Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Well, I am not going to lie. I am a little disappointed.

As we’ve all learned by now, this afternoon California Senator Kamala Harris dropped out of the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. She had a pretty good start, making huge waves in first debate particularly. However, as the game rolled on, she slipped further and further out of the hot spot. Recently grumblings in her staff had some serious ripples in the campaign. Particularly, just last week she lost the campaign’s state operations director, Kelly Mehlenbacher, who jumped on Michael Bloomberg’s fancy yacht, leaving a pretty nasty note concerning how badly Harris’ campaign was being run.

There seems to be something to this, as Harris has come under criticism for shuttering her Iowa headquarters and generally having nothing constructive in the works for New Hampshire, the first two biggies in the primary vote. She also said that the run had become untenable financially, noting she wasn’t a billionaire and couldn’t buy the nomination, which seems like it might be a jab at the snitching aide who’s now working for empty suit Bloomberg. If there was a guy more obviously trying to buy a nomination that no one besides maybe New York journos want, and that’s a big “maybe”, I don’t know who it would be.

There was also the matter of pure politics. A drumming in the early primaries could damage her overall career, and Harris strikes me someone with long-ranging ambition. I doubt she’d take a VP slot, though when it comes to nut-twisting a foot-shuffling Senate overrun with Republican pinheads, I think she’d be pretty good at it. She strikes me as someone who could put the fear of god into chiseling old white dudes and, undoubtedly, her time as San Francisco’s District Attorney and California’s Attorney General would aide in such things. Used to dealing with crooks and all that clever nonsense.

Now, I realize my appreciation of Harris’ legal background clashes with my general anti-establishment leanings, but here me out. No, she’s not a cop because being DA isn’t the same as being a cop. Her time in the Senate has been laudable – for a centrist Democrat, anyway, let’s not go nuts – particularly when it came to putting the screws to two-faced conservatives trying to pull fast one. Yes, she prosecuted things probably more harshly than than necessary, but, well, that’s kind of her job. In any event, when the wind started blowing in different directions, she changed her tune accordingly.

This doesn’t bother me as much as it does some people, and I think it’s because a quote by H.L. Menken rings as the truest take on politics, journalists and, particularly, political journalists: “The only way a reporter should look at a politician is down.” Harsh words but a good rule of thumb, I’ve found.

People often put too much faith in a politician, forgetting not only are they human but also the wheels of government grind slower than we think and no one can radically change things in the first 100 days. This mindset is what drives many of the MAGAts’ worshipful devotion of Trump, a god with clay feet if there ever was one, but you see it some of the more obnoxious of the Bernie Sanders supporters. I’m old enough to remember people I was supposed to take seriously claim that only Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich could “save this country,” whatever the hell that means.

Politics is a dirty business and it never helps to put one single government employee up on too high a pedestal. That’s why so many white folks were bummed that Obama didn’t come in kicking down doors and tossing tables even though he legislated and ran as a centrist. People want a hero, someone they can rally behind, but that rarely works out like we expect. Especially for liberals and leftists, there’s always just too much at stake to hit every note. It’s much easier for a conservative to draw that “only on who can save us” crowd. As we’ve seen the last couple of years, they ain’t too picky.

For all my leanings to anarchism as political theory, I’m a stone realist. Like with everything else, having “no romance in my soul” gives me, I think, a leg up when it comes to exploring politics. Yes, I’m left wing as hell, and, yes, I think it’s possible for us to be better than we are, and, yes, I am perfectly content to see it all torn down and rebuilt if that’s what it takes. However, it’s not just me in this world, a lot of people are only getting by with how things are and they’d be chewed up and spat out if any real revolution comes. It’s a depressing stroke, but that’s where we find ourselves. It’d be folly to treat it any different, despite what little explosions of positive anarchy the individual can achieve. But that’s for another time.

So, Harris is out of the race and it’s probably for the best. The only question now is who scoops up her supports. I figure it’ll be Elizabeth Warren before anyone else. It’s silly to pretend that misogynoir had nothing to do with intra-party dislike of Harris, and if anyone says otherwise, treating them as lying on that does you no damage. Still and all, Biden and Mayor Pete could pick up a few, as well. I kind of wish they’d go to Juan Castro and Corey Booker, but it won’t help.

I’m not going to lie, I really don’t care to see another white guy president. We, as a group, have thoroughly screwed the pooch and we need to give ourselves a few more years to come to the realization that our shit stinks like everyone else to be trusted in leadership roles. And I really ain’t down with the billionaires like Bloomberg and Tom Steyer swinging in like all we need is the proper filthy rich asshole to run things for us plebes.

In any event, despite who finally snags the nomination, they’ve got my vote. Not only does the Republican Party deserve to be smashed out of existence just on it’s own for being a wretched hive of scum and villainy, someone of Trump’s incompetence and ignorance really shouldn’t be in charge of a moderately sized Wal-Mart, much less something as heavy as the United States.

And that’s good enough for jazz, I think.

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