Why I think Kamala Harris is a plus mark for the Biden candidacy


I haven’t been reluctant to say that Biden is one of my least favorite candidates, and that my support is lukewarm. Harris wasn’t my top choice in the primaries, either, but I think she’s better than Biden, so I can’t help but see this choice as better.

But what really matters is her policy positions. She has a record! We can actually look up what Harris has supported. All I have to say is that she has a 100% rating from NARAL and an “F” from the NRA to make the case for her. She also wants legislation to combat climate change, co-sponsored Medicare for all, is pro-union, opposed Trump’s tax cut for the rich, and thinks we ought to support the US Postal Service.

This is not to say she’s perfect, but I can hope that she’ll advance some progressive causes. I have more confidence in that than I have in passive empty suit Biden.

Of course, either one is better than evil fucking clown Trump.

Comments

  1. says

    The only black mark against Harris I’ve heard is that she’s cozy with the Police Unions. You can expect that to be an avenue of attack in the coming weeks. I’ll bet the right wing hate machine is already looking for people of color she prosecuted for minor drug offenses. They’re going to try to paint her as a cop and a race traitor in an attempt to usurp BLM’s message and use it against the Biden/Harris campaign. I expect a flood of disinformation flowing into social media as well. “Evidence” of her corruption as Attorney General of California, or DA of San Francisco. I hope people are clever enough to fact check this stuff but this is the world of Q-anon and Pizza Gate.

  2. microraptor says

    The biggest black mark I’ve seen against her so far has been her treatment of transgender people and sex workers after they get arrested, but that’s unlikely to be used against her by the right simply because doing so would require them to acknowledge that both groups are people.

  3. F.O. says

    She will uphold the system.
    Which is definitely better than an outright fascist (please vote for Biden if you can), but it’s not a long term solution.

    However, it will not stop the accumulation of money (and power) in fewer and fewer hands, and unless you stop that, fascism becomes inevitable.

  4. petesh says

    @1: Harris annoyed the police unions greatly early in her term as California Attorney General when she very publicly said that her stand against the death penalty included someone who killed a cop (not hypothetical, actually happened). Since then, she did attempt to build bridges with them — she essentially had to — but she didn’t back down from her stand on capital punishment and she was vocal about using social services rather than the court system, especially for juveniles. She has a mixed record; she did push for increased use of DNA databases, which still retain the data of innocent people. (I am the token taxpayer in a lawsuit trying to right that wrong.)

    But it is going to be hilarious to watch the Trumpies try to paint her as a cop-lover who hates cops. And vice versa, all at the same time!

  5. says

    According to voteview.com, Kamala’s voting record in the senate is to the left of Bernie. Which might not mean much–maybe she’s just more likely to vote against republicans on minor stuff out of spite.

  6. Jemolk says

    Just about the only worse choice out of the likely (or once-likely) VP picks would be Amy Klobuchar, in my opinion. As prosecutor, she didn’t go after Steve Mnuchin’s One West Bank when her office had evidence he was illegally foreclosing on people, despite her office recommending it. She was then, in her Senate race, the only Democrat to recieve campaign contributions from… Steve Mnuchin. She also fought to keep exonerated people in prison. Basically, she used her prosecutorial discretion to go after the people she should have left alone while ignoring the people she really needed to prosecute. She’s not a benefit to the Biden campaign, nor to the country, though she might be less harmful than alternatives. She is better than either Trump or Biden, but that doesn’t make her good. If you’re going to vote lesser evil (which, yes, probably good here), please please please don’t treat that as the end of your engagement. She and Biden may be used by us to stop Trump, yes, but she and Biden will also need to be stopped in turn by leftists if we’re to actually prevent the slide into fascism.

  7. says

    The selection of Kamala Harris as VP for Biden is a horrible thing, I will vote for him, but she isn’t a lot better than Trump in a lot of ways.

    -She supported a law that forces schools to turn undocumented students over to ICE, separating them from their parents. source:
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kamala-harris-san-francisco-immigrant-policy_n_5c758153e4b0bf166204509b

    -Supported and funded a bill that would criminalize truancy, disproportionately harming single parent households, the poor, families of color and homeless mothers. source:
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kamala-harris-truancy-arrests-2020-progressive-prosecutor_n_5c995789e4b0f7bfa1b57d2e
    https://twitter.com/WalkerBragman/status/1089974205284798464?s=20

    -Declined to prosecute Steven Mnuchin after his bank’s predatory lending and foreclosure fraud broke the law “over a thousand” times and ruined the lives of thousands of homeowners. source:
    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/03/treasury-nominee-steve-mnuchins-bank-accused-of-widespread-misconduct-in-leaked-memo/

    …he later donated to her campaign source:
    https://www.rollcall.com/2017/02/14/harris-was-only-2016-senate-democratic-candidate-to-get-cash-from-mnuchin/

    -She spent years jailing disproportionately black nonviolent cannabis users source:
    https://afropunk.com/2019/01/kamala-harris-has-been-tough-on-black-people-not-crime/

    she then tried to pander by admitting to smoking herself despite prosecuting others source:
    https://www.marijuanamoment.net/kamala-harriss-snoopgate-is-what-a-political-marijuana-controversy-looks-like-in-2019/

    -Stopped the release of a man serving 27 years-to-life after being wrongfully convicted of possession of a knife under the three-strikes law she supported. source:
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/08/kamala-harris-trump-obama-california-attorney-general

    …and when civil rights groups and nearly 100,000 petition signatures got him released after 14 years she took him back to court again for a crime he didn’t commit source:
    https://www.scpr.org/news/2013/07/31/38460/san-fernando-valley-man-s-freedom-hangs-in-appeal/

