The incredible shrinking Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris is creating a problem.  That comes as a surprise.  I figured she'd be president by now.  The cognitive decline of the Elected Official Formerly Known as Joe Biden is plain to see.  The old Joe was a glib glad-hander who played the game as well as anyone.  He could explain without missing a beat his devout Catholicism and his simultaneous support for abortion on demand.  He was also quite electable, to a point.  SNL's Woody Harrelson mocked him gently: "I'm like plastic straws.  I've been around forever.  I've always worked.  And now you're mad at me?"

The frail, wandering Biden who emerged from his basement for a mini-campaign sometimes resembled an audio-animatronic replica of the veteran pol.  But few other candidates developed even momentary traction — certainly not Kamala Harris, the oddly off-putting junior senator from California, who checked several boxes but never contested a primary.  When she was tapped as V.P., the outline of a scheme began to emerge.  The mainstream media, propaganda arm of the Democrat Party, would haul Joe across the finish line by praising manufactured virtues and burying ugly truths.  The loyal or clueless would pull the Biden lever.  Dead people and photocopies would provide the winning margin.  Then, after a dignified interval, he could "develop some disease and say he'd have to resign," as he told us plainly, on camera with Harris.  That card could be played whenever needed.  Let the con run too long, and the public would get wise.  Joe was certainly not up to the task of his new office.  When he repeated aloud the whispered directive from his earpiece to "salute the Marines" upon entering the White House on Inauguration Day, we knew that it wouldn't get better.  Six months of word salads and vacant stares from the leader of the free world have removed any doubt.

The problem?  V.P. Harris is not ready for prime time.

California is a foreign country.  They do things differently there.  Who knows how one gets elected senator?  Harris has already proved it wasn't by putting in long days solving complex problems with her vast intellectual resources and leadership ability.  She has no intention of doing the heavy lifting.  Even if she did, she couldn't pull it off.

Peddling Marxist snake oil isn't easy work.  When the proposed solution will obviously make things worse, you've got to be Harold Hill from The Music Man to talk people into it.  When it actually does make things worse, only the most talented magician can convince the public not to believe their lyin' eyes.  Bill Clinton could do it.  He was the master.  He could hand you a flower to distract you while he stole your wallet, and you'd press that flower in the family Bible and treasure it forever.  Barack Obama, radical leftist dressed as a benevolent high school principal, could do it.  Kamala Harris can't.  Her go-to strategy is to cackle at the sad souls who are just too dumb to get it on their own.

Her big audition for the presidential tag-in was her selection as border czar.  "Stem the migration" was her assigned task — a canard.  This administration's goal is to erase the border altogether, creating an unending stream of fresh leftist voters who will ensure perpetual Democrat rule.  The inevitable byproducts of that open-border policy are a tsunami of deadly narcotics, an abomination of human-trafficking, a notable increase in violent crime, and untold personal misery among the illegal aliens themselves, all visible already.  Harris's real task is to divert attention and buy time by justifying the unjustifiable cost of the left's lust for power.  She's failing.  Why?

She lacks the necessary patience and humility.  Like many powerful people deluded by sycophants into imagining their every utterance is sheer brilliance, she can hardly believe she has to make a better case to the American people.

She doesn't appreciate her friends. The media stand ready to push any narrative she concocts.  Her one job is to give them something they can work with.  It would sound like this: Sentence 1: "Here I am, handling the problem."  Sentence 2: "It's all Donald Trump's fault."  Sentence 3: Anything remotely usable.  Harris is letting her friends down.  She didn't even travel to the border for three-plus months, then went nowhere near the epicenter of the crisis.  She snapped at reporters for pointing out her failings, then failed afresh by giving them nothing worth printing.  Even a Democrat congressman felt obliged to chide her.

Harris has neither the energy nor the artistry to pull this off.  Also, she openly despises half the American public.  In politics, that's a real obstacle to effectiveness.

I am reminded of two things: a photo and an old joke.

When First Lady Hillary Clinton left the White House, she charted a course to the presidency, which she believed she deserved all along.  She bought an estate in a posh New York town and was soon elected to the Senate.  Among the memorable photos of her in office is a telling portrait of a tired, haggard-looking Senator Clinton attending some hearing about which she clearly cares not one bit.  She is leaning, chin in hand, eyes heavy-lidded, wrapped in a pashmina.  Serving in the Senate turned out to be a lot of work.

The old joke is so old that it's not even searchable online.  Decades ago, in the former Soviet Union, a series of races was held between two cars: an American Ford and a Russian Moscvich.  The Ford won them all.  A Pravda reporter had to spin the result. "The Moscvich never placed lower than second," he wrote, "but the Ford was always next to last."

That, comrades, is the sort of cleverness and chutzpah it takes to defend the indefensible.  The heir apparent to the Oval Office demonstrates neither.  Joe Biden's handlers, whoever they are, have a problem.  It's already time to pull their starting pitcher — but the reliever in the bullpen isn't major-league material.

Image: Gage Skidmore.

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