Patterico's Pontifications


Is Kamala Harris Proof That *Democrats* Aren’t Ready For A Woman Of Color As President?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:39 am

[guest post by Dana]

Fixed this for you, ABC News:

Maybe Democrats really aren’t ready for a woman of color to lead. I don’t know, I’m not a Democrat, but I’m not impressed with Harris in the exact same way I’m not impressed with any of the other 312 Democratic candidates running for office: their policies suck.

With that, however, it’s not really difficult to understand that Democratic voters may not favor Kamala Harris because her policy positions don’t fully reflect their own, or maybe her past history as a public official hasn’t inspired trust in her, or perhaps it’s because her continual pandering doesn’t convey any real sense of leadership. The lazy, default assumption by ABC News – that it must be an issue of gender/color keeping Harris from the top-tier – not only insults American voters but it also insults the candidate as well. And by assigning Harris victim status, ABC News is essentially claiming that Democrats are judging Harris on the color of her skin and her gender, and not on the content of her character, the quality of her work, the principles upon which she stands, nor the policies that she is promoting. Reducing Harris’s poor showing to designations beyond her control does not reflect any valuation of her as a determined American who is undertaking a massively difficult task, and instead reflects a blatant stereotyping that should be beneath any serious news organization. If Democrats don’t want Kamala Harris as their nominee, and judging from the polling data they don’t, then why assume it’s because she’s a woman of color? Why not give Democratic voters more credit than that, and why not give a woman of color more credit than that as well? Enough with the projection. After all, if another Democratic candidate, who also happens to be a woman of color, is willing to judge Harris strictly on her merits, how much more so should an allegedly serious and impartial news outlet:

In the July debate, fellow 2020 contender Rep. Tulsi Gabbard took aim at Harris’ record as attorney general of California. Gabbard, the only other woman of color in the race, said Harris “put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so.” The moment helped elevate Gabbard in the polls, and by fall she was outpolling Harris in some battleground states.

P.S. It must come as a shock to ABC News to learn that Democratic voters – including women of color – actually prioritize other things over gender and skin color when making their decisions about which candidate to support:

At the Essence Festival, one of the largest African American events in the country, Harris would double down on her pitch to black voters. But not all black women were on board with Harris. Alicia Jones, a Howard University alumna, told ABC News at the time, “I think that what she did was dirty. And I think she’s way beyond and way above what she did.”

“I felt like it was politicizing,” Jones, an African American, added. “And so at that point, that took the smart person who I thought she was and took it down a couple of notches.”

Jones, who hasn’t finalized her choice for the Democratic primary, told ABC News that race doesn’t play a factor in how she chooses to vote.

“Don’t think that I’m a vote for you just because you’re black,” she said. “I didn’t vote for Barack Obama just because he was black. I voted for him because he was smart. I voted for him because he had a record that showed me the things that he did. It didn’t matter that he was only a senator for five minutes.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


32 Responses to “Is Kamala Harris Proof That *Democrats* Aren’t Ready For A Woman Of Color As President?”

  1. ABC News is a joke.

    Dana (cb74ca)

  2. African-Americans voted as a bloc for Obama in 2008 because it was a necessary thing to do. The barrier needed to be cracked. It was a team thing, not a political thing, and African-Americans either loudly supported Obama or STFU.

    In 2012, the calculation was different, and Republican blacks came out squarely for Romney. I doubt that, going forwards, any ethnic group will have that same clear “team” need to back their guy or gal as African-Americans, given their history, felt in 2008.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  3. The young blacks in 2012 held their vote until election day, either to convey displeasure with Obama’s pace on certain issues or to toy with Republicans’ hopes, not unlike giving a pollster a fake response.

    urbanleftbehind (e1ebc1)

  4. Harris couldn’t figure out who she was and when she kind of settled on something it didn’t match who she’d been.

    Nic (896fdf)

  5. I agree, Nic. She obviously tried to be everything to everyone in order to gain more support. As a result, though, she really just came off as ineffectual, wishy-washy and shallow. And with so many other candidates selling the same brand more effectively because of their better PR skills, she deserves to be back-burnered.

    Dana (cb74ca)

  6. I know a lot of commenters here wonder why I am so enamored with My Little Aloha Sweetie, and aside from the obvious reason is the important fact that she pretty much single-handedly wrecked the candidacy of Intersectionality Bingo. I know some of you might scoff that Sen. Harris was eventually going to self-destruct anyway since she was running on nothing more than cheap demagoguery and left-wing platitudes, but Rep. Gabbard managed to distill the essence of the senator’s unctuous hypocrisy and deliver it in a very easy-to-understand way, and from that moment Sen. Harris’s campaign started its free fall. I think we all owe our island warrior princess an enormous debt of gratitude.

    If Joe Biden wins this thing he would be stupid not to name Tulsi Gabbard as his VP nominee.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  7. The replies to the ABC News tweet are awesome, by the way. I’m busy liking a whole bunch of ’em.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  8. @5 At the beginning, I had thought maybe she was going to go with a tough, law and order, middle of the road, pro unions kind of campaign, and I think that would have been more successful than what she did.

    Nic (896fdf)

  9. Harris was doing ok until tulsi gabbard( a real woman of color ) tore her apart. Former president obama said democrats running for office of president should tone down the leftist rhetoric at a meeting of rich establishment democrats because it was making wealthy democrats nervous and cutting down on his speaking fees.

    asset (18403a)

  10. Former president obama said democrats running for office of president should tone down the leftist rhetoric at a meeting of rich establishment democrats because it was making wealthy democrats nervous and cutting down on his speaking fees.

