For over a year now the media has tried to paint Joe Biden as a centrist candidate. Now that he’s picked Kamala Harris as his running mate, the media is doing its best to reinvent her as a moderate consensus candidate as well.
The New York Times has been mocked for calling her “a pragmatic moderate” who was “among the safest choices available to Mr. Biden,” but they are hardly the only media outlet engaged in this effort to reinvent Kamala as a candidate that has bipartisan appeal. David Byler at the Washington Post called Kamala a “small-c conservative, party-friendly pick.” Moira Donegan at The Guardian said that in picking Harris the Biden campaign is “resoundingly signaling that it is the centrist and pragmatic voters – particularly older Black voters – and not the younger progressive left, that they feel they have the most to gain from appealing to.”
Let’s just put this issue to bed right now: Kamala Harris is not a moderate, a small-c conservative, or anything that comes remotely close to a centrist.
Democrats are scared that Kamala’s record will be scrutinized, and have preemptively declared any criticism of the junior senator from California to be both racist and sexist. Amongst other things, they are certainly concerned that an honest examination of her record will destroy the “Centrist Kamala” narrative that they need to keep anti-Trump Republicans on board.
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But if you’re a conservative who doesn’t like Trump, and you’ve so far convinced yourself that Biden is a moderate, can you look at Kamala Harris and really say the same thing?
Let’s consider just a few facts.
She supports Bernie’s Medicare for all
It goes without saying that supporting Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan puts you as far as humanly possible from the political center… and that’s exactly where Kamala Harris stands.
During a CNN town hall event last year, Harris was asked by an audience member, “What is your solution to ensure that people have access to quality health care at an affordable price? And does that solution involve cutting insurance companies as we know them out of the equation?”
“I believe the solution — and I actually feel very strongly about this — is that we need to have Medicare for all. That’s just the bottom line.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper then acknowledged that she co-sponsored Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all bill, and then asked her about the fate of private insurance. Kamala said, “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”
Yes, let’s move on.
She supports the Green New Deal
During the same town hall event, Kamala Harris was asked whether she supports the Green New Deal proposed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“I support a Green New Deal. And I will tell you why: climate change is an existential threat to us and we have got to deal with the reality of it.”
The Green New Deal that Kamala Harris endorse is estimated to cost about $93 trillion (that’s trillion with a “t”) or roughly $600,000 per U.S. household, according to a study co-authored by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
After the town hall, Kamala took to Twitter to announce she was co-sponsoring the bill.
In 2018, Kamala Harris suggested that Judge Brian Buescher was unfit to serve on the bench because he is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization and charitable group with millions of members.
“Since 1993, you have been a member of the Knights of Columbus, an all-male society comprised primarily of Catholic men,” Harris began. “In 2016, Carl Anderson, leader of the Knights of Columbus, described abortion as ‘a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths.’ Mr. Anderson went on to say that ‘abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale.’ Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?”
A Catholic organization opposing abortion? Who knew?
Harris also asked Buescher if he was aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed same-sex marriage when he joined the organization. Was Harris really unaware that a Catholic organization might hold a position on an issue in accordance with the faith it was founded on? Of course not. What Harris was suggesting is that anyone who is a practicing Catholic should be disqualified from serving on the bench.
She supports studying the issue of reparations for slavery
Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865. Not a single person today can claim to have been a slave or a slave owner. Yet, there are those on the left who are advocates of reparations for slavery, where, in theory, descendants of slaves would receive some form of compensation. There is no universal definition for what that compensation would be.
Kamala Harris supports the concept of reparations. While she doesn’t quite know what that would mean, she believes it should be “studied.”
“[Reparations] means different things to different people. But what I mean by it is that we need to study the effects of generations of discrimination and institutional racism and determine what can be done, in terms of intervention, to correct course.”
It’s not clear whether Harris, who reportedly is the descendant of slaveowners, would pay or receive reparations.
She’s rabidly pro-abortion
Kamala Harris has a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America for every year she’s served in the U.S. Senate. Does that sound like a centrist? Or a pragmatic moderate? Elected Democrats are consistently more pro-abortion than mainstream America. An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose late-term abortions, but Kamala Harris is a proponent of virtually unrestricted abortion, and is entirely in the pocket of Planned Parenthood.
Harris has even criticized Biden for not being sufficiently pro-abortion. During the debates, she clashed with Biden over his past support of the Hyde Amendment, which banned the use of federal funding for abortions. “Why did it take you so long to change your position on the Hyde Amendment?” she asked. “Why did it take so long, until you were running for president, to change your position on the Hyde Amendment?”
“Kamala Harris is an extremist who supports abortion on demand through birth, paid for by taxpayers, and even infanticide – an agenda rejected by the overwhelming majority of Americans, including millions of Independents and rank-and-file Democrats,” said Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser in a statement. “As attorney general of California, Harris conspired with the abortion industry to launch a politically-motivated shakedown of brave citizen journalists who exposed Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvest and sale of aborted baby parts for profit.”
A “pragmatic centrist” would certainly have a more mainstream view of abortion than Kamala Harris.
She’s anti-Second Amendment
Can anyone explain how someone who supports gun confiscation can be a moderate?
“We have to have a buyback program and I support a mandatory gun buyback program,” Harris said last year. “It’s got to be smart. We’ve got to do it the right way but there are five million [assault weapons] at least, some estimate as many as 10 million, and we’re going to have to have smart public policy that’s about taking those off the streets, but doing it the right way.”
Not even Hillary Clinton supported mandatory gun buybacks.
Harris has promised swift action on gun-control as well.
“During her short-lived presidential campaign, she demanded gun-control legislation within 100 days and threatened executive action if Congress didn’t deliver,” National Shooting Sports Foundation spokesman Mark Oliva told the Washington Free Beacon. “Senator Harris was clear when she said gun control would be an administration priority. Her platform included entertaining forced confiscation of lawfully owned semiautomatic rifles, redefining ‘sporting purpose’ for lawful firearm possession, criminalizing private firearm transfers and repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. In fact, she supports politicizing the Department of Justice and using the weight of the federal government to harass a constitutionally protected industry in a series of frivolous lawsuits to bankrupt manufacturers.”
The NRA reacted to her selection as Biden’s running mate by warning that “Biden & Harris will dismantle the 2nd Amendment.”
She has one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate
In the end, the best place to assess her political ideology is her voting record. And various outlets that have examined it all reached the same conclusion: Kamala is one of the most liberal senators in the U.S. Senate.
The GovTrack 2018 report card ranked the California Democrat 96th out of 99 senators on a scale of most conservative to most liberal, placing her to the left of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who ranked 87th, and slightly to the right of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who placed 98th.
The GovTrack ranker was no outlier. Progressive Punch listed her as the fifth-most progressive senator, with a lifetime “crucial votes” score of 96.76 out of 100, ahead of Sanders, who scored 94.93 and ranked tenth.
On her “overall record,” she ranked fifth with a score of 97.18, still to the left of Sanders, who placed eighth, but behind Warren, who placed second with a score of 98.53.
So, depending on the source, she’s either between socialists Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, or further to the left than they are. But, okay, yeah, we’re supposed to nod our heads and say “Oh yeah, she’s a centrist”? The American Conservative Union also examined her voting recording and gave her a 0 rating in 2019, and a lifetime rating of 3.03 out of 100.
So, let’s put an end to the “Kamala Harris is a moderate” narrative now. It’s insulting that the media thinks that they can get away with calling her that. Do they really think they can convince the independents and Never Trumpers that she’s one of them, considering all the evidence that refutes it?
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis