Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

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Matticus13
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Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#1 Post by Matticus13 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:28 am

Note: This is not a criticism of Kamala Harris. Some observations on the Democratic VP and primary results and what it means moving forward.

Was there ever a doubt? I'm not a Democrat (or a Republican), but this was obvious months ago. While arguably the most qualified of the final 10 or so candidates for VP job, she also happens to check many other boxes as well:

1) Minority (Asian/Black)
2) Woman
3) Immigrant parents
4) a US Senator
5) somewhere between a *Liberal* and a *Moderate* (US style)
6) a supporter of Democratic *royalty* (Clinton's, Obama, Biden and so on)

Reading between the lines: The Democratic party leadership is trying to keep the party in the middle, resisting the the gravity of AOC, Sanders, Warren, etc... 2012 was the last year two men ran on the same ticket for the Dems. Big $$$ still dominated the Democrat primaries and repelled many liberal challengers in the Presidential/Vice Presidential races (moderates also dominated primaries in the US Senate and House as well). Black Americans currently have more pull than environmentalists or Democratic socialists in the party. Still a good 12 years, from nominating a truly *left* (or what is currently considered *far left*) Presidental candidate.

Maybe the old guard isn't going anywhere for quite some time... Maybe the inspired masses from the pandemic/George Floyd can't overcome Big $$$ at this point, or the *the Silent Majority* within the party... Maybe US Congress will at least be more diverse (currently only 3 out of 100 are black)... Maybe...

So, mostly good news for moderates, and bad for the *woke* (although, there were isolated cases where the *far left* gained seats/likely seats in Congress). Hence, all the *Settle for Biden* memes I see on social media everyday. IDK... What y'all think?
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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#2 Post by Octavious » Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:39 am

It has been a truly repulsive period of Democrat politics. He starts off with the blatantly sexist opening position that his VP must be a woman (sod the best person for the job idea, but I guess if the Democratics thought that way they'd never have chosen Biden in the first place). Then he manoeuvres himself into a position where it'd be politically impossible not to pick an ethnic minority without causing outrage and huge disappointment to the groups he's been hinting at for months, but still strings along a few white candidates for the sake of appearances. It's vile, miserable stuff. Wouldn't it have been great for Biden to have chosen Harris because she was just the best person for the job, rather than surround the whole business with racist and sexist box ticking shite.

The trouble with the Democrats is that they are an alliance between what passes in most of Europe for the centre right, centre left, and far left parties. It is not an alliance that works well. What should happen is that the Democrats should split into a genuinely left wing party and a true centre right party. A centre right that would be a home for all those millions of Americans who vote Republican because they feel they have no other choice as well as centre right Democrats, and a left wing to be a genuine home of the left. The Republicans would be a minority fringe party within a decade, holding out in a handful of very traditional States.
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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#3 Post by Jamiet99uk » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:50 am

Octavious wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:39 am

The trouble with the Democrats is that they are an alliance between what passes in most of Europe for the centre right, centre left, and far left parties. It is not an alliance that works well.
From my perspective (also in the UK), I agree with this. America's two monolithic political parties are very limiting for the country's Democracy.

Unfortunately the political system - and in particular the voting system - in that country makes being a huge monolith advantageous, because it is so difficult for parties outside these big two to gain any traction.

You could make similar comments (from a structural perspective, without engaging in a left vs right debate) about the two large parties in the UK (or at least, England). Many people here see a vote outside of the Labour / Conservative binary as a "waste" or at best a "protest" vote, because the entire electoral favours large parties and diminishes the impact of votes outside this binary.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#4 Post by Matticus13 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:40 pm

Octavious wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:39 am

The trouble with the Democrats is that they are an alliance between what passes in most of Europe for the centre right, centre left, and far left parties. It is not an alliance that works well.
Both parties are essentially confederations of different interests. A strong third party could potentially cure much of what is wrong with American politics.

I am actually considering running an independent, state level campaign for a House seat in a *red* state for 2022. The people are ready for something else. That's why Trump won in 2016. I have never been a Trump fan, but I get it (sort of...). Populist, anti-corruption, anti-government insurgent candidates are popular on both sides, because the status quo ain't cutting it.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#5 Post by orathaic » Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:54 pm

A strong third party could only exist by cannibalising one of the other two parties.

