Is It Fair To Say Kamala Harris “May Be The Dumbest Person Ever Elected Vice President In American History”?

[ Forgive me for using the above clip in the jokey context in which it was presented: It was the best I could find on YouTube, meaning that I could embed it easily. ]

During remarks she made in Sunset, Louisiana this week on a stop to highlight the value of bringing high-speed broadband internet to communities, Harris got herself stuck on the phrase “the importance of the passage of time” in between her usual inappropriate giggles. Then, today, yet another Harris staffer fled the coop, moving former Speaker Newt Gingrich to say,

“You know, he [Biden] may or may not have cognitive decline problems at his age, but at her age, she’s just dumb. Let’s be clear, Kamala Harris may be the dumbest person ever elected vice president in American history and that’s why people keep resigning.If you were her national security advisor, and you were competent, and you’d worked hard, and you knew what you were doing, and you watched her in Poland break up laughing when she’s asked about Ukrainian refugees, you had to feel a sense of total humiliation. So I’m not surprised that that particular advisor resigned because it’s very clear that Kamala Harris should never, ever be allowed to leave the country.”

Is that a fair thing to say?

The first question to be answered is whether it is an ad hominem attack rather than a substantive criticism. A lot of people would think it was, but as has been hashed out here repeatedly, this is not what constitutes that category of an invalid and unethical attack. Ad hominem occurs when someone attempts to rebut an argument by stating that the speaker is an idiot, or something else less than admirable. Concluding, however, that a particularly stupid statement indicates that the speaker is a few burgers short of a cookout is something very different: an assertion of signature significance, meaning that an intelligent public official never delivers cackling gibberish like Harris’s “”the importance of the passage of time” mantra even once without being under the influence of mind-altering drugs.

The second question is whether Gingrich protected himself by using the qualifier, “may.” He did. Stating for the record that Kamala Harris is the dumbest VP in our history would be unsupportable based on the existing historical record. Is “may” fair? I think it is, but it is also impossible to say for certain. I’d estimate that at least 15 of the 49 VPs are sufficiently obscure that we don’t have sufficient information regarding their intellectual limits. The advent of mass media and the 24 hour news cycle means that Harris’s statements and conduct are under far more scrutiny than all but her most recent peers as occupants of the office.

Who knows what idiocy Richard Mentor Johnson (October 17, 1780 – November 19, 1850) may have uttered, for example, in his forgettable career as a Kentucky Congressman and, briefly, Senator, interrupted by a stint as Martin Van Buren’s VP? Then again, he must have impressed somebody: counties in four U.S. states are named for Johnson.

Reviewing the full list, it is clear that Harris has a thinner resume than any other Vice-President. She alone was chosen as a Presidential running mate based on factors that had nothing to do with her ability, experience or demonstrated success, and definitely not because of her brilliance. Harris, like the SCOTUS nominee currently being vetted in the Senate, was chosen purely because of her skin color and sex organs. That’s no way to ensure reliable intelligence.

There also remains the reasonable question of whether Dan Quayle, George H.W. Bush’s ill-starred #2, was at least as dumb as Harris, if not more. It has to be close: Quayle had that dead-eyed look that only the truly dumb and taxidermy subjects can muster. Bush, however, had the sense not to keep putting Quayle in the public eye and the cross-hairs of journalists.

Finally, we must ask the question, “Is Gingrich’s statement just mean, with no positive contribution to public knowledge, and a pure Golden Rule breach?”

The answer to this has to be a reluctant “no.” Denial in politics and public policy is destructive, and there is too much of it flying around already as “It isn’t what it is” has become something of a Democratic party motto.” Harris is an embarrassment, and pretending she isn’t only makes it more likely that she will do maximum damage before her incompetence decisively catches up with her.

53 thoughts on “Is It Fair To Say Kamala Harris “May Be The Dumbest Person Ever Elected Vice President In American History”?

  1. Wow… as a woman I am utterly embarrased.

    She should NEVER have been chosen and everyone KNOWS that. Biden did NOT chose her. Those who control him did.

    If they wanted a good woman, Democrat, Tulsi Gabbard would have been awesome. But they do NOT want that. They want people they can control.

    Very said the state this world is in. AND exciting as it’s a turning point for civilization.

    Anyway, she seems very dumb to me.