    -Opposed reforming California’s three-strikes law, which is the only one in the country to impose life sentences for minor felonies and incarcerates black people at 12x the rate as white people source:
    https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/reforming-three-strikes/

    …she opposed the law THREE different times source:
    https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/reforming-three-strikes/

    -Protected serial child rapists by refusing to prosecute in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal source:
    https://theintercept.com/2019/06/09/kamala-harris-san-francisco-catholic-church-child-abuse/

    -Tried to deny a transgender inmate healthcare and endangered trans women by forcing them into mens prisons. source:
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/05/05/harris-renews-effort-to-block-gender-reassignment-for-trans-inmate/

    -Stood by silently as $730 million was spent on moving inmates to for-profit private prisons source:
    https://www.mercurynews.com/2013/08/29/mercury-news-editorial-kamala-harris-needs-to-tackle-prison-standoff/

    -Voted two different times to block federal funding for abortions source:
    https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2019/06/06/guess-who-else-voted-against-federal-funding-for-abortion-443667

    -She supports Trump escalating war in Syria source:
    https://thegrayzone.com/2019/05/24/bipartisan-war-congress-trump-syria-iran-russia-hezbollah/

    -Voted to give Trump increased military spending source:
    https://justfacts.votesmart.org/bill/23430/61033/120012/national-defense-authorization-act-for-fiscal-year-2018#.XQQgLtNKifQ

    …she did that TWICE:
    https://justfacts.votesmart.org/bill/25215/64284/120012/department-of-defense-and-labor-health-and-human-services-and-education-appropriations-act-2019#.XQQhV9NKifQ

    -Mocks the activist call to “build more schools, less jails” source:
    https://twitter.com/_waleedshahid/status/1090067362907340800?s=20

    -Accepted thousands of dollars of campaign funds from Donald and Ivanka Trump multiple times source:
    https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article226975319.html

    -Opposed legalization of sex work source:
    http://www.laweekly.com/a-new-movement-to-legalize-prostitution-faces-a-fight-with-kamala-harris/

    …endangered sex workers source:
    https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/sex/a52334/backpage-shutdown-make-sex-workers-less-safe/

    …and oversaw people being charged for prostitution without even agreeing to sex source:
    https://archives.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/stung/Content?oid=2177526

    -Refused to investigate Herbalife’s exploitation and fraud source:
    https://freebeacon.com/politics/kamala-harris-accused-of-letting-company-exploiting-latinos-off-the-hook/

    …and, conveniently enough, later received donations from people connected to the corporation source:
    https://www.pastemagazine.com/politics/kamala-harris/documents-show-san-diego-prosecutors-told-kamala-h/

    -Refused to prosecute PG&E for its massive gas pipeline explosion source:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/23/us/pge-california-politics.html

    …and now its consultants are running her campaign source:
    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/21/kamala-harris-2020-campaign-1116076

    -Is a latecomer in endorsing Medicare for All and already appears to be backtracking on it source:
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/29/politics/kamala-harris-medicare-for-all-eliminate-private-insurers-backlash/index.html

    -Supports foreign right-wing influences Netanyahu and AIPAC
    https://theintercept.com/2018/03/07/kamala-harris-israel-aipac/

    -Systematically violated defendants’ civil and constitutional rights” in crime lab scandal source:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/crime-lab-scandal-rocked-kamala-harriss-term-as-san-francisco-district-attorney/2019/03/06/825df094-392b-11e9-a06c-3ec8ed509d15_story.html

    -Co-sponsored the bill that let Trump impose sanctions on Iran source:
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/722/cosponsors?searchResultViewType=expanded

    …which violated the nuclear deal and lead to the currently rising tensions source:
    https://archive.thinkprogress.org/media-outlets-lawmakers-us-violated-iran-nuclear-deal-5907a0e5743a/

  8. whheydt says

    We need political signs that have “Biden” in very small print and “Harris” taking up the rest of the space. I have no enthusiasm for Biden at all, but I’ve vote for almost anybody if it gets rid of Trump. (I say almost because I wouldn’t vote for Pence, either.) Harris is somebody to vote for, rather than against. She’s not perfect (who is, after all?), but she’s pretty good.

    2024: Harris/Ocasio-Cortez (in either order).

  9. unclefrogy says

    one thing at a time. Now there is finally a full democratic ticket thaat is good and the real full campaigning can begin.
    I hope that agent orange is defeated and taken out of office with some dignity but I doubt it. The inauguration would be a serious challenge for agent orange. Ah but there is many a slip betwixt the lip and the cup anything could go wrong. Down ballot I suspect will be good for the democrats regardless of the presidential vote at least I hope so. The discontent is palpable so maybe a change is coming?
    a new Sharif in town?
    uncle frogy

  10. wzrd1 says

    @1, Ray Ceeya, I dunno. I remember when she was prosecutor, at a trial for a man who gunned down a law enforcement officer, her refusal to seek the death penalty set off years of the FOP sniping at her at every opportunity.

    As for Biden, a cute Twitter meme came out recently.
    An honest comparison of the physical capabilities of Trump vs Biden.
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1292217829836705793

  11. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    The only thing I really know about her is that her office argued in court in California that they need to keep people in jail longer to have more practical slave labor prisoners to fight fires. On just that alone, I voted her down / voted for the other dem on the California ticket.

    Government prosecutors are the most corrupt group of people in this country. I would be surprised if she was not scum.

    Still voting for Biden and her.

  12. Reginald Selkirk says

    @8 agirlushouldknow: but she isn’t a lot better than Trump in a lot of ways.

