With all the country’s problems, Peggy Noonan seems to think fixating on Vice President Kamala Harris is what the country needs most right now. In her latest column for the Wall Street Journal, Noonan again focuses on the vice president claiming she’s not taking things “serious” enough.
Noonan cites a Washington Post article claiming Biden’s team accused Harris of “dysfunction and a lack of focus” to support her attack on Harris. Sorry to tell Noonan, but Harris isn’t the greatest danger facing the country.
Even if true the Washington Post article is true, it raises more questions about why the president’s team would seek to undermine his number two.
Noonan’s real issue with Harris is that she’s not a white man. Any possibly valid criticism Noonan could have of Harris is colored by her apparent disdain for the vice president and lack of internal reflection.
There are much bigger issues with alleged White House leaks and what seems like the willingness of some within Biden’s team to throw Harris under the bus at a critical time in the nation’s recovery. If Harris is struggling, it’s not a matter of her ability and points to a more significant issue in the Biden administration.
Given the media’s attention on nit-picking, everything little thing she does, it’s not surprising the public isn’t happy with her. But then again, is the public pleased with anything right now? In many ways, Harris is a product of the current landscape with a raging pandemic, constant attacks on Democracy, and uneven economic rebound.
This isn’t the first time Peggy Noonan has been called out for her Karen-like attacks on the vice president. Ahead of the 2020 election, Madame Noire addressed Noonan’s fixation on Harris after the elder columnist got in her feelings seeing footage of vice president dancing to Mary J. Blige at a campaign stop.
If “the racism jumped out” needed to be described, we could point to the above paragraph. The coded language, the mentioning of Harris dancing with drumlines, the reference to her saying “Wassup” and labeling her as “insubstantial, frivolous,” was it for me. There seems to be something that sizzled in Noonan’s spirit that made her upset to see a Black woman expressing joy in a way that was not subdued and “respectable.” (Read the full article here).
Harris is not beyond critique, but the fixation on picking apart every little action she takes is beyond ridiculous. Black immigration activists taking issue with Harris telling people not to come here as a solution to the immigration crisis was valid. It’s quite rich that people like Noonan complain that Harris isn’t taking things “seriously” when the president, her supervisor, seems to be at times out of touch with our current reality.
Depicting Harris as frivolous and flighty is intentionally demeaning and fits a long pattern of attacks on Black women leaders. Whether it’s complaining about her preference for wired headphones over security concerns or her buying expensive cookware, certain news outlets and commentators seem to be working overtime to undermine Harris’ character and competence.
Harris is nowhere near as bad as Dick Cheney, George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, or her most recent predecessor Mike Pence. What exactly was Al Gore doing as vice president that made him so deserving? By the time Joe Biden became vice president, he had been in the Senate for nearly 30 years and was a fixture in American politics.
Pence stood by with a stupid grin as his president tried to destroy Democracy and let supporters march on the Capitol clamoring for the former vice president’s head.
A fundamental question for the American public is, do you even know what a vice president does? Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times ran an analysis of Harris and her predecessors. The outlet also noted that the hyper-partisan nature of the country puts Harris at a disadvantage.
The president tasked Harris with several of the most challenging issues in the administration, including the fight for voting rights and the border crisis. In the current climate, neither issue is easy, particularly with the president himself reluctant to take a strong position.