Discourse

New York Times calls for Kamala to be held to lower expectations so she can succeed

Klein's argument is literally that Harris should be given lesser challenges so that she won't look like a failure when she attempts to attain the presidency.
Libby Emmons
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY
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Is Kamala Harris' job too hard? Should the Biden administration, or as they like to call it, the Biden Harris administration, be giving Harris' easier tasks to manage? According to Ezra Klein of The New York Times, the answer is yes. These problems Harris' has been asked to handle, from root causes of immigration and the border to police reform, voting rights, and vaccine hesitancy just aren't setting Harris' up for success, posits Klein.

It's hard to see this op-ed as anything other than a softly bigoted rant about how Harris can't handle the tough jobs if the Dems want her to take the presidency in 2024. As a black woman who may intend to run for president in just a few years, who will be up against men as well as voter bias against her gender and race, Harris', Klein believes, should be given easier problems to tackle.

Klein's argument is literally that Harris should be given lesser challenges so that she won't look like a failure when she attempts to attain the presidency during the next election. If she doesn't fail, that must be a success, right?

Klein's argument is one based in the soft racism and sexism of lowered expectations. His belief is that Harris "has clear potential as a national leader, but she needs the time, support and right combination of goals to learn and grow. She needs a mix of tough targets and ones that show her ideas and creativity… rather than a portfolio consisting of the most difficult policy challenges in 21st-century America."

He's saying that if the Democrats want Kamala Harris to have a shot at the presidency, they need to lower their expectations of her abilities. It's not fair, says Klein, to give her all the tough jobs while Biden deals with the rest of the nation's ills on a cross-country PR tour to get their policy proposals in front of the public. Give her something easy to do, and then we'll see how she can really shine, Klein implores.

Klein's excuse for wanting Harris to not have to face the toughest trials is, of course, that the public is racist and they're not ready for a black, woman executive in the Oval Office. But we can counter that racism, Klein says, by giving her easy jobs that come with easy success. That way, Harris can be a winner, even if she's only playing checkers and the game of chess is still out of reach.

He doesn't think she can handle the toughest challenges that she would face as president, and that instead of learning to face them by facing them, she should learn to handle them by doing something else for three years and then launching a run for president.

Klein takes issue with Biden having tasked Harris with border and immigration issues at all, writing that Harris "had no deep expertise with Latin America issue or the decades-long quandary of federal immigration reform." He writes that she shouldn't have to deal with "the administration's voting-rights efforts, which are in filibuster limbo." And as to vaccine hesitancy and police reform, these, too, Klein points out, "are uphill battles."

What Klein would prefer, it seems, is if Biden paid a little less attention to his own presidency and the myriad issues the nation is facing now and showed more concern for making sure Harris is able to eke out a win in 2024. "He had to know," Klein writes, "that in choosing her as his vice president, he was making her his heir apparent. But based on how things look now, her work as his No. 2 could end up being baggage more than a boon."

So Biden picked Harris for the job, despite her being "historic yet inexperienced," as Klein writes, but shouldn't actually make her do the job because her failure will hurt her chances of getting to do a way harder job in just a few years time.

The Biden administration consistently tells us that we are facing tough challenges that are dividing the nation and that their team is the best one to handle it. Now The New York Times and Ezra Klein tell us that they are not quite the best team, but they will be, if we give them just a little more time, and nothing too hard to handle, m'kay?

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