    Oh puh-LEASE! The problems with Trump do not all show up in his stated policy positions, which are useless because he has contradicted himself on nearly every issue. If you have lived through the last 3.5 years and you don’t understand that having a raging immoral narcissist who surrounds himself with sycophants and enablers, who hates the free press, checks and balances, the rule of law and has complete disdain for the constitution; then no, you are not a girl I should know.

  13. says

    @8 Thank you for the comprehensive list!

    @12 “Debunked” or is that just desperate maneuvering to “explain” why we shouldn’t believe what’s right in front of us.

    @14 Yes, Trump’s issues are very much different than Harris’. That doesn’t make her a saint.

  14. xdrta says

    Did someone say she was a saint? I must have missed that. A lot of people don’t seem to realize that the most important thing is not the individual, in particular the VP, but the fact that competent, professional people will be put in charge of things like the EPA, the Justice Department, the Post Office, Education, etc., rather than the people who have been attempting to destroy the very departments they are charged with leading. At least for some this is the most important factor. Not the minutiae of who is the VP or even the president.

  15. anarchobyron says

    Being competent in a corrupt and/or amoral institution, is hardly a selling point. I know a competent hangman. So we should have and hire hangmen?

    Please.

  16. jws1 says

    @15: So…you didn’t read it because you knew it would give the lie to a conclusion you cherish.

  17. consciousness razor says

    rpjohnston’s link in #12 brought up five claims/issues.

    Only two of those (regarding ICE and truancy) were among the dozens of items mentioned in agirlushouldknow’s #8.

    Two is not “several.” And neither of those was debunked. In both cases, what the page does say about it is just a bunch of noise. The evidence I can find suggests those were in fact her positions, and no amount excuses/distractions, like “but other people had a role to play too,” will change that.

    And how about the twenty-something other items? Crickets.

  18. jws1 says

    Seems to me several of the claims are combined into one claim in the article. Seems like a leftists’ Gish gallop.

  19. rpjohnston says

    @ razor What about the other items?

    I said several, not all, because several were addressed, not all. And also “all” won’t and can’t be debunked, because her record isn’t perfect. She has many issues which is why she wasn’t in my top list of supports. But “perfect” isn’t what I’m going for or care about because this isn’t about defending my ego to me the way it is to you. Since my goal is to actually see a better world come into fruition what matters to me is reality and what plays are available within it.

    The fact that you expected me to be taking a position that she’s flawless and all claims against her must be stamped down, the way you do with whatever figure such as Bernie you seat your ego in, speaks volumes.

  20. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To whheydt
    Given the circumstances of today’s age of police abuse, couldn’t we get someone other than a government prosecutor, a class of persons who arguably even more corrupt and brutal than the police? Like, how about one of those Wall Street bankers that personally contributed to the great subprime mortgage collapse of 2007 – are one of those people available?

  21. xdrta says

    @n #17 anarchobyron

    “Being competent in a corrupt and/or amoral institution, is hardly a selling point. I know a competent hangman. So we should have and hire hangmen?
    Please.”

    My, my, aren’t we cynical. And clever. Might as well re-elect Trump, I guess, and enjoy another four years of death and destruction.

  22. consciousness razor says

    rpjohnston, #21
    That’s a big load of crap. I said what I said in #19. If you’re hallucinating some imaginary comment that I never wrote, you should see a fucking doctor.

  23. microraptor says

    @23: At some point, people might start to realize that “better than Donald Trump” is not a ringing endorsement but rather damning with faint praise.

  24. logicalcat says

    @26 microraptor

    Man ive been saying that for years. Since 2016. When i voted foe Clinton i didnt vote for sokeone better than trump. I voted for what’s good. I voted for the most progressive platform the dnc has ever in recent memory. It was undoubtably a good act. Same with Biden and Harris.

    No shame. I didnt “hold my nose” or any other bullshit. If you wait for the perfect candidate you get nowhere. Its funny that a lot of progressoves actions are designed to go nowhere.

  25. microraptor says

    logicalcat @29: Hillary actually had stuff on her platform that people were talking up as positive reasons to elect her for.

    Biden, on the other hand, really hasn’t been getting that treatment.

  26. vucodlak says

    @ logicalcat, #29

    It was undoubtably a good act.

    No, it was the absolute minimum basic standard for human decency. It was essentially the easiest test imaginable; easier by far than the competence test Trump has been bragging about passing.

    Hillary Clinton is a hardcore authoritarian status quo warrior, and the best friend of the wealthy scum who helped put us in the place we are now. That many among said wealthy scum were stupid enough to believe Trump would be better for them than Clinton just goes to show that being wealthy requires neither intelligence nor wisdom. She isn’t, and wasn’t, completely without merit, but she is very definitely one of the bad guys, in the same way Obama was. Better than Trump by every possible metric, but it’s difficult to imagine a lower bar. Don’t get me wrong- a lower bar does exist, and it will be the next Republican candidate for president (assuming Trump is ever banished from the White House), but it’s hard to imagine at this point.

    I voted for Clinton, and every Democrat on the ticket. I encouraged everyone I knew to do the same. It was a necessary evil, no more, no less. To claim that it is a good act to vote for evil people, people who…
    1.) murder others for the crime of being in the wrong place at the wrong time while being the wrong skin color
    2.) support massive, illegal, and intrusive spying on allies and their own citizens, while viciously punishing whistleblowers
    3.) allow criminals who destroy the economy to get off without so much as a slap on the wrist while viciously punishing those who protest that injustice
    4.) allow war criminals to get off without so much as a cursory investigation into their crimes because, hey, they might want to commit war crimes too (and they did)
    5.) allow assist the criminal, predatory health insurance industry in continuing to prey on their own citizens
    6.) use torture, full stop
    7.) abuse immigrants in ways we’d still be screaming for their heads over, if the Trump administration weren’t even worse
    8.) this list should in no way be taken as a comprehensive accounting of the evils of the previous administration
    …is to invalidate the very concept of “goodness.” I don’t demand “perfection,” but I do have some standards for those I call “good,” and torturers are right out. I voted for Clinton because the only options were to vote for bad, or for much, much worse.

