Everyone in the political realm seemingly expects Biden to pick Kamala Harris as his running mate next week. Biden’s handlers committed to selecting a woman as his VP some time ago, and many people think his base, such as it is, will require a woman of color. The decision to pick a woman of color is an effort to redeem Biden as the party’s nominee.
The party that allegedly hates old white men somehow managed to choose an old white man who has been in Washington for 50 years and whose family has a long history of corruption not unlike the Clinton dynasty. On top of that, Biden is so old that there’s a non-zero chance that he will either croak or become completely incapacitated while in office. He absolutely cannot run for a second term, so he’d be a lame duck on day one. So voting for the VP is like voting for president this go around. But it simultaneously is like having someone who would not get elected to office on her own merits being propelled into office, not unlike ten or so vapid sitcoms Hollywood has cranked out in recent years. It’s a mess.
Most of the women on Biden’s short list have zero name recognition nationally. This is a major problem, because the campaign will have about 90 days to introduce the person who is not senile to the country and win the country’s trust. Can they do that with, say, the current mayor of Atlanta? Republicans will just run footage of rioters trashing luxury malls in the Atlanta suburbs in a continuous loop, and it will be quite effective, because most Americans actually like the concept of private property. And then there’s Susan Rice, who is mostly forgotten, but who will become re-known to Americans as the woman who blamed Benghazi on a YouTube video and who sent herself cryptic memos about the Russian conspiracy (that Americans are existentially exhausted with) on her way out of office, ostensibly to remind herself that everything was 100% above-board and absolutely nothing illegal happened, because that’s a totally normal thing to do.
Elizabeth Warren likes to think of herself as a woman of color, but she doesn’t count – and she’s a lunatic on top of that. And Black people appropriately loathe her, which kind of defeats the purpose of a diverse VP. Biden talked about naming Warren as Treasury Secretary, and that might be good for a 20,000-point drop in the DJIA. Even Barney Frank told Biden he was nuts, which he is.
Enter Kamala Harris. For those who have amnesia, Harris was the darling of the Democratic primary for like five minutes until everyone learned that she was a downright evil prosecutor, including to minorities who were unjustly convicted. I guess that has been forgotten now?
Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Remember that time when Harris concealed corruption in a police crime lab, which falsified data to get wrongful convictions, because to reverse all that would deprive her of her record (and thus political ambitions):
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris‘ office violated defendants’ rights by hiding damaging information about a police drug lab technician and was indifferent to demands that it account for its failings, a judge declared Thursday.
Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo stopped short of granting a request by more than 40 drug defendants that their cases be dismissed because of prosecutorial misconduct, saying that decision must be left up to the judges hearing their cases.
But in a scathing ruling, the judge concluded that prosecutors had failed to fulfill their constitutional duty to tell defense attorneys about problems surrounding Deborah Madden, the now-retired technician at the heart of the cocaine-skimming scandal that led police to shut down the drug analysis section of their crime lab.
Prosecutors, unable to vouch for the reliability of Madden’s work, have dismissed more than 600 drug cases since the scandal became public in February.
Madden testified at trials before leaving the lab in December. Under a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, district attorneys are obligated to hand over to the defense information about prosecution witnesses that could be used to challenge their credibility.
Madden was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence in 2008, which should have been reported to defense lawyers. Last fall, Harris’ lead drug prosecutor complained about Madden’s unreliability in a memo to her bosses, information that was also wrongly kept from the defense, the judge found.
Police have admitted they erred in not telling prosecutors about Madden’s conviction, and Harris’ office has acknowledged that it relied on police to volunteer such information without checking her criminal record.
Massullo wrote that top drug prosecutor Sharon Woo‘s Nov. 19 memo about Madden showed that prosecutors “at the highest levels of the district attorney’s office knew that Madden was not a dependable witness at trial and that there were serious concerns regarding the crime lab.”
Woo wrote that crime lab officials believed Madden was unhappy in her job and was intentionally sabotaging the drug analysis unit. None of that, however, was conveyed to defense attorneys in cases in which Madden had analyzed drug evidence.
Then there is the fact that under Harris, over 1,500 people (mostly non-White) were sent to prison for marijuana offenses. The irony here is that Harris makes it seem like she always supported decriminalizing marijuana now, when she didn’t:
Harris admitted to smoking weed in college during a radio show appearance in February and laughed when asked if she supported legalization. “Half my family’s from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?” Her father, who was born in Jamaica, wasn’t laughing when he heard about his daughter’s comments. Donald Harris wrote that his family “must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity” being connected with the “fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker.”
I personally don’t care, because I am against legalizing drugs. But it’s funny what a hypocrite she is nonetheless.
Then there is the case of Kevin Cooper, a Death Row inmate convicted of four counts of murder in 1983. Back before the New York Times lost their minds, they did an investigative reporting piece on how Cooper was likely wrongfully convicted. When Harris was serving as Attorney General, she declined to use advanced DNA testing that could have exonerated Cooper. Because, meh, he’s only on Death Row.
Ordered to reduce the population of California’s overcrowded prisons, lawyers from then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office made the case that some non-violent offenders needed to stay incarcerated or else the prison system would lose a source of cheap labor.
In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Plata that California’s prisons were so overcrowded that they violated the Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Three years later, in early 2014, the state was ordered to allow non-violent, second time offenders who have served half of their sentence to be eligible for parole.
By September 2014, plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit were back in court, accusing California of slow-walking the process, which lawyers for Harris’ office denied.
According to court filings, lawyers for the state said California met benchmarks, and argued that if certain potential parolees were given a faster track out of prison, it would negatively affect the prison’s labor programs, including one that allowed certain inmates to fight California’s wildfires for about $2 a day.
“Extending 2-for-1 credits to all minimum custody inmates at this time would severely impact fire camp participation—a dangerous outcome while California is in the middle of a difficult fire season and severe drought,” lawyers for Harris wrote in the filing, noting that the fire camp program required physical fitness in addition to a level of clearance that allowed the felon to be offsite.
Not only that, they noted, draining the prisons of “minimum custody inmates” would deplete the labor force both internally and in local communities where low-level, non-violent offenders worked for pennies on the dollar collecting trash and tending to city parks. A federal three-judge panel ordered both sides to confer about the plaintiffs’ demands, and the state agreed to extend the 2-for-1 credits to all eligible minimum security prisoners.
“Once we ridiculed and flagged them for that, they changed their tune, but that was their initial response,” Donald Specter, executive director of the Prison Law Office and lead counsel on Brown v. Plata, said.
Harris, for her part, told BuzzFeed News two months after the arguments were made on her behalf, that she was “shocked” by the argument, telling the publication she was looking into it.
Of course, most of this information came out in the debates, along with Harris inexplicably defending the wildly unpopular public policy of busing. Perhaps Democrats (probably correctly) assume most Americans did not tune in for the 12 Democratic debates that happened in 2019 because they had better things to do (like clean out their belly-button lint). But if this the opposition research that is already public, it’s going to be interesting to see what the RNC unleashes.
I’m guessing they think the merit of Harris, beyond her identity politics, is that she might be a pit bull surrogate for Biden, a candidate who generally forgets where he is and gets derailed talking about pretty much anything. Or they think they can dismiss any attack against her as being sexist or racist.
But given how many millions of Americans now fully believe that government is not out for their best interests, I’m not sure a prosecutor widely known for being corrupt being pinned to a politician-for-life widely known for being corrupt is going to do it. But maybe this is all a big head-fake.