Order Dan Slater and Joseph Wong’s From Development to Democracy: The Transformations of Modern Asia. Available for sale this week.
Make a one-time Donation to Democracy Paradox.
Kamala Harris Chooses Partisanship over Democracy
Yesterday on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd interviewed Vice President Kamala Harris. Like always, he asked some tough questions. But they were not entirely unexpected. In other words, Harris likely had plenty of time to prepare and even rehearse her answers with a communications team. Indeed, Harris did not come across as though she was surprised or unprepared. She did not stumble or hesitate. She came across as confident and poised. Moreover, Todd gave Vice President Harris opportunities to fully answer his questions.
Vice President Harris began the interview with an emphasis on the importance of democracy and the rule of law in the United States for its role in the world. She made some important points and even raised the very real concern about eleven election deniers who are candidates for Secretary of State. However, she failed to call out her own party when Todd asked about Democratic financial support for some of those same election deniers. She said, “I’m not going to tell people how to run their campaigns.”
This remark undercuts every warning Biden makes about the danger MAGA Republicans pose to American democracy. Democrats have spent over $43 million to help election deniers win primaries. The intent is to face more extreme and, likely, less competitive challengers in the general election. Moderate Republicans rightly assert this strategy is hypocritical. Indeed, it is also undemocratic.
Harris (and Biden) must call out members of their own party when they demonstrate undemocratic behavior. That said, it’s nowhere near as bad as overt efforts to overturn an election. Still, the historical moment requires politicians who care about democracy to live up to the lofty expectations. It requires politicians to call out undemocratic behavior on both sides of the aisle. Instead Kamala Harris chose partisanship over democracy.
Democracy Paradox Podcast
Robert Lieberman, Kenneth Roberts, and David Bateman on Democratic Resilience and Political Polarization in the United States
Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic Backsliding
Leave a Reply