The Spare

In Great Britain, they call it “an heir and a spare,” the queen’s duty to produce two boys, just in case something bad happens to the elder. We don’t birth our spares in America. We elect them, although we do so in tandem with the main event, so unless they’re Sarah Palin, so wholly unfit for office that the spare can be an unbearable weight on maybe the last statesman in our lifetime, they are more suffered than chosen.

The other big news of Joe Biden’s election is that we elected the first woman, and as it happens, a Woman of Color, that awful phrase that obscures the person behind the identity.

Ms. Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, has risen higher in the country’s leadership than any woman ever before her.

That’s subject to some functional dispute, as vice president isn’t an office of power, with only modest purpose such as tie-breaking in the Senate, and otherwise remaining alive just in case she’s needed. Nancy Pelosi might only be third in line in case of catastrophe, but she wielded enormous power. Harris never has and, should Biden remain in power for his full term, may end up a forgotten footnote of history.

Harris wasn’t the first woman to run for president or vice president. Her predecessors just didn’t get elected. It wasn’t because they were women, but because they didn’t win. In advance of picking a running mate, Biden promised to pick a female VP, as opposed to the best VP, which was a political tactic designed to appeal to the identity wing of his party. By limiting his options to gender, he gained tactical advantage. By limiting his options to gender, he gave away the moral high ground of providing America with the best possible spare.

While many will applaud this “momentous” event, that a woman has finally, finally, been elected vice president, the shine will wear off quickly as it should. We use phrases like “breaking the glass ceiling” to describe how a woman has now achieved something no woman before her could, meaning that the barrier is now gone and every little girl in America can grow up knowing that she could become vice president.

Except nobody really doubted that. Nobody has doubted that for the past generation, since Geradline Ferraro was picked by Walter Mondale to be his running mate in 1984. Ferraro didn’t lose because she was a woman. She lost because Mondale lost. She lost because Reagan won.

And now, with Joe Biden uttering conciliatory words, saying he’ll be the president of all Americans, not just blue states or black women, now that the glass ceiling has finally, finally been broken, the morning after leaves us with the sober realization that the woman of color we finally elected is still Kamala Harris.

That she has risen higher in the country’s leadership than any woman ever has underscores the extraordinary arc of her political career. A former San Francisco district attorney, she was elected as the first Black woman to serve as California’s attorney general. When she was elected a United States senator in 2016, she became only the second Black woman in the chamber’s history.

As a prosecutor, Harris was a nightmare. Somehow, what she did, who she was, has magically disappeared in the woke subconscious with a duration of 8 seconds. Had she not been able to hide behind her skin and genitalia, she would have been hated, despised, by everyone left of Genghis Khan. She was that smirky-face protecting the killer cop. She was that smug thug putting black parents in jail for their kids’ truancy.

When her ambitions got the better of her, she smelled the way the wind was blowing the evil prosecutor stench that emanated from her every pore away. So she reinvented herself for the benefit of the clueless left, who would only see her race and gender. She became a woke senator who would use her mad prosecutor skillz to eviscerate her Republican enemies.

Almost immediately, she made a name for herself in Washington with her withering prosecutorial style in Senate hearings, grilling her adversaries in high-stakes moments that at times went viral.

Her “prosecutorial style” might look “withering” to someone who has no clue what withering means, but like her combination of angry and smirky when it was directed at shared enemies. And so she became a woke favorite, despite being everything the woke despise in a woman of color package.

Kamala Harris sought the presidential nomination, despite her being in the Senate for a scant half term, and learned that the Dems, and particularly her home state Dems, didn’t want her. She did poorly, very poorly, not because she was a woman, not because she was the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, but because she was Kamala Harris. That’s how it’s supposed to be. The identity shtick might be good enough to light the woke flame, but then you’re stuck with the actual person, identity notwithstanding.

Last night, someone said to me that if Biden fails to complete his term and Harris becomes president, whether by death of a president or the 25th Amendment, it won’t be because she was elected president. “Not exactly true,” I replied, “as we did elect Kamala Harris president when we elected her to be vice president.” We elected our spare, and our spare is Kamala Harris.