A mess of voting systems (without PR) and the electoral colleges, makes for a two party system. The UK's FPTP does the same, though it has also allowed regional parties to get off the ground on regional issues. So Scottish politics looks a bit more like SNP vs everyone else. And because everyone else can't get together (because they are at odds with each other in England&Wales) the SNP continues to dominate Scotland..
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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#6 Post by Matticus13 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:35 pm

orathaic wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:54 pm
A strong third party could only exist by cannibalising one of the other two parties.
Will a strong third party emerge among the moderates of both parties? Doubtful. But, there's plenty of common ground politically and a *silent half* of each party that is plain sick of the other half and ineffective party leaders. Would take a figurehead with *it* factor. Dwayne "The Rock" "Tooth Fairy" Johnson comes to mind. Someone with presence and dollar bills, who is already well known/liked. Just spit ballin' here.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#7 Post by Randomizer » Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:54 pm

The last successful try to create a third party in the US was Ross Perot who could fund his own party. It got hijacked 4 years later by right wing conservative Republican Pat Buchann and that ended the Reform Party. No other party has come close for president since Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party before WW I.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#8 Post by cormorant » Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:56 pm

So, mostly good news for moderates, and bad for the *woke* (although, there were isolated cases where the *far left* gained seats/likely seats in Congress).
By many measures, Kamala is one of the left-most Senators, and activism has pushed both Harris and Biden further to left than they were 10 years ago. Biden's stances in 2020 are probably the furthest left a Dem nominee has been since Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s.

All Reps in the left "squad" (Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Pressley, Omar) easily won their reelections, and you can add Cori Bush as a winner (she was defeated in 2018) who was a leader of Black Lives Matter in Ferguson, MO.

Overall Democrats from Left to Center are happy with the pick. I don 't remember the party ever being this united.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#9 Post by Matticus13 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:48 pm

micha wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:56 pm
So, mostly good news for moderates, and bad for the *woke* (although, there were isolated cases where the *far left* gained seats/likely seats in Congress).
By many measures, Kamala is one of the left-most Senators, and activism has pushed both Harris and Biden further to left than they were 10 years ago. Biden's stances in 2020 are probably the furthest left a Dem nominee has been since Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s.

All Reps in the left "squad" (Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Pressley, Omar) easily won their reelections, and you can add Cori Bush as a winner (she was defeated in 2018) who was a leader of Black Lives Matter in Ferguson, MO.

Overall Democrats from Left to Center are happy with the pick. I don 't remember the party ever being this united.
All solid points.

Kamala's record as a DA and Senator still say *moderate* in today's version of the Democratic party. Both Biden and Kamala are further left than they were, as you stated.

The left held serve in Congress, but only managed to add three truly progressive candidates. It felt like the Warren/Sanders campaigns used up most of the energy in the room for 2020. Maybe better luck in 2022?

The Democrats are not united because of the Biden/Harris ticket. They are united against the common enemy (Trump). I'm confident it will all go to hell in a hand basket if they win the presidential race and a Senate majority. The knives will come right back out... Especially if they refuse to give Warren a meaningful position in the cabinet.
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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#10 Post by cormorant » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:47 pm

I'm confident it will all go to hell in a hand basket if they win the presidential race and a Senate majority. The knives will come right back out
In the primary, I think the sharpest knife was wielded by Harris against Biden in a debate! Yet here we are :-)

I agree that the awfulness of Trump is the #1 unifying factor, and that drove the 'Blue Wave' in 2018. But it wasn't just the left squad, it was mostly 'centrist' Democrats winning in places they hadn't before - mostly suburbs.

There will be disagreements and spirited debate to be sure, but last time Dems held the White House and Congress we got the most substantive health reform since the 1960s (like so many things, necessary but not sufficient...). History shows progressives will come to the bargaining table to pass pieces of policies they want. This time they will likely have more bargaining power and less inclination to believe that most Republicans will act in good faith.

Of course Dems will have to win a lot of elections in November for this to happen. and again by overwhelming numbers in the face of Republican structural advantages and active voter suppression.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#11 Post by flash2015 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:28 am

Octavious wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:39 am
It has been a truly repulsive period of Democrat politics. He starts off with the blatantly sexist opening position that his VP must be a woman (sod the best person for the job idea, but I guess if the Democratics thought that way they'd never have chosen Biden in the first place). Then he manoeuvres himself into a position where it'd be politically impossible not to pick an ethnic minority without causing outrage and huge disappointment to the groups he's been hinting at for months, but still strings along a few white candidates for the sake of appearances. It's vile, miserable stuff. Wouldn't it have been great for Biden to have chosen Harris because she was just the best person for the job, rather than surround the whole business with racist and sexist box ticking shite.
For the record, I don't like Kamala Harris.

