who need perfect people with perfect positions in any event. It’s an election cycle between “likely competent” and “actually fucking criminal.” So: Kamala Harris! Very likely to be a super-competent vice president! Hooray! I was going to vote for Biden anyway, because a meh president would be a refreshing change from the awful bigoted trashfire of corruption that is the alternative. But now at least there’s someone on the ticket I’m actually happy about. Let’s hope we make it to November, everybody!

— JS

156 Comments on “Kamala Harris, Vice-Presidential Candidate”

  1. As this is bound to be a contentious political thread, be aware the Mallet is out. Please try to refrain from full-tilt frothiness, and be polite when addressing each other. Or, you know. Whack.

  2. Most people had her as the most likely. If he wasn’t going to take a liberal, Duckworth would have been my choice, but I expect Harris will be effective as Trump campaigns for “Law and Order”.

  3. I think the word is ‘tepid’ more than heated or lukewarm. Pence is just so beige! Anyway, Harris is a great pick, and I am gladly volunteering with the campaign

  4. The twitterverse is THRILLED (in general) that she’s the pick. I’ve seen a lot of tweets about “feeling hopeful for the first time in a long time”. And when you have the dumpster fire complaining she was mean to Kavanaugh (like that’s a bad thing?) and then we hear he AND his daughter donated to Harris? Then you have Warren say how she can’t WAIT to watch Harris debate Pence? I’m. In. For. These. Games. Every time Harris attacks dumpster don, he’s going to lose his mind and say more dumb stuff. It’ll be great!

  5. I was wearing my Kamala hat in my late afternoon Zoom meetings. In November I will enthusiastically vote Biden/Harris now. I would vote for Biden/subway rat but now I can vote with far more enthusiasm. I’m THRILLED with Biden’s choice for Veep.

  6. She was my first choice as well, and it’s 2020 so “meh” is must better than the dotard.

  7. @chirpy – I’d vote for dead goat/subway rat over Trump/Pence – the first ticket displays higher intellect and more moral character.

  8. Harris was my first choice for President, so I am delighted she’s Biden’s Veep pick. (And let me also say, Biden himself has been impressing the hell out of me.)

    What I liked about her then is what I still do: whip-smart, whip-fast, and steely-eyed. What I’ve learned about her since then is she also has a wonderful laugh and sense of humor. She’s also a sort of walking United Nations: Black and Indian heritage, and married to a Jewish fella.

    (I just went on YouTube and watched a wonderful video from last year of Kamala and Mindy Kaling cooking up some Indian food together. It’s a lovely glimpse into Harris’ SE Indian heritage. And, oh, the Taster’s Choice jars bit…!)

  9. She’s an excellent pick. I’ve been thrilled to have her represent us from California, especially compared to Feinstein, who needs to retire like, yesterday. She’s also done an excellent job at any Senate hearings she’s been a part of; quick, incisive, and with an overall impressive demeanor.

    My politics are leaning increasingly progressive as I get older, but I think she will be a nice counterpoint to Biden.

  10. It’s worth mentioning that Harris, contrary to all the “she’s a cop” and “she’s just another neoliberal” barbs she gets from the left wing of the party, has one of the most consistently progressive voting records in the entire Senate (by some metrics, even morel liberal than Sanders). Charlotte Clymer on Twitter has a really good thread about it.

  11. I said early in the primaries that I would vote for a moldy sock against Donald Trump, and I was really disappointed when the Democratic Party took me at my word and we got a creepy gross old man. Kamala was one of my early favorites, and her being on the ticket makes me feel a little better.

  12. I got a lot of problems with Harris (I was pulling for Stacey Abrams) and I look forward to grinding that ax come Jan 21, 2021. Till then I’m all in on Biden-Harris because it’s gonna be them or Those Other Guys and that’s an easy choice.

  13. I also had Harris as my pick in the primaries, and she was my #1 for the VP slot. So yeah, I’m also delighted today. On her record as a prosecutor, here’s an interesting perspective from someone who was a public defender on the opposite side from Harris when Harris was the San Francisco DA — if you don’t have time to read it, the gist is that Harris has real reformist credibility. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/08/10/kamala-harris-progressive-pioneer-san-francisco-da-column/3334668001 This is a good pick, and shows vision and smarts on Biden’s part.

  14. “This is not an election cycle for people who need perfect people with perfect positions in any event.”

    I think this is a bit reductionist here. A lot of progressive folks aren’t upset with Biden because he’s “not perfect,” they’re upset because he and the DNC aren’t even making a token attempt to be progressive despite popular support for progressive poilicies. They shot down legalization of marijuana and Medicare For All despite overwhelming support among democratic voters and even majority support for both among the population at large. Biden himself has said he thinks oil and fuel companies should have a seat the table to discuss climate change, which really doesn’t bode well considering we’re inside the window where radical action is the only path that has a chance of saving us.

    He’s about as centrist a candidate as you’re going to get, and that stings in a year when there was, frankly, some blatant Tomfoolery around Super Tuesday that clinched him the nomination.. It was hard to read that as anything other than a concerted effort to prevent Sanders from winning. So, that combined with the DNC’s resounding rejection of popular progressive policies is quite frustrating. It looks and feels like the DNC are ignoring what voters want in favor of a “mother knows best” approach, which is not how democracy is supposed to work.

    This is compounded by the fact that very progressive folks have at this point spent decades being told by the DNC “just be pragmatic this one time and then we’ll try and get some progressive policies going, honest,” and that has just never really materialized. Even Obama, running on a very far left platform, did very little of what he had promised and he frankly got hung out to dry by the Democrats absolutely rolling over on Obamacare and letting the GOP gut it.

    Particularly, I think this comes across as dismissive of the concerns many POC are raising (at least in my circles) about a man who’s had a number of racial slip-ups picking a woman who was a notoriously aggressive prosecutor during this set of BLM protests. The common sentiment I’ve seen is that at the very least, this sends the message that they just expect those folks to show up regardless and aren’t super worried about trying to actually align with their goals. Which, you know, doesn’t feel great when the party you intend to support broadcasts that they’re counting on your vote regardless of whether they’re going to try and earn it.

    People are going to vote for Biden, because duh. But folks who really don’t align with his exceptionally centrist views aren’t going to like him as a candidate, and I think tut-tutting “well he’s not PERFECT” really misses the point of peoples’ actual grievances with both him and the platform the DNC have put forth. I think it’s dismissive, and I’d ask that you consider if perhaps there’s more merit to the complaints than simply progressives being unwilling to consider an imperfect candidate (which is often used to dismiss these criticisms, and rarely actually true).

    And if I’m reading too much into a single line of your post, that’s my bad. But it’s been a rough year and I had a strong reaction to seeing someone who’s normally so thoughtful about considering others’ viewpoints seem to handwave these things away.

  15. Yes, I would have preferred her as Attorney General, where she could be very effective in prosecuting Der Furor. My problem with ANY of Biden’s potential picks is that any woman he picked from the Senate would weaken Democratic strength there. However, there’s no question that Governor Newsome will pick a strong Democrat to replace her, and it will probably be a woman, so it’s a net gain. The real problem is not who holds the office of Vice President, it’s that the office is so weak, by design. Harris will move from a powerful position as Senator, to the ribbon-cutting duties of the Vice President.

    None of which alters the fact that I would rise from a deathbed to vote Trump out in November.

  16. [Deleted because a post that’s just shitting on everyone mentioned in it does not actually contribute to the discourse here — JS]

  17. For me it was Harris or Rice.

    Rice has too much of a Clinton flavor; Harris has a tendency, so I hear, to not shut up and listen.

    Here’s hoping that Harris’ new handlers make decent suggestions – and that she pays attention.

    And I look forward to reading about a debate between her and mayonnaise. No way would I actually sit through it live.

  18. A quick corrective to @Jeff Goldblum’s Ghost — you said that Biden “pick[ed] a woman who was a notoriously aggressive prosecutor during this set of BLM protests”. That isn’t possible, as she has been a US Senator since January 2017. If you look at her record as Senator, she has supported many of the issues that you say you support. It is probably also worth remembering that there were many Sanders supporters helping to write the Democratic platform, and the press has been full of reports that Biden has been consulting extensively with Warren since he won the nomination. Biden will be running a campaign that is one of the most liberal in generations. I’d call that a win.

  19. Lifelong Republican here. Well, I haven’t actually voted for a GOP candidate for President in years. I realized that MY version of the Republican party would be running Joe Biden. So there we are! I was not rooting for Harris, only because I wanted her to be A.G. to go get Barr and the rest of the dogs. I suppose that Klobuchar or Demings can do that just as well. I was hoping it would NOT be Abrams simply due to lack of experience. I think she will get elected to Congress in a few years and then be a powerful force, her story is awesome. Push come to shove, I love my country and cannot handle more of it being Trumped.

  20. “As a former attorney general and someone whose crime policies were not, shall we say, the most enlightened, ”

    I don’t think this is particularly accurate. Harris was about as far left as a DA and then AG could be and survive election, and also needs to take into account that a AG does not make policy decisions outside of extraordinary circumstances – as she did in refusing to defend Prop 8. There’s a good testimonial from an Oakland public defender about this that’s been making the rounds: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/08/10/kamala-harris-progressive-pioneer-san-francisco-da-column/3334668001/

    Since she got out enforcement and into policy making as a Senator, she’s been consistently good on these and most other issues. I’m really happy with her, but the “her AG record shows she’s a cop” is very reductive. Room to disagree, though.

  21. I think Goldblum’s Ghost is accusing others of being reductive while simultaneously being extremely reductive. This is very silly: “I think this is a bit reductionist here. A lot of progressive folks aren’t upset with Biden because he’s “not perfect,” they’re upset because he and the DNC aren’t even making a token attempt to be progressive despite popular support for progressive poilicies. ”

    This is honestly just wrong. This is only even partially true if you define “progressive” as “Bernie’s Sanders exact policies”, and even then there’s been significant movement towards those policies. You can see the Biden/Sanders unity taskforces and the policies they’ve agreed to as an example. These are are all big, important initiatives. They can only be dismissed if your take is “Sanders’ policies or nothing”, which is unfortunately where a fair amount of people are. But it’s also dismissive and frankly wrong to go that way.

  22. I think, as sort of mentioned up-thread, the perfect time for the progressives (like me, even though I’m a dirty foreigner) to go on the offensive against the centrists running the Democratic party is roughly mid-November through 2024. Until then, hooray for these two.

  23. Even as my own personal politics have moved steadily leftward over the last 15 years; I am still very fiscally conservative, and personally socially conservative. I’m concerned about deficits and debt, and the rancor and divisive political atmosphere. I hope that this ticket can address those concerns. I’m voting for Harris, but I’d vote malignant cancer over Trump.
    I want this country to be better, more tolerant, and where everyone is taken care of.

  24. Scalzi: “she’s not scared of anyone, least of all the Republicans.”

    Why would she be scared of Republicans? A decade ago, she could have gotten on a republican ticket.

    Its the Hillary Clinton Corporate Democrat Right of Center campaign strategy all over again. He’s wooing the moderate republicans, and telling progressives to go screw.

    As an unapologetic progressive, this fucking blows.

  25. Whole situation is so exhausting, so just commenting to give @jeffgoldblumsghost, @leftwingmothertrucker and my other progressive peeps a shoutout.

    Wall Street is already celebrating, while people literally dying for health care and housing are told to stop being purists. Nice.

    And, no, Harris isn’t electable. She didn’t win a single delegate, she is from an already blue state, and her prosecutor background is full of land mines.

    I wonder how many of the people so confident of her electability were also confident of Clinton’s in 2016.

