Kamala Harris’s attack on Biden over busing was a bad move — for her and even more for the party
The news about the Democratic Party primary presidential campaign got steadily worse during the day, but I held back. But this latest development was the last straw: 1/30
Biden warns Democratic rivals he’s got ‘all this information about other people’s pasts’Joe Biden let slip that his campaign was collecting dirt on his rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.https://tinyurl.com/y59feuc4
So Joe Biden has bad stuff on the other candidates he’s running against. (Think Kamala Harris.) He’s threatened to unload on them. (Think Kamala Harris, and any other candidates unwilling to take his side against her.) 2/30
And who can blame him?
If the Ds form their infamous circular firing squad in this election and this leads to Trump’s reelection it will be Harris’s fault, because she initiated it. 3/30
If that does happen, Kamala Harris, who has been my favorite from the beginning, will never get my vote back. 4/30
As readers of this feed know, I do not refer here to Harris’s criticism of Biden for his self-congratulatory remarks about his having worked with out and out vicious racists like James Eastland and Strom Thurmond in the 60s and 70s. 5/30
That was pure Joe Biden: inept and obtuse. It would have been all that even if Biden had said: “If I can work with people like that, I can do anything.” Maybe that is what Biden meant, but he didn’t even put it that way. 6/30
Biden deserved to be slammed for that remark, but Harris went far beyond that in her criticism, and slammed Biden for his position on *busing*. And that was both unconscionable and a big strategic mistake — both for her campaign and much more importantly, for the D party. 7/30
It was unconscionable and a big mistake for a number of reasons. 8/30
First, of all, as Biden has pointed out, it misrepresented his position: he was never opposed to voluntary busing, which is the kind of busing that Harris benefited from when she was in school in Berkeley. 9/30
Secondly, it was a mistake because Harris appeared to defend *federally mandated forced* busing to cure de facto residential segregation.
There hasn’t been that kind of busing for over 40 years, and for a very good reason: 10/30
it proved to be wildly unpopular (with both black and white parents) and therefore *counterproductive* to the cause of civil rights, diversity, and the integration of communities. 11/30
So Harris is now having to backtrack. As several commentators today have noted, Harris has backed away from advocating mandatory busing, saying only that she favors voluntary busing as a possible tool. But as Biden said today, he’s never opposed that kind of busing. 12/30
Even worse, Harris has claimed that it is partly because busing was effective in the past that we are in a position today where we can use other remedies for racial segregation.
This is simply untrue as a matter of history. 13/30
Residential segregation by race remains one of the major problems in race relations in this country, but contrary to what Harris says, busing has never helped that problem. 14/30
On the contrary, it actually (provably) exacerbated the problem, because it led to white flight to the suburbs, away from urban areas with high minority minority populations, and hence resulted in even more racial segregation. 15/30
As commentators today have pointed out, Harris’s actual position on busing remains unclear at this very moment — and this even makes one question her political smarts and the political smarts of her campaign staff, because if there is one 16/30
golden rule in business and politics it is this: cut short your losses. But the press and her political opponents know she is vulnerable here. They smell blood in the water, and they are not going to let go of this issue. She needs to get this straightened out fast. 17/30
Perhaps worst of all, Harris planned her debate attack on Biden in the most cynical way, printing up “I was that little girl” T-shirts in advance (!) to capitalize on her self-serving take down of Biden. 18/30
And it turns out today that Harris’s attempt was almost certainly prompted by panic over her poor fundraising record. Her second quarter (July 15 deadline) FEC filings were published today, and they were disappointing. 19/30
Harris pulled in $12 million, compared with Buttigieg’s haul of $24.8 million; Biden’s of $21.5 million; and Sanders’s $18 million. 20/30
So apparently she and her campaign staff pushed the panic button. Hence the debate attack on Biden.
The Kamala Harris campaign crowed that it raised $2 million for her campaign within 24 hours of the debate, but just look at the cost. 21/30
As a result of Harris’s’ low-down debate tactic, Ds are now on the verge of engaging in a food fight with each other, instead of focusing all their energies on defeating the reelection bid of the worst and most destructive president in American history. 22/30
I think Harris knows she is in trouble. One piece of evidence of that is that she is still struggling to work out a position on busing that is saleable and will distinguish her position from Biden’s.
(Note to Harris: give it up. It won’t work.) 23/30
Another indication is that Harris seems to be engaged today in some kind of designer make-over.
I was surprised to see her in some pics and videos this morning wearing a white, gauzy, soft-looking white dress and her hair in a bun. 24/30
Has anyone seen Kamala Harris since she opened her campaign wearing anything even remotely resembling this outfit? (Most commonly, she appears in a Darth Vader-like black business suit with hair down to her shoulders.) 25/30
The only thing missing from the make-over today is a pair of wings to make her look like some kind of angel of mercy. 26/30
Having vented away, I will now post some of the things I saw online today that have set me off. 27/30
I begin with a devastating takedown of Joe Biden by T. A. Frank in Vanity Fair.
You couldn’t find a more unsympathetic article about Biden than this one. But even Frank doesn’t give Harris a pass on her use of busing to attack Biden. 28/30
Kamala Harris Exposes a Hard Truth About BidenBiden has always suffered from verbal incontinence and a lack of focused thought. Kamala’s debate night attack was about as spontaneous as Liberation Day in North Korea. But she also showed why she’s…https://tinyurl.com/y5mqy6m7
As Frank puts it at the end of his article: “There are many good reasons for Biden to lose the primary. What’s sad is that he’ll probably lose for the other ones” — one of the worst ones being Harris’s contemptible and inept busing attack. 29/30
And Frank fails to point out the very real damage that Harris’s busing attack is likely to do, not just to Biden, but to the Ds’ cause in defeating Trump in 2020. 30/30