Kamala Harris Answers All Your Burning Questions. Even The Dumb Ones.
On Monday Night, CNN held what we imagine was the first of approximately 75,000 TV town hall events with the Democratic candidates, since at last count there were approximately 37,500 people in the race. This one was with Kamala Harris, held at Drake University in Iowa and moderated by Jake Tapper, and we gotta say, we continue to be highly impressed with her. We'll also say that she needs to polish her talking points on trade, but that's fine, since the election isn't for another 4,376 years, therefore she's got time to get it just right.
Harris made news a few times during the event. Asked if she supports a Green New Deal, she said she absolutely does and said why. Asked a funny question about how to respond to mansplaining dickcheese idiots who say we shouldn't have a female nominee after what happened in 2016, she basically said people probably shouldn't listen to those idiots, on account of how dumb they are. But she said it way nicer than Wonkette would say it:
"I've heard people say when I ran, and ran as the first woman who would win: 'People aren't ready. It's not your time. Nobody like you has done that before,'" Harris said. "I haven't listened, and I would suggest that nobody should listen to that kind of conversation."
Some of the news she made happened in this video we're going to post for you, where Harris talked about her record on criminal justice -- her actual record, which is neither perfect nor WORST DIRTY COP PROTECTOR BAD LADY FROM HELL, as some on the internet are intent on framing it. (Vox has a good, balanced look at what Harris's record as a prosecutor and as California attorney general really looked like, if you're interested.)
Kamala Harris defends her record on criminal justice www.youtube.com
Harris talked about her lifelong opposition to the death penalty, even when, because of the job she held, she was forced to defend it in court. She talked about racial disparities in the criminal justice system, noting that it wasn't something she ever had to learn, but rather something she's just always known, as she was born to parents active in the Civil Rights Movement, and has lived her entire life as a black woman.
Harris defended herself, though, continuing her tradition of answering these sorts of questions head on, and she touted the progressive reforms she was able to put into place. She concluded by saying these two things:
There are some people who just believe that prosecutors shouldn't exist, and I don't think I'm ever going to satisfy them.
Probably a fair assessment. However:
Do I wish I could have done more? Absolutely.
After addressing her record as a prosecutor, Harris got a question on healthcare, which you can see at the end of the video above. The short version is that hell yes, she supports Medicare for All. (She's a co-sponsor of Bernie Sanders's bill in the Senate.) Some on Twitter seemed to think her answer was too flippant, as she seemed to side-step the issue of whether private insurance companies would continue to exist under such a system. The truth is that of course they (probably) would. In most countries that have some form of universal or even single-payer healthcare, private insurance still exists for those who want to buy enhancements to their overall healthcare experience. The point is that under a Medicare for All system, everybody would be covered and nobody would have to worry about going bankrupt because of a medical crisis. The rest is details.
At the end of her answer, when she said fuck yeah, it would probably eliminate most private health plans, she said "Let's move on!" and for a second people couldn't tell if she meant let's tell our dumb private health plans that actually nobody really likes to eat dicks in hell, or if she just meant let's move on to a different subject, JAKE TAPPER. She meant the thing about private health plans eating dicks in hell, but regardless, they moved on to a different subject, JAKE TAPPER.
What about a Green New Deal? Fuck yes, she supports it. She also spoke passionately on gun violence and DACA recipients, and said no way no how is she giving Donald Trump one cent for his wall, which she calls his "medieval vanity project."
Harris also answered a question about whether, in a country where babies are starving, the existence of multi-billionaires is even morally defensible. Harris spoke to the issue without quite accepting the question's framing, saying fuck yeah the rich need to be paying way more, and fuck no, it's not acceptable that babies are literally starving and working people can't get ahead under the status quo. She said her first act as president would be one of the greatest tax cuts for working people this country has ever seen, a plan she calls the LIFT Act, which Wonkette has splained you here.
Oh, and as for the question of Can She Beat Trump, and also what's it going to be like having her on a debate stage with Trump, Harris had this to say:
"It's very important that anyone who presents themselves as a leader, and wants to be a leader, will speak like a leader, and that means speaking with integrity — speaking the truth," Harris said. "And speaking in a way that expresses and indicates some level of interest and concern in people other than one's self."
"Right there we will see a great contrast," she said to laughter. She added the country deserves a leader who doesn't speak to "the lowest common denominators and base instincts and speak in a way that is about inciting fear as a distraction from the fact that you're getting nothing done, helping the richest people and the biggest corporations."
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