by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg
Kamala Harris’ coming out party as the person chosen to be manufactured as a puppet for the rich and powerful going into 2020 became obvious last month with the publication of an article in The New York Post titled, Dems’ Rising Star Meets With Clinton Inner Circle in Hamptons. Here are a few excerpts:
The Democrats’ “Great Freshman Hope,” Sen. Kamala Harris, is heading to the Hamptons to meet with Hillary Clinton’s biggest backers.
The California senator is being fêted in Bridgehampton on Saturday at the home of MWWPR guru Michael Kempner, a staunch Clinton supporter who was one of her national-finance co-chairs and a led fund-raiser for her 2008 bid for the presidency. He was also listed as one of the top “bundlers” for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, having raised $3 million.
Guests there to greet Harris are expected to include Margo Alexander, a member of Clinton’s inner circle; Dennis Mehiel, a Democratic donor who is the chairman of the Battery Park City Authority, even though he lives between a sprawling Westchester estate and an Upper East Side pad; designer Steven Gambrel and Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman.
Washington lobbyist Liz Robbins is also hosting a separate Hamptons lunch for Harris.
Despite being less than seven months into her new job as senator, Harris is already said to be the Democrats’ top fund-raiser and is being talked about as a 2020 presidential hopeful.
Harris has denied having “national aspirations,” but this Hamptons trip proves it isn’t far from her mind.
A Democratic insider said, “Kamala is the big Democratic star right now, at a time when they badly need a star. She’s coming to the Hamptons to meet key people as she takes a national stage, and expands her influence and ambitions.”
If the “key people” to your campaign are Hamptons power players, you can rest assured that the candidate in question will be an advocate for donors and not the public. Of course, it’s not surprising that a “Democratic insider” would consider the Hamptons the center of the universe when it comes to people that matter.
The fact that the power players within the Democratic Party think this sort of thing is somehow still acceptable tells you all you need to know.
Indeed, as Ross Barken so perfectly put it in a recent Guardian op-ed:
Kamala Harris, the California senator and new darling of the left, did what all liberal darlings do when their stars begin to burn bright: she went east, way east, to the Hamptons.
In the old world, before a democratic socialist and a reality show nativist upended politics as we know it, the narrative would write itself. A little-known possible presidential candidate with a compelling backstory and a buzzy turn in the spotlight visits the millionaire and billionaire donors who decide who can run and who can’t.
The gatekeepers, cloistered in their estates, beckon the candidates, who promise – if they’re Democrats at least – to be the acceptable sort of progressives, those who hit all the right notes without rocking the boat too much.
Maybe Harris has what it takes and will surge ahead of the pack in a few years to win the right to dethrone Donald Trump. It’s too early to tell. But her Hamptons gallivant with Clinton plutocrats is a dispiriting reminder that the Democratic party thinks all can be as it once was, and the status quo isn’t worth being ruffled. Donors can still vet candidates and propel them forward in the press. Anyone beyond the upper crust isn’t a serious agenda setter.
What’s strange about living in the year 1 AT (After Trump) is how Democrats continue to disregard the phenomenon in their wake. If 2016 was Trump’s story, it was also the year of Bernie Sanders, one that taught us a candidate once considered a fringe player can raise tremendous amounts of money from small donors on a policy platform alone.
For political journalists and operatives inside the Beltway carapace, the siren call of centrism will always have appeal. It promises pain-free bipartisanship, a return to the way things used to be. It stands for little, so it can’t court too much controversy. For anyone who knows bad policy can mean the difference between life and death – the poorest and the invisible, the sufferers on the margins – it offers nothing. And it never will.
Despite the above, as well as Hillary’s embarrassing loss to Trump, Clinton dead-enders are out in full force trying to shame people into liking Harris. As former spokesman for Hillary Clinton, Brian Fallon tweeted:
Well if you put it that way, Brian.
Yes I know, the problem is us. Why can’t we simply accept Kamala as a divine heroine sent from the Golden State to save the planet from Trump as well as all those uppity progressive peasants. Call me crazy, but perhaps the problem might actually be…her.
Let’s take a look at a little bit of her history, and start with how she let Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin off the hook following the financial crisis. As David Dayen wrote in his hugely important piece published last year.
Onewest Bank, which Donald Trump’s nominee for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, ran from 2009 to 2015, repeatedly broke California’s foreclosure laws during that period, according to a previously undisclosed 2013 memo from top prosecutors in the state attorney general’s office.
The memo obtained by The Intercept alleges that OneWest rushed delinquent homeowners out of their homes by violating notice and waiting period statutes, illegally backdated key documents, and effectively gamed foreclosure auctions.
In the memo, the leaders of the state attorney general’s Consumer Law Section said they had “uncovered evidence suggestive of widespread misconduct” in a yearlong investigation. In a detailed 22-page request, they identified over a thousand legal violations in the small subsection of OneWest loans they were able to examine, and they recommended that Attorney General Kamala Harris file a civil enforcement action against the Pasadena-based bank. They even wrote up a sample legal complaint, seeking injunctive relief and millions of dollars in penalties.
But Harris’s office, without any explanation, declined to prosecute the case.
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