Kamala Harris Has 1 Big Weakness That Won't Be Easy to Dismiss

Clark Neily

Clark Neily

Politics,

Did Gabbard expose a hard truth? 

Kamala Harris Has 1 Big Weakness That Won't Be Easy to Dismiss

During Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, Tulsi Gabbard tore into Kamala Harris for her track record as a prosecutor in San Francisco and later as California’s Attorney General. The attack was sharp and effective, earning Gabbard an outsize share of the post-debate commentary. Its thrust was entirely fair, too, as any number of articles have demonstrated, including Lara Bazelon’s recent takedown in The New York Times titled Kamala Haris Was Not a Progressive Prosecutor.

The real significance of Gabbard’s critique, however, lies not in the proposition that Harris was a particularly unprofessional or malign prosecutor, but rather in the fact that she seems to have been a rather ordinary prosecutor who simply did her job the way most prosecutors do. And if that makes a former-prosecutor-turned-presidential-candidate look like a monster, then perhaps that says more about prosecutors in general than it does about Kamala Harris in particular.

Gabbard’s gut-punch underscores the difficult position that modern prosecutors find themselves in as the key players in a substantially immoral and increasingly indefensible criminal justice system. A near-universal blind spot of career prosecutors like Harris is their failure to appreciate the fact that law and morality can—and in our system frequently do—diverge.

Read the full article.