Kamala Harris' Big Debate Moment
In the buildup to the second set of the second round of democratic debates, everyone was prepared to see the debate revolve around Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, not only because they were the two biggest candidates on stage that night but Kamala fans were hoping for another viral moment such as her attack on Biden in the first debates. Kamala Harris’ did go viral, but fans could hardly say that the sequel was as good as the original. Harris did not go viral for her own positions or soundbites no, but instead because of Tulsi Gabbard’s attacks on her. The Hawaiian representative and moderate democrat running a campaign centered around anti-war positions, centered her crosshairs on Harris’ record as California Attorney General, calling out perceived hypocrisies, in what has started a national conversation over her troubling past.
Her record is troubling, and as Gabbard brings up at the start of her attack Harris’ comments about gleefully smoking pot while she jailed thousands of smokers in California comes off as pure pandering and is an insult to the citizens whose lives she ruined with needless incarceration. Even more troubling is her record on the death penalty. Despite claiming to be a strong anti-death-penalty advocate, her record is murky at best. Harris proudly claims that she refused to pursue the death penalty on a man convicted of killing a police officer as evidence of her staunch support despite public outcry, but she later criticized a federal court which proclaimed that the death penalty system in California was unconstitutional under the 8th amendment, and went through with appealing the case.
There are also various cases of her and her office protecting both the police and prosecutors from scrutiny and punishment. While being a proud supporter of BLM she also hesitated and slowed down the process of investigating police shootings in her own district, and was heavily criticized for it. In yet another case, her office appealed the decision to release Daniel Larson, a man who was wrongfully convicted of carrying a weapon and sentenced to almost 30 years due to California’s Three Strikes Law, not because they thought he was still guilty, but because he failed to meet abureaucratic deadline for paperwork.
Unsurprisingly, her policy as AG was just as bad. Kamala Harris became infamous for her support of an anti-truancy bill she sponsored in the state legislator when she was still a district attorney. The bill allowed for parents to be jailed for the crimes of their kids missing too much school, a chronic problem in the California state system. In an interview on CNN Harris proclaimed this reality to be an unintended consequence of the law she didn’t know would happen, however various speeches and statements from her and around the same time would contradict this.
Courtesy of Pacific Standard
In the world of politics, changing positions, flip-flopping and “evolving” are not rare, but when Kamala Harris plays politics in the prosecutor’s office, she puts innocent people in jail, dooms other into death row, and pushes largely ineffective discriminatory policy which predominantly impact the same communities she belongs to and proclaims to be progressive champion of.
By Jacob Facemire
Research Deputy of the Pluralism Project
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