Listen: Ep. 138 - About Kamala Harris dropping out
"About two years ago I did an interview Think with political about Senator Kamala Harris and it was rumored at that time that she was considering running for President and after I did the interview actually got a lot of progressives who were frustrated with what I said because in the interview. I said that I have real problems. With District Attorney Kamala Harris. She was the. Da of San Francisco and in many ways was a problematic district attorney. But I said that when she was the district attorney of San Francisco we didn't have the the same standards and norms that we have today in a lot of people were frustrated with me because I said that I thought that a lot of people were trying to apply. You Know Twenty nineteen standards on a two thousand ten district attorney and it's true that when she was was a district attorney she was seen as rather progressive at the time. But at that time we didn't have the days that we have now like like Rachel rollins or or Larry Krassner in Philadelphia or or chase a bodine in San Francisco and and yet people were frustrated and so I said eight. I'm not a huge fan of district attorney Kamala Harris. I said I wasn't a huge fan of attorney. General Commonly Harris. But that I really like Senator Comma Harris I think as a senator I think she for a variety of reasons it including the fact that she was preparing to run for president. I think that Senator Kamala Harris was more progressive than attorney attorney. General Kamala Harris and then district attorney Kamla Harris and a lot of progressives were super frustrated with that because they really felt like Kamala Harris kind of upped her progressive game knowing that she would need to do that if she was going to run successfully for President I think some of that is true. Also think the offices are very different and I think the time is very different. Twenty one thousand nine hundred twenty twenty people. I feel like they don't have the same restraints and I wanNA upon for just a couple minutes. It's on the struggles. I have written in studied about this the struggles of black women in politics and how they don't get to play by the same rules particularly as white men in politics and let me let me explain I remember when Stacey Abrams I announced that she was running for governor of Georgia and a lot of people that live in Georgia including many of my close friends. Will I hold. Hold on Sean. Before you endorse Stacey Abrams she's not super progressive passive man. She's not super progressive on these ten issues and here are some votes that she made that you should be concerned about. And Sean I don't think she she is exactly who you think she is. First off I've known Stacey Abrams for twenty years. She's exactly who I think she is and what they didn't understand. Let me even go thirty thousand feet above the issue. It's really easy to say who you'd be if you were a politician like it's super easy to say if I was in office or even for you to just imagine if I was in office I would do. ABC D. E. or you're not in office and so you really don't know who you'd be once you were there but here's what they were doing was stacy and I'm going to circle back to Commun- just a second because I think it's illustrative of who she had to be to become Senator Comma Harris Stacey Abrams to become a widely respected elected official in the state and she was in The State House there and was really a high level negotiator and representative and she was known Tom. Stacey Abrams in Georgia. And I lived in Georgia for almost my entire adult life. She was known as somebody who was willing to negotiate and talk and discuss I am bargain with Republicans to get stuff done and you may hear that in maybe you just cringe. Like Oh my God. She's working with Republicans in Georgia where Republicans control the governorship the State Supreme Court and the State House and State Senate if you don't negotiate with Republicans you won't get a damn thing done and so mayor Qassim read. who was the former mayor before Kisha Lance ask bottoms was elected there as mayor of Atlanta Merica? Same renew the same thing that to be mayor of Atlanta under the state leadership of nothing nothing but conservatives that you had to negotiate with the Republican governor Republican leaders. Sometimes you had to hold your nose but it. That's not even the only way you can do business. Stacey Abrams seen read and others had to make friends on the other side of the aisle. If you will just to get the most basic basic stuff done for their constituents and so if you're not from Georgia or if you're not deeply involved in politics you could look at Stacy's records say hold on hold on on. She compromised on a compromised on Bishi compromised on C.. Well you know there's a definition of politics that I learned all the way back in nineteen ninety eight. That politics is the art of compromise. What are you willing to give? And what are they willing to give for. You negotiate on a on a position to get get something done and so she was able Stacey. Abrams too often negotiate and got less than she wanted less than Her Progressive Dream but she was able to negotiate an often get stuff done under a Republican administration because she had to compromise and I saw that and see that to this day as a sign of a brilliant leader. WHO's willing to move when they have to just to get something something done but to be a black woman in politics in rise up through the ranks often means means that you have not had the privilege and it is? It is in some ways a tool rule of white privilege to be elected to a citywide or statewide office. A black woman rarely has the privilege to be an ultra progressive like I am an ultra Progressive Bernie. Sanders is an ultra progressive. But he is an ultra through progressive in a state that embraces that to be an ultra progressive in rise to power as district attorney in the two thousands to be an ultra progressive black woman and be elected district attorney in the two thousands hard to see that to be an ultra progressive. I mean mega liberal and be elected statewide statewide as Attorney General California in the two thousand and tends very very difficult and to be elected. And here's the thing. California is is progressive but to win statewide office as the attorney. General of California and be a Hippie a super crazy progressive to be able to do that and be elected to statewide office in the entire state of California. It's it's very difficult to be attorney. General to be United States senator and an often white men in particular have the freedom in liberty to express a full range of politics and still rise up through the ranks that that black women rarely we have that black people that it was even all people of color often feel like they have to color within the lines. Play by the rules to rise up through the ranks. They have to play the game. And you may hear this and say all the as BS Sean. They can be progressive and still rise up through the ranks. I would struggle to name a single black statewide official across the country who is an ultra liberal and ultra progressive because they have learned the hard way that to rise up through the ranks to either be embraced braced by the Democratic Party to be embraced by enough people to win. Statewide office and Black. You have to play by very different different set of rules and I think that's been the story for common La- Harris as as district attorney as attorney general and even in some ways As senator I think she is just now started to feel the freedom to just be who she is and feel comfortable with and I think it can be a struggle after commonly harasses not twenty years old. You know if through your Twenties Thirties forties and fifties you have of master coloring within the lines and only rarely getting outside of that box all of a sudden. It's difficult to feel like. Hey I can play by my own rules. When you've mastered playing by the rules for your entire life to to rise up through the ranks and so I feel for someone like Comma Harris who stepped out to run for office and then really found it difficult Colt to have a clear message and a clear voice like she embraced Medicare for all and then she backed off of it? She tried to defend end. Some of the worst parts of record regarding justice reform and got a lot of blowback Instead of just kind of owning it and I hope I had hoped that she would take even the position that I tried to lay out there to say. Hey if I knew in the two thousands thousands what I know in two thousand nineteen I would be very different as a leader as an attorney general as district attorney if I knew and saw the world the way I see it now I would do it like ABC in d. but instead she just primarily defended it and I understand that is It's it's a difficult decision for any political leader to make to try to."