Let's get one thing straight: Just because you can run for public office doesn't mean you should run for public office.
Over the weekend, Chelsea Manning, the transgender former U.S. Army soldier who was convicted (while known as "Bradley") by court-martial for violating the Espionage Act in 2013, announced a run for U.S. Senate in Maryland, according to a Federal Elections Commission filing. Manning will be primarying incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., in a deeply blue state.
Manning was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison for leaking over 700,000 government documents to the website WikiLeaks. One piece of information that was leaked to WikiLeaks was a 2007 video of an American helicopter attack in Iraq that killed a dozen civilians, including two Reuters journalists. Before he left office, former President Barack Obama commuted Manning's sentence. She was released in May 2017 and has been living in North Bethesda, Md., a suburb just outside Washington D.C.
You could argue that ever since Manning was released, every tweet seemed to signal a platform position in which she planned on running for public office. In addition to being an advocate for transgender and gay causes, she's for open borders and single-payer healthcare and against prisons, deportations, bans, and walls.
She's also very pro-emoji [Note the emoji at the end of her first campaign video].
Manning is a polarizing figure even within the Democratic Party. Even some who saw some of her disclosures as legitimate whistleblowing on government lawbreaking nevertheless concluded that she gratuitously and dangerously published information that didn't fit into "whistleblower" territory. Despite the fact that a counterintelligence official says she didn't put any lives at risk, leaking as many documents as she did pose a tremendous risk. Some think Manning a traitor. Many believe she should still be in a military prison as well as have never received government-subsidized gender conversion therapy.
You can make the case that she's the Roy Moore or Joe Arpaio of the Left. All three have a cult-like following, but are extremists and make terrible candidates for public office.
It's too early to tell where she matches up with Sen. Cardin on any statewide poll, but if she ends up knocking off Cardin in a primary, will Cardin supporters embrace her? If Manning is the Democratic nominee, could we see Maryland, one of the bluest states in the Union, elect a Republican senator?
Democrats by way of the Resistance were looking to continue the blue wave they saw in recent elections throughout 2017, and embracing Manning could put an end to all of it.
Siraj Hashmi is a commentary video editor and writer for the Washington Examiner.