Slate Tries to Clean Up Offensive and Insulting ‘Case for Kamala Harris’ as Biden’s VP


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Slate News Director Susan Matthews and her outlet are trying to clean up after publishing an offensive article that makes the “Case for Kamala Harris” by arguing the position isn’t that important, and that Elizabeth Warren is destined for more important things.

While titled “The Case for Kamala Harris,” Matthews’ article is really a collection of insults that begins — or began — with the sub-headline “Vice president just isn’t that important of a position in our federal government.”

There’s lip-service to some of Harris’ positive traits, lots of damnation with faint praise, and the article goes on to explicitly state that “the principal reason Harris is the right candidate for the job is simply that the job isn’t all that important. America gets swept up into presidential politics every time a campaign cycle rolls around, but if we should have learned anything from the past four years, it’s the necessity of having effective political leadership outside of the White House. Making Harris vice president would mean Elizabeth Warren can stay in the Senate.”

Matthews argues that a Harris vice-presidency would be a boon to Warren because the Massachusetts senator could go on to become majority leader, and “Warren empowered in a legislative role is much more valuable to a progressive agenda than Warren forced to pull Biden slowly to the left through charm and friendship.”

The article was met with blistering criticism on social media from supporters of Senator Harris — many of whom refer to themselves collectively as the #KHive — and a cleanup began. Both Matthews and Slate had promoted the article with tweets that summed up the offensive premise.

Slate tweeted it with the article’s original sub-headline, while Matthews wrote “the case for Kamala for VP is mainly that… VP is not that important, this would be fine.”

Both tweets were deleted, and Slate posted a revised tweet with a message explaining the deletion:

They also stealth-edited the sub-headline, which now reads “Harris never really nailed it as a candidate for president, but she can be a forceful and compelling presence.”

I’m not going to sit here and go through every insulting syllable because there are many — like this gem: “Like the California junior Sen. Richard Nixon, she {Kamala Harris] could grow into a more plausible president if needed. She’s not so vital, though, that she would be sacrificed if she ended up serving in the backup role for four years.”

The data and the political state of play point to Senator Harris as the obvious choice for Biden, but Senator Warren’s supporters are hurting their candidate with their relentlessly offensive lobbying efforts. Despite Harris’ lead with both Black voters and with Democrats overall, there is still a well of positive feeling for Warren. Diminishing the woman who may well become the first Black woman VP can only reflect poorly on the person they support.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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