    • Just spitballing here…do you think, perhaps, that those controlling Biden chose Harris to not have a VP who would outshine the prez?

      Just curious…and a bit frightened for our future.

      MB

      • It looks more likely to me that they believe people are entirely dependent on their circumstances, and if people are suffering, it is because they are in hopeless circumstances. All of the Democratic leaders are hyper aware of their “privilege” (ex, Nancy Pelosi’s net worth is embarrassingly high for someone who works an average of two-days a week for the past several decades).

        They entirely believe that personal initiative and accountability do not exist, hook, line, sinker (emphasis on the sinker). They entirely believed that handing Ms. Harris the Vice Presidency on a silver platter would set her up for success. They wanted to believe that only racism was holding women of color back from the highest levels of government. (They also have ample reason to believe this, just look at how many stupid, stupid while men have hacked their way to the top). They never considered that she might be a dud, because people are not duds, they are just given a dud hand in life.

      • Nah. They just knew that had to have a black (thanks to BLM) and a woman (after Hillary and in light of Weinstein and Joe himself) on the ticket. The cadidates were, needless to say, weak, with Stacey Abrams as the runner-up.

          • “A black” as in “a member of the dark skinned race that originally hailed from Africa.” Don’t play political correctness games here, Katie. Serious warning. That term is clear, descriptive, and only offensive to someone determined to be offended. No “gotchas’ on the host.

            • It’s just not the term that most people use in common parlance, and it sounds strange and offputting, so I was curious why you used it. I’m not offended by it, but some people are, and I see no reason to use it when there are more commonly accepted terms.

      • More and more, I’m coming to the conclusion that the behind-the-scenes power brokers chose Biden and Harris specifically for their incompetence. The damage they’re inflicting on the country is intentional – the powers-that-be don’t want a strong America on the world stage – but with two flagrantly inept figureheads, what is actually intentional sabotage appears like it’s just the bungling and blundering of fools. It seems far-fetched, but plain incompetence can’t explain how they’ve managed to spend a full year in office and literally make every single thing they touch turn to shit. Just by accident and the law of averages, at least one or two things would work out okay even if they were twice as inept as they seem to be. You can’t be this bad at something unless you’re trying to fail.

  2. I dunno. Harris has done a masterful job with the border crisis and uncontrolled immigration. She and her boss have ruined the economy, making it too costly for immigrants to come here illegally when it’s not guaranteed they can find work.

    I also rate her work on Europe with NATO and Russia has been beyond reproach. The limited Russian conflict in Ukraine is almost over, with Ukraine coming out fairly unscathed, and impressive trade deals with China, Iran, and Venezuela. I mean, that new Iran nuke deal is breathtakingly impressive.

    jvb

  3. I would not be the least bit surprised if this is Newt’s rebuttal of the long-standing smear of Quayle. Stating that she may be the dumbest would potentially make her dumber than Quayle. He is almost daring the Democrats to fight that battle.

    -Jut

    • She is dumber than Quayle. The media hated Dan Quayle and devoted a ton of effort to making him look like an imbecile. She has the media kissing her ass and she still looks like an imbecile.

  4. Did I miss something about Palin? What is the venal reference? I will admit that she had her share of gaffs but to state she was lazy and would open to bribery seems a bit of a stretch. If we are defining venal to mean willing to be influenced for political campaign contributions, then venality is a hallmark of all political figures.

    No doubt her pick for VP by McCain was not a bright move on his part. There is a huge difference in skill sets between being the governor of a highly populated state and one that is huge but with few people.

    If we are going to use the term venal then it has to apply to McCain as well because we know his votes on health care were based on his hatred of Trump and not the policy.

    If we are honest with ourselves, we no longer elect statesmen and women we elect packaged personalities. We think too often believe that that well-coiffed person with million-dollar smile and endearing demeanor who talks at length about empathy is just the guy for us. Most of them care only about their political careers.

    • I think Jack is talking about the way some politicians (there are a number of people who have contributed, but at least including Trump and AOC) seem to view politics and celebrity culture as two sides of the same business, and aren’t selective about who is picking up their tab or pointing the camera at them. Palin’s participation in things like The Masked Singer suggests that she’s less concerned with seeming like a serious, thoughtful leader and more concerned with a payday and publicity.

      (Which I think is a shame, because I do think she’s very smart.)