    Your actions are the ones designed to go nowhere. Because it’s not your ass getting blown up, dragged off to some blacksite and tortured, deported back to a place where your horrific murder is all but assured, you can call it “good.” It’s because you, and millions of voters just like you, feel “no shame” for that sort of monstrous evil that we’re in this wretched place to start with.

    I voted for Clinton because I’m too much of a coward to do what should be done. The evil would have continued under her, less than it is now, but utterly evil nevertheless. I am deeply ashamed because I understand all that, and still I did only the absolute bare minimum. I’ll do the same with Biden and Harris this November, though I have no illusions about the results, or that my hands will be clean afterwards.

    There’s nothing good or noble about voting for lesser villains, and I will share responsibility for the suffering they will cause.

    As will you.

  27. says

    @8 agirlushouldknow
    While that is an exceptionally long list, not a single one of those sources is one I would trust implicitly. I will admit I didn’t read all of them, but the ones I did read are editorials. Editorials are not evidence, they are opinions. You start with Huffpo and move on to several other sites that are long on opinion and short on facts. You want to play this game, give me something from the AP or Reuters or FFS even CNN. Then right in the middle of everything you link to a TWITTER THREAD! Seriously, you need to work on your fact checking skills, because at least 3/4 of those links are complete garbage. Hell, I’d trust BuzzFeed more than half of those “news” outlets. Read the bylines, one of those articles from The Nation is from 2004, 16 years ago. You’re spamming news that’s either from very biased sources or incredibly out of date.

    Sorry to bust your chops, but this is exactly how actual fake news (not DJT “fake news”), spreads.

  28. says

    Let me be quite clear: I hate a number of things that Harris has done and a number of positions she’s taken in the past.

    THAT SAID: when you’re considering all the bad crap in the list presented by girlushouldknow, consider that it is, quite literally, harder for women of color to get elected in the USA than for a white man with the exact same resume and political positions. A LOT harder. You can only rock the boat so much and still be electable because of the way the USA’s plutocratic electoral system operates. Black skin rocks the boat. Being female rocks the boat. Being a woman rocks the boat. That leaves Harris dramatically less room to rock the boat and still get elected. She has to take conventional positions on a number of issues to get to the position where she might be considered as a VP candidate.

    In other words, white men are allowed to be more liberal and still get elected than black women are.

    This does not excuse those positions in any way…

    HOWEVER: the only way to normalize the election of women of color is to elect women of color. The more Black women and Asian women and mixed-race women we have as POTUS or VPOTUS or SCOTUS Justice or Senate Majority Leader or Speaker of the House or SecState or SecDefense, the less merely being Black, merely being Asian, merely being mixed-race, or merely being a woman rock the damn boat.

    Every woman of color we elect makes it easier to elect the next woman of color. Every woman the senate confirms to those precious few high offices makes it easier to confirm the next woman of color. Every single woman of color who takes up one of these offices makes the next woman of color a little bit more free to take up left-wing causes of justice that would otherwise be represented in the halls of power only by white men.

    I’ve fought for trans* rights for more than 25 years now. I’m appalled at her positions on trans* health care and on prisoner health care more generally. I’m disgusted that she seeks to imprison innocent people to save face for the flawed human beings who work within the justice system rather than openly embracing the ideal that embarrassing justice is so much better than face-saving injustice that there should be no difficulty choosing what’s best for our country and our community.

    But I’m also not naive enough to think that her anti-health care, anti-prisoner, anti-justice, pro-punishment positions are somehow right wing. They are the status quo we’re trying to fight, but they are the status quo. They are conventional positions in the contemporary United States. I feel the wounds acutely because she has targeted me and people I care about, but even in my pain I am sufficiently clear-headed to say this:

    If we ever want a multi-cultural democracy where a woman of color, maybe even a queer or trans woman of color, can hold our highest offices while advocating justice over punishment, health care over tax cuts, prisoners over profits, then we sure as fuck need to elect Kamala Harris. We need to elect so many goddamned Kamala Harrises that they seem positively boring. We want to elect so many that conservatives whine about the good old days when the President exempted all assets under USD$100,000,000 from the wealth tax instead of just $50,000,000, subsidized rural electrical self-sufficiency, compensated for-profit prison companies when drug law reform caused their prisons to run unprofitably below capacity, and even wore a flag pin proudly on her lapel. We want them to forget that they used to oppose any wealth tax, that they thought solar panels were tyranny until the feds helped rural homes run electric-bill free and immune to black outs, that our federal prison population in 2040 is less than 1/3 of what it was in 2020, and that flag pins are just symbols.

    When we accomplish that, then we can get the 85 million votes we’ll need to elect a Black woman POTUS who’s policies are to the left of Sherrod Brown and whose passion is more powerful than Bernie Sanders and whose voice, when crying out against miscarriages of justice, is more shrill than Hillary fucking Clinton’s.

    We need Kamala Harris desperately; the fact that she’s a conventional politician only proves how much.

    And this is the perfect year for her as well. You can’t put Bernie on the ticket with Biden and get a left-wing White House. Biden is still gonna Biden. You sure as hell can’t reelect Trump. But you can put a Black woman’s skin in front of the country as the every day appearance of one of the USA’s leading political figures. You can send the message, repeatedly for at least 4 years, that Vice President Kamala Harris is what power looks like. You can help normalize granting power to women of color to the point where our media, our Senate, our democracy, our boat is not rocked off balance by the few hectograms of mass found in two black tits.

