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Vox: Ignore Kamala Harris’ Speech — It’s Republicans Who Don’t Have Policy Ideas

Beyond support for President Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border, Republicans have nothing in the way of an agenda, Vox charged in a story published Monday [1].

But Kamala Harris’ entry into the presidential race – highlighted by a speech in which she said she was campaigning “by the people, with the people and for the people” – was marked by symbolism, significance and seriousness when it comes to policy and progress, noted America’s leading mainstream media outlets.

There was the symbolism of making her initial announcement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day [2] and of using the same colors for her rallies as Shirley Chisolm [3], the New York congresswoman who, in 1972, became the first African-American woman to run for president. There was the seriousness of taking the real America back from Donald Trump and always putting national security “near the top” of her priorities [4].

All those policy commitments made her much more serious as a 2020 candidate than Trump, who, along with his party, is out of ideas.

“Republicans, who still hold the White House and the Senate, appear stuck on what the vision they want to present the American public with is,” wrote Vox’s Tasha Golshan [1] in “House Republicans don’t have an agenda beyond supporting Trump and building the wall” – subhead: “’The communication strategy for our vision for America is really still yet to be determined.’” “They have Trump. And so far Trump’s biggest and boldest policy idea – a wall – gave them the longest government shutdown in US history.”

Meanwhile, “Democrats have plenty of ideas, perhaps best encapsulated by the Green New Deal [1] – an audacious, albeit amorphous, proposal that includes universal basic income ideas, a job-guarantee program and a serious push to address climate change.”

A bevy of policy ideas was not obvious from Harris’ speech, which opened with [3]: “I stand before you today clear-eyed about the fight ahead and what has to be done. With faith in God, with fidelity to country, and with the fighting spirit I got from my mother, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the United States.”

What policies animate her run? “And I will tell you, I’m running for president because I love my country. [3] I’m running to be president of the people, by the people and for all people.”

The American people “deserve to have someone who is going to fight for them and put them in front of self-interest,” said [3] Harris, who is vying to take on a man who donates his salary as president to worthy causes.  

“We are here,” she told a crowd in Oakland on Sunday [3], “because the American dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before. We are here at this moment in time because we must answer a fundamental question: Who are we? Who are we as Americans? So, let’s answer that question to the world and each other right here and right now. America, we are better than this.”

According to the New York Times [3] in “Kamala Harris Declares Candidacy, Evoking King and Joining Diverse Field,” by Astead Herndon, her problems with Democrats won’t come on policy issues – she’s not outlined any beyond giving $500 direct monthly payments to poor families.

It that she’s already “facing skepticism from some in the party’s liberal wing, who believe she has lurched to the left only in recent years as preparation for a presidential campaign” and that she formerly, as a prosecutor, seemed to favor law and order.

Her plan – offered without policy specifics – is to “turn the criticism on its head,” wrote Politico’s Chris Cadelago in “Inside Kama Harris’ 2020 campaign plan.” [5] She will do this by “presenting herself as a kinder and gentler prosecutor” who protected the vulnerable. “At the same time, they believe leaning into her background will allow her to project toughness against Donald Trump and contrast what they call her evidence-based approach to law and politics with the president’s carelessness with facts and legal troubles with the special prosecutor.”