Friday, June 19, 2020

Dropping Out Of What She Was Never In

I am considering calling Commissioner Adam Silver of the National Basketball Association and advising him that I no longer want to be considered for the next NBA draft.

I'm too short to play professional basketball, maybe even as a point guard. And I run as fast as an average white man of 55 years of age, which is a little beneath my chronological age; but still. My jump shot never was very good. Nonetheless, I expect to be lauded because I stepped aside for the "many incredibly talented" young men whom teams could select.

If that seems a little silly- and it is- consider that, as Politico notes

Sen. Amy Klobuchar late Thursday said she personally called Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to advise he pick a woman of color as his running mate, effectively announcing the end of her vice presidential aspirations.

"I truly believe, as I actually told the vice president last night when I called him, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket," the Minnesota Democrat told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. "And there is so many incredibly qualified women."

Prior to that call, Amy Klobuchar had as much chance of being selected as Joe Biden's running mate as did I- or that Klobuchar had of being the first selection in the NBA draft.

Moreover, the odds of Biden (who long ago had said it would be a woman) choosing a black woman is roughly the same as that the first pick in the next (presumably April) NBA draft will have spent some time in college- or in high school.

It was nearly that great four weeks ago, before the killing of George Floyd, a black man crudely slayed on the streets of Minneapolis by a white police officer,, sparking an unprecedented string of massive protests focused on racial bias in policing. Although someone progressive a heartbeat from the presidency would have served, and would serve, the country well, the first order of business is to defeat Donald Trump.

That priority was understood well before Klobuchar made her empty gesture, and it was understood by most experts that the greatest electoral benefit in a running mate would be in someone black, whatever her ideology.

Once Floyd was killed and widespread support for the protests became evident, selection of someone black became imperative. Whatever Klobuchar's chances- and they were somewhere between zero and one percent- they slid to zero because, as the Politico writers understand

as protests over police brutality against African Americans erupted across the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, the traditional running mate calculus was altered. Klobuchar's credentials as a former prosecutor with a tough-on-crime record didn't sit well as her home state became a locus among protests and calls for structural change in law enforcement.

 Two other potential Biden picks, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Florida Rep. Val Demings, also have law enforcement backgrounds. However, both are black women, have more support among African-American leaders and have been more comfortable discussing issues of race, inequality and police brutality.

There are two relevant points there: 1) Klobuchar was a prosecutor and this is a point in time, perhaps unprecedented in American history, that such a qualification diminishes, rather than enhances, appeal; 2) other v.p candidates "have been more comfortable discussing issues of race, inequality, and police brutality."

That probably is not because of Harris/Demings/Klobuchar. The views expressed on this issue (issues?) have been nearly identical across the Democratic Party, whatever the ethnicity of the individual. Yet, as we all have witnessed in the media recently, blacks simply have been more comfortable discussing these issues than have whites.

Whatever the reason(s), that is an inescapable observation.  Oh, and there is this: if it weren't for African-American voters, Joe Biden would be back in his mansion in Wilmington, Delaware wondering how he could have entered three Democratic presidential races in his long political career and won zero(0) primaries or caucuses.

"Payback is a bitch," many people have said. In this case, payback is no bitch- but vital, and inevitable, whatever Amy Klobuchar wants us to believe..

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