Thursday, August 13, 2020

Vice President- Because, Not Despite

Though self-evident, it's still a bold statement:

Following the the announcement by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee on Tuesday, The New York Times reminded  us

In an attack that left Mr. Biden reeling, Ms. Harris outlined his history of working with right-wing Southerners in the 1970s to oppose busing as a means of integrating public schools. At the same time, Ms. Harris said, there was a little girl in California who was part of an early integrated class in her own school. “That little girl was me,” she said.

Mr. Biden offered only a sputtering response and, for a few weeks, his polling numbers dived. His political advisers were incensed at what they viewed as a cynical ploy, especially as she later struggled to articulate her own position on mandated busing; Jill Biden called Ms. Harris’s attack on her husband a “punch to the gut.”

Joe Biden, whom many people believe may not be able to function as a president for a full years, now has tapped Senator Harris for his running mate. It was more than a "punch to the gut," though, as Mrs. Biden told Chris Cuomo at the time

I think that they were looking at the past. I mean, the one thing you cannot say about Joe is that he's a racist. I mean, he got into politics because of his commitment to civil rights. And then to be elected with Barack Obama, and then someone is saying, you know, you're a racist?

Now Jill Biden fulsomely supports the woman whom she accused of calling her husband a "racist," a wise position given that the man who was accused of supporting segregationists against young black girls has bestowed a major honor upon Ms. Harris.

This selection is being heralded by Democratic politicians, Twitter warriors, and pundits on CNN and MSNBC as demonstrating the inner strength of Joe Biden, a willingness to govern with a woman who will stand up to him whenever she believes he is wrong.

That's nonsense, balderdash, or as Biden himself would put it in a different context, malarkey.

Strong is giving a fair chance to someone who criticizes your positions or even yourself respectfully. In the absence of a constitutional right to be a vice-presidential nominee, "strong" is not rewarding someone who has publicly humiliated yourself.

Harris linked her opponent to segregationists and to a desire to dash the hopes of young black girls- or as the opponent's wife put it, to being a racist himself.

Neither the charge of racism nor the accusation that a fellow Democrat has leveled the accusation should be made lightly.  Yet, Harris went ahead with it, and with the Instagram post which popped up immediately after the debate, and the "That Little Girl Was Me" t-shirts she sold the next day. Further humiliation. No expression of regret or of error was made, even when the Californian expressed a week later an opinion on school busing identical to that of the candidate she had mercilessly excoriated. 

Strength is not wanting to be embarrassed and subjected to shame, which- for reason(s) better left to psychologists- appears to be a Biden trait. Presumptive presidential nominee Biden did not fight back against Harris any more than as Senate Judiciary Committee chairperson he fought back against Republicans when they pilloried Anita Hill and sanctified the appallingly dishonest and ruthless Clarence Thomas.

Judge Thomas told Joe Biden he and his party were guilty of a “high-tech lynching.”  Senator Harris told Biden publicly and spectacularly that he wanted to dash the hopes of black children everywhere.  As a result (yes, as a result), one is on the US Supreme Court; the other Joe Biden tells us will be the next vice president of the USA. 

Dean Baker is correct- Democrats are required to be wimps. And why not? We've made one our party's nominee for President.


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