  26. I would REALLY love if Athena wrote a post on this topic, or the election more generally. I think it would be really great to hear a young voter’s perspective. Does she have reasons to feel hopeful and engaged? I know you don’t take requests! But I’m putting it out there as a wish.

  27. As someone who as moved progressively, lol word choice, from being right wing/ John Birch Society in his teens to someone who supports universal health care, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and even finds a UBI to be interesting; I just can’t get fully behind a complete progressive platform. I understand where conservatives are coming from, and most are not bad people. Their world view is different but that doesn’t make them evil.
    My ideal would be for us to see each other as people of good will, and realize that it’s ok to disagree.
    It’ll be hard enough to convince moderates and Republicans to vote this ticket; that we shouldn’t be fighting on the left

  28. @DHMCarver Poor wording on my part. Perhaps the more accurate phraseology is “During this set of BLM protests, Biden has picked someone who had a record as a notoriously aggressive prosecutor before they were a Senator.”

    I was referencing her past record as a pretty aggressive prosecutor, not saying that right now she’s been prosecuting people during BLM.

  29. One of those less than thrilled progressives here. I would have been jumping for joy when the Biden administration nominated Harris to be the next AG, but in times of BLM and police brutality, a prosecutor with a spotty record on those issues isn’t the right pick.

    Biden is the Senator from the literal State of Corpratopia. Harris is a cop friendly ex-prosecutor. That “third way” Democrats have again completely ignored progressive issues and taken a GOP Lite approach is pretty obvious, so do not be all shocked and appalled if the young progressives they need to get elected decide to stay home. Some of those folks think the only way to fix it is to simply burn it all down and start over. And while I’m not saying I agree, I’m just saying… I understand.

  30. Considering that if Biden picked a peck of peppers to be his VP I’d still vote Democrat at this point I’m okay with this; Harris didn’t move me one way or the other during primary season. What I think this boils down to is that Biden knows that, for this election cycle, Trump has a big chunk of the white male vote and it all boils down to mobilization; Biden needs an excited Black electorate and that is that. The question is how does the white female professional/suburban vote respond to Harris.

  31. I’m almost but not quite embarrassed to say that I felt tears coming to my eyes when I read Biden had chosen Harris. She represents hope, and the tears revealed how little hope I had.

  32. As an outsider to US politics (Ie, I live in Australia) it’s puzzling why almost half of the US public (or actually the smaller portion who actually vote), support Trump. I’ve concluded that there are a lot of the US public who are voting with the motivation of “Go to Hell!”, and are so alienated and hostile to life in the US that they really want to blow up the whole of the US political establishment… And they see, quite accurately, that Trump and his cronies are the best mechanism to do so. Could this be the case?

  33. “This is not an election cycle for people who need perfect people with perfect positions in any event.”

    Yep. The perfect is most assuredly the enemy of the good, and my perfect, your perfect, and everyone else’s perfect likely look different. Biden, and Harris, may not be precisely the candidate one would have chosen, but there’s only one other option available here.

  34. I agree with a lot of what you said. Also, seeing as Biden enjoyed a close working relationship and friendship with Obama, I think it’s likely that he’s envisioning a similar relationship with his VP.

  35. I am very happy that Biden made the safe and predictable choice. “Safe” and “predicable” are two words never applied to the current occupant of The White House.

    @Jeff Goldblum’s Ghost:

    I think this is a bit reductionist here. A lot of progressive folks aren’t upset with Biden because he’s “not perfect,” they’re upset because he and the DNC aren’t even making a token attempt to be progressive despite popular support for progressive policies.

    I was going to write a snarky response, but thought better of it. Biden brought in Sanders’ people to write the Democratic Platform for this year. (That is at worst a token attempt.) The platform calls for: a public option to be added to the Affordable Care Act (which is growing in popularity, so there is little desire to tear it down yet), a $15/hour minimum wage, and carbon neutral power plants by 2035 (instead of 2030 in the Green New Deal.) Given that the progressive wing of the Democratic party is still a minority, they should be very happy to be getting 80% of what they want.

    (The reason that I was initially snarky is that I’m tired of the argument that Sanders is a target of the DNC and party establishment. Democratic VOTERS still pick the candidate. The reality is that the progressive wing is growing, but still a minority in the party. Progressives like Ocasio-Cortez winning primaries in safe Democratic strongholds is not evidence that the party as a whole is changing. When a DSA candidate wins in Ohio, you’ll have something. Until then, Sanders supporters are going to have to accept that the Democratic VOTERS aren’t completely behind him yet.)

  36. Yeah. I will listen to and be concerned about critiques from people of color and trans folks–and my position there, so far, is that these concerns are valid but TBH my own attitude toward law enforcement, for example, has shifted a lot in the last four years, and I hope hers has too–but I am not interested in “but ceeeentrism” complaints from cis white dudes still nursing their wounded Bernie hardons.

    BernieBros have been announcing their attention to BernieBro since, at least, Sanders dropped out (and endorsed Biden, not that it matters to the cult). If, after 100K dead and everything else going on in the last four years, they’d still rather Holden Caufield it up than be strategic…well, a VP pick wasn’t going to make a difference with that.

  37. The self-described progressives (ie, Bernie diehards) need to get a clue that the percentage of American voters who are genuinely on that page totals at most 15%, and it’s heavily skewed towards reliably Democratic states. They don’t have the leverage to threaten to withhold votes as “consequences” for not getting exactly what they want.

    I’m someone who is on board with a progressive agenda, but I’m fed up with tactics geared towards making progressives feel good about themselves instead of making actual progress.

  38. Senator Harris wasn’t my first choice for President or Vice-President. For that matter, Vice-President Biden wasn’t my first choice for President, (To be fair, neither of these were my last choice, either.)

    They are both somewhere between perfectly fine and excellent, however, and I am happy to support them any way I can. (Sometimes, my preferred candidate wins and sometimes not, but the difference between Democrats and Republicans is overwhelming compared to the difference between my preferred candidate and the victor.)

    So, I’ve donated to Joe Biden, and may donate more to Biden-Harris; I’ll happily vote for Biden-Harris and encourage others to do so. And I imagine I’ll spend some time sending texts or making phone calls for Biden-Harris (because taking time off to travel to another state to go door to door seems unlikely under the circumstances.

  39. @Cavitation
    Sort of. The flaw in their reasoning is that the political establishment–or in Trumpist parlance, “the elite”–isn’t who they think it is.

  40. Anyone who says Harris is more progressive than Bernie Sanders is ignorant, or full or shit, or selling something.

    I dont give a fuck what the “metric” says, its bullshit. Why? Because its not who Harris was before she was in the Senate. Sanders was marching for civil rights before being a senator. Harris? She was busy creating overpopulated jails in California.

    And whenever Harris is confronted by the shit that happened on her watch as prosecutor, her first response is invariably to dodge responsibility for all of it.

    Far as I am can tell, her senate history is not indicative of a change of heart, but a calculated move to to the left to eventually run for president.

    Maybe if she owned all the shit that she’s done in the past, instead of trying to dodge most of it, i might think differently about her. But “most progressive in the senate” is meaningless when one looks at her full history.

  41. Many thanks to @pjcamp and @DHMCarver for their links. Glad I read the pieces, especially since, as a progressive, I was (I’m ashamed to admit not doing my own homework well enough) echoing the “she was a harsh DA” message. Bad me. Good for Biden. Mind you, as my Best Beloved says, voting for Yellow Dog/Yellow Hydrant vs whutwegotnow is a smart electoral choice.

  42. I dont give a fuck what the “metric” says, its bullshit.

    That attitude, in itself, is bullshit.

    All you’re telling me is, “My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with facts.” And you don’t have a strong case.

  43. Harris votes with Sanders the same 93% that Warren does.
    She is further left than Biden, who has been moving towards the center of the party.
    The idea that this is a great loss for the left is hilarious. She is the furthest left the Democratic party has gone for President or VP for decades. Is she as far left as some in the party, nope. Remember though, this is the party that thought Lieberman was a good idea. The left should take a move in the right direction when it comes your way as a win.

    I was for Warren for President, but honestly Warren would have been a bad VP pick. It doesn’t plan really for the future, and unlike California where Harris would be easy to replace, Massachusetts is more difficult.

    The only people on the left who are going to be upset with this pick are some of the more extreme Sanders supporters even though Sanders is smarter than that. Sanders know sometimes the fight for the future, is to accept a small move forward and fight for more later. But consolidate the gain.

    Hell if never-Trumper Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post thinks someone who voted with Bernie Sanders 93% of the time is great pick. You’ve moved the Overton window.

  44. Some of you still pushing the white cis Berne bros. lie I see. If we wanted diversity why not get a VP who Latinx likes? If we wanted someone with broader appeal to the in-betweeners, why not Tammy Duckworth: woman, Asian, disabled, veteran, midwesterner?

    Jeff Goldblum makes a quite moderate post and you jump all over that. Progressives are basically being told to vote for Biden because he will be easier to fight than Trump. That’s almost literally the message Chomsky put out recently. And that’s pragmatically what people are going to do. This isn’t 2008, the Left is going to war with Biden from Day One.

    And I still think Biden is a sexual predator. And I still question whether I can vote for a sexual predator. (As does Biden who told me not to vote for him if I believed his accuser.) On the other hand I might have a marginal effect on defeating a sexual predator who is also an incompetent fascist. That’s an ethical dilemma for me. And I know some of you are going to curse my ethics. So in anticipation of that, they are my fucking ethics: vote your own conscience, not mine. It’s a testament to the state of this country that I have to work through this particular choice at all.

  45. @isabelcooper and @Edward Brennan and others posting in a similar vein, Amen, amen, amen. I am an unapologetic progressive, liberal, leftist, whatever you want to call me, but I I can fully get on board with this ticket because politics is the art of the possible, and the art of compromise. It is easy to be the purist and hold yourself free from the muck, but then, nothing gets done — or worse, someone like Trump gets elected (as we saw in 2016). As Noam Chomsky said when being interviewed on a progressive radio show in 2016, you shouldn’t have to think about this more than 5 minutes — Trump is an existential threat to the nation. If you don’t vote for Biden-Harris and you consider yourself a progressive or a leftist, you have to wonder where your priorities are. As AOC has shown, you can get a lot done by speaking your truth and working in the system.

  46. Having followed Ms. Harris’s entire career and being an attentive student of my native California’s politics, I keep being bemused by people who ignore the pretty obvious points just made by Peter Beinart in The Atlantic, and act as if Harris could have prospered as some fantasy version of a district attorney and state Attorney General, rather than negotiating the realities of the day.

    (It’s actually impressive that an NYC journalism guy actually understands what’s going on, here on the Left Coast. Point to Mr. Beinart. That is a rare and wondrous thing.)

    One of the many times Ms. Harris has shown her mettle was during the campaign leading up to the Nov. 2016 “top two” runoff election to replace Barbara Boxer as our junior Senator, running against Santa Ana-based U.S. House member Loretta L. Sánchez. It was an interesting contrast: In every appearance, Harris was completely organised, focussed, articulate, and unflappable, while Sánchez kept losing her cool, impulsively making political blunders that cost her votes and injured her prospects.

    Harris’s formidable skills as a prosecutor have (more recently) repeatedly provided just about the only good bit of numerous Senate hearings, during the Toddler-in-Chief’s reign of error. That is part of why, like OGH, I was delighted when she ran in the primaries, remarking ‘America needs a good prosecutor’, and am almost as delighted that she’s now seeking the co-pilot seat.

  47. @privateiron: As I said, if POC or trans folks have complaints, fair. And I’m all for bringing up the AG/DA stuff and seeing what she says.

