Matt Lewis, Senior Columnist for “The Daily Beast,” wrote an opinion piece that snagged my notice this morning. His position as a human being entitles him to his thoughts; my similar status affords me the same right. His platform as a senior contributor for The Daily Beast provides him with influence by virtue of the publication because most people don’t look for the words “opinion piece” at the top of a story. I’ll preface by stating the fact that there is a benefit that goes along with writing an opinion piece, which is that no validation is necessary to launch an attack. My platform is that of a blogger with a limited readership. It is clear my writing is opinion; however, I offer sources to back-up my statements.
That said, I beg to differ and would like to point out what I regard as flaws in his commentary in the following article: “Kamala Harris Is on Her Way to Becoming the Next Dan Quayle.”
Three problems with the article:
1. Correlating Vice President Harris to Dan Quayle who, for those of you too young to remember, was the Vice President for the first President Bush. Mr. Lewis states in his article that he believes Dan Quayle was stigmatized and will be forever punished for misspelling potato. His pretty-boy white maleness was a curse that he couldn’t overcome. He is not a victim of his looks; he benefitted from them. His physicality likely played a part in his selection to be Bush’s running mate. During the vice-presidential debate of 1988, Dan Quayle mentioned former President John F. Kennedy, and intimated that because of his youth and comely features he was like Kennedy. An outraged Senator Lloyd Bentsen, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, responded to Quayle, “I knew Jack Kennedy and Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Likewise, it can be said that Dan Quayle is no Kamala Harris. One example, Dan Quayle did not have to overcome his white-maleness to rise in the political arena. Another difference is experience. She, like Quayle was a member of Congress. She was the district attorney for San Francisco, and became California Attorney General. She won my respect with her no-holds-barred questioning of Jeff Sessions and Brett Kavanaugh during their Senate confirmation hearings. Not only that, but she made Kavanaugh cry. My guess is that she could out-spell Quayle.
We have to give Quayle credit for advising former V.P. Pence not to help Trump in his attempt to overthrow the government.
The editorial further insults Vice President Harris by comparing to Sarah Palin who ran as John McCain’s V.P. in his unsuccessful presidential run in 2008 against President Obama. I suppose, and I could be wrong, but in my assessment, Mr. Lewis sees all women in politics through the same murky lens. The differences between Palin and Harris are vast, in background, racial challenges, strength, intelligence, and beliefs. One has ideals that mirror the needs of individuals, and the other is a self-serving bigot who used GOP campaign funds for a personal makeover. Asked, in an interview, to share her knowledge of foreign affairs, she said, “I can see Russia from my house.”
John McCain did not “choose Palin,” as Mr. Lewis says, the GOP machine foisted her on him. He didn’t even like her, and he was honest in his regret for having had her as a running mate. I see Palin as a GOP trailblazer, but that’s not a compliment. She led the party to its current platform of anti-intellectualism. When she ran on the McCain ticket, she was a 44-year-old first-term governor, a “soccer mom” of five children, (as she boasted at every event,) from a place no one heard of, Wasilla, Alaska, she was relatable to the middle class, and reinforced John McCain’s gimmick, a “maverick” conservative crusader. She was an embarrassment in interviews..
3. As this article points out, the job of a Vice President is thankless. It comprises offering support to the President and accepting his agenda as their own. In this role, they lose their political autonomy. Their biggest responsibility is breaking tied votes in the Senate. They are rarely credited. Bush named Quayle as head of the Council on Competitiveness and the first chairman of the National Space Council. It’s a political participation trophy.
No matter Kamala’s appointments, her place in history has already superseded Dan Quayle’s because she is the first woman to hold the office of Vice President. High on the list of Republican priorities, second only to disenfranchising people of color, is controlling women. We need more women in positions of power. Government must reflect the community. Women account for 51% of the population and politics must match that ratio. We need more female judges, members of Congress, and we need a female president. Notably, this week Kamala Harris was sworn in as President for a day as President Biden went under anesthesia. That makes Harris the first. Female President.
President Joe Biden is a man who champions women’s causes, but it isn’t enough. Women’s rights have regressed exponentially since 2016, thanks to TFG, and the sycophants who stand behind him. Why any women would support men who would strip them of their rights is a mystery to me. I can only surmise, after months of contemplation, that they are confused. They cannot see the forest for the trees. The trees being the men who they believe have their backs. *Spoiler alert, they don’t.
To Matt Lewis, Senior Columnist for “The Daily Beast,” I offer my condolences. He has wasted his platform by engaging stereotypes, and he has degraded the publication, at least in my eyes.