Biden just can’t seem to please the far left wing of his party. He’s flipped his position on several issues, including defunding the police. However, progressives still pile on the former vice president for being too vanilla in a moment that needs radical change. Even delivering on his commitment to choose a black woman for his vice presidential nominee seems to have backfired.
“Middle Finger” to Democratic Base
Progressives did not suffer in silence at Kamala’s selection. Liberals lamented the choice for several reasons, notably her background as California’s attorney general and alleged support of Wall Street over Main Street.
Influential activist Jordan Chariton tweeted, “Well, there you have it. @JoeBiden gives the middle finger to progressives, #BlackLivesMatter protesters, and black voters under the age of 50.”
Bernie Sanders’ former press secretary, Joy Gray, expressed her anger over Harris’ selection. She took particular umbrage with Kamala’s history as California Attorney General: “We are in the midst of the largest protest movement in American history, the subject of which is excessive policing, and the Democratic Party chose a “top cop” and the author of the Joe Biden crime bill to save us from Trump. The contempt for the base is, wow.”
Krystal Ball, a writer for the hill, summed up the liberal ire over Harris in an op-ed: “Apparently the answer to a movement for black lives is someone who helped perpetuate a lock em up regime while letting the powerful in Silicon Valley and Wall Streeters like Steve Mnuchin loot with impunity. Happy 2020.”
The M Word
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) August 11, 2020
Even the mainstream media is apparently piling on. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos called Kamala Harris what might as well be a dirty word in today’s political climate: moderate.
Stephanopoulos made the comment during live coverage of Biden’s VP announcement. The veteran anchorman said,
“Kamala Harris comes from the middle of the road, moderate wing of the Democratic party. Not the first choice of progressives but Joe Biden banking that this historic move as the first woman of color on a national ticket will overcome that.”
Some feel that the media’s coverage of Kamala may serve two purposes. While vindicating the far left, calling Harris a moderate also may calm more centrist voters who are increasingly nervous about the direction of the country. While some see mediocrity, others see a ticket they can live with.
Neither Biden nor Harris are making waves for their politics. Their platform is not moderate by the standards of 2010, or even 2016, but they still represent the mainstream political establishment. This may be just what the DNC had in mind for the ticket, even as the party as a whole marches further and further to the left.
The increasingly leftward shift of the Democratic Party’s platform, coupled with continued support for violent and destructive protests, has many Americans questioning the party’s ability to govern. While Harris may have angered the Democratic Base, calling her a “top cop” may be music to the ears of voters looking for order.
Biden’s team knows this, and that was no doubt a factor in her selection. However, appealing to moderates will do little good if the Biden campaign can’t mobilize die-hard progressives to support the ticket.
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