Kamala Harris hasn’t even been VP for six months, and already she’s gone from “strong, independent black woman” to “victim of the white patriarchy.”
Just ask Slate’s Christina Cauterucci:
Vice president is a notoriously terrible job, but it’s even worse when you’re a “first.” https://t.co/1588fVNnfJ
— Slate (@Slate) June 25, 2021
It’s so awesome that Kamala Harris got to be our first female POC vice president! It’s so awful that Kamala Harris had to be our first female POC vice president!
— Chad Felix Greene 🇮🇱 (@chadfelixg) June 25, 2021
Aww poor VP https://t.co/Xo7wsEHZm7
— Mairead McArdle (@JohnsonHildy) June 25, 2021
Joe Biden set Kamala Harris up for failure before he even chose her as his running mate. In March 2020, in a presidential debate with Bernie Sanders—then his last opponent standing—Biden promised to name a woman as his vice president. (Sanders replied that “in all likelihood,” he’d do the same.) It was a tactless, tokenizing way to make Democratic voters, the vast majority of whom are not white men, feel less icky that their choices had come down to two white men after the most diverse presidential primary in history.
Biden was always going to have to choose a woman; the era of all-male and all-white presidential tickets feels decidedly over for Democrats. That’s for good reason—diverse political teams tend to make better, more inclusive policy. But instead of asking a woman to join his ticket on the basis of her political skills or legislative accomplishments—and leaving the gender mandate to speculation—Biden made sure everyone knew that his selection wouldn’t have to beat out the entire field of potential competitors, just the other ladies. He got to look like an ally who valued women, while ensuring his vice president would end up looking like a “diversity hire” who got a possibly unwarranted leg up because of her gender.
We all know how this story turned out—Biden selected Harris for the job. Now that she’s a few months into her historic tenure, Harris has drawn criticism from the left for her alarming rhetoric on immigration—“do not come,” she advised potential asylum-seekers in Guatemala—and continuous attacks from the right on just about everything. As I’ve read assessments of her first months in office, I’ve thought a lot about the unfortunate way she came into the role of vice president. She was the payoff to a Biden campaign gimmick that relished in her communal identities more than her particular skills. As the first woman of color in the role, she was bound to face extra scrutiny. Biden didn’t just give her bad-faith critics a head start—he seems to have left his own administration and Harris herself in doubt about what exactly she’s there to do now that the campaign is over.
From the get-go, conservatives pointed out the shameless pandering effort that was Joe Biden naming Kamala Harris as his running mate. After all, this was a woman who had accused him repeatedly of racism during the Democratic presidential debates. And for pointing out the obvious truth, conservatives were accused of sexism and racism.
Now that their assertions that Harris was selected on the basis of her sex and race as opposed to her qualifications (or lack thereof) are becoming apparent as true even to liberals, the Left has to shift gears and start framing Harris as a helpless victim of the Team Biden’s machinations.
Are they saying it's harder for women to be Vice President? Sounds sexist.
— First Crack Pipe of the USA. (@hunterscrackp13) June 25, 2021
So they know she’s already a miserable failure, and now all that’s left is excuses
— Nick Talbot (@NickTalbot20) June 25, 2021
the irony of feminism is always it’s the man’s fault instead women being equal enough to fail or mistakes in their own right.
it’s okay to make mistakes or fail on the road to success, fyi. https://t.co/oxmpcM4oHM
— kaitlin, political fashion police (@thefactualprep) June 25, 2021
You can set your watch by this stuff.
Easiest call I've made in awhile. https://t.co/2ViCcjPX3r
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) June 25, 2021
“Feminism” is such a joke.
— JSParker (@jsparker31) June 25, 2021