Reams have been written, and more will be, about the baggage U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris brings to the Democratic ticket for the fall presidential election, but we recall when the senator first appeared in a prominent way on the radar screens of most Americans.
It captured her in her arrogant, ambitious best as she and her colleagues sought to ruin the reputation of a man who by all rights was a superior jurist but who had the misfortune of being named to the high court by a man they despised and who had shockingly upset the nominee of their party in the presidential race two years before.
It’s been just shy of two years since what is now thought of as one of the most disgusting episodes in the recent political history of the Democratic Party — the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Even before the now-discredited ramblings of accuser Christine Blasey Ford in the hearing was questioning, supposedly on the issues, by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Harris was a member.
Kavanaugh was answering a question from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, about why he dissented from his Tenth Circuit federal court’s decision not to take up a case involving the pro-life Priests for Life, who sued for a religious exemption to the Affordable Care Act under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The nominee explained how the priests group said filling out the form would make them complicit in providing the abortion-inducing drugs they, as a religious matter, opposed.
Harris, after the hearing, tweeted an edited form of Kavanaugh’s statement, making it appear he was agreeing with the priests, though he offered no such comments. With it were her words: “Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake — this is about punishing women.”
Planned Parenthood, a backer in the freshman senator’s 2016 campaign, sent out similar misinformation.
Harris, far from being unbiased about Kavanaugh before the hearings, said she opposed his nomination moments after it was announced and before she could review his record, joined colleagues on the steps of the Supreme Court the next day to express her opposition and then took out 2,600 Facebook advertisements opposing it before the hearings even began.
During the hearing, she tried trap Kavanaugh into perjuring himself about whether he’d ever discussed Robert Mueller, the special counsel then investigating the Trump presidential campaign, with anyone. Her argument, which had no legal basis, was that any president under investigation was not allowed to make a Supreme Court nomination.
“Her performance during the Kavanaugh circus,” wrote TownHall political editor Guy Benson, “stood out as particularly demagogic, cynical & abysmal.”
Harris’s later conduct as a failed presidential candidate, and since, has marked her as a politician willing to say anything, take any stance or slam any competitor (ask presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden) if it is politically expedient for her.
Not surprisingly, then, her initial speech as the presumptive presidential running mate saw her spew a handful of lies. Central to those was her accusation that President Trump’s “mismanagement of the pandemic has plunged us into the worst crisis since the Great Depression.”
Even the usual left-wing hacks don’t reach for this trope, knowing that while it might be fair game to judge individual things the president did over the past six months, the pandemic and the business shutdowns demanded with it were responsible for the economic collapse. And the reference to the Great Depression is especially ridiculous considering the recession could end after two quarters if the economy rebounds as some economists believe it will in the third quarter of 2020. The Great Depression, on the other hand, lasted more than a decade after it began in 1929 and for all practical purposes did not end until the U.S. entered World War II.
Similarly, Harris said in the same speech, “Just look where [Trump and Vice President Mike Pence] have gotten us. … Millions of kids who cannot go back to school.”
The truth is that Trump wants children to return to schools but has no authority to send them there. Local authorities make those decisions, and in some places teachers unions have said they will strike if schools open.
Harris knows these and her other statements were outright falsehoods. But they have become all together common from a party, from a presumptive nominee and from their media backers who will say or do anything if it gives voters a positive — if false — view of them and a negative — if false — view of their opponents. And just think, we have nearly three more months to endure such rhetoric.
(c)2020 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Visit the Chattanooga Times/Free Press (Chattanooga, Tenn.) at www.timesfreepress.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.