    But the vast majority of the complaints I see are, indeed, from white cis people, and I include my fellow chicks there, freaking out because Harris isn’t Bernie, or doesn’t espouse all of his policies, or whatever. The vast majority of people I encountered caring a lot about Bernie have indeed been white and cis.

    I don’t know where you fall demographically, but your statement proves my point. Biden could have picked Jesus Christ incarnate as a VP, and you’d still be wringing your hands about voting for him because of your ethics. Which, yes, are yours, but when you make them public, the rest of us can judge you by them.

  48. justdifferent:”The self-described progressives (ie, Bernie diehards) need to get a clue that the percentage of American voters who are genuinely on that page totals at most 15%, ”

    Oh please, 90% of americans support much stronger gun control laws, but corporate centrist democrats are too chickenshit to do anything about it.

    Leave it to the corporate apologist right of center democrat cowards to turn “progressive” into an insult and assert the only people who are “progressive” are the sexist bernie bros.

    Brian: “; I just can’t get fully behind a complete progressive platform”

    Only if by “progressive platform” you mean something that is defined by some right of center corporate hack like Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was much closer to HW Bush than anything remotely “progressive” so it wouldnt be surprising if “progressive platform” gets demonized by the right of center corporate cowards.

    90% of americans support universal background checks. 70% of americans support medicare for all. Two thirds support marijuana legalization. All of those are “progressive” ideas. And yet, the “mainstream” democrats, the chicken shit corporate apologist cowards, claim that “progressive” is only 15% of americans, tops, and that a complete progressive platform would be is just too extreme.

    It isnt. Progressive ideas have widespread support among voters but right of centrr dems are a bunch of cowards who think the only way to win is to move further to the right and want to condemn “progressives” as some kind of minority (15%) fringe movement pushed by bernie bros.

    I guess what should one expect from the dems, the party that let republicans turn “liberal” into a slur for fucks sake…

  49. @mothertrucker This is exactly the kind of delusional thinking that’s so frustrating. IIRC, the most optimistic honest stat about Bernie-style M4A is just below 50%, concentrated in blue states, which is nowhere near the support needed to put a program of that size into practice. Public option, OTOH, is extremely popular, but look at the way so many “progressives” treated Elizabeth Warren when she proposed that as a transition.

    Throw in policies like total student loan forgiveness, free 4-year college, extremely aggressive climate change legislation, open borders, defunding the police, etc., and yeah, the percentage of voters willing to vote for all that is at most 15%. If you actually want to achieve these goals, you need to be realistic about where everyone else in our democracy is with them and actually work with that instead of complaining about it and blaming the people who are 80 or 90% on your side.

  50. Actually, progressives are about 30% of the Democratic Party. The rest are considerably more centrist and moderate.And have a better idea of how legislation gets passed on a national level. It isn’t chicken shit to realize that you don’t have the votes to get past any Republican bloc.

    It’s not cowardice. It’s basic vote counting.

    Progressives would do better by destroying the actual roadblocks: Republicans.

  51. @Chris Sears I was a Warren supporter through and through, actually. I do think it’s interesting that if you criticize how the DNC behaved in the primary or what they’ve adopted as the official platform, people instantly assume you were a Sanders supporter.

  52. A possible almost-answer to @Cavitation from a Yank and observer of matters political: In November 2016, the Trump/Pence ticket got a 27.2% share of the 231,556,622 eligible voters. Clinton/Kaine got 28.4%, 3.4% voted third-party, and 41.0% didn’t vote at all. (That’s a problem you good people in Oz don’t have, given Australian election law. @Cavitation did note this foible in passing.)

    So, as of four years ago, before the Toddler-in-Chief’s popularity underwent a steep decline, he was the choice of literally just over 1/4 of the electorate. Not a soul more. I have some further figures and analysis at my contemporaneous ballot write-up on my Web site for friends and family.

    Of course, the relevant issue in any US election is what “likely voters” are expected to do, not what the entire electorate could do if it exercised its franchise (if GOP sabotaging permits them to do so). Pick your poll as to how high that now is among people likely to actually vote as opposed to giving an opinion to a pollster. 42%, some say. Why even that high? Cthulhu only knows.

  53. @Leftwingmothertrucker

    The problem a lot of people of the far left has has is that they can’t manage a rhetorical argument in a way so that people might actually like and trust them enough to put them in charge.

    If the Republicans are beyond the pale Trumpists, and everyone else who didn’t go exactly for them is ” ‘mainstream’ democrats, the chickenshit corporate apologist cowards” then yes, the far left will never be in charge no matter the validity of their arguments. Because no one will put someone in power above them who professes this sort of hate of them. If one hates more than 50% of American voters, that person or group aren’t going to win an election. Nor in a democracy do they deserve to.

    The extremeness America hates of the far left isn’t their positions. It is how they talk and deal with people. This isn’t how one win hearts, change minds and get votes. It isn’t a rhetoric that appeal or convinces, but tries to demean and command. Authoritarian style like Trump.

    But I think for the far left being right in the abstract is more important than getting things done in reality… and I worry that their authoritarian style might bely something dangerous to democracy (even if that democracy need tons of reforms).

    Move the window, accept the change one can get, and fight for more, even lots more. But if you have decided that those whom one has a best chance of making a majority with are “corporate apologist right of center corporate cowards”… It isn’t them throwing the insults and demonization. And that doesn’t convince people or win elections.

  54. different :”This is exactly the kind of delusional thinking that’s so frustrating.”

    Yes, your strawmen and cherry picking and slipperry sloping is very frustrating.

    90% of americans support universal background checks. But its a progressive idea, therefore right of center Hillary supporting dems think it probably has about 15% support.

    Because people like you take one progressive idea and slippery slope it into whatever insanity they portray it as on Fox News. And yeah, that delusional thinking is so frustrating.

    “extremely aggressive climate change legislation, open borders, defunding the police,”

    Those are Fox News talking points. Are you even a democrat?

  55. @ Leftwingmothertrucker

    Colorado got Universal Background Checks by having a government not frothing at the mouth.

    If that is the change you want, that is how to get it.

  56. I think it is a fairly solid pick, for this point in time. The prime objective, for me, is to get that orange tick out of the White House. I don’t think that will be as easy as many think it will be.

    With Kamala Harris, a former Attorney General, it will help bring in more of the suburban vote, by showing that the Democratic ticket has a history of law enforcement. This will short circuit the lingering nightmare of Trump’s original lie about defunding the police.

    For people de colores it will be a place in history and more will vote for it, maybe for the same reason as mine. One of the places to start defeating racism is in the financial market. Biden has already said some things about heading in that direction.

    After showing that Democrats are not out to kill this country, we can start the long haul toward a more progressive place.

  57. I too saw this opinion piece in USA Today on a blog I frequent:


    When a public defender comes to defend a former DA, that’s good news in my book. In this case, it puts all the Bernie Sanders supporters right where they belong, deep under ground. Bernie Sanders was batting close to a thousand with the NRA, unlike either Joe Biden or Kamala Harris. Sanders is not a progressive, nor a liberal, he’s a Russian tool.

    Ms Harris was against pot prosecutions, against youngsters being prosecuted for sex crimes, as they were all too likely to be trafficked kids. Etc, etc. So far more left than Sanders. Read the attached article.

  58. It is a little distressing that I tried to explain why progressives may not be excited by a Biden/Harris ticket and ended with a call for empathy, and then the comments just turned into people dunking on progressives and scoffing at the very notion that a left-leaning person isn’t aligned with the DNC on issues.

    It’s a frustrating life to be further left than the DNC in the US. It’s a two party system, so you don’t really get a progressive party on its own. And the GOP are monsters, so you can’t vote for them. So the DNC don’t have to court progressive voters, because progressives have no actual choices, so frequently they just…don’t.

    (incidentally, the reason progressives dismiss the notion that the 2020 party platform is in any way an olive branch is because M4A actually does have majority American support despite the incorrect statements in this thread, as high as 69% in the most recent polling, and legal weed has substantial majority American support [and is an absolutely critical aspect of justice reform because of mandatory sentencing laws], and both overwhelmingly were rejected by the DNC despite being popular pieces of legislation among voters – should have been an easy slam dunk)

    Let people vent their frustrations on this, folks. If you’re really far left of the DNC you’ve had few if any politicians who align with your beliefs, which stinks. And it stinks more when you just want to vent about it for a bit because it’s fresh, and a dozen people come in to smugly tut-tut that you simply don’t understand realpolitik.

    Progressives understand realpolitik. We just reject the assertion that it’s the best way to achieve change. And when progressive platforms enjoy majority support nationwide but are rejected by the DNC, it simply reinforces that idea.

  59. @J R in WV err, I don’t know if you can edit comments, but you may want to consider not suggesting that anyone belongs “deep under ground.” It comes off a bit like “this people deserve to be killed.” And no, I am not a Sanders supporter to head off the obvious retort :P

  60. A lot of people seem to confuse a Republican with Trump. A lot of them have regrettably tied their wagon to him, but he is a disgrace unto himself.

    Just maybe you get the White House first and THEN you get progressive.

  61. An “aggressive” prosecutor is just what is needed since there are damn few criminal defendants who are not guilty, just as an “aggressive” public defender is just what is needed since there are damn few arrests that don’t have problems.

  62. @Jeff
    Please link to a reputable poll showing 69% support for what progressives nearly always mean by M4A, namely, primary health insurance administered by the government, with private insurance either nonexistent or only available as a supplement.

    I’d be thrilled if that were actually true, but I haven’t seen any polls showing that. The 69% poll that gets cited a lot doesn’t make it clear that M4A excludes the possibility of using private insurance instead of the government plan. So it’s really more like 69% approval for a public option.

  63. I am happy with his pick and can’t wait for her to debate Pence. She will have him running home crying to Mother. I wouldn’t have minded if he picked her for AG but I also think Schiff would make a good AG or my own Senator – Senator Whitehouse. I’d like to see Susan Rice as Secretary of State because she definitely wouldn’t take any bs from Russia.
    Ir really didn’t matter to me who Biden picked, the only thing that matters to me is to get that corrupt moron and his enablers out of the WH

  64. It is amusing that people who claim to be progressives are citing the Washington Examiner(!) in support of their arguments. And how can one debate with people who say, “Harris is too tough on criminal justice issues to be VP, but I’d be happy for her to be AG” — that makes absolutely no sense. And what is it with all of the vitriol against Hillary Clinton? The only other people who can’t let go of their animus towards HRC are right wing Republicans.

    It is also always interesting to note that the people who comment with the most venom on the internet always seem to have some sort of childish made up name. Curiouser and curiouser…

    Irregardless of who Biden picked, there was always going to be a certain element for whom the pick was wrong. Even Warren wasn’t pure enough — as a Warren supporter, I was disgusted by the snake emojis and slanders used against her. What will be interesting, and telling, is seeing whether these people simply sit out this cycle, or end up voting for The Idiot, as so very many of the Sanderistas did in 2016 — which said plenty about their true politics.

  65. I’m a hardcore Warren fan but I wanted her to be President not VP. I’d rather have her as policy leader in the Senate than as VP. I have my personal dream team of positions, but in the end I came around to Harris as the best candidate to actually make something useful out of being VP. Her incisive no nonsense takedowns will make excellent campaign fodder, and I think she will do such an excellent job articulating sensible policy after the campaign is over.

  66. Harris was my first choice from the beginning of the campaign, and I was heartbroken when she stepped down from the race. Therefore, I am THRILLED about this!

