How can Kamala Harris be this bad at politics?

Jun 10th

It's one of those predictions that I still can't feel proud of, even if it largely did come true. Sometime in the summer of 2019, I wrote an article making my best guess that then-Senator Kamala Harris was going to be the Democrat nominee in 2020. Though that technically didn't happen, there are more than a few folks within the Beltway who treated her as the de facto president from the moment President Biden chose her to be his running mate.

Harris herself, notoriously ambitious, bought into the idea fairly quickly:

Shoot, even Joe Biden has gotten a bit confused about the whole thing on more than one occasion.

And yet, even though it seems clear that Harris is exerting plenty of influence in the country's executive department these days, I have a real hard time gloating over my political prognostications because I had no idea – I mean NO idea – that she was as spectacularly inept as she has proven herself to be.

When I made the prediction over two years ago, I simply hadn't seen much of her other than pre-scripted moments, as she postured and posed from her perches on both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Judiciary Committee. Demographically, she was dynamite for an identity-politics obsessed party like the Democrats. But then came the primary debates.

And the stammering.

And the stuttering.

And the awkward laughing.

And the dodged questions.

And the nuclear meltdown at the hands of Tulsi Gabbard:

Harris was able to avoid being so embarrassingly exposed as a fraud during the campaign largely because the sympathetic mainstream media called off the dogs the moment they had a vested interest in her success. A conscious decision was made throughout the press corps to grant Harris the coveted Barack Obama treatment, not only lobbing her softballs, but setting the ball on the tee, helping her hold the bat, and guiding her as she swung through.

Still, just because the press treatment has improved dramatically for Harris, her skills clearly have not:

In Federalist #68, Alexander Hamilton asserted that the complex system our Constitution established to elect a president would prevent those with "talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity" from attaining to the federal executive branch. Perhaps we should have stuck with that system as originally designed. Because what else but "low intrigue" would you call this:

"You haven't been to this important place."

"Yes, we have been there."

"But you haven't been there yourself."

"Hahahaha I haven't been to a lot of other places also, hahahaha."

Look, I don't care if you know the media are happy warriors for your shared cause, how can you not expect that as the official in charge of handling the dangerous and heartbreaking migrant surge at the border since March, that you're not going to be asked why you haven't yet managed to make it to the border?

Just like inexplicably failing to anticipate Tulsi Gabbard's imminent attack on your record as a prosecutor, how can you not be prepared for that question and at least have a reasonable answer?

That isn't defensible. It isn't understandable. There's no justifiable explanation for it when you're talking about someone at this level of political accomplishment. Andrew Sullivan said it best:

And she's a heartbeat away.


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