    Jeeze, the man has his $30 million book contract and his $90 million Netflix development deal. It doesn’t seem like he needs to give speeches at $1 million per pop. Isn’t he the guy who told us that “at some point you’ve made enough money”?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  11. Isn’t he the guy who told us that “at some point you’ve made enough money”?

    “You” being the operative word.

    dee nile (1d1ef0)

  12. Tulsi is nor so much a woman of color (she’s what, one-fourth Samoan, three-fourth European?) as she is a woman of choler. Now some guys might find those kind of women attractive, even fascinating, but they should keep them in rooms with all-leather furniture and strange rope and pulley attachments on the walls and ceiling, and not look to put them in the Oval Office.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. Oh nk, you rascal you.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  14. I admit that it’s not as meretricious as the man-crushes the corrupt criminal traitor Trump has on foreign despots and on war criminals both foreign and domestic.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. ABC News
    Is Kamala Harris proof that America isn’t ready for a woman of color as president?
    __ _

    Matthew Dempster
    Democrats don’t want her
    so it’s America’s fault.
    _ _

    Andrew Donaldson
    These headlines are so lazy. She wasn’t running for the American primary, she was running for the Democratic primary. Ask them, they are the ones that have not been enthused by her candidacy.
    __ _

    russ strickland

    Have they completely forgotten Elizabeth Warren?

    harkin (b5bb0f)

  16. “There’s a special place in hell for women of color who don’t support other women of color”, Hillary said as she removed her bottle of hot sauce from her purse.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  17. Pet peeve. It’s sex, not gender.

    NJRob (57185b)

  18. I like the way Candace Owens mind works.

    mg (ebf6c2)

  19. In 2010, when she ran for AG, I voted for the Republican running against her, despite the fact that he was going to defend Prop 8 and she wasn’t — because I thought her performance as DA of San Francisco had been seriously problematic and I was unwilling to vote for her for any law enforcement role.

    In 2014, I was out of state.

    In 2016, I did not vote for her in the primary and I don’t remember how I voted in the general. (Two democrats, I had serious problems with both and waffled back and forth between them for weeks, don’t remember where I ended up).

    I’m not voting for her in the primary.

    None of this is because she’s a woman of color. It’s because she’s one of those politicians who is clearly interested in power for its own sake, and who sees no difficulty in using the power of the state to oppress people.

    aphrael (971fba)

  20. JVW — a Biden/Gabbard ticket would get me to vote third party.

    aphrael (971fba)

  21. Harris is a terrible candidate. Its that simple. She basically got handed the Senate seat by the D establishment and she’s not likable. She’s a black Barbara Boxer. The question is: If Biden is nominated, or Bernie, who do they choose as VP. It has to be a woman, because that’s how the D’s roll. White male, must be balanced by female – preferably a POC. Harris could function as a good VP “attack dog” in the General election. Her campaign is a bust, but maybe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of her in 2019/2020.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  22. Tulsi G has no future as a D POTUS candidate. when your biggest supporters are old white men – you’re going nowhere in the D nomination race.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  23. Remember in 2008 when ABC said America wasn’t ready for a woman VP? Yeah, neither do I.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  24. Its actually disaffected young men in swing states, but yes, since Weld Walsh etc are mere footnotes, maybe they are dispatched to the D primaries to muck things up. In that case, dont do what illinois Rinos did with Obama’s senate race – they brought in Alan Keyes r rather than bring in oberweis or Ditka, that would be trying to out-brown the D’s for vp by swapping Pence for Haley.

    urbanleftbehind (e1ebc1)

  25. Cornfed Iowans seem to think so: Harris basically said she ‘moved’ there but CNN poll released tonight has Buttigeg at 25%, Warren at 16%… Joey Bee and the rest of the Rat Pack far behind, including Harris.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  26. No sweat, though DC, the farmy half of the Big Ten went for Snoopy but Bush I got the more populous rusty states.

    urbanleftbehind (e1ebc1)

  27. JVW — a Biden/Gabbard ticket would get me to vote third party.

    How about a Warren-Sanders ticket?

    And which third party?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  28. Harris is the AG who certified the availability of handgun “microstamping” — the printing of the gun serial number on each bullet fired. This triggered (npi) a state law that banned all new semi-autos from being approved for sale unless they had the microstamping feature.

    Problem is that microstamping was not available at the time and still remains impractical. But her simple assertion — even though it was a knowing lie — was enough for the CA Supremes to uphold the ban on approvals.

    This what is know in the vernacular as “a piece of work.”

    Kevin M (19357e)

  29. Perhaps even the Dems are disinclined to reward a mediocrity who slept her way to…where ever she is now. Heck, Willie Brown, the guy most responsible for her licking anywhere near the top of the greasy pole, is badmouthing her campaign.

    Bugg (ebf485)

  30. Aloha Sweetie / Sloth from The Goonies (re-elected tonight) 2020.

    urbanleftbehind (e1ebc1)

  31. So it would appear that ABC News took the tweet down. The link goes to a dead page now. Weenies.

    Dana (cb74ca)

  32. The article has also been altered:

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The headline has updated to reflect that Sen. Kamala Harris has addressed running as a woman of color for president. The story has updated to add additional context about Harris’ comments on race and equality, polling and additional historical notes.

    Dana (cb74ca)

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