    You may hate it. I don’t like it, but the USA is so fucked up that electing this Black/Indian Californian prosecutor who defended bad crime labs and opposed basic health care is actually a really, really, really good fucking thing for the country.

    Even I’m not white enough to fail to recognize that.

  29. says

    @Ray Ceeya:

    Read the bylines, one of those articles from The Nation is from 2004, 16 years ago. You’re spamming news that’s either from very biased sources or incredibly out of date.

    I’m not going to engage on most of this stuff – either from girlushouldknow or from you – because I’d rather let me comment #33 stand on this topic, but I can say that there’s a huge difference between presenting only old sources and presenting sources that date to a wide range of years from decades ago to the present year. One is not giving credit for potential growth and change, but the other is demonstrating that recent behavior isn’t a fluke and represents a long-standing pattern, which presents a different issue than bad behavior that all dates to the last couple months.

    So while I think the election of Harris is necessary and good, I wouldn’t criticize girlushouldknow for including sources with a wide range of dates, including very old ones. A list of sources across a period of time provides its own sort valuable data.

  30. velociraptor says

    David Gerrold sez:

    The job of the president is to be a competent manager of the nation’s business.

    You don’t have to like Vice President Joe Biden, you’re not marrying him. But he will be a competent executive.

    You don’t have to like Senator Kamala Harris. You’re not marrying her either. But she will be a competent vice president.

    If we are going to trust Joe Biden as president, we must also trust his judgment in picking his VP.

    The alternative is four more years of national insanity — something that our Constitution cannot endure or survive.

    So if you start wallowing in all the reasons why you think Vice-President Joe Biden or Senator Kamala Harris aren’t good enough for you, because this or that or the other thing — then I have only one thing to say to you, STOP IT!

    First of all, unicorns are mythical creatures. There aren’t any.

    Secondly, there is no white knight on a white horse, carrying the ring of truth, the shield of virtue, and the sword of justice. There’s just ordinary human beings — committed despite their flaws to doing the best they can.

    Third, It’s either Vice-President Joe Biden or Donald Trump. That’s the choice. The only choice. Everything else is surrender, resignation, abnegation, and the enabling of a disaster.

    And finally, none of us have access to all of the information, all of the advice, all of the advisors, all of the calculations that have to be weighed in the coming campaign. No matter how much any of us might assume that we know better than Vice-President Joe Biden, we do not.

    Vice-President Joe Biden has access to every top Democrat in the nation. He has access to President Barack Obama as a close friend and supporter. He has access to some of the most skilled and knowledgeable people in the nation.

    Biden has two challenges. The first is winning the election. The second is the bigger job — managing the disaster that he will inherit on January 20th.

    But he cannot do anything about that bigger challenge unless he wins the election. All this chatter about this and that and the other thing only serves the Republican efforts to keep the Democratic party from uniting. Don’t do it!

    Wait until the inauguration, then draw up your shopping lists, write your letters, make your phone calls, push as hard as you can for your issue.

    But if he doesn’t win the election, don’t bother, because no one in this current badministration is going to lift a finger to help anyone who doesn’t have a million dollars to contribute.

    This is the only train that leads to January 20th. There are no other trains. Get on board this train, or shut the fuck up.

    Because if we needed to learn anything from 2016, this is it.

    /rantoff

    (The above is not an invitation for an argument. Trust me on this.)

    (And yes, I am a cranky old man. I am especially cranky when the Constitution of the United States of America is under attack.)

  31. logicalcat says

    @31

    Voting for Clinton would have meant that two democratic wins back to back and would have forced the republican party to the left in order to compete. An undoubtably good act because this is how you change things for the better. Not doing this is the reason neoliberals exost in the first place. Young Hillary was progressive. Her and her husband had to change to be politicaly competitive and it stuck because the left continue to trick themselves out of the game.

    Also i know Hillary supported some dumb shit but i also know there was a successful smear campaign making her out to be more evil than she actually is. Wising up to that is part of why i abandoned the progressive movement (not completely abandoned).

    One thing we do agree on, voting for Hillary was the easiest intelligent test. And a lot of people failed.

  32. logicalcat says

    Also vucodlak, talking about not me not putting my ass on the line? Im an EMT with comorbitities dealing with a pandemic. A pandemic that i have no dount Hillary would have better handled.

    Me not having any shame for voting for hillary is not becaise i dont care about the lives lost. Its because its working for something larger. Hillary’s hypothetical evilness from her presidency means nothing next to the very real fact that we have the politicians we have because the left are inept. And pretending that Clinton is Darth Vader when shes not buys into it.

  33. birgerjohansson says

    A comment about how clueless people are in the ‘other side’.
    David Webb has an opinion piece in The Hill where he attacks the never trumpers and the Lincoln Project. I have no sympathy for the Republicans in the Lincoln Project, but when Webb praises wossname (who works in the government) , who is married to a dude that criticizes her boss the presodent (you know who I mean even if I forgot the name), Webb loses all credibility. People who work for the president by now knows he is a sociopath and they are either kooks like Stephen Miller or opportunists like….most of them, I guess.
    These people seem to have their ‘eyes wide shut’.

  34. birgerjohansson says

    Also about the other side.
    First Trump made base remains about Kamala Harris.
    Then he went after Bill Maher after he had a mock euology over Trump, ignoring the Streisand Effect. Of course, Maher did not miss the opportunity to make a scathing remark about Trumps priorities…..
    Republicans who genuinely think Trump is great after daily reminders of his stupidity are truly cultists.

