Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Rasexism and Kamala Harris

Even by New York Times standards, this article is amazingly stupid. Written by an historian of some note, one Jeffrey Frank, it attempts to revive the flagging reputation of our very own vice president, one Kamala Harris. 

As it happens, it fails at the task, because it ignores the real reason that the nation is suffering acute anxiety over the fact that Kamala is a heartbeat from the presidency. It has nothing to do with Joe Biden’s ability-- that is, his inability-- to manage his vice president, but because Kamala suffers from that toxic mixture of incompetence and stupidity.

Amazingly, in the world of performatives, since Frank, presumably not an idiot, tries to revive the flagging reputation of a moron like Kamala Harris, he finds himself falling into stupidity himself. Amazing, don’t you think? So, we can ask the important philosophical issue-- can you defend an idiot without sounding like an idiot yourself?

Has Kamala ever done anything more than embarrass herself or the administration? Has she ever shown the least smidgeon of competence in the jobs that were accorded her? Not a whit.

And yet, Frank fails to take account of her incapacities, tending, like a good little wokester, to write them off as a manifestation of racism and sexism. Or, should we save ourselves a few keystrokes and write it--rasexism?

And besides, when has Joe Biden shown any competence or any intelligence in any aspect of his job?

Anyway, Frank opens by explaining how Dwight Eisenhower, someone who had manifested superior executive abilities, helped prepare his vice president, Richard Nixon, for the eventuality that he might have to step in and take over for an ailing Ike:

Just months after being sworn in as president in 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower gave an unusual task to his vice president, Richard Nixon.

Years earlier, when Eisenhower was the supreme commander of the Allied forces in World War II, he was distressed over the unpreparedness of Vice President Harry Truman upon President Franklin Roosevelt’s sudden death. Now president at 62, a former four-pack-a-day smoker with what would become a serious heart condition, Eisenhower understood the importance of training a vice president for the presidency; Nixon had just six years’ experience as a congressman and senator from California before becoming Eisenhower’s running mate.

The president had no great liking for Nixon, whom he barely knew, but he gave him a lot to do — including dispatching the vice president and his wife, Pat, on what would become a 68-day trip through Asia and the Middle East. In the fall of 1953, the Nixons visited Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Iran and Libya — the first of many chances for the vice president to establish personal ties with foreign leaders.

It was a deep education in diplomacy and statesmanship that served Nixon well. And the reviews were good; an enthusiastic story in Life magazine said that Nixon had established himself as “a mover and shaker of national and world affairs.”

Of course, and I hope it is not heresy to say so, but no matter what you think of Richard Nixon, he was very intelligent. One cannot say the same about Kamala.

Frank ignores the most salient point about Kamala, perhaps hoping that most of the dumb readers who spend time on his column, will join him in ignorance:

Vice President Kamala Harris, who was a first-term senator from California before entering the White House, hasn’t been given the sort of immersive experiences or sustained, high-profile tasks that would deepen and broaden her expertise in ways Americans could see and appreciate. 

Frank knows that Harris has been given a number of tasks by the Biden administration. He chooses to cover up her manifest failures by declaring the issues intractable. You see, if you want to overcome your rasexism you can start by rationalizing all of Kamala’s failings:

 But over the past 18 months, her on-the-job training in governing has largely involved intractable issues like migration and voting rights where she has not shown demonstrable growth in leadership and hit-or-miss trips overseas like the troubled foray in Central America a year ago and the more successful delegation to meet with the United Arab Emirates’ new president, leading a team that included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

But, Frank also neglects to mention that the Biden administration sent Kamala to deliver an address to the Munich Security conference last February. Less than a week after her stirring speech, the Russian army invaded Ukraine. Not what I would call a rousing success.

In any event, Frank ignores Kamala’s manifest insufficiencies, and blames the Biden administration for doing nothing to prepare her for her eventual takeover of the presidency. 

Mr. Biden’s announcement last week that he tested positive for the coronavirus underscores the clear and present need for the 79-year-old leader, his aides and Ms. Harris to find ways for her to become a true governing partner rather than just a political partner who helped him get elected. This isn’t simply about being fair to Ms. Harris or elevating her as some other vice presidents have been elevated; Americans deserve to know and see that they have a vice president who is trusted by White House and administration officials to take over, should anything happen to the president.

And yet, despite the empty protestations of Jeffrey Frank, the Biden people know better than he does. They know that she cannot be trusted, and that her primary role today is to ensure that Biden remain in office-- recall the 25th amendment controversy.

Ms. Harris is not to blame for her relative paucity of national and international experience. She had been in the Senate less than four years when Mr. Biden selected her, and he did so knowing that she had never served in an executive role. But since he tapped her as his running mate in August 2020, we’ve learned that her bonds with him and key administration officials are relatively thin.

Of course, Frank is agitated, to the roots of his wokeness, by the negative stories about Kamala. He fails to recognize that many of the negative reports are mere clips of her uttering incoherent sentences. In any case, he dismisses them all as rasexism.

Ms. Harris has been a regular target of negative stories — about staff disarray and departures or her annoyance that White House staff members didn’t stand when she entered a room or even her discomfort in some media interviews. She has also faced double standards in how she is seen and judged, as many women and people of color are, including when they are firsts in jobs.

And then, Frank treats us to an especially vapid closing. He suggests that the reason people are refusing to work for Kamala and the reason why the Biden people are not wasting their time consulting with her, is not that she is a fool, but that they have somehow been derelict in their duties.

With the government itself under siege from a new class of enemies within and with more than two years to go until the next presidential election, Mr. Biden must not only find a way to infuse his party with enthusiasm and fresh purpose but also fulfill an urgent obligation — to his party and the nation — to hasten and advance the education and authority of his vice president.


IamDevo said...

Apparently the headline for Mr. Frank's article is a clever anagram. "Kamala Harris Is Stuck" quickly transforms itself into the proper headline, "Kamala Harris Sucks It." This was the sole reason she gained access to insider politics, courtesy Willie Brown, noted kingmaker of California politicians. Her education was, at best, mediocre. Her previous political life as a Senator was entirely the result of racial and sexual "box checking" and otherwise inconsequential. She sponsored no legislation of any import (well, except for the one whereby she unsuccessfully sponsored Aretha Franklin for a Congressional Gold Medal), and simply showed up to vote for progressive democrat bills. No matter how hard her leftist supporters try to portray her as competent, intelligent, skillful and wise, everything in her public life establishes the contrary. It is only to a very limited extent that gold plating a turd can be successful.

Anonymous said...

Democrats Delenda EST!!! They did what they wanted to do, and it has given the GOP a club to play "whack a Dem" with it (if, IF) they learn how to use it. I have doubts about them...

Anonymous said...

Ike could send his Veep out to learn. He had the time. Biden has Kamala, and a questionable veep, not to mention that Biden is pretty questionable himself. The Dems are stuck with them, and I await to see how the Dems dig themselves out of THAT predicament!