      • Which is exactly why we can’t take her seriously. Jack has pointed out how it’s hard to take any politician that makes a stunt appearance on a television show seriously. I pointed out this week on another part of the internet that the lines between politicking and acting are so blurred now that any politician performing on television or on film is risking credibility…which is why it was stupid to put Stacey Abrams on “Star Trek: Discovery” as the President of United Earth. See what they did there?

        • I understand why people consider appearances on shows like The Masked singer to be stupid stunts, but I also see a lot of people complain that republican politicians aren’t relatable enough. What sort of PR activities do you think are appropriate to help in the relatability department without qualifying for the stunt appearance category?

          • If Republican candidates aren’t relatable enough, they need to start practicing their communication and interpersonal skills sufficiently enough that they can at least pass as relatable. There are plenty of opportunities to do that on the campaign trail and in the course of their elected duties. I am not going to vote for someone just because I think, “Well, they were game enough to dance on-stage in front of millions of people wearing a flamingo costume!”

            • Whoever said Palin was unrelatable? Relatability has always been her biggest strength. She reminds people of their aunts on Facebook. Of course, I wouldn’t want my aunt on Facebook to have an ounce of political power…

      • I could see your point Emily if Palin were pursuing a political career but as far as I know she has not been playing the role of pundit or politician.

        Her choice to be on a low brow celebrity knock off show came a decade after her last foray into the political world. I can separate weird but legitimate income earning opportunities and one’s ability to proffer sound advice when the situation arises. I prefer that to her raking 10% off the top of her kids business ventures she would set up by virtue of her political connections.

        There is a reason we call it retail politics politicians behave in a manner that we the people desire. Our 30trillion dollar debt is illustrative of that fact. Just as vicious dogs are trained to be that way so too are politicians.

    • I confess to using the least damning definition of “venal”: “capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration.” without the bribery aspect. I’ll be more careful in the future. But from her resignation as Governor to take on lucrative opportunities as a paid speaker and writer, to her paid gig on Fox Mews, to the “Masked Singer,” Palin has indeed shown that she can be bought.

      I’d love to see what her comparative wealth is from before McCain picked her and now. She is now worth an estimated 8 million bucks. Mission accomplished.

  5. I will take issue with this statement:
    “Harris, like the SCOTUS nominee currently being vetted in the Senate, was chosen purely because of her skin color and sex organs.”
    Harris is indeed an idiot. From what I can tell, Jackson, on the other hand, has both the experience and the gravitas to put her at least in the middle of the pack of the current SCOTUS. It is an insult to Judge Jackson to be lumped in with Harris. Of course, that insult comes not so much from you, Jack, as from then-candidate Biden. It was Biden who made her credentials seem as if she was merely someone who met the demographic profile he sought rather than a legitimate nominee.

    • If she’s qualified, that’s good, but it wasn’t why she was picked. If Trump had a chance to replace Sotomayor and cut the list down to three white men, the left would have an apoplectic fit, but Biden picks three black women to pick from and it’s all about “making history.” Nah, there’s no double standard there.

      • But Trump did say he would replace RBG with a woman, and Reagan promised a female nominee decades earlier. I don’t know if Reagan faced criticism for this, but I don’t remember any complaints about Trump pledging to nominate a woman. So who’s got the double standard again?

        • “So who’s got the double standard again?”

          Reagan: “I’m going to nominate a woman.”

          Trump: “I’m going to nominate a woman.”

          Biden: “I’m going to nominate a BLACK woman.”

          Sense any difference?

            • “Is the difference that you are upset by black women but not by women in general?”

              Careening mental pathways are the only way someone could extract “upset” from that comment.

              I sincerely hope this miserably weak deflection is your choosing to be being obtuse, because the alternative explanation isn’t quite so flattering.

              Try harder.

              • No, you’re definitely upset that Biden pledged to nominate a black woman. I’m not sure why you’d deny this.

                You don’t seem upset that Trump and Reagan pledged to nominate women.

                You haven’t tried at all to explain this.

