Kamala Harris: Why Biden’s ‘top cop’ pick for vice-president is a tough sell

EDITORIAL


JOE Biden has finally landed on his choice for a vice-presidential running mate to aid in the final reckoning against Donald Trump.

To the great surprise of near no one, Senator Kamala Harris received the final nod.

Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian, immigrants, is the first black person and the first Indian person to be selected as a running mate for a major party candidate.

A milestone met as the Democratic party establishment seek to rally black Americans in the midst of the largest protest movement in the country’s history.

Following in behind taking the knee and kente cloth, this appointment appears another means of translating the BLM ‘moment’ through the Washington political system.

Such empty symbolism dismisses the radical change demanded by black voters and the party’s mass base.

It also fundamentally fails to cop on to the causes of the nationwide revolt and the role played by policies enacted by Democrat officials over the years.

Including those of Harris herself as a former state prosecutor and California’s one time ‘top cop.’

Coverage of the 2020 vice-presidential picks has been wholly bereft of any serious engagement of policy positions.

What Harris stands for is hard to pin down but she is clearly ‘tough’ on law and order.

Biden himself has attacked Harris’ criminal justice record in the past, claiming that Harris was at fault for overcrowded prisons and in one case had to be forced by a judge to release prisoners.

During the debates, a firey Tulsi Gabbard also accused the former Attorney General in California of keeping nonviolent offenders locked up to keep the state supplied with cheap labour. 

Indeed it is probable that Trump will seek to outflank Harris and Biden on the left on crime and punishment akin to the way he went after Clinton for her comments on “super predators.”

Besides providing team Trump with ammo it is unclear what Harris’ appointment brings in terms of much needed electoral coalition building.

Biden comfortably commands a majority of the black vote so Harris is unlikely to provide large scale gains there.

What is more, she struggled during the primaries to pull in female voters – a key demographic in the road to the White House.

As often the case in US politics, Harris’ biggest contribution may come in the form of her corporate fundraising infrastructure.

Forget team Biden’s attempts to tout her ‘tough on banks’ record, Wall Street executives are cheering on the choice of Kamala Harris.

Elsewhere representative Ilhan Omar won her Minnesota Democratic primary despite a war chest of  $4 million lobbied against her.

Bold victories like Omar’s are the hope for the left of her party,  here’s to hoping that Harris’ past does not lead the Democrats to a future defeat.


Featured Image: Gage Skidmore @Flickr

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