  67. Dhmcarver: “people who claim to be progressives are citing the Washington Examiner(!)”

    Obviously, since her record is indefensible one must ignore the record and attack the messenger.

    Also, i believe nytimes is considered center left.


    Harris knew of a crime lab technician cooking the evidence for guilty verdicts but failed to notify defense attorneys.

    When a federal judge ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, she appealed.

    She opposed a law that would require her office to investigate officer shootings.

    She opposed mandatory body cams for cops.

    George Gage is in prison likely for a crime he didnt commit and Harris kept him behind bars.

    She tried to keep johnny baca in prison even after it came out that the prosecutor presented false testimony.

    Kevin cooper tried getting dna testing to overturn his conviction but she opposed it.

    Again, her record is indefensible, so i am sure the dnc shocktroop response to this will find anything but the actual record of her regressive behavior as prosecutor to focus on.

    More importantly, Harris has refused to take responsibility for much of her past behavior, and since she hasnt apologized for many of these transgressions, the dnc shocktroops must not acknowledge her mistakes either lest they put her in a bind.

    So, dont acknowledge any mistakes, dont discuss her record since its so fucking regressive. And instead, call the messeger a Sanderista and resort to ad hominem

    But by god whatever you do, do NOT acknowledge how fucked up her record is. Dont even acknowledge so much as one single mistake on her part.

    Pretty sure this was the Clinton 2016 playbook as well.

  68. Looking from outside, I can only say I’m very happy I live in a country with proportional representation. I can vote for a candidate who aligns very well with my ethics, and nobody can – nobody has any reason to – bash me for it. And then it’s up to the parties to make the coalitions and compromises to form functional governments. So you don’t have to throw everyone from center-right to extreme left into one party, at worst behind one candidate, in order to defeat the extreme right.

  69. Cheer if you must, but Trump will be reelected in November.

    And then you can extend your 4 year toddler temper tantrum for another 4.

    And some of us who will be voting for him have actually seem our standard of living go up, as opposed to the previous 8 under Obama, although some states are still following his disastrous economic policies.

    To quote Scott Adams, who actually predicted Trump’s win in 2016 and made a compelling argument about it in his book “Winning Bigly”, the President is gonna win bigly.

    Btw, Scott Adams is the cartoonist for “Dilbert”, is non-political in general and had to register as a Democrat in order to stop the vitriolic harassment because of his predictions.

  70. I am looking forward to VP Harris leading the investigation for former President Trump. That, my friends, would be a worthy use of her undeniable strengths.

  71. @ G. B. Miller:

    “And some of us who will be voting for him have actually seem our standard of living go up, as opposed to the previous 8 under Obama,”

    So even though your home state follows Obama’s “disastrous” economic policies, and is solidly blue, your standard of living went up… and that’s somehow because of Trump?

    The vast majority of those who will be voting for Trump have seen their living standards go down. Bigly. They are still poor, stupid and hopeless, maybe even more so than in 2016.

    Speaking of Trump and standards of living, have you checked the unemployment and GDP numbers over the past quarter? I don’t think most Trumpanzees can survive another 4 years of winning.

    A handful of middling-well-off geriatric racists hardly constitutes a national groundswell of votes.

    “Btw, Scott Adams is the cartoonist for “Dilbert”, is non-political in general and had to register as a Democrat in order to stop the vitriolic harassment because of his predictions.”

    Scott Adams voted for Trump because of Trump’s promises to eliminate the estate tax. Which Trump of course lied about. His “predictions” about Trump winning in 2016 were trolling, until they became true.

  72. I’m with you on Biden, John. On the one hand, he’s close enough to what passes for the center that he’ll likely draw some votes away from Trump on that basis alone (i.e., as a “safe” vote), and he may have the chops to do some of that “healing the divide” that everyone’s been talking about. By all accounts, he’s a decent man, and capable of rational thought. But he’s not what we need to have in the oval office in coming years: we need someone who’s going to go way left of the status quo. (fwiw, that was also my objection to Hilary.) Were I an American (I’m Canadian), Elizabeth Warren would have been my choice for POTUS. Hopefully Biden will give her a major policy-advisor role, but there seems to be bad blood — or at least some distance — between them.

    That’s not to say I’m against Kamala Harris in any way. Like John, I think she’ll kick ass. My only reservation was that I wanted to see her as Attorney General at a national level so she could drain the swamp with a vengeance and put all of Trump’s cronies behind bars to do hard time. And then come back next term as president, running based on her record as AG. That’s not to say she can’t take on that swamp draining as VPOTUS, since that’s a notoriously ill-defined role and tends to be self-defined. Hope we’ll have a chance to see her in action!

    As for Trump’s odds of re-election, I’m not sanguine he’s going to lose. We know the Russians can hack the voting machines at will, and that they almost certainly will if the GOP doesn’t do it first. We know that Republican voter suppression efforts have reached historical highs, and that’s not trivial; the people most likely to vote against him are most likely to be excluded from voting. Sabotaging the post office and refusing to count late ballots are the icing on the cake during a pandemic. Combine these factors, and there’s a nontrivial chance Trump will lose the popular vote badly and win again via the electoral college. The Democrats really, really need to prioritize securing the vote; everything else can wait until January.

  73. First, a nit, I suspect most of the instances of DNC in these comments refer to the part of the major political donor community that supports the Democratic party, who, understandably, doesn’t wish the money to stop. Second, I feel the conservative movement has largely been an unscheduled detour from the Nation’s business, Biden Harris look to be able to get us started out of the weeds, which is going to be a tall order of itself.

  74. I’m not convinced of her campaigning skills. She floundered during the primary and dropped out quickly. I’m also not convinced of her debating skills. Her one riposte at Biden landed then she was undone by Gabbard on her DA and AG record and never recovered. Well the VP choice rarely has an effect on electoral outcomes and few people pay attention to the VP debate anyway. The question ultimately will be is there enthusiasm for Biden Harris and will that translate to votes. Many progressives simply don’t like the ticket.

  75. Add me to the list of folks who were bitterly disappointed when Harris dropped out of the race, and who are thrilled that she is the VP nominee. I, too, would have voted for a sewer rat or a moldy sock or any of the other vivid images over the current incumbent, but the Dem nominee was and is still a disappointment to me.

    I’m kinda wondering if I can find a yard sign that reads “VOTE HARRIS*” in huge letters, and then “*and the old guy” in tiny font underneath.

    Also, Wayne took the words right out of my mouth in writing “And I look forward to reading about a debate between her and mayonnaise. No way would I actually sit through it live.”

  76. G.B. Miller:

    “And some of us who will be voting for him have actually seem our standard of living go up, as opposed to the previous 8 under Obama”

    Well, you know. I’m one. During the Trump era, my average annual income is significantly higher than it was during the Obama era. This is largely due to activities that I performed and deals that I signed in the Obama era bearing fruit over the intervening years — momentum is a hell of a thing. Meanwhile, the actual conditions of the world in the last few years have made it more difficult for me to do my work and sell it; if it weren’t for those Obama-era deals, and my own personal economic planning, things might be very different for me economically. This may be an instructive metaphor.

    Trump and the GOP gave me and other well off people tax cuts, however, which we didn’t need, didn’t benefit the large majority of people very much and which are already having a predictable long-term deleterious effect on the economy. That’s this administration’s second-most important economic “achievement,” which is… not great.

    The most important economic “achievement,” of course, being that Trump presided over one of the worst economic breakdowns in the history of the US, which is not entirely his fault, but which was and is being exacerbated by the absolute disaster of his administration’s coronavirus response, and that is his fault. Currently millions who were employed at beginning of the year are not, thousands upon thousands of business are closed, many permanently, and millions will be unable to pay their rent and mortgages, and that’s on Trump.

    So, no. If Trump is indeed re-elected, it won’t be because of his economic policies, which have been a stunning and historic failure, and which for most Americans fail the Reagan Test: They are not better off now than they were four years ago. Anyone who says they are voting for Trump based on his economic policies is, bluntly, a fool, or is lying, or simply doesn’t care about the vast majority of their fellow citizens and their economic welfare.

    All of which is to say, GB, that I find your analysis less than compelling.

  77. @ Ruth:

    “I am happy with his pick and can’t wait for her to debate Pence. She will have him running home crying to Mother.”

    @ Steve (7 of 9):

    “I’m also not convinced of her debating skills. Her one riposte at Biden landed then she was undone by Gabbard on her DA and AG record and never recovered.”

    Eh, I wouldn’t put much stock in the debates. Trump got absolutely owned in the Republican debates and ended up steamrolling his way to the nomination. He was then thoroughly trumped by Clinton in the presidential debates, and, while he lost the popular vote by a substantial number, still won enough votes to become president.

    Neither Harris nor Biden have any serious challenge to fear in the upcoming debates. Pence will speak in nonsense soundbites, carefully designed to minimize his stupid. Trump will ramble on incoherently about nothing, as is his wont. But it doesn’t matter. Mouthbreathers don’t care for rhetoric, nor do they have the mental wattage to grasp the topics being debated. They love Trump for “speaking from his heart”, i.e. sounding dumb just like they do.

    Harris dominating Trump and Pence on the debate stage isn’t going to sway a single potential Trump voter. If anything, it will make them more eager to knock those uppity minorities down a peg in the election.

  78. I like Harris as VP. She wasn’t my top preference at the beginning of the primary, but wasn’t too far down the list either. (I didn’t actually get to vote in the Dem primary before Biden became the presumptive nominee, so never really had a chance to nail down a #1; for a while I was leaning strongly towards Warren.)

    Not a perfect record, but neither is anyone else’s. I think she will campaign well alongside Biden and be appropriately media-friendly/telegenic, which matters. As for her progressive bonafides – let’s get them in the White House, then we can split hairs over who’s leftist enough. Unless you’d prefer four more years of Trump & Co.

    Still not going to assume Biden/Harris has this in the bag; I’m taking nothing for granted until 12:01pm, January 20. Gonna be voting early, in person, fully masked & armed with sanitizer, at my earliest opportunity, because I don’t want my mail-in ballot to be suspiciously not counted.

  79. I like Harris as VP. She was the safe choice (and it says something about where we are in politics today that a black, asian woman would be the safe choice for the second highest office in the country) IMO because she keeps this election as a referendum on Trump. Rice, the other apparent frontrunner, would have allowed the GOP to beat the Benghazi drum over and over again until election day and perhaps beyond.

  80. Wall Street is already celebrating

    Wall Street was terrified that he was going to pick Warren as his VP.

    Anyone who says they are voting for Trump based on his economic policies is, bluntly, a fool, or is lying, or simply doesn’t care about the vast majority of their fellow citizens and their economic welfare

    Strongly disagree, John; that’s “and”, not “or.” If they were personally worse off under Trump, they’d either lie about it or claim that was the fault of the precedent administration and Trump needs another four years to keep fixing everything (this is the usual talking point when you ask how that swamp is doing.)

  81. I’m happy with Harris as VP (hey, there’s a slogan for you).

    I’m confident Biden will easily get the majority of the popular vote, but there still exists the possibility that Cheeto will pull an Electoral College squeaker in a few swing states. God help us if that’s the case.

    And for those who are gritting their teeth because they’re favorite progressive didn’t make the ticket, please, for the love of God, don’t be an idiot on election day and register some silly-ass protest vote. You know what’s at stake.

  82. Three different people linked to an opinion column by a public defender in California who worked against and with Kamala Harris. The best I can tell no one who believes the scurrilous lies about Harris’s work as DA and AG in California bothered to read that column at all, because I see those lies parroted again and again in comments between the first mention of Niki Solis’ remarks and here at the bottom of the not so thinky bits.

