Infidel introduced me to Annie’s blog and Annie. Angry Bear lacks for a female writer who can discuss the issues from a women’s point of view, economics impacting them, and other needs. Annie provides a different perspective than what I have on the many topics we discuss at Angry Bear. I am fortunate that Annie allows me to draw from her site “annieasksyou . . . .
Our Woefully Underestimated Vice President and the Unforgiving Chattering Classless…, annieasksyou…, Annie.
Across our nation, there is a full-on attack on a woman’s fundamental freedom to make decisions about her own body.
In the new year, I will be traveling the country to organize, build community, and fight back.
Because when we fight, we win. pic.twitter.com/wvZF94FJZa— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) December 19, 2023
Vice President Kamala Harris appeared on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell the other night. This is how O’Donnell introduced her:
“I met Kamala Harris when she was the district attorney of San Francisco. An actor friend who was wiser than most of us about politics said to me, ‘Would you like to meet the first Black woman president?’ The next day I found myself in a gathering of lawyers…in Los Angeles listening to an impromptu lecture by the wisest district attorney I had ever heard in all my years of covering criminal courts.
“Her name was Kamala Harris. It didn’t feel like a lecture even though she was the only one speaking for quite a while, more like a conversation, and she took questions, of course, from a challenging audience of lawyers, who seemed as impressed with her answers as I was.
“When District Attorney Harris first appeared on this program thirteen years ago, I introduced her as someone who could go all the way to the White House, which she has done in the number two job in the White House.”
O’Donnell’s impressions of Vice President Harris’s wisdom, knowledge, and charisma have been my sense as well, as I hope I conveyed previously in this post.
Her many strengths constitute another poorly covered story in our major media, which sometimes even picks up the nonsense of the far right.
That’s what happened immediately after this interview.
I hope you’ll take the few minutes to review the portions of the interview that I’ve attempted to transcribe below and/or the video clips, so you can see for yourselves how smart Joe Biden was when he asked Harris to be his vice president.
In the interview, O’Donnell asked Harris–the daughter of immigrant parents–to imagine how she must have felt about Trump’s hateful rhetoric (“they’re poisoning the blood of our country…”) when she was a girl on her way home from school. “When you got home, what would you say to your mother?” he asked. “He’s talking about your blood.”
Harris responded that her parents had been active in the civil rights movement and…
“I was raised knowing there are some people who will use their voice to suggest that the vast majority of us don’t have anything in common when, in fact, the majority of us have more in common than what separates us. I would interpret it then as I do now. It is language meant to divide us and dehumanize us. It is language that people have rightly found similar to language of Hitler.
“We need to remind each other and our children that the true measure of a leader is not who they beat down but who they lift up.
Sadly, I think something perverse that has happened in our country over the last few years is that strength looks like a bully, when in fact the real character of a leader is someone who has empathy, some level of concern and care for the suffering of other people, and then does something to alleviate that suffering.”
What, O’Donnell followed up, would her mother say hearing Donald Trump’s words about her?
“My mother was a fighter, a fighter for equality. My mother had two goals in life: to take care of her daughters and end breast cancer. My mother dedicated her life to solving problems and taking care of people…She also was a student of history; she’d say ‘we’ve seen this before, we know where it could go. So stand up and fight for what is right.’”
You can view that portion of the interview here.
Harris spoke clearly and cogently about the Israel-Hamas war, about Ukraine, and about the importance of America’s position in the world that’s being jeopardized by political gamesmanship.
She said with regard to Israel that the US supports Israel’s right to defend itself after the horrific Hamas attack–and that how it defends itself matters. In addition, she said, “the US commitment is doing the hard work now [to prepare] for a two-state solution,” noting that she’d just returned from Dubai, where she met with Arab and other leaders.
As for Ukraine, she said: “I’ve now met with over 100 world leaders; our allies and our adversaries are watching to see if the US is going to follow through. The tragedy is people in Washington don’t understand and are playing politics.”
She referred to her days serving on the Senate Intelligence Committee, when “people would walk in [to a secure location], take off their jackets, roll up their sleeves; it didn’t matter if they were Democrats or Republicans, first and foremost was our national security.”