For those of you for whom the gender of the vice president matters, this is the momentous event you wanted. We will have a female vice president, something we could have had decades ago or any time since. Most of America would have been entirely fine with a woman VP, or president for that matter, as long as it was a person, regardless of gender, we wanted in the office.

Now you finally, finally, got a woman vice president. It’s a shame that it had to be Kamala Harris. Should something happen to Joe Biden and Harris assumes the presidency, we have no one to blame but ourselves. America elected her the spare.

30 thoughts on “The Spare

  1. Ghost-of-fubar-dave

    The Spare
    It’s the second try when you don’t get a strike,
    It’s those half worn out parts you don’t need but you might.
    It’s the tire in your trunk that you pray still has air,
    And it’s how we’ll be living if she ends up the heir.

  2. Hunting Guy

    Dick Tuck.

    “The people have spoken, the bastards.”

    Was there cheating? Of course, there always is. Was it enough to change the outcome and give us a political animal like Harris as the spare? We’ll never know.

    1. Steve UK

      We got Kamala, proof the system works
      As she bides her time, she sits and smirks
      Our new goddess of the Left, we hereby annoint
      While election conspiracists keep missing the point.

  3. John Barleycorn

    Who knows but something tells me we will not be seeing a hybrid of Mondale-Biden when they were in the bullpen.

    The Cheney model but with hair?

    I think it might make you sleep better if you sent her an old school all leather Boston style billy club.*

    What to write on the note though?

    *If you can’t readily find these in the color you would like, I know a guy that will hook you up in under a week with any color and length you want, rhinestones optional on the loop handle of course.

  4. Jake

    Many on the left are perfectly aware of Harris’ record as a prosecutor but held our noses and made the only responsible choice at the ballots.

      1. Jake

        Whatevs papa greenfield. As long as you acknowledge it’s intellectually honest to reject Harris and Trump, but believe Trump is more of a threat to democracy than anyone alive.

  5. Richard Parker

    “. . . the queen’s duty to produce two boys . . .”

    Actually biologically, it’s the husbands duty. The women just take the blame.

  6. Pedantic Grammar Police

    A spare is only a spare until you get a flat.

    Prediction… President Harris is sworn in on or before July 4th.

  7. Keith Lynch

    We could have had a woman president instead of a woman vice president. Jo Jorgensen was on the ballot in all fifty states. She opposes federal civil asset forfeiture and qualified immunity. She opposes the war on drugs and supports abolishing drug laws, promising to pardon all nonviolent drug offenders. She has urged the demilitarization of police. I voted for her.

  8. cthulhu

    Ugh. Kamala Harris. Got her start serving under Willie Brown in a variety of positions. Ruthless prosecutor locking up black bodies. Only SlowJoe’s pick because he felt he hadda pick a woman, and although he didn’t say it, likely he (actually his brain trust; who are we kidding? Joe isn’t doing his own thinking) decided a white woman wouldn’t cut it. So much for getting the nod on her merits, and we’re supposed to cheer for her? Not bloody likely.

  9. Onlymom

    The scary thought is this one might just might end up with some real power as the spare in the Senate. If they do all the run off elections in jan and end up 50/50. If that happens and the two groups keep sticking with their own on things you might see a lot of bills passed with a 51 vote with hers being that 51st.

    I was hoping the Republicans could hang on a 51-49 think it would have done one of two things. We would either spend 4 years with not a single bill being passed or the 3 groups would have to sit down and talk and find a way to bury the past and work together.

  10. delurking

    The winner of the Democratic primary picked as a running mate a sitting senator from a large state who performed well in the primary. It was an entirely conventional choice, except for those who focus on identity.

    1. Rengit

      “performed well in the primary” isn’t just doing a lot of work there, it’s creating an entire alternate reality where Ms. Harris was on the ballot and actually participated in the primary.

        1. delurking

          Yes, and?

          Kaine
          Biden
          Edwards
          Lieberman
          Gore
          Bentsen

          Just how far back do you have to go to find a Dem candidate who didn’t choose a sitting senator as a running mate? Some TV time pre-election appears to be another consideration.

  11. Julia

    As a projected VP Kamala Harris didn’t break any glass ceiling. A white man broke it for her when choosing specifically a woman. Very convenient. Almost like being a First Lady.

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