    Also, The Hill is owned and operated by a close friend of Mr Trump, take that for what it is worth.

    I’m gonna quote some my Ms Solis’ remarks, just enough for a taste. I think that when a public defender supports a former DA those thoughts are worth a tiny bit more than the average person’s opinions, based upon lies spun by the right wing.

    Simply put, Harris was the most progressive prosecutor in the state. This is not an anecdotal opinion. It is based on facts.

    As San Francisco DA, Harris refused to seek the death penalty — even on a case where a very respected police officer was tragically killed. Marijuana sales cases were routinely reduced to misdemeanors. And marijuana possession cases were not even on the court’s docket. They were simply not charged. Unless there was a large grow case, or a unique circumstance, this was the reform-minded approach then-DA Harris’ office took. The accusations about marijuana prosecutions being harsh during her tenure are absurd. The reality was quite the opposite.

    And later on Solis writes:

    Although we as public defenders may have disagreed with Harris at times or wanted more from her office, there is no one who can say that there was a more progressive district attorney in California than Kamala Harris. She implemented and expanded programs that are now the staple of many DA offices up and down the state. Just last month in California, Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen said he would no longer seek the death penalty. This comes 16 years after Harris took the same stance in San Francisco.

    I hope the HTML quotes work OK, I’ve never used them here at Whatever before. Whoa, different font, centered, all OK by me.

    These are some of the facts that enable me to wholeheartedly support Ms Harris in her race with Joe Biden. I hope to see them together in Joe’s antique Corvette before the end of the race, if only for a driveway run…

    Whatever the DNC is or thinks or does, won’t matter much, as the DNC holds exactly no seats in Congress. I believe we will see legalization at a Federal level, if we win, which will be a good thing. I believe we will see strengthening of the PPACA, aka Obamacare, if we win. And legislation supporting voting rights, trans and gay rights, immigration repair, IF WE WIN~!!~

    John, thanks for providing this arena for discussion. It works great so long as you and AMS have those mallets in hand!

  83. the current thinking is that Biden will stay in office for one term, teeing up Harris for ’24 (someone should check with Biden about that thinking, however).

    As you said, check with Biden. I seriously doubt that, having gotten elected, anyone in the modern political era would decide to gracefully leave after four years. The last President who did so in a way that would match Biden (taking the office of the President after being elected to it and then leaving after one term) was Rutherford B Hayes in the 1870s.

  84. Eh, I’m not sure any of this matters anyway. Trump’s already sowing seeds of doubt with mail-in ballots, and he’s just going to sabotage the post office as much as possible in order to convince people that this vote isn’t trustworthy. He won’t give up the throne, and it’s gonna be chaos for a few months.

  85. First, I have to be honest: this Twitter stuff is becoming so disconnected from reality that I’m starting to question the point of it all. I like Kamala Harris a lot, but her debate performances were mediocre at best – better than Biden’s, but not that much better – and Pence is an experienced radio personality. If they have a debate, Pence will probably win, I would think obviously.

    But that’s all inside baseball, because the VP debate (if it even happens) doesn’t actually matter. Harris is probably the best choice given the current political environment. She adds some much-needed, diversity to the ticket, she’s highly experienced and capable of taking the wheel should it come to that, and her prosecutorial history is an asset rather than a liability, because it allows Biden to further distance himself from the obnoxious entitled progressive left who are apparently dead-set on pushing policies that 85% of the country disagrees with.

  86. 538 currently has the election at 70:30 Biden:Trump – I think that underestimates Trump, it’s most likely to be a coin flip. And without the Dems taking the senate, nothing meaningful will happen.

    Echoing our host, Trump’s tax cuts saved us $1,500 per month, and we’re not voting for the racist misogynistic incompetent orange shitgibbon. Biden wasn’t my first choice but there is no option. A functioning society is worth more than marginal tax rates.

  87. I have always intended to to vote for anyone who runs against dear leader. All throughout the primaries my refrain was “I like Kamala Harris, but to be honest I’d vote for pretty much anyone, even Tulsi Fucking Gabbard, before trump.” So my vote was a given. What Biden did was give me a reason to vote FOR the Democratic ticket and not against the Republican one. When he announced Harris I felt actual joy – even if transient and shallow. And joy is in such short supply these days.
    Now for a little thought experiment – Joe Biden’s all woman cabinet:
    Elizabeth Warren Secretary of the Treasury
    Tammy Duckworth Secretary of Defense
    Susan Rice Secretary of State
    AOC Secretary of Energy\
    Katie Porter Attorney General
    Jill Biden Secretary of Education (WTF, if Trump can put Jared in charge of everything, Biden can put his wife in charge of 1 department)
    And for a final twist of the knife – Michelle Obama to replace RBG (let the poor old lady retire and rest, she’s had an amazing career)

  88. JR in WV:”I’m gonna quote some my Ms Solis’ remarks”

    You complain about people not using unbiased, factial sources, and then your entire argument is based on an opinion piece by one person who ignores everything bad that Harris did, and spins the “good”.

    Harris knew of a crime lab technician cooking the evidence for guilty verdicts but failed to notify defense attorneys.

    Harris was against the death penalty? When a federal judge ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, she fought to get it back.

    She opposed a law that would require her office to investigate officer shootings.

    She opposed mandatory body cams for cops.

    George Gage is in prison likely for a crime he didnt commit and Harris kept him behind bars.

    She tried to keep johnny baca in prison even after it came out that the prosecutor presented false testimony.

    Kevin cooper tried getting dna testing to overturn his conviction but she opposed it.

    This is from the new york times.

    Harris defenders never answer the criticisms of the worst things she’s done. They always change the subject. Or in this case, try to ignore the worst and only lidt the good.

    Clearly, we cant discuss this any more. Biden named her vp, so now everything Harris ever did is only ever considered in comparison to everything Trump ever did and whether or not we vote for biden or trump.

    US politics suck.

  89. @J R in WV The problem isn’t that we didn’t read the aforementioned article, it’s that the aforementioned article doesn’t address the facts on the ground that concern so many people. For example, Solis doesn’t mention that Kamala Harris covered for multiple dirty prosecutors. Nor does Solis address Harris’ decision to knowingly conceal misconduct in the San Francisco police lab. Solis also doesn’t manage to address Harris’ continuing fight against sex workers or her knowingly wrongly arresting the founders of Backpage as a publicity stunt. The article is nice and all, but it does absolutely nothing to address any of the very real concerns people have about Kamala Harris’ ethics, or lack thereof.

  90. So, the current administration thinks they have the moral high ground on the issue of crime? I hope the Democrats vociferously contest this.

    I do think that Harris is a good VP choice as it might coax a few more people into voting. I do _not_ think it will change anyone’s mind. But I simply cannot conceive of anyone still being undecided.

  91. “I was so disappointed when Kamala dropped out of the race last year.”

    That happened this year, but I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND why you made the mistake. This has seemed the longest 8 months of my life.

  92. Brown Robin: Actually, Harris dropped out of the presidential race in December 2019, so that qualifies as “last year”–a fact I find slightly bemusing in the context of how many people (in various places, not necessarily here) have commented on her “poor showing in the primaries.” She didn’t have any kind of a showing in the actual primaries, since she dropped out before the first one.

    Harris apparently had a lot to learn about running a national campaign, and I, personally, think she learned it and faced reality pragmatically and intelligently. I think her desire to do a good job as a senator during an impeachment trial may also have figured into her decision (coupled with the fact that she was being realistic about her chances, of course; not remotely criticizing any of the other senators who did not drop out at that point).

  93. Re Mythago – “Wall Street was terrified that he was going to pick Warren as his VP. ”

    Imagine her as Attorney General or Secretary of the Treasury. Far more influence than VP.

    Then again, if the Dems take the Senate she’d have more influence there.

  94. This is great news.

    She was my second choice for president and vice president (Warren and Abrams would have been the ideal, my reservations about Warren’s initial silence on and to black people and issues aside) but her age, resume and steely spine are a much-needed bolster for me right now, as is the fact that she is clear and articulate in her speech.

    Add to that her determination to run for president in the wake of threats and bombs and you’ve got the kind of “gender transgressive” guts that will send the idiot knuckle-draggers into apoplexy.

    My concern is that she runs afoul of the bigots and knuckle-draggers in our own camp; her performance during the primaries and the early elimination of all of the candidates of color spoke loud enough that, for the first time, I really began to consider some of the major black criticisms of the democratic party.

    More importantly, some black folks will call tokenism (I’ll admit that this was my first thought when I heard the news), especially when you recall Biden’s racist-ish gaff regarding black Trump voters (pssssssst: I somewhat agree).

    For the record, I am an African American woman who is sick to death of the likes of Candace Owens, Larry Elder and Stacey Dash and can appreciate Biden’s sentiments regarding “nya nya nya, I’m the model minority and am emblematic of what we all could be if we wanted it” black folks who vote for bigots and regurgitate their talking points.

    In any case, should Biden meet with a bad end, I, for one, will welcome our new legally savvy overlord.

    Also, “I mean, honestly, what the hell, fellow white people, why are at least half of you this way…”


    Full stop.

  95. It seems the ahem, *interesting* US political situation brings Whatever Lurkers like me out into the open. (She reads the guidelines again, then taps diffidently on the mic…tap, tap, 1, 2, 3…doing this right?)

    Anyhoo, despite spending the primary season flirting around the circular pillow fight that defined the Democratic Party’s candidate selection process (like the apocryphal circular firing squad, but everyone ends up fluff-stunned instead of dead), I was delighted and even excited to hear Biden chose Harris for all teh reasons Mr. Scalzi cites and at least one other:

    Yup, this 70s film buff has apparently been waiting almost 50 years for a real-life Cleopatra Jones to karate-kick the forces of evil right off the US political map. Who knew?

    To quote Maya Rudolph, “That’s spicy!”. Goodness knows the Biden campaign needed to kick it up a notch. So go, Kamala, go!

    I’m not as concerned as others regarding her primary debate performances. Harris is a legal pitbull and as such was constrained by the Democratic consensus that the candidates should form a choir to sing “Kumbaya” for an hour or two every few weeks rather than actually debate.

    When it comes to facing the Republican ticket, I don’t think Chris Dodds or anyone else on the Dem side is going to be asking her to apologize for savaging Pence as a racist. Or, for that matter, on any other aspect of his appalling record & belief system. One suspects “Release the Kraken!” is going to be more like it. And I, for one, hope she gives the current incumbent nasty woman nightmares beyond any he’s had to date.

    (Btw, anyone else idly wondering how the debate organizers will accommodate Pence’s need for a chaperone when meeting with a woman not his wife? Asking for a fiend.)

    For those who missed the 70s, reference material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra_Jones

  96. Imagine her as Attorney General or Secretary of the Treasury. Far more influence than VP.

    But far less influence than if the elderly Biden passed away or stepped down during his first term, and far more likely to mount a successful presidential run after a turn in the VP seat. Wall Street doesn’t think Harris is their best pal, they’re just relieved Warren is staying put.

    Of course, if Harris becomes VP, that vacates her Senate seat. Katie Porter, a Warren protege who also terrifies the stuffing out of our corporate overlords, would be a good choice for that.

  97. Here’s why I won’t vote for a Biden/Harris ticket.

    It is not enough that Biden is slightly better than Trump. The main difference between the two is how they use twitter. For his entire career Biden pushed the policies that we now lament – mass incarceration, war on drugs, Iraq, Hyde Amendment, etc. When he wanted to brag about reaching across the isle, he specifically mentioned Strom Thurmond. And now he says something overtly racist every few weeks.

