Here come two Democrats vying for the Oval Office: Joe Biden, who has been getting headlines for the kind tradition of hugging women; and Sen. Kamala Harris, who has been getting relatively few, smaller headlines for ruining lives. Biden, kind of a centrist, could be in deep trouble while Harris could soon be climbing up. A divided, confused America has much to worry about.
A former vice president and senator, Biden has been around for decades but still comes across as a moderately liberal piece not yet chewed to complete nuttiness by the emergent left. It is absolutely fair to look closely at him, and, yes, you can see on internet videos that his sometimes overreaching hugging manners could be questioned, although some recipients have said how cheery his closeness made them feel.
It does seem that he has never met a hugging, arm-wrestling opportunity he didn’t like, and this has recently led to growling and bared teeth. All of the vitriol was on hand, however, before two recent allegations of somewhat more serious behavior, even if none of it amounts to sexual assault. Compared to Harvey Weinstein, Biden is Mother Teresa, and, to me, some of the anti-Biden rhetoric trivializes the #MeToo movement as exaggerated and mean-spirited.
As San Francisco’s district attorney and California’s attorney general, Harris compiled a record of disregarding legal flubs that stuck people in prison as she then insisted they stay there. In effect she ignored due process by way of technicalities, thereby enabling the ruination of people who, in some instances, were likely innocent.
Harris, smart, tough and quick to offer freebies we can’t afford to citizens perhaps returning the favor at the voting booth, offered little to defendants when she served as a district attorney. She didn’t tell defense attorneys, for instance, that a lab technician had messed with drug evidence by such methods as theft and so you got convictions based on a fair share of hooey. A judge let 600 of the victims go home despite Harris’s protests.
When she was attorney general, there was a man whose stepdaughter had accused him of sexual abuse. He said she was lying, and turned down a plea bargain offer of just a few years in prison. He got convicted without evidence being presented that she had in fact lied like a spurting fire hydrant. When that became known, Harris still fought to keep him in prison for decades and won.
The point here is that we are one mixed-up country these days. In the views of too many, mountains are always molehills and molehills are always mountains. Disagree with these people whose eyesight is abetted by bigoted imaginations and they will tell you how careless you have been in covering up your Hitler mustache.
Ambrose, a Tribune News Service columnist, may be reached at speakto firstname.lastname@example.org.