It’s isn’t just power that corrupts — turns out, just the possibility of power does a pretty good job, too.
That essential truth was on full display Wednesday as word sunk in among Democratic circles that California Sen. Kamala Harris had been chosen to be former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate in the November election.
Harris herself is a prime example of the flexibility of liberal standards in the era of President Donald Trump, when Democrats are so desperate to regain the White House they are willing to say whatever it takes to improve their chances.
In April 2019, before Biden announced his candidacy for the presidency, Harris publicly applauded women who’d come forward to accuse him of inappropriate sexual behavior. (This was long before the Tara Reade allegations that rocked Biden’s campaign this spring.)
In December of last year, Harris stood on a stage on national television and accused Biden of being a quasi-racist for his cordial ties to segregationists in the Senate in the 1970s.
Yet here she is in August 2020, going from bloodying her one-time rival for the Democratic nomination to endorsing him, to joining his presidential ticket.
If Harris is Exhibit A for Democratic flip-flopping, a prominent runner-up would be Shaun King,
King, the suspiciously pale-complexioned Black Lives Matter activist most recently in the news for calling for the removal of statues that portray Jesus with Caucasian features, found himself on the spot Tuesday after he published a Twitter post praising the Biden-Harris ticket.
Seems the man who supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the nomination wasn’t always so admiring of Kamala Harris’s record.
Some Twitter users happily nailed him for his hypocrisy:
Today in know what side your bread is buttered on. pic.twitter.com/eDAsl1GKdF
— Shailja Patel (@shailjapatel) August 12, 2020
It’s almost too funny. The post on the left shows King’s feelings in 2018, when he said he’d be “frank and tell you two Democrats that I’m 99% sure I won’t be supporting … Joe Biden & Kamala Harris.”
On the right is a post from Tuesday, where King had a considerably different take on Harris – and by extension the Harris-Biden ticket.
“I’ve done political work my whole life. It’s rarely things dreams are made of,” King wrote. “Kamala Harris is the most progressive VP nominee in American history.”
Now, it’s natural for political sides to coalesce as an election comes nearer. Republicans and conservatives do the same.
But when Democrats like King step down from their moral pedestal and suddenly start praising the very people they savaged only a short time before, it’s a turnaround of road-to-Damascus proportions (or would be, if liberals could understand the allusion).
If King had been a conservative activist who was suddenly changing his tune on, say, Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016, it’s easy to think how liberals would have mocked such a transparently boot-licking change of heart.
But in the liberal media, the rules are different for Democrats, as everyone knows. So instead of being mocked for flipping like a Mafia rat, King drew studiously neutral headlines like “Shaun King Explains Why He Changed His Mind About Kamala Harris” in Newsweek and “Activist Shaun King Views VP Nominee Kamala Harris Differently After 2018 Tweets On Criminal Justice Reform” from Black Sports Online.
How did King explain his more-than-a-little-radical change of heart about Harris? She’s finally living up to his standards, of course.
“I can only speak for myself, but when I harshly critique leaders, it’s with the hope that they will grow and evolve. Kamala has done so, in very specific ways, on issues of justice,” he wrote.
“I’ll remain a critic. But I’m nothing but glad to see the growth. Is what it is.”
I can only speak for myself, but when I harshly critique leaders, it’s with the hope that they will grow and evolve.
Kamala has done so, in very specific ways, on issues of justice.
I’ll remain a critic. But I’m nothing but glad to see the growth. Is what it is. https://t.co/vS57O9jgeO
— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 12, 2020
Well, it’s a relief that a stalwart for “justice” like Shaun King is only changing his opinion because Kamala Harris has grown sufficiently in his eyes.
Cynics might have seen it as happening because he’s a spineless, hypocritical grifter who wants to get on the good side of the Democratic presidential ticket and stay popular with all cool kids in the Democratic Party.
There were a lot of cynics on social media:
Newsweek giving credence to this guy is 2020 in a nutshell… https://t.co/B8qS5Ey5jO
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) August 12, 2020
He’s just carrying the water for his betters. He does not want to be left on the outside when the true believers are called. It won’t do him any good. He to will fall short of the fascists ideal.
— CrimsonPirate (@PirateCrimson) August 12, 2020
He speaks like a person committed to his principles. As long as those principles include a person of color. And its Tuesday in August. And he wants to show how inclusive he is.
— Brian (@bgfins) August 12, 2020
Now I’m confused! So it’s OK to have a horrible history as long as there is positive change? So we can start putting statues back up??? Asking for a friend.
— Brian (@Brian99476557) August 12, 2020
Of course, King and Harris aren’t the only two Democrats who have beclowned themselves falling into line for Biden.
It seems like an eternity now, but it was only six months ago that the Biden campaign was on life support and Sanders’ socialism was ascendant on the left.
As soon as that fell apart in the Feb. 29 South Carolina primary, Democrats flocked to Biden’s banner, with Harris endorsing Biden in an early March video that was almost comical in its insincerity.
Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, described it perfectly in a Twitter post as having “hostage-tape production values.”
But sincerity isn’t what Harris is selling — anymore than Shaun King or any other Democrats who were opposed to the idea of Biden and Harris until they became the only show in town.
For Democrats, power is the only organizing principle that matters, and it’s going to be at center stage between now and when the November ballots are counted.
The eight years of the Obama White House proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that for Democrats, power corrupts.
The circus surrounding the Biden campaign is showing that even the potential for power does a pretty good job of it, too.
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