  35. KG says

    From today’s Guardian:

    The Oakland activist Cat Brooks prefaced her thoughts on the VP pick with this tidbit: “In 2016, I said it doesn’t matter if it’s Trump or Hillary, life in America will suck for Black people no matter what. I’ll be the first to say I was very, very wrong.”
    “Priority No 1 is getting Trump out of the office,” Brooks continued. “But we can walk and chew gum at the same time. I’m not going to support Kamala because I think she’s an amazing person. I’m not going to support her because she’s a black woman. I owe my loyalty to the Black people she spent years prosecuting, but I think from an organizing perspective, [supporting her and Biden is] the most strategic thing to do.
    “I think a lot of people need to get off their political high horses and need to get down to business with getting Biden into office and then get down to business with how we hold Biden and Harris accountable,” she said.

  36. says

    All I see is a supremely tone deaf choice of a cop in a nation with anti-police protests going for the last 70+ days, and was underwater with black folks in the primary, last I checked.

    As it stands, the only conclusion to be drawn for me is to hunker down and wait for the nightmare from down south to boil over because it is abundantly clear that none of the the reforms needed to stop that happening in your country are on the table, as has been signaled and continues to be signaled abundantly, and it will be extremely funny, in the unlikely event of a Biden win, watching the commentator try and massage them taking the same policy with protesters as Trump did, but possibly better executed as good.

  37. says

    birgerjohansson @ #38:

    have no sympathy for the Republicans in the Lincoln Project, but when Webb praises wossname (who works in the government) , who is married to a dude that criticizes her boss the presodent (you know who I mean even if I forgot the name), Webb loses all credibility.

    Kellyanne Conway?

  38. KG says

    All I see… – Captain Jeep-Eep

    Which is of course, precisely what’s wrong with you. People who are actually dealing with the looming catastrophes you just smug off about – like the activist quoted @41 – are able to see more than one thing at a time.

  39. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Cap’n Jeep-eep: “All I see is…”

    All you see is the inside of your colon.

  40. says

    For better or worse, given the current polls and Joe Biden’s age, Kamala Harris may very well be the first woman to be president of the USA.

  41. vucodlak says

    @ logicalcat, #36

    Voting for Clinton would have meant that two democratic wins back to back and would have forced the republican party to the left in order to compete.

    No, it would mean the Republicans might pick someone who doesn’t say the quiet parts quite as loudly, although in all likelihood they’d pick someone who said them even louder and ramp up the voter suppression.

    This idea that the Republican Party would have moved left if Clinton had won flies in the face of all the available evidence. Even if Clinton had won, unless we’d also retaken the House and Senate the Republicans would have no absolutely no reason to change. You can’t blame the Democrats losses in those areas on the Electoral College- that’s down to Republican voter suppression, Republican lies and propaganda, and Democrats’ piss-poor campaigning abilities.

    Republicans cannot suddenly slide to the left without losing their voters, and so they will not move left for any reason. Hell, they lost big in 2018, and they’ve only doubled-down and moved further right. There is nowhere else for them to go.

    The Democrats are the ones who can move left, and they’re also the ones who resist it with every fiber of their beings.

    From your #37:

    Im an EMT with comorbitities dealing with a pandemic.

    When you’re responding to a call for victims of a drone strike, and hoping like hell to get out of there before the “double tap” kills you too, that will become relevant to the points I’ve made.

    A pandemic that i have no dount Hillary would have better handled.

    Well, no shit. Point to anywhere I’ve said otherwise. You’ll have to ignore all the times where I’ve pointed out (on threads about the pandemic, or on a thread where I once again voiced my reluctant support for Biden a few days ago) that any reasonably competent politician would have handled the pandemic much, much better. You’ll also have to ignore all the places where I’ve said Clinton is leagues better than Trump by any reasonable metric, or the part where I voted for her and tried to encourage every voter I knew to do the same.

    But guess what! All the good things politicians do (or would have done) do not cancel the evil. Nobody forced Obama to do the shit I listed- he made the deliberate choice to do evil, and millions suffered for it. Clinton chose to run on doubling down on everything Obama did. She made it clear that she’d continue the war on whistleblowers, the drone strikes, the torture, the anti-immigrant policies, the spying, serving the rich at the expense of the rest of us, the wretched healthcare policies…

    I didn’t get any of that from some sort of ebil leftist ‘smear campaign,’ either. I got it straight from Clinton’s mouth. When the primaries started in 2016, I didn’t particularly care whether it was Clinton or Bernie who won the nomination. I was impressed with both going in, and had high hopes that they would improve over the previous 36 years of shitshows.

    I remember the exact moment I started to pay more attention to what she was really about: it was the first debate, when they got to the question about Snowden and spying on US citizens. It would have been so easy for her to say something like “I don’t agree with the way he did it, but we should look into some of the issues he brought to light.” Instead, her response (the clearest she gave that night) was all about how Snowden was the Enemy who must be punished severely, and not a single word about the illegal, abusive behavior of US intelligence agencies. It was literally a jaw-dropping moment for me.

    I paid very close attention to her from that point forward, and she made it abundantly clear that she intended to continue the worst excesses of the Obama administration.

    Nowhere have I denied that Clinton would have been far better than Trump. As I said, I voted for her and supported her. However, I didn’t do it because supporting her was a good act. I did it because the only other option on the ballot was an even greater evil. I chose the lesser evil knowing full well that, whatever the outcome of the election, there would be more evil in the world afterward. You don’t get to choose an evil then call it “good” just because the other evils were greater.