You can find that discussion here.
When asked about immigration and the border, she said: “The first bill Joe and I introduced was to fix our broken immigration system. It still has not been taken up” in Congress.
As noted above, on January 22–the fifty-first anniversary of Roe–the vice president will embark on the VP’s Reproductive Freedom Tour, beginning in Wisconsin.
In the interview, she was eloquent discussing abortion. In the link below, she speaks of this huge issue–and then responds to O’Donnell’s question about how she and Biden will garner the votes of those who may feel passionate about abortion, but are also very angry about their position in support of Israel.
She talks about the “split screen” and “binary choices” Americans will face in 2024.
I had trouble capturing it all, so this is part paraphrase, part direct quotes.
“The majority of Americans agree that the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body should lie with the individual and not the government telling her what to do. We saw that whenever freedom is on the ballot, voters vote for freedom.”
Though she said “this issue will be resolved in November” [that there will be no federal ban], “every day til then, women are suffering–many in horrible ways.” She spoke of Kate Cox, and “what happened to her…[and] Women who cannot afford to go to a state where they can get an abortion. I do know the American people fight for freedom and believe in a woman’s right…”
She mentioned the split screen–with a binary choice facing voters.
“On the one hand you’re gonna have folks like Joe and me who trust women to be able to make a decision about what’s in their best interest and women can trust us to protect their freedom.”
On the other hand will be those who want a national ban “and have the gall” to try to prevent abortion even in cases of rape and incest.
She underscored some of the other issues in addition to abortion on which voters will face stark choices in 2024.
“Bans–we want to ban assault weapons; they want to ban books.”
Economy: Biden/Harris are building an economy for working people that helps small business folks succeed; their opponents are for cutting taxes on the richest people, adding to the deficit.
The most existential threat we face…They’re for denying, green-washing, delaying. We have invested over $1 trillion in the climate crisis and a green economy.”
“These freedoms are all at stake this year. Every election we talk of ‘this is the most election (sic) of our lifetime’; Lawrence, this one is. This one is.”
Please watch her powerful words about abortion and other important issues here.
O’Donnell then asked:
“You’ve made history every time you’ve been sworn into office. What does the weight of your office feel like now?”
He showed a clip of Harris on her trip to Africa, being welcomed by young women and girls who were telling her they love her and she’s such a role model.
You can watch it here.
That video clip and her response were together a beautiful closing to an inspiring interview.
I think most people watching it would be impressed by her intelligence, empathy, and her understanding and communicating of important issues.
But just as the right is determined to depict Biden as a senile, blithering idiot, the same forces were out in full force with one of their favorite memes: Another embarrassing “word salad” from the vice president. Proof she lacks the ability to be president.
Why? Because in that forty-five minute interview, she spoke of “the most election of our lifetime,” omitting the word “important.”
That was it. That one word omission confirmed the “word salad” nonsense they hang on the vice president all the time.
It was bad enough that Fox and The New York Post were bleating “word salad…word salad.” (They also didn’t like the fact that she said people were right to compare Trump’s words with Hitler’s.)
But for some reason, MSN felt that foolishness was worth repeating too.
Kamala Harris is a strong woman, so I assume she’s grown accustomed to the misogyny and racism consistently thrown at her. But it sure infuriated me.
One of my loyal commenters lamented recently that he wished Biden had some charisma. I hope you’ll watch the video clips of our vice president. I think Kamala has enough charisma to share.
If people complain that Harris has done nothing, I hope you’ll disagree. If people say they wish Biden would dump her, I hope you’ll disagree.
By the way, her responsibilities include serving as chair of the US National Space Council, focused on developing international space partnerships.
I learn new things about her active role in our government all the time.
Oh, another criticism of VP Harris is about her laugh: it’s strong and hearty. Shame on her for showing her gusto for life!
The magic of the holiday season is found in joy. If you want to see what that looks like, watch these talented young leaders. pic.twitter.com/VzAxlaGMwJ— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) December 21, 2023