    Yes, Trump is bad. But if we tell the DNC and its candidates that they only have to be more responsible on Twitter, then nothing will ever change. In 4 years it’ll be the same – the republicans will nominate a quasi-fascist, democrats will run on a right wing corporate friendly platform. But they’ll tell us that the 2024 election is too important to promote change, because it’s Harris or Tom Cotton. Then in 2028 they’ll say “now is not the time for drastic action, we have to do everything possible to defeat Trump Jr.”

    And in the meantime the US will continue to transfer wealth upwards, destroy foreign governments for profits, let millions die for lack of health care (and health care is not the same as insurance – obamacare just gave millions of people insurance that they can’t afford to use).

    So many say that they’d vote for a dead cat before voting for Trump. So this is the election to push for universal healthcare, legalize pot, de-incarceration. Because the corporate democrats will always, always pretend like they can’t do anything because this is the most important election ever.

    We are in this situation because of Dems’ failure to do anything meaningful. Republicans are awful, but they at least get things done for their voters. Dems complain about trump on TV and then vote to increase his powers under the patriot act. They complain on tv and then give more funding to DHS.

    I won’t vote for those people anymore unless they start earning it.

  98. “I am not interested in “but ceeeentrism” complaints from cis white [folks] still nursing their wounded Bernie hardons.”

    Plus one million and, I’m glad someone said it. They are as much to blame for what we’ve got now as the bigots who actually voted for Trump.

    1. Not bothered by her toughness as a prosecutor.

    2. Blue-faced tantrum throwers who didn’t get enough of what “staying home” has given us may be the first against the wall when things get worse; they shouldn’t count on surviving long enough to see anything burn down. Good riddance, too, as their suicide vests are very likely going to kill me and mine.

    3. Waaaaaa! You get to join the ranks of everyone else who didn’t get their ideal picks for president/VP. I’m sorry, but with the bloated ball of rot this nation has become, you really *do* need to suck it up and be pragmatic, just like certain marginalized groups who have and continue to “wait a little longer” for the party to address our needs.

    4. If you think sentencing this country to four more years of a wannabe auto-crat and domestic terrorist will fix our wagons but good, more power to you. Over here, we’ll all be busy doing what we can to keep the republic, flawed though it may be, intact so that you have the opportunity to get your lollies via a functional democratic process. You’re welcome.

    5. How dare you gamble with the lives of people who lack your privilege (and make no mistake, holding a second Trump presidency to our heads unless and until you get what you want smacks of the rankest kind of privilege) because the stars you wish upon aren’t responsive? Grow up and do your research rather than taking your political cues from the twitter verse and/or doing what your Facebook friends say.

    6. You can either vote for a “sexual predator” or sit back as another “sexual predator” continues to murder people from the Oval Office. We had democrats of virtually all shapes, sizes and ideologies from which to choose (more than two dozen, IIRC) and we *all* have a hand in who hit the finish line. I don’t give a damn *who* you supported, be it Yang, Williamson, Warren, or Sanders. Just do your part in November.

    7. Keep on calling folks (in particular, marginalized folks who haven’t the luxury of pitching a fit right now) cowards. You’re as likely to get slapped and/or dragged to bits as sway people to your side of the line, especially if you’re privileged and haven’t so much as busted a grape in ground-level fights for social change.

    8. I am as realistic as I am progressive (sensible gun control, easy path to citizenship, free college for economically disadvantaged students, body cams, aggressive investigations of police shootings, a stronger SafetyNet for the poorest Americans). I am a disabled African American woman who, in all likelihood, wouldn’t survive four more years of Trump. Color (pun intended) me decidedly unimpressed with the rabid class willing to sink me in the name of “progress.”

    Honestly, Someone, somewhere, should start a Bingo card.

  99. Here’s why I won’t vote for a Biden/Harris ticket.

    That’s ten words. Here’s how to say the same thing in six: “Here’s why I’m voting for Trump.” And make no mistake: You are voting for Trump because you didn’t get your unicorn. So…thanks for that.

  100. Our only hope is to vote down ticket so that no one, not the trumpsters or the blue-faced, get what they want.

  101. frozentardis:”Yes, Trump is bad.

    No. Trump is -worse-.

    “But if we tell the DNC and its candidates that they only have to be more responsible on Twitter, then nothing will ever change.”

    Uh, what? Maybe in 2016, you could bitch somewhat about dnc meddling. Superdelagates were throwing their weight behind Hillary before anyone had a chance to vote. Hillary was using the dnc to launder campaign money.

    But there have been massive changes since then. Superdelagates are basically gone. And there has been no money laundering via the dnc to support Biden over any other candidate. So, when you frame this as all the DNC’s fault, you’re lying. You’re indulging in conspiracy theories. And fuck knows, humans love their conspiracy theories.

    Biden won the primary. And unless you point to something specific where “thuh dee en see” throw the primary, then what you’re saying is you dont like how the people as a whole vote. You’re anti-democracy, justifying it by claiming you’re fighting thuh con-spear-a-see. But the conspiracy doesnt exist. Its just civilians voting in primaries, picking their candidate. I.e. its democracy and you dont like the outcome.

    The mating call of the third party voter is “i must send a message to the DNC”. But its not real. You dont have a problem with the dnc because thr dnc didnt pick biden, the people did. You have a problem with democracy.

    If there is a problem, its not conspiracy, its fear. its registered democrat voters who are afraid to stand for progressive ideas because they’ve convinced themselves progressive ideas are only supported by 15% of voters. They believe the sliplery slope nonsense that if you support stronger gun control laws, you’re a full blown communist.

    If you hear someone say that sort of nonsense, call.them out.

    The other problem is the black-and-white interpretation that refuses to acknowledge any grey. Harris is now Biden’s vp, so a lot of democrata cant stand any criticism of Biden or Harris. They cant stand anything negative because the way elections in the US work, its all or nothing. You either vote for Biden or you help trump. Third party votes and not-voting are indistinguishable from helping trump. So, a lot of dems simply cant allow criticism of their candidate.

    Harris tried to bury the fact that a lab technician was fudging results towards convictions. Thats shitty and indefensible behavior.

    Mention it between now and november in earshot of a democrat voter and odds are you will be attacked. Because they cant have any grey, and they cant defend what harris did, so they have to attack the messenger.

    They make it black-and-white. Which makes an earnest conversation about concerns regarding a candidate really depressng. Black-and-white with no grey is depressing. They cant say “yeah, thats bad and i see the concern there, but …” They absolutely cannot acknowledge any faults in Biden or Harris now. See Sarah Marie eight point all-or-nothing rant to really drive home that some people have no room for any grey, that zero criticism of Biden or Harris will be tolerated by certain people.

    But you’re making it black and white too. You’ve created an imaginary conspiracy about thuh dee en see. You’ve made them the big bad. And now youre ready to do anything it takes to be the hero in your mind and take down the dnc. Send them a message. No matter what it costs the whole nation.

    Thats total black and white/zero grey interpretation. And thats all on you.

    Biden won the primary by the votes of the people. And he gets to pick his vp. Show me where “THE DNC” threw the primary for Biden. Otherwise you simply dont like democracy and are justifying it by fabricating some conspiracy about the DNC to avoid admitting you dont like democracy.

  102. Edward Brennan:”The problem a lot of people of the far left has has is that they can’t manage a rhetorical argument in a way so that people might actually like and trust them”

    And a lot of the problem I, an unapolgetic progressive, have with the centrist dems is I cant bring any complaint about the centrist candidate on the ballot without getting hit over the head with a “its all or nothing! (It isnt) Either you totally support our candidate blindly or you help the fascists! (Thats not how it works) Your progressive nonsense is only supported by a tiny fraction of the US! (They’re much more popular) Now is not the time to criticize (D) on the ballot! Maybe later! (Later never comes)”

    I will vote for Biden cause Trump is the absolute worst. But democracy falls apart when its turns into blind obediance and tribalism. When criticism isnt allowed before the election, it tends to not be allowed after either. Cause there is always another election coming.

    and democracy that refuses to allow criticism, that refuses to acknowledge mistakes of their representatives, isnt very good democracy.

  103. [Deleted for responding to a now-deleted tweet. No worries, LWMT, you’re good — JS]

  104. I’m generally pleased with the Harris pick, thought I’ve got a lot of reading to do to form a deeper opinion.

    A kind and supportive note to all my fellow progressives out there, and everyone who isn’t thrilled with Biden as the candidate: please, please, please for our very lives, vote down ticket! The Senate! The House! Every singe open position in your state down to the aldermen and school board. Change comes at all levels. (I say this as a person with an honest-to-god Socialist as my city council person.)

    Also, remember that whatever Biden and Harris may be or may have been: the Trump administration is *actively* killing Americans with their non-response to this pandemic. We are, more literally than in some previous elections, voting for our very lives.



  105. It isnt

    Yeah, it is. And the post that followed your comment couldn’t have come more perfectly timed.

    But, okay, you’ve made your points clear. What’s your next step?

  106. Translation: I have very little if any skin in the game should Trump win and so have the luxury of behaving like the left’s answer to the Tea party.

    So we’re clear, I’m not defending Biden or Harris so much as I am defending me and mine against a faction of would-be suicide bombers who, having ragequit the party, think taking the country across their knee for a good ole fashion lickin via four more years of Trump will get us to straighten up and fly right.

    Your gripes about Harris are duly noted. Now what?

    More importantly, so what? Are we all supposed to ride out a second Trump presidency because the rabid class is outraged! outraged! About her past antics?

    Do you think you’re more important than the millions of black folks who, in spite of their own disillusionment with the democrats, have and continue to cast their votes to ensure that the people who want them gone aren’t in power?

    Do you think we don’t know that “progressives” have among them some of the staunchest racists in the country?

    Do you believe for a quarter of a second that we don’t know that you are just as guilty of taking black voters for granted as are your much-maligned democratic counterparts?

    Are the republicans spot on when they charge democrats with thinking in terms of how it should be rather than how it is?

    Is that “truth” going to work in their favor, again?

    And since we’re slinging around terms like “chickenshit” and “coward,” hows about you speak plainly about your prescription of Trump and the consequences of his remaining in power as a panacea for the butthurt you feel at having been denied your pony.

    Better yet, what difficulty setting do you play on, leftwingmothertrucker?

    Understand that if Candace Owens, Larry Elder and other black republicans don’t get to lecture or shame me for voting blue, no one else does.

    I say again, the thing to do is vote down-ticket so that the Trumpists and their allies, the blue-faces, can’t wield the sociopolitical belt.

    With us or against us, make a choice.

    Make the smart one and maybe, just maybe, you might get the Lolli.

  107. [Deleted because it’s a response to a now-deleted post. Don’t worry, Sarah Marie, you’re good, I just regularly delete responses to deleted posts so people don’t get confused — JS]

  108. @Jeff Goldblum (a bit late here)
    The Hill-HarrisX 69% poll is the misleading but oft-cited one where subsequent analysis found that most people who “supported” M4A believed that they would be able to keep their private insurance. So forget that.

    The April 2020 (two months into covid-19) Morning Consult poll shows 55% approval for M4A. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the polling questions properly described what M4A is and that this is a valid indicator of support. Well, 55% < 69%, by a lot. And what people tell pollsters during a pandemic is not the same thing as what they will vote for, and what they vote for is not the same thing as what they end up actually wanting legislators to do.

    I think you said upstream that you're a Warren supporter. So am I. She made the right policy call by dialing back to transitioning from public option, although she screwed it up tactically from a campaign standpoint. True single-payer for the US is an enormous undertaking with a huge number of unintended consequences. It needs really solid, broad-based majority support before it's doable. Progressives don't have the numbers right now. That's just the facts.