    Its because its working for something larger

    A great comfort to those tortured and murdered by the previous administration, I’m sure. Don’t worry, children, we’ll build a better future on your bones.

    Except we won’t even do that. You know what pisses me off about this more than any other part of it? The lie. We’re not building something better. None of the people destroyed in our name were standing in the way of a better future, of your “something larger.” They were destroyed for the sake of some rich fuck’s payday, a payday they turned around and used to make the world better solely for the sake of other murderous rich fucks and worse for the rest of us.

    And it’s all so unnecessary. If Obama had stopped doing all the shit on that list, our country wouldn’t be one bit the worse for it. Hell, we’d be better. That’s what makes it so thoroughly irredeemable- you can’t even legitimately argue that it had to be done. There never comes a time when we have to torture anyone and, in fact, it’s counterproductive to do so, but we did it anyway. That’s evil in its purest form.

    You’re not wrong- we are building something larger. When we can’t even acknowledge the evil done in our name, we’re building a larger evil. Calling that evil a “greater good” doesn’t magically make it so.

  42. kalmera says

    So I have been losing my mind over this for 20 minutes and I need to know. Did consciousness razor edit their comments or are Rpjohnston and WMD kitty insane? I have re-read the thread over and over and can find nothing to suggest razor ever said anything about perfection anywhere? Yet they both insist otherwise. And no one has said WTF, razor never said that.

  43. logicalcat says

    @Vucodluk

    Your ridiculous wall of text is built on a bullshit strawman about how i dont care about the evils done with the democratic party when i do care and you will never find examples of me saying that i dont. The opposite actually. Ive argued ad nauseum to do exactly that and hold their actions responsible. Its just that my method of doing that is to get the left to actually use their voting power to do so instead of whinging. This is why a vote for Hillary was a vote for good. Prior to the general i supported Bernie who was even better. Ask me again how i dont care? Because i clearly fucking do.

    All those drone strikes are as much on them leftists as it is on the democrats. They shifted to the right because they dont have a pool of loyal left wing voters so they cater to cemter right where the majoroty of votes are. Simple math. The ones whinging the most about the evils of hillary were the same ones enabling it.

    Trying to say that i dont care about victims of drone strikes because my body is not on the line is a bullshit red herring designed to paint me in the most negative light. And its dishonest because i do care and never said I didnt nor even implied it. Thats why i voted hillary because like i said getting a party to win elections is how you force them in a desired direction. This already happened when the republicans shifted left before the cold war and the democrats shifted right after the cold war. And the opposite party shifted in their voter base’s direction accordingly. And it was done by voting strategically. You can deny history all you want it wont change a thing. Voting for her was unequivably good regardless what a man who is not even her did (shes not Obama). In short our democrats are center right because the center right is the most loyal voting base for them. I want to change that. And that involves getting more leftists to vote democrat. And theres no shame in trying to accomplish that. It is good.

    Sorry for bad grammar and spelling i have spellcheck off on my phone.

  44. logicalcat says

    @48

    You cant edit comments in this site. Also commenters are probaly talking about comments said by razor in the past. I dont know. To me cr is not as bad as vicar or Mno.

  45. kalmera says

    Thank you LC. It just felt like a bully tactic to say “we ALL saw what you wrote” as if they speak for all of us; forcing me to speak out or be spoken for

  46. rpjohnston says

    CR’s specific sentence was “And how about the twenty-something other items? Crickets.”

    To reiterate: I specifically didn’t address all of them, I addressed, using this word deliberately, “several”. CR challenged me to address all of them – which I deliberately did not do – because CR was operating in the context of Sanders dead-enders, who hinge their ego in the unassailable righteousness of their candidate, and that isn’t a context I have any interest in wrt to Harris.

  47. consciousness razor says

    I also said nothing about Sanders, my ego or unassailable righteousness. That shit’s apparently relevant to you, but not me. The point of my comment was that those things weren’t debunked by your bullshit link, which means your claim in #12 is wrong. That’s it. There was nothing unclear or ambiguous about it. It’s just what I said, and I’m sure you didn’t have trouble understanding that.

    You wouldn’t have to make a big deal out of it, you know. But maybe it doesn’t matter what I actually say, so don’t mind me. Keep pulling fake psychoanalysis out of your ass, if you really have nothing better to do.

  48. kalmera says

    I hear ya CR I have seen a lot of that attitude here since Sanders dropped out. A lot of people hate that they have no choice but to vote for a rapist since Trump is a prolific rapist besides all his other issues, and they take it out on us for reminding them what they have to do. Its what prompted me to speak up. Stop blaming CR and the others they didn’t cause this. It was caused by your governments structure if there are only two parties why would they ever serve you? Maybe take a page out of Canada’s book and establish a government with checks and balances. Our Leader is caught in a scandal he can be removed in a day. Simple yes no vote on the commons floor. This is a war and CR has your back whether you like them or not.

  49. logicalcat says

    Kamala in a two party structure the parties serve the will of the voters because they are locked into voting. Most voters are either very right wing or centrist. We are in this position because the left dont vote. I dont remember enoigh about CR to blame him but I do blame myself when I used to be one of those non voters and I blame others who pretend that voting is useless and amoints to nothing.

  50. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Stop seeing voting in the final election as the ultimate and only expression of democratic power. Start voting in the primaries, at a minimum. Volunteer for your preferred candidates. Go door to door. Get out the vote. Be active in your state Democractic party steering committee or whatever to change it for the better. The change we all want is not going to come from only how we vote in the final election, and the group of people who are pretending that the final election vote is enough, the protest-voting side, is delusional and incredibly harmful.

    PS: Voting in the final election is still really important. It’s necessary. It’s just not sufficient.

