It’s official. Former Vice President Joe Biden has selected first term California Senator Kamela Harris as his running mate for Vice President. She is an excellent choice and her campaign skills and talents are sorely needed. What a striking contrast she will make to Vice President Mike Pence when they debate. “A Programmed Machine” vs a “Metal Shredder”.
Kamala Harris won her first election in 2003 when she became San Francisco’s district attorney. In 2010, she was elected California’s attorney general, the first woman and Black person to hold the job, and focused on issues including the foreclosure crisis. She declined to defend the state’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage and was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In choosing Harris, age 55, Biden has made history by selecting a qualified woman and person of color and embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the scrutiny and rigors of a national campaign. Born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, she is without a doubt broken more than a few barriers.
Her law enforcement background has prompted skepticism from some progressives, which always seems to be the case whenever progressives are confronted with having to vote for a prosecutor for any elective office. Senator Harris’ record as California Attorney General and before that as District Attorney in San Francisco was heavily scrutinized by progressives during the Democratic primary. Her record as a strong and effective prosecutor turned many progressives and younger Black voters off who saw her as out of step on issues of racism in the legal system and police brutality. The truth is, all too often law enforcement and aggressive prosecutors are labeled as “conservative” and therefore unacceptable to any progressive litmus test.
During her run for President, Kamala Harris tried to strike a balance with progressives, declaring herself a “progressive prosecutor” who backs law enforcement reforms. Truth is crime must be prosecuted and not ignored because of a person’s background nor color. It also includes prosecuting law enforcement who do not follow the constitution and who violate people’s civil rights. The prosecution of crime must be color blind, whether its skin color or blue uniform. The criminal justice system and law enforcement need reform, as does sentencing reform, but that does not mean total dismantlement of the criminal justice system being advocated by the “defund the police” movement.
Grab yourself some refreshments and get ready to rumble!