                • I’ve explained it. You haven’t been listening. When there were no women on the Court and had nver been, it was reasonable and fair for a President to pledge to name one. The 1980s were the decade in which the number of women in the law and on the bench increased vastly, and for the first time, there were a lot of qualified female judges. Trump promising to replace Ginsberg, the longest serving woman on the Court, was reasonable and fair for the same reason it was assumed that Justice Marshall would be replaced by a black Justice, as there had been a so-called “Jewish seat on the Court for half a century. Biden’s announcement had no such justifications: the black Senate whip, Clyburn, demanded the Biden based his pick on race and gender as a condition for getting his endorsement in the Democratic primary. No one could argue that this didn’t wildly limit the number of qualified jurist now eligible for the post—it was pure discrimination, especially the female part. the pledge discriminated against all whites, all men, and black men.

                  Again, this is the material distinction issue you seem not to grasp. Law school would be could for you. I’d write you a recommendation.

                  • “When there were no women on the Court and had never been, it was reasonable and fair for a President to pledge to name one.”

                    This statement is almost identical to the statement “When there were no black women on the court and had never been, it was reasonable and fair for a President to pledge to name one.”

                    None of your explanations account for this.

        • Reagan made the promise when there had been nothing but male Justices from the start, and all agreed that it was an absurd and indefensible monopoly. Trump made the promise because RBG was a feminist icon, and replacing her with a male lawyer would have been seen as retreat from feminist goals. Both are, as they say on the Court materially distinguishable from Biden’ pledge, which vastly narrowed the field of qualified candidates.

          • There have been no black female justices from the start either, despite many Supreme Court cases dealing directly with their rights.

            Both Reagan and Trump narrowed the field of qualified candidates to women. Biden’s pledge narrowed the field to black women. Happily, there were still many qualified candidates to choose from in both of those categories.

              • 1. Nor women until the 80s. So what? So, this is a result of historic discrimination and it’s believed that this requires some form of correction.
                2. It’s large enough to find a qualified candidate, as you admit KJB is.

          • Trump would have, under normal circumstances, been ok with nominating a man to replace RBG, just like GWB ultimately nominated a man to replace Justice O’Connor. Under normal circumstances I would have said that was what he should do, to send the message loud and clear that the days of snarly, humorless feminists were over. However, he needed every vote and he needed them fast. Biden announced from the get-go that this justice, just like his VP, would be a black women, just to pander to wokism, black supremacy, and female supremacy. You can see how far that got him with his VP. Stop being a deflector.

            • “Trump would have, under normal circumstances, been ok with nominating a man to replace RBG,”

              Oh, really? I thought Trump made this pledge because he is a deeply committed feminist. Thanks for explaining this to me.

              “Biden announced from the get-go that this justice, just like his VP, would be a black women, just to pander to wokism, black supremacy, and female supremacy.”

              Wow.

    • Curmie,
      You make a valid point given that the word “purely” is in the statement. Nonetheless, had she not been a Black woman she would not have made the cut. Biden practiced racial discrimination for all to see but no minority activists will raise a fit because they were the privileged few this time.

    • Point taken, and I saw it coming but decided to post what I did anyway. This is what the result will be, though, when an irrelevant condition predicate is placed on a decision where the priority should be something substantive and relevant. “She was chosen because X which had nothing to do with actual qualifications” is still true, but, as you point out, misleading. “She wouldn’t have been chosen except for Y, which has nothing to do with her qualifications” is clearer.

  6. Personally, I think she may have been chosen as an insurance policy against impeachment. The Democrats know that the GOP is champing at the bit to do to Biden as they did to Trump, to send the message that if you screw with us, we’re going to screw with you, but the thought of putting Harris, who is no just not very good, but bad, into the top seat, would give them pause.

  7. All along, I’ve been wondering why Kamala Harris isn’t better prepared by her handlers. Why doesn’t she have a voice coach to get her to stop cackling? Why doesn’t she have an acting coach to get her to stop smirking? Why isn’t she reading from scripts and teleprompters? Why is she allowed to be interviewed and provide off the cuff answers? Isn’t there anyone in the administration who can address this ongoing problem? Is she unmanageable? Does she not even see a problem? Is she that obtuse? Doesn’t her big firm lawyer husband see the problem? Oh wait. He’s the guy who thinks his perfectly ordinary looking daughter is super model material. Strike that.

    • I’m leaning towards her being unmanageable.. Remember, in the VP debate she repeatedly tried to cut VP Pence off by saying “I am speaking” like a teacher trying to silence an out-of-line student or a cop trying to intimidate a juvenile suspect. She’s a clear example of someone who’s been promoted beyond her abilities (that’s what happens when you sleep your way up) and keeps her post by intimidation and bullying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.