Yesterday, would-be authoritarian and multiracial presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris dropped out of the Democratic primaries. That’s shocking news, but good for the future of republic.
Early on, I (as well as Z Man) thought that Senator Harris posed a major threat. With the Left’s supposed desire for a charismatic, exotic-but-not-too-different, intersectional candidate, Harris fit the bill. She is basically a female Obama: the unusual ethnic background (Jamaican and East Indian), the meteoric rise, the stentorian rhetoric, the Third World penchant for strong-man (or -woman) rule. As a woman, she could pick up the angry professional woman vote, and as a nominal black she could pick up black Americans.
Boy, was I wrong—thank goodness! The black vote is hewing pretty closely to former Vice President Joe Biden, apparently because of his association with the Obama administration, which black Americans remember fondly. The box wine auntie vote is going to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. All of the suburban soccer moms, urban young professionals, and Episcopalians are going for Pete Buttigieg.
With Harris exiting the race, does this spell trouble for the much-vaunted “Obama Coalition”? The Democrats’ major strategy in 2012 and 2016 seemed to be to drive up black voters (who stayed home in 2016, but came out enthusiastically for their man in 2012), while also winning over squishy suburbanites with a polished presentation. Feminists would support Obama in 2008 and 2012 with the promise of getting their demographically analogous candidate, Hillary Clinton, in 2016.
Unfortunately for Democrats, black voters didn’t keep up their end of this implied bargain, and largely stayed home, allowing President Trump to defeat the moribund Clinton in key swing States. It also didn’t help that Secretary Clinton was an exceptionally bad candidate.
Indeed, Kamala Harris had her same deficiencies: the haughty attitude, the phony laugh, the put-on ethnic slang and accent. Obama might have been a biracial Hawaiian with an African (not African-American) father, but he could pull off being a black American compellingly (decades in Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church probably helped). Kamala Harris, whose father is Jamaican, and who is herself married to a white (Jewish?) attorney, couldn’t convince black Americans that she was legitimately black.
There does not appear to be a Democrat-uniting Obama-esque candidate. Joe Biden gives one rambling presser after another. Warren looks extremely angry, even when she’s smiling. Pete Buttigieg comes across as amenable and “sharp” (as I’ve heard multiple commentators, both on the Left and the Right, call him), apparently, but black voters will never come out in large numbers for an openly gay Episcopalian. He’s also exceptionally boring.
Tulsi Gabbard effectively destroyed Harris’s campaign, but she’s a one-issue candidate: she beats the anti-war and anti-globalist drum, but that’s about it. Her Party has effectively demonized her, too.
It’s little wonder, then, that Hillary Clinton seems to be considering entering the race, and that there are whispers of Michelle Obama throwing her hat in the ring. It also explains former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s late entrance into the race (a slightly less obnoxious Tom Steyer, if anything).
It’s all a rather sordid spectacle, highlighting the fractured, tribalistic nature of the modern Democratic Party. For progressives, race, gender, and sexual orientation matter more than ideas, policies, or substance. It’s all virtue-signalling in service of totalitarianism.
That said, progressives are remarkably good at overcoming these factional differences when it comes time to seize power, because every group knows they stand to gain if their vehicle for dominance, the Democratic Party, gains the levers of power. Every group in their mosaic gets a piece of the government pie when they win—just witness the orgy of spending and backscratching during the long Obama years.
All the more reason, then, for conservatives to unite behind President Trump in 2020. The Obama Coalition may be collapsing, but the progressives know how to win—and they’ll stop at nothing to do so.