What a disappointment Kamala Harris is, not to the progressives who are falling in line if not in love, but to Donald Trump, who has no strong women around him and knows little about the type, except that he can’t really stand them. As late as Sunday night returning from his two hundredth and something golfing day, Trump believed the veep choice would be Spyin’ Susan Rice, or Kuba Kommunist Karen Bass, easy for him to reduce to avatars of the radical left out to destroy the suburbs, defund the police, raise taxes, turn cities into killing fields, and put kale on the lunch menu at schools if those face-covered, socially distancing Democrats ever agree to open them.
In a pinch, for Harris, he dredged up meanie (to his people and to Joe Biden, no less), power-hungry (she broke the last glass ceiling on open ambition), and, his fallback insult for women, nasty. Every time he hurls that one, another swing voter gets her wings and flies into a Democrat’s arms. Our cruel-nicknamer-in-chief also took madwoman and angry out for spins until aides told him to drop the loaded terms. Going back to his “birther” roots, Trump amplified a debunked theory about how maybe Kamala wasn’t really American, and thus allowed on the ticket.
Trump’s problem is that he’s George Wallace in the ’50s warning suburban voters of an influx of, um, others lowering their property values when most moms there would be thrilled to have Harris and her family move in next door. Trump’s campaign and the RNC can’t decide whether Harris is proof a “left-wing mob” has taken over the party or a Wall Streeter with her thumb in the eye of Black Lives Matter.
Trump was still workshopping his attacks on Harris when the new ticket took to the stage in Wilmington where, in the age of COVID-19, there were no applause lines because there was no one there to applaud. Besides, who’s going to cheer the fact that the booming economy that Trump inherited has now collapsed, like everything else he inherited? Or the fact that there’s an American dying every 80 seconds from the virus now? Those were part of the open-and-shut case against Trump that Harris delivered on Wednesday, when the country had its highest number of “fat-ili-ties,” as Trump likes to call them, since May.
Trump’s going to need a bigger boat to harpoon Harris, with the Democratic ticket bringing in a record breaking $26 million in 24 hours of her joining it, including contributions from 150,000 first-time donors. Like Ginger Rogers, Kamala can do everything Donald does, only backwards and in her beige high heels. She has an infectious joy, and if that’s too Hallmark card, a cheerful optimism that government can be a force for good again, that we can return to the time, not so long ago, when after 3,000 people were killed, no one threw a spitting fit over standing in long airport lines, jackets and shoes off, to keep the terrorists from winning. Just maybe, together, they can get more of us to wear masks and stop the pandemic from winning.
For Trump, government is rarely a force for good. The man who joked he wanted to slow tests lowered the rate by about 17 percent lower this month. On Fox, Trump had his own FBI director, Christopher Wray, declaring that “he's either going to turn out one way or the other" and said of Wray’s boss, Attorney General William Barr, that if he gets an FBI probe tarnishing Biden out in time he has a “chance to be the greatest of all time,” but “if he wants to be politically correct, he'll be just another guy."
One person he praised without reservation was “future Republican star Marilyn Taylor Green,” the QAnon-pledging, minority-hating conspiracist nut who celebrated her primary win that’s akin to winning a House seat in an overwhelmingly Republican district by calling Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “bitch.”
And in the event Trump’s special blend of racism and misogyny doesn’t gin up his base to vote in outsized numbers, or should Jared Kushner’s efforts, along with those of GOP operatives in four states, to get Kanye West on ballots as a spoiler fail, he weighed in Thursday on the stalled relief bill—not to talk about helping families with no food or housing, but to announce he will be blocking emergency funding for the Postal Service, adding that without the money to “do the universal mail-in voting. . . they can’t do it, I guess.”
Another diabolic mission accomplished, I guess. Trump’s new postmaster general, top campaign donor Louis DeJoy, removed 23 managers who could stand in the way of his upcharging for postage for mail-in ballots, reclassifying political mail that gets priority treatment to bulk mail that doesn’t, and slowing delivery. Already, government checks and prescription drugs are arriving late, mail is piling up, and costs are actually rising as Trump’s team works overtime to destroy the post office. DeJoy should know that to “retard ” the mail is a federal crime punishable by six months in prison. He should also check with Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort how it feels to do hard time for Trump.
As for Harris, she’s just one more woman trying to make him look bad. Name one strong woman in Trump's life. You can't. For that matter, can you name one strong man? Jared Kushner, son-in-law and de facto chief of staff, has amassed power because he’s weak. Mike Pence? He’s as submissive as a 1950s sitcom wife, chosen in 2016 primarily to balance the outlaw persona of the thrice-married Trump, with Pence’s knowledge of 2 Corinthians, the color-appropriate hair God gave him, and a spouse he calls mother who agrees that meeting alone with a woman could only lead to trouble.
Before Pence has to face Harris at the Oct. 7 debate in Utah, rumors are circulating that Trump will dump Pence for former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, waiting in the wings. Haley was once something like Harris. In 2016, after Haley called on candidate Trump to release his tax returns, she blew off his insult with an insincere “bless your heart.” After he won, Haley gradually weakened. She befriended Ivanka, joined the family on Air Force One, and landed her dream job. She documented her capitulation in a memoir that exalted the president.
That’s the kind of woman Trump can do business with. Harris, not so much. Like a majority of women who tell pollsters they won’t be voting for Trump in November, Trump has no business messing with her.