Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Forbidden Topic

This is not about obscene, bigoted rap stars or even about an opportunistic presidential candidate.

 Politico's Christopher Cadelago details the journey taken by Luther “Luke” Campbell, described as "the former 2 Live Crew frontman and 'original bad boy of hip-hop,'" from being a vicious critic of Kamala Harris to a supporter of her presidential campaign.

Campbell originally had slammed Harris because she "has let black people know they can’t count on her.” However, after severe pressure from several quarters, Campbell warmed up to the Senator and after being contacted by Harris and talking about recidivism of drug offenders (they're opposed), black home ownership  (they''re supportive), and guns (they're supportive, and you read that right), Campbell was won over. 

It's heartwarming to know that Harris is now endorsed by a guy who emphasizes "I get so sick of that shit. 'Oh, I'm for everybody.' No, you black. You need to be for us." The "us" of whom Campbell speaks may be a little more exclusionary than Harris wishes to acknowledge, given the artist's involvement in songs with such lyrics as

My mama and your mama was talking little shit
My mama called your mama a bulldagging ass bitch
I know your sister, and the bitch ain't shit
She slayed me and all the boys
And even sucked our dicks
Jack and Jill went up the hill to have a little fun
Jack got mad, kicked Jill in the ass

Fortunately, Harris probably (probably) doesn't approve of such lyrics, nor with the notion that all blacks must be "for" all blacks and presumably all whites "for whites." She's just another huckster.

Fortunately, Harris probably (probably) doesn't approve of such lyrics, nor with the notion that all blacks must be "for" all blacks and all whites "for whites." She's just another opportunistic huckster.(On a positive note, she's not Donald Trump, who is that and much, much more.)

But Campbell was right when, according to Cadelago, he "even suggested she used a romantic relationship with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to advance her career." How dare he "even" suggest such a thing? 

It could be because in 1994 the 30-year-old Harris, a county prosecutor with no medical assistance, started dating Brown, then the powerful Speaker of the California Assembly, who promptly appointed her to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board at $97,000 annually. After five months she resigned, receiving from Brown an appointment to the California Medical Assistance Commission (at $70,000 annually), though she had no medical background.

Harris was elected Attorney General of California in 2003 and no evidence has emerged that she ever showed professional favoritism toward the ethically-deficient Brown, who has stated "I have also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Nesom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a host of other politicians.” 

Still, it is a disservice to readers to spin criticism by writing that the critic "even suggested she used a romantic relationship with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to advance her career."  She did use her relationship with a powerful politician to advance her career. That does not make her an outlier among politicians.

This squeamishness about reporting the personal connections between powerful politicians and other public officials has more serious ramifications.  Yesterday brought the news,  perhaps not coincidentally from the same publication as wrote about Campbell/Harris that

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated Tuesday that he is willing to bring to the floor gun control legislation that President Donald Trump supports and could become law.

The Kentucky Republican told conservative talk show radio host Hugh Hewitt that the White House is reviewing different proposals in the wake of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, and that he expects to hear back next week about what Trump is willing to back.

“I said several weeks ago that if the president took a position on a bill so that we knew we would actually be making a law and not just having serial votes, I’d be happy to put it on the floor,” McConnell told Hewitt. “If the president is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it it’ll become law, I’ll put it on the floor.”

Sixteen paragraphs and thousands of words about the  obeisance of the powerful Senate Majority Leader, who proudly has called himself the "Grim Reaper,"to a rude and crude bigot and two words never even made it into the article.

Those two words are Elaine Chao, wife of the Kentucky senator.  McConnell's opposition to bringing gun safety measures to the floor unless Trump gives him permission owes to more than fear of the wrath of the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.  

Chao was tapped by President-Elect Donald Trump to be Secretary of Transportation and assumed the office  a mere eleven days after the inauguration.  It defies credulity to believe that McConnell's unyielding support of his wife's employer and of the latter's agenda, even praising the President hours after the latter dumped on him in August of 2017. is unrelated to his wife's position.

If fulfilling its responsibility, at every mention of the transportation secretary, the media would refer to "Elaine Chao McConnell" or at least to "Elaine Chao, wife of Senate Majority Leader McConnell."

More importantly- because Chao McConnell consistently stays out of the limelight and the news- Mitch should be described each time as "....., wife of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao."

Kamala Harris' relationship to Willie Brown, now completely out of office in California, probably does not bear on her political ideology or her  performance were she to be nominated and elected to the office of the presidency. Still, it is an important part of his biography.

Mitch McConnell's marriage to a Trump Administration cabinet head is not only critical to his biography. it is very likely a major factor in the the effort of President Trump to do serious damage to this country. It must not be ignored.

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