  109. @John:


    My first light malleting! Squeeeee!

    I’ve seen this in some of the older, more heated threads and should have expected as much.

    Here’s hoping I never meet the business end.

  110. My last comment on the left grousing — we saw this four years ago, and after the 2016 fiasco I had arguments with my Sanders friends, who said, You need to let it go. To which I replied, Yeah, I will once you acknowledge that you messed up. because if you don’t, we’ll see it again. And here we are. Fortunately, Sanders is behaving more responsibly, and the polls seem to show that there is much more support from the left for Biden than there was for Clinton.

    And can we cut it with the “corporate Dems” nonsense — it is getting tiresome. Thankfully, the Squad is now 3-0 in their primaries, AOC is one of the most respected politicians on the Hill, and other progressives have been winning their races across the country. Change is coming. Keep working for it, but realize that patience is also in order.

    I do wish people would give more credence to a public defender praising a DA — I know a lot about that field, and that just doesn’t happen.

    And a bit of advice — if you want to advance change in the country, work towards making it easier for alternative parties to get on the ballot. That is one kind of electoral change we need (aside from getting rid of the Electoral College).

  111. So.

    Dems are going to run a woman, POC against Trump, since Biden is going to die / get put in a home before November.

    Despite last time, a white woman, 100% in the zone of beltway $$$, ran Foreign Bombing Policy, 95% certain to win, lost.

    We’ll tell you this but once: The Dems are trying to lose.

    Look: your politics are insanely corrupt, and she’s owned by various groups (HELLO AIPAC) but seriously.

    Your politics no longer matter. They’ll shut down the entire grid in November and your system will crash.

    World got bored of you,.

    Hint: what’s it been? A few years now.

  112. 1) I don’t know who Biden could have picked that would make me vote for Trump. McConnell, maybe?
    2) At some point, the liberal wing has got to win elections and nominations before the Democratic Party takes them seriously. AOC is good, but for the most part they haven’t. In a two party system, the people further from the center are sort of stuck, because voting for the middle gets you the middle, and not voting for the middle gets you middle on the other side (which is usually worse). But better is still better.
    3) An unstable country with a large army and navy and lots of nukes is not going to end well for anyone. If the Civil War had been between nuke-armed nations, I don’t think we’d be having this discussion – it’s hard to transmit stone tablets across the miles.

  113. Sarah:”Your gripes about Harris are duly noted. Now what? More importantly, so what?”

    Look at that: complete dismissal of all criticism. Removal of all shades of grey. Polarizing it to pure black and white.

    “Do you think you’re more important than the millions of black folks”

    Further removal of any grey. Further polarization.

    “With us or against us, make a choice.”

    And there it is, ladies and gentlemen, pure fascism.

    You know, the last person who said “with us or against us” was W Bush ginning up to invade the wrong nation for 9/11.

    99% of republican senators and 60% of “pragmatic democratic” senators voted for the aumf in 2002. Support for the invasion was around 70% among americans in march 2003. And they all marched lock step to the “with us or against” drum. They all stopped thinking.

    And what happened when the nation chanted with us or against us? Longest war in US history. Hundreds of thousand dead civilians. Trillions of dollars up in smoke. Iraq civil war. Creation of Isis.

    No thanks.

    So, i find it hilarious when the “pragmatic democrats” argue “with us or against us” while screaming that it is EVERYONE BUT THEM who are the extremists.

  114. So, i find it hilarious when the “pragmatic democrats” argue “with us or against us” while screaming that it is EVERYONE BUT THEM who are the extremists.

    Okay — what’s your next step?

  115. We’ve an outraged individual (I’ve been there and recognize the polemic nature of the posts; see any of the pandemic-related threads) whose offerings basically come down to “Waaaaaaaaaaaaa! Rooooooooooooooar!!”

    My response:

    Bye, Felicia.

    I’m sick to death of disgruntled bags of unexamined privilege shrieking the walls down and threatening to take their balls and go home because they didn’t get their pony.

    With more than 150,00 people on slabs or in fridges, boxes and erns, millions of people starving, millions more out of work and on the brink of homelessness, my patience for hostage-takers is at about a negative 500.

    You’ve neither put forth a coherent argument for your side nor addressed any of the counterpoints anyone has made.

    Twice, David has challenged you to articulate a plan of action; you’ve ignored him both times.

    You either cannot or will not be specific about how and why raking Harris over the coals and harping on her reprehensible behavior will usher in the kind of society you want

    This tells me that the upthread assessment of your aim in this discussion was dead on.

    If you think the ticket is going to change simply because your butthurt and heated on the internet, there’s something very, very wrong.

    And were I you, I’d seriously reevaluate the unitive power of charging opponents with cowardice to combat polarization in the party.

    I also find it rather curious that you skipped right over any discussion of race while at the same time refusing to disclose or think critically about how your difficulty setting may inform your position re: party unity.

    You might also contemplate the unitive power of trying to berate a black woman for problematizing similar phenomenon in the party.

    While you do, meditate on why you think black people should do for you what “pragmatic democrats” have asked of you?

    Should we be “pragmatic” and risk torching the nation so the bite of your switch on the butt of the democratic party is such that they can’t sit down for four years?

    Your biggest problem is that your vision of unity involves everyone agreeing with you.

    Your silence on many black folks’ concerns regarding *both* factions of the democratic party indicates your desire that they shut up so that the stars will grant you what you wish.

    I, for one, couldn’t care less whether or not you agree with me; you’ve been crystal clear on how you feel about me and mine. I’m not voting for anyone other than Biden/Harris in November.

    What I *will* do is vote down-ticket to keep a barrier between Trump and what’s left of this democracy.

    In the meantime, the tantrum throwers can enjoy their pout party.

    The rest of your post is bog-standard “waaaaaaa, you won’t agree with me and injured my feefees!” trollish spew and splutter.

    Enjoy your meltdown. I certainly will.

  116. “Yes, Trump is bad. But if we tell the DNC and its candidates that they only have to be more responsible on Twitter, then nothing will ever change. In 4 years it’ll be the same – the republicans will nominate a quasi-fascist, democrats will run on a right wing corporate friendly platform. But they’ll tell us that the 2024 election is too important to promote change…”

    I have to shake my head at how this implicitly assumes that if the incumbent (acknowledged here as a “quasi-fascist”) is re-elected, there will be anything resembling a free and fair election by 2024.

    There are already clear danger signs in 2020, as Trump blatantly sabotages the postal system (needed for mail-in votes to work), the census (which determines representation), and as he attempts to suppress the vote in various ways (jut one example: he’s currently suing my state to prevent there being more than 1 vote dropbox for the entire city of Philadelphia) and is already loudly questioning the legitimacy of the vote, particularly if (as is likely with many mailed-in ballots) the results are not known immediately. Those in themselves are going to be a formidable challenge this year, but he’s also been open in condemning the press as the “enemy of the people”, calling for his opponents to be locked up, and admiring authoritarians around the world who’ve been hollowing out democracy . So far, he hasn’t gotten as far as some of them have– and you can see how horrifying some have gotten in countries that were once looking to be democratic– but it’s also clear that he’s learning he can do whatever he can get away with, legal or not, and at least for his party, which controls the Senate (and is rubber-stamping his appointment of judges and officials) what he’s allowed to get away with is nearly anything.

    I wouldn’t call the current Democratic platform “right wing”, but even if it were, I’d still take it over four more years of an aspiring authoritarian increasingly getting his way at undermining the foundations of our democratic republic. To use a household analogy, I’d rather have someone in charge who may have a bad plan for maintaining my house than let someone stay on the job who’s trying his best, and is starting to succeed, at setting it on fire.

  117. I was a Hold my nose and vote for Hilary last time around, and I was planning on being a Hold my nose and try not to gag and vote for Biden this time around, but Harris seems like she’ll make that vote a lot easier for me.

  118. DAVID: “Okay — what’s your next step?”


    Pizza is delicious, of course, but I’m not sure it’s going to lead to the political change you were seeking.

  119. Sarah: “We’ve an outraged individual”

    The rage coursing theough your veins is palpable from here. I was a little disappointed you werent about to acknowledge it. Instead its more of the righteous vengence shtick. Oh well.

    “With more than 150,00 people on slabs or in fridges, ”

    3000 people died on 9/11 and the “with us or against us” mentality got us an iraq war that killed hundreds of thousands. Imagine the absolute carnage you will do shouting “WITH US OR AGAINST US” and 150,000 dead on your tally.

    “Your biggest problem is that your vision of unity involves everyone agreeing with you.”


    Wait. I’m sorry. Was that not satire? Irony? Sarcasm?

    The person who literally challenged me with “with us or against us” thinks i am the only inflexible one here? You’re being serious? You should maybe take a moment and reflect. Hint. The call is coming from inside the house.

    “your desire that they shut up so that the stars will grant you what you wish.”

    But I have 2 wishes. I wish that the all or nothing, with us or against us, “pragmatic” “centrists” democrats come out and acknowledge just how extremist they are. With us or against us is pretty extreme. When WBush did it, we called it fascism. What is it called when a centrist dem does it?

    My second wish is that those very same peeps demonstrate they actually took their blinders off and have stopped looking at the world in all or nothing. That would mean when Harris’s past regressive behavior is pointed out they dont go “duly noted. So what. With us or against us” to bulldoze the conversation and bury all criticism.

    It would mean they actually acknowledge it. “Yes, that happened. Yes that is regressive behavior.” And then explain why they are voting for Biden/Harris anyway. Like 4 years of trump fascism is far worse, or something.

    But blinders is refusing to even acknowledge it, doing your best to keep the conversation away from discussing it. Screaming “WITH US OR AGAINST US” in response to any criticism.

    “Twice, David has challenged you to articulate a plan of action;”

    The only way people get out of the black and white all or nothing with us or against us is if they acknowledge the grey. And most importantly the grey on their side. You avoid qcknowledging any grey by saying so what, with us or against us. David was trying to avoid the grey, just with a different tactic. More of a “lets not talk about Harris’s dark moments from her past, and instead lets talk about your future voting habits.”

    Acknowlege the faults of your political leaders. Even when they are up for election. Especually when they are up for election.

    Harris knew a lab tech had fudged test results to get guilty verdicts and didnt tell anyone. Hundreds of people had convictions thrown out. Harris did nothing.

    Can you even say the words “what Harris did with the lab tech was wrong”. It is a fact of history. It happened. Can you even acknowledge it? Articulate what happened and say it was wrong of her?

    You can still vote for her. But vote for the real Harris, not the weird, perfect, angel complex version of Harris that the “pragmatic dems” have built up. But to do that, you have to actively acknowledge she isnt perfect, actively acknowledge her past faults. If you cant do that, then you’re voting with blinders and using “with us or against us” to and calling everyone the inflexible ones to avoid looking at your own behavior.

  120. David:”I’m not sure it’s going to lead to the political change you were seeking”

    I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

    Tell about the most regressive thing Harris ever did in her career, spell it out, acknowledge it was regressive behavior, hold Harris responsible for it, admit she did it and has no one to blame for it, no excuse to justify it. Show me you took her off that perfect angel pedastal, that you are able to look at her with blinders off, and i’ll tell you my next step.

    But if you were asking simply to continue this Democratic Disfunctional Family reality show where no one talks about real problems, and we all pretend everything is perfectly fine, then I dont want to play that game.

    your turn.

  121. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

    Sure. I’m aware of all the things you mentioned about Senator Harris, I find them highly problematic, and think she should acknowledge them as such. I also think that anyone who thinks that these mark her (or any Democratic politician) as extreme and regressive is impressively naive and has very little idea what extreme and regressive looks like.