  51. vucodlak says

    @ logicalcat, #49

    Your ridiculous wall of text is built on a bullshit strawman about how i dont care about the evils done with the democratic party when i do care and you will never find examples of me saying that i dont.

    From your original comment on this thread, #29:

    Man ive been saying that for years. Since 2016. When i voted foe Clinton i didnt vote for sokeone better than trump. I voted for what’s good. I voted for the most progressive platform the dnc has ever in recent memory. It was undoubtably a good act.

    If I take your word that you care about the torture, the murders, the spying, the abuse of immigrants, etc. then the logical conclusion to draw from that, in light of your original comment, is that you believe those are good things.

    I don’t think that’s what you are actually trying to say.

    Let me be clear about terms: You CANNOT be a good person and a supporter of torture, of the murder of civilians, and so forth. It’s a simple binary. Clinton is a supporter of those things, therefore Clinton cannot be one of the ‘good guys.’ She was in a position of power where she could have stopped them, could have counseled against their use, and she did the opposite. She condoned their use as, at best, a necessary evil.

    You can’t just vote for the good things Clinton has and might have done. You have to take the whole package, evil included, and you own responsibility for the evil those candidates do along with the good.

    All those drone strikes are as much on them leftists as it is on the democrats.

    Yes, and? I accept my culpability for the evil I enable. When I vote for evil people, the blood they spill stains my hands as well. I vote for them, fully conscious of just exactly what I am voting for, and I know damn well it is not a righteous act. It is an act of craven surrender to an evil I’m unwilling to confront directly.

    To call anything about that “good” is as disgusting as it is offensive.

    They shifted to the right because they dont have a pool of loyal left wing voters so they cater to cemter right where the majoroty of votes are.

    They shifted to the right because their core voters tell themselves they’re Good People voting for Good People. They’ve shifted to the right because, even as those Good People they vote for torture and murder, as they rob entire nations and generations, those voters still call it Good to vote for them.

    Both groups having so thoroughly debased the concept of goodness, why should the Democratic pols ever aspire to be anything more than thieves?

    Yes, the left is partly to blame for that, because we vote for the fuckers anyway. Contrary to what you claim with your tedious leftist bashing, the Democrats couldn’t do a damn thing without the support of the left. We vote for the evil, the difference being that we generally see it for what is, and we recognize that supporting villains makes us complicit in their villainy.

    That’s ultimately all I’m saying- We. Are. The. Baddies. That’s me, and it’s damn well you, too. For all the evil that we consent to having done in our name by voting for the (lesser) villain, we’re all villains too. I really don’t care if you’re willing to admit that to yourself, but I’m damn sure going to push back any time I see anyone pushing the garbage narrative that supporting mass murderers and torturers is a good thing that makes us good people. Nope.

  52. kalmera says

    Sorry LC but your logic doesn’t hold up. Your two parties are just taking turns serving their corporate masters. You need a viable third party or there is no incentive to follow the will of the people because the worst case scenario for them is they have to wait 8 years for the people to get tired of the other party and want a change. Its so weird looking at America from without. Its almost as if rich white men designed a system to disenfranchise anyone but rich white men.

  53. logicalcat says

    @Vucodlak

    To put it simply. Voting to push the party to the left is undeniably good in the long run. In 2016 that action involved voting for Clinton. Im not ignoring the bad or absolvong myself of the responsibility of it. Im making a practical descision because the alternative is foolish and also wrong. And that practical descision is good. It doesnt mean you should ignore the bad. I am however advocatong for strategic use of that criticism.

    I dont think we are arguing this particular part anymore. I think I just fucked up in communication or you did in misinterpretation. Probaly the former as i wrote these comments during down time at work.

    One thing is for sure, no, the democrats dont need us. We dont vote. I am left. Was left wing independent for years untill now. The bashing is tedious but I dont care cuz im fucking right. We dont vote. Maybe you did but most of us dont. And because we dont they have no need to cater to our issues and core beliefs. This is literal history of the party which you continue to ignore. I know. I was one of them. You think i vote democrat? Lol no. Not until now at least, because I know how useless we leftists were and aparently still are. The democratic party is malleable just like the republicam party is. We can change it to a force for good. But we wont, because we are either too stupid or dont care.

    I only ever voted for the lesser evil twice by my count. Will do it again for a third time. But all the time I didnt vote when I was an independant? Thats a greater evil. Never did I believe I wasn’t complicit in the atrocities that happened in my country. If in fact i pretty much do to leftists what you are doing to me right now. Show them that they are the baddies too. Because way too many complicit privleged dipshits were taking the moral high ground against Clinton in 2016 when they shouldnt be.

    @GerardofTitanServer

    Your right. Primaries is more important. I like to use the tea party as an example of a third party taking over the establishment and rebuilding it to meet their needs. When those right wingers lost the general, they voted local and in the primaries and won. I want leftists to do the same but they are more concerned woth playing purity politics than taking action. But its clesr that the road to the general lay with the primaries.

    @kamala

    Woth all due respect my logic is sound and yours does not. The largest voterbase is centrist. Either leaning right or leaning left. The left leaners vote for party A and the right leaners vote for party B. A third party by definition appeals to radicals. Lets call this party C.

    Party C appeals to radicals like I said. Lets just say that party C appeals to left leaning radicals. Well, wheres the right leaning radials? They are voting for party B. This means that party B has the support of right leaning centrists and block of loyal radicals. This amounts to more votes for party B than party A because the left radocals would rather waste their vote on party C. Party C cannot compete because they alienate the centrists and are by themselves. Party A also cannot compete because they dont have enough votes as party B. A third would just do nothing. It would effectively turn our country into a de facto one party state.

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