I’ve been all over the place with Kamala Harris. Before Joe Biden picked her as his running mate, I was convinced that of all the possible choices, she was the most palatable.
Harris has a lot of experience, is highly educated, is a P.R. genius and has fielded almost as much hate from the left as she has from the right. Her years as a prosecutor have put her on the wrong side of the law for Black Lives Matter activists and allies, so to say that the extremists on the far left aren’t happy is to say that Alyssa Milano is only mildly annoying.
But once Biden picked her, all I could see was the woman who bared her fangs at Brett Kavanaugh, essentially accepting Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations that 100 years ago the future Supreme Court justice tried to rape her. Or assault her. Or maybe he was in the room when someone else tried to rape her. Or maybe he looked like the guy who was friends with the guy who tried to rape her. And then there were those orgies and everything.
It’s tempting to make cruel comments about someone who has herself made cruel comments but it doesn’t help us keep that moral high ground when it comes to women. The “we” I am referring to is conservatives, and the moral high ground that I sincerely believe we own is soaked in the blood of Sarah Palin’s reputation.
We cannot treat Kamala with brutality and then complain about how Palin was virtually destroyed by both the Democrats and the GOP operatives who hated her as much, if not more, than the political enemy.
Palin ushered in an era of what I call “justified misogyny,” where men and women — especially and enthusiatically women — felt entitled to ridicule her every move. She was stupid. She was a Jesus freak, a religious zealot who wanted to force women to have babies. She was a vengeful hack. She raised white trash kids. She was a nepotist (but likely couldn’t spell the word). And it continues to this day.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve blocked on social media who think they curry favor with me by saying, “Oh you look like her but you’re much smarter.” The visceral hatred is real. And how has Palin reacted? Most recently, with profound grace, by issuing advice and good wishes to Harris. Which has angered her critics even more.
Before Kamala was confirmed as Biden’s pick, a bunch of nervous ladies took a pre-emptive strike and issued a statement announcing their intention to combat the misogyny that the pick would likely trigger. This absolute lack of self-awareness on the part of these women made me laugh. They and their older sisters were part of the braying pack of political hyenas that came for Palin. And they really thought we wouldn’t notice?
The thing about hypocrites is that they rarely look in the mirror. But I’m looking straight at them. And this is what I have to say:
I won’t be coming for Kamala’s smarts.
I won’t trash her educational pedigree.
I won’t examine her romances.
I won’t criticize those pearls or that hair.
I won’t harass her stepkids.
I won’t attack her faith, or lack thereof.
I won’t make fun of her cadence.
I won’t ridicule her reading habits.
I won’t snicker at her hobbies.
I won’t stalk her neighbors for intel.
I won’t research her husband’s associations.
I will go after her politics, which are generally anathema. I will ignore her skin color and ethnicity. I will do her the favor the hypocrites on the left refused to extend to Palin.
I will treat her like a human being. That’s all anyone of us deserves and these days, rarely gets.
Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times in Philadelphia and can be reached at email@example.com.