    I plan on donating to the Biden/Harris campaign, volunteering for them, and then voting for them in November.

    I think it’s also so very safe of you to insist in a comment thread that the first step is for everyone else to acknowledge all the grand villainy you see. Saves you from having to do anything, doesn’t it? You can remain untainted by the need to participate in actual politics in all their griminess, safe in your own purity.

    So. What’s your next step?

  122. Thanks for weighing in, Comrade Leftwingmothertrucker. You’re doing great work for the GOP.

  123. David: “I think it’s also so very safe of you to insist in a comment thread that the first step is for everyone else to acknowledge all the grand villainy”

    Huh. Are we not on tbe thread where every single person who criticized Harris was attacked by some party footsoldier?

    (Checks notes)

    Yes in fact we are. Every single person who had any criticism of Harris was attacked.

    “I’m aware of all the things you mentioned about Senator Harris, I find them highly problematic,”

    But if you thought it was problematic, where is your earlier comment defending anyone who pointed out the problematic behavior?

    The only time you spoke to me was to change the conversation away from Harris’s problematic past. And you did so without even acknowledging she has a problematic past. I had to pry it out of you.

    The democratic party has a massive vein of disfunctional family running through it. Dad is an alcohalic, but no one can talk about it. If someone mentions that maybe dad should cut back on the drinking, mom will rush to dads defense and attack whoever dare speak to the problem. Maybe the son shouts about how the person is calling dad a grand villian.

    People dont stand up at AA meetings and say “hi Im DAVID I’m aware of all the things you mentioned about me and agree its problematic”

    You dont fix disfunctional behavior with “mistakes were made”.

    At this point half the democrats on tbis thread might as well rise up and say


    thats what “with us or against us” means. And until thats fixed, dad remains an alcohalic, cause the family is a bunch of enablers.

  124. rochrust: “Thanks for weighing in, Comrade” “great work for the GOP.”

    Yeah, that isnt disfunctional at all.

  125. This is, hands down, one of the most entertaining internet meltdowns I’ve seen this year, mine included.

    Look, Karen, if you prescribe four more years of Trump, and the profound and far-reaching consequences thereof, as a panacea for the refusal of “pragmatic democrats” to do what you want, you are equally as reprehensible as you claim Harris to be, if not more.

    I also think it amusing that you’re demanding that we “acknowledge” your character assessment of Harris while flatly refusing to check, or even acknowledge, the privilege inherent in your implied proposition that we condemn this nation to more of Donald Trump because “parents just don’t understand.”

    You are well and truly against us (us specifically meaning the marginalized groups who will suffer disproportionately in your socially unjust war of ponies) and, as such, are just as dangerous as the Trumpers and covidiots that plague this nation.

    So we’re perfectly clear, against the backdrop of your hair-tearing, tooth gnashing and foot stompery, I and tens and millions of others will do everything possible to ensure that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get into the white house next year.

    No amount of whining, screeching, kicking or screaming from spittle flinging, “insulated from the consequences of reelecting Trump” privileged folk is going to change that.

    Harris’s past atrocities (And I absolutely love your handwavium of Trump’s) be dammed, we are going to do our damnedist to ensure the human sacrifice you want to perform never happens.

    More importantly, you really, really need to stop “helping” the progressives.

    You are the worst possible advocate for their cause, making a nuisance of yourself at family dinner, humiliating everyone at your corner of the kids table and threatening to upend it because mommy gave your sibling the bigger piece of cake.

    But, by all means, continue to projectile vomit your impotent rages, false equivalencies, and inchoate rationales all over the walls of teh internets; I’m between books and am enjoying your popcorn-worthy performance.

    Come to think of it, I’ve the sneaking suspicion that you’re very young and wracked with boredom, ditching your Zoom class and poking adults for the lolz.

    That’s the charitable speculation. The other, more probable guess will get me unceremoniously malleted.

    Retrieves popcorn and awaits volley of obtuse, incoherent spew and splutter.

  126. Are we not on tbe thread where every single person who criticized Harris was attacked by some party footsoldier?

    Oh, the horror of being criticized by people on an Internet thread. That’ll (checks notes) set you back years.

    The only time you spoke to me was to change the conversation away from Harris’s problematic past

    Not to steer it away, but to ask that, given your analysis, what was your next step? Something you promised in your last comment. So. What’s your next step?

  127. 1. Defeat Biden/Harris and send a message to Mom and Dad!
    3. Watch smugly as Trump and the GOP profit.

  128. Scampers back from brandished mallet and glances wistfully at remaining candy amid the shreds of brightly colored paper and cardboard.

  129. Sarah:”Harris’s past atrocities (And I absolutely love your handwavium of Trump’s) be dammed,”

    Im sorry, where did i handwave Trump’s atrocities again? Just because i havent brought up Dad’s coke habit while Im discussing Mom’s alcohalism, doesnt mean i am handwaving it.

    David: “Oh, the horror of being criticized by people on an Internet thread. That’ll (checks notes) set you back years”

    So internet criticism is no big whoop? Ok. Sarah is about ready to pop a blood vessel for the slightest internet criticism of Harris. Do you plan on telling her no big whoop?

    Whats that? It onky works for people you disagree with? Huh.

    “Something you promised in your last comment”

    The first part of the promise was : “Tell about the most regressive thing Harris ever did in her career, spell it out, ”

    You never did that. You dodged. You continued the democrat dysfunction that prohibits criticizing any (D) candidate. That has been my whole point None of the Harris defenders will actually discuss harris’s problenatic history, and instead attack those who bring it up.

    The promise was a trade: you break the disfunctional behavior and I will answer your question. That means you explain exactly what Harris did that is problematic. Spell it out.

    Instead, you like a big chunk of the democratic party relate to criticism of any (D) politician as if it were like saying the name Voldemort out loud. Say the name. Spell out exactly what Harris did that was most problematic.

  130. (Comes up with 27 reasons why they shouldn’t have to fulfill their promise)

    I thought you’d probably try to wiggle out of it. So now we know what your word is worth.

    But I actually think that it’s not that you don’t want to give your answer, it’s that you don’t have an answer, because any answer would require some kind of compromise. Whereas now, you can just stay with the righteousness and repeat the same points again and again and remain safe in the purity of your anger. It’s safe, if ultimately ineffective. You’ll never have any effects on the politics you vocally despise, and will always wonder furiously why nothing ever changes, not realizing that your attitude, writ large, is why.

  131. 1. Defeat Biden/Harris and send a message to Mom and Dad!
    3. Watch smugly as Trump and the GOP profit.

    That’s the only plan. Everything else is so mucheffluvia

  132. david:”I thought you’d probably try to wiggle out of it”

    Oh sweetie, no.

    I was clear with you from the beginning. If you give a description of events of something regressive that Harris did, if you SPELL IT OUT, I would answer your question.

    And you gave me the “mistakes were made” answer.

    Like I said “if you were asking simply to continue this Democratic Disfunctional Family reality show where no one talks about real problems, and we all pretend everything is perfectly fine, then I dont want to play that game”

    and you kept playing the disfunctional democrats game.

    Spell out something Harris did that was regressive. What did she do? Who did her actions harm? Show me you are capable of something besides the black-and-white, all or nothing, with us or against us, mentality. Do that and I would answer your question.

    If its just meant to change the subject to shield harris from any criticism, then its just more of the same disfunction. And i can play that game anywhere democrats talk.

  133. It’s not clear to me why David is responsible for showing your work. You’re the anti-Harris fanatic here.

  134. @Sarah Marie and @DAVID, you guys are my heroes on this thread, but I think Dunning-Kruger is in full Effect. Looking forward to all of us being engaged throughout the next 80+ days. Remember everyone, if you are going to vote by mail, get those ballots mailed as early as you can. And where you have to, petition your state’s Secretary of State or your state legislators to make voting as easy as possible — not something that should be a fight in a democracy, but here we are.

  135. @leftwingmothertrucker Since you lied and broke your promise earlier, I’m not going to bother to take you seriously now. You’re well into the “always wondered furiously” stage.

    @rochrist Indeed! Saves them from having to come up with an actual course of action.

    @DHMCarver: Thanks!

  136. Okay, Karen,

    I’m almost certain that you’re trolling on behalf of and/or for the delectation of some RSHD.

    Nothing else explains those whopping false equivalencies, let alone your refusal to “acknowledge” the valid concerns held by the marginalized groups who have and would continue to suffer under Donald Trump.

    Also, it’s clear from your last sentence that you’ve taken this particular show on the road.

    I’ll bet you’re just as persuasive in those fora as you’ve been here.

    Quite tellingly, you’ve completely ignored John Mark Ockerbloom’s position in favor of trying, and failing, miserably, to browbeat people into reciting to your satisfaction your repetitive, copy/pasted condemnations of Kamala Harris.

    I understand venting; I’ve done it here, too, as I said, look back at any one of the pandemic-focused threads for any one of my “tirades” (Ctein).

    What I didn’t do (at least, I hope I didn’t) was melt down in spectacular fashion when challenged or pressed for a more substantial, more coherent argument.

    Quit trying to make agreement happen, especially when you can’t even articulate what you hope to gain from a unanimous repudiation of Kamala Harris.

    Again, I say, so what?

    Do we send Dad to rehab and reach out to Bernie “the cool uncle” sanders to set things right?

    A better question is, do you honestly think threatening to burn down and murder everyone in the house is going to get results?

    In the *real* world, and as is evidenced by your reception in this thread, kids who try that kind of thing get sent away, not indulged.

    David did what you asked and you retreated behind your spittle-fall rather than seriously engaging with his question.

    I think you’re a privileged right-fighter who, frankly, knows fuck all about voting in survival mode.

    You have the luxury of considering other alternatives because you and yours play life on the easy setting and aren’t likely to suffer the most immediate consequences of a second Trump term.

    At best, you’re deliberately obtuse responses read like a desperate, apathetic white person trying to pressure me into hanging tough until 2024 in hopes that your tide will lift my boat.

    At worst, you’re a terrified, statis anxious, able-bodied bigot trolling what you imagine to be a thread chock full of “ownable” libs, ripe for the pokin.

    If you’re of the former, I’m not buying. I’m not taking one for your team. Nor, mind you, are my equally disadvantaged friends or family.

    Your request that we or anyone else do so is beneath contempt.

    If you’re of the latter [preemptively mallets myself].

    Bottom line, Harris, dastardly though she may be, isn’t threatening my safety. You and your ilk are. Full stop.

  137. @DHMCarver:

    And I take full responsibility for my contribution to an or demonstration of the DKE.

  138. Leftwingmothertrucker: For the moment, let us put aside the question of the P/VP ticket and look at the rest of the question.

    What progressive Senators are you excited about? The non-centrist ones? How about the Progressive members of the House? Anyone progressive running for Governor? Mayor of a major city?

    You’ve been amply clear on who you don’t like. Who *do* you like?

    Here’s what I’m doing: I’m going to vote to keep whichever of my progressive senators is up for re-election (might be neither). Then I’m going to vote for my progressive representative. Then I’m going to vote for my eco-crunchy governor who’s actually done something about COVID. Then, maybe, I’ll vote for a different, more progressive lesbian for mayor, because the current one has made some mistakes. The city council isn’t up this year or I’d be campaigning hard for whatever Socialist is less obnoxious than the one we’ve currently got in office.

    And I’ll be sending Get Out The Vote postcards to potential voters all over the country. And badgering my friends all over the country to vote, even if I have to buy pizza for every single dang one of them.

    “The Government” is (thankfully) more than just the President. Come at it from all sides.

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