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Old 07-05-2019, 04:14 PM
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Default Kamala Harris is the most cynical and dishonest 2020 Democrat — and it just might wor

Kamala Harris is the most cynical and dishonest 2020 Democrat — and it just might work

Sen. Kamala Harris has emerged as the most cynical and dishonest candidate seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination. But it just might work.

Most recently, Harris has surged toward the top of the crowded Democratic field after a masterful debate performance in which she seemingly took two bold stands: backing the elimination of private health insurance and supporting federally mandated busing.

On healthcare, she obfuscated the next morning, retreating to her red herring position that emphasizes allowing for private “supplemental” coverage. In reality, the plan would kick 180 million people off of their current private insurance plans and place them on a single government-run plan, and would only allow insurers to offer benefits not on the government plan. But the government plan promises comprehensive medical, dental, optical, and prescription drug coverage, so in reality there would be effectively no role for private insurance.

On busing, Harris attacked Biden during the debate for opposing federally forced busing in the 1970s. “Well, there was a failure of states to integrate public schools in America,” she argued and said, “that's where the federal government must step in.”

When New York Times reporter Astead Herndon asked on Twitter, “Does Harris support busing for school integration right now?” her spokesman Ian Sams answered “yes.”

Then, when Harris herself was asked in a gaggle of reporters, “What is your position on busing and what do you think the federal role should be?” She responded, “I support busing. Listen, the schools of America are as segregated, if not more segregated today than when I was in elementary school. And we need to put every effort, including busing, into desegregate the schools…” She went on to call busing “one of the ways by which we can create desegregation.” When reporters again followed up by asking her about the federal role, she said, “The federal government has to step up.”

Yet in Iowa on Wednesday, Harris shifted, merely saying “Busing is a tool among many that should be considered” by school districts, but not actually mandated by the federal government.

So Harris milked the issue for what it was worth at the time. It was the MacGuffin that allowed her to reduce Biden to an out-of-touch doddering old man, while she came off as tough and was able to throw in an inspirational personal story of being bused to school. Allahpundit predicted that Harris would “chuck this issue into the ocean within eight seconds of clinching the nomination.” But it turned out she casually tossed it in the Des Moines River once she got her polling bounce.

Being so brazenly dishonest has proven both an asset and liability in presidential politics, when leading candidates undergo more scrutiny than running for any other office.

Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton were both calculating liars, and that contributed to their 2008 primary losses, as well as their respective losses in the 2012 and 2016 general elections. Of course, there are many examples in the opposite direction. Bill “Slick Willie” Clinton was a routine liar and mostly managed to pull it off during his political career — at least electorally.

President Trump is a brazen and shameless liar. His healthcare statements while running for president were totally incoherent and he casually made up facts. He made promises everybody knew were unattainable, such as Mexico paying for his border wall and boasting that he would pay off the federal debt within eight years while dramatically cutting taxes, boosting military spending, and not touching entitlements. Yet he won.

A reason for that could be that Clinton and Romney were in many ways standard lying politicians who took positions based on what would be most politically beneficial at a given time and came off as inauthentic (though Clinton was more corrupt).

In contrast, Trump’s often long and meandering campaign speeches actually came off as unrehearsed and natural. He was willing to dig in on controversial positions unapologetically. He challenged the orthodoxy of the Republican Party on trade, immigration, and foreign policy so he didn’t come off as pandering, even though he reversed his old liberal positions on abortion, guns, taxes, and healthcare. His base supporters thought he “told it like it is” and were distrustful of the media and thus any fact checks. And actual media errors just provided Trump with more justification.

As of the early stages, it’s difficult to know exactly how Harris’ strategy will play out. Opponents could use it to portray her as shifty and unreliable. On the other hand, at a time when the number one priority for Democrats is finding a candidate who could defeat Trump, primary voters may decide they don’t want somebody who plays by the rules. Harris’ ability to change positions on a dime based on the venue, lie, and obfuscate shamelessly may make them think she’s just the person to counter Trump’s mendacity. Once she gets into the general election, her supporters could then just dismiss any lies or further calculated moves by contrasting them with Trump’s chronic dishonesty.
I think they have the details wrong about the insurance. she flip flops on medicare for all so far three times and counting.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Kamala Harris is the most cynical and dishonest 2020 Democrat — and it just might

Two months later?

It didn't. For a minute she was 2nd in the aggregate, but has dropped to a distant 4th.

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