But anyway, LOL. You think VPs have ever been chosen by merit? Where have you been? Did you miss Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle? You think Mr "Elf On A Shelf" was the best candidate the Republicans could bring forward? VPs are chosen for one reason - to help the candidate win. Sometimes it will mean a popular person from a swing state will be chosen, sometimes it will be an evangelical...or someone that can bring another specific constituency.

There are people in certain groups that no matter how qualified they are won't even be considered for the position (e.g. non-Christians and atheists, people without spouse and kids).

This time the democrats believe that a female black woman will help them win. I am not really a fan of how the selection process went (especially closing off the choices so early) but I don't see this is any worse than how VPs have been decided in the past.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#12 Post by Randomizer » Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:29 am

Female and black meant a lot of people couldn't complain about who wasn't picked without appearing sexist and/or racist. That meant Sanders and Warren could be excluded.

The vetting process has gotten better after the Eagleton fiasco.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Eagleton

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#13 Post by Octavious » Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:58 am

@ Flash

So, just to be clear, you believe that the Democratic choice for Vice President was largely dictated by race and gender, and your response is to shrug your shoulders and say that's just how it is?

Wow... No wonder the States are in the mess they're in.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#14 Post by orathaic » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:42 am

After over a hundred year of no female PoC (and one male PoC), you now think the problem is that the Dems picked the person they think is most likely to get their candidate elected?

I believe that is called 'the best person for the job'.
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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#15 Post by Octavious » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:41 am

orathaic wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:42 am
After over a hundred year of no female PoC (and one male PoC), you now think the problem is that the Dems picked the person they think is most likely to get their candidate elected?

I believe that is called 'the best person for the job'.
:lol:

Biden starts his selection by instantly ruling out half the US population based on gender, then rules out most of the rest based on race, and you call that "the best person for the job"?

There are times, ora, when you come across as a deep and thoughtful person. This is very much not one of those times.

The Democrats have once again handed their opposition a bucket load of ammunition. She may well have been the best person for the job, but by ruling out most rivals on the basis of racial and sexual discrimination the Democrats have painted a massive target on her back and allowed her to be portrayed as little more than a token.

Token and the Nearly Dead vs Trump.

It's like neither side wants to win. Clinton may have been awful, but at least she looked like she wanted the job :lol:

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#16 Post by orathaic » Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:30 pm

No, honestly, there is no point in running a candidate who can't win. Unfortunately democracy isn't about electing the best persons for the jobs, it is, and has always been, about the most popular person for the job.

So what is best becomes most electable. Not best person to DO the job, the best person to GET the job. And if that happens to ruling out half of the population, because Biden and the DNC think their voters will not come out unless they have one man and one woman on the ticket (who was Hillary Clinton's VP pick?) then that reflects a lot about the electorate (or the democratic voters).

If you want the best person for the job, and have a better system for figuring out who that is, feel free to explain it

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#17 Post by orathaic » Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:52 pm

And yes, you may be right regarding their opponents painting her as a token. But that is a strategic choice the Democrats have chosen to make.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#18 Post by Octavious » Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:01 pm

orathaic wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:30 pm
If you want the best person for the job, and have a better system for figuring out who that is, feel free to explain it
Perhaps a system that wouldn't, had it been applied in the British Isles, leave you open to prosecution for breaking UK or Irish discrimination laws would be a good start?

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#19 Post by flash2015 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:03 pm

Octavious wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:58 am
@ Flash

So, just to be clear, you believe that the Democratic choice for Vice President was largely dictated by race and gender, and your response is to shrug your shoulders and say that's just how it is?

Wow... No wonder the States are in the mess they're in.
I am not saying I particularly like it, but I am arguing it is no different than all the other arbitrary restrictions on becoming President/VP the US has had.

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Re: Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick

#20 Post by flash2015 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:09 pm

Octavious wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:01 pm
orathaic wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:30 pm
If you want the best person for the job, and have a better system for figuring out who that is, feel free to explain it
Perhaps a system that wouldn't, had it been applied in the British Isles, leave you open to prosecution for breaking UK or Irish discrimination laws would be a good start?
Discrimination law has absolutely nothing to do with this. This is a political appointment, not an ordinary job. Anyway, it is a silly argument to complain about discrimination because one woman has been chosen when we have had white guys (except for Obama) all the way back to independence.

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