Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is an interesting figure in that conservatives see her as a radical and liberals are increasingly questioning whether her progressive bonafides are even legitimate.
That intraparty debate, which surfaced this week after a Mic article highlighted Harris' so-called "Bernieland problem," was inevitable. Back on July 21, I predicted the freshman senator's upcoming trip to schmooze with corporate titans in the Hamptons was an early sign she's more Hillary than Bernie, making Harris also more likely to exacerbate the party's divisions than heal them.
That's already playing out. Progressive movement leader and staunch Bernie Sanders backer Nomiki Konst responded to Mic's questions about Harris by saying, "The Democrats will not win until they address income inequality, no matter how they dress up their next candidate … If that candidate is in bed with Wall Street, you may as well lay a tombstone out for the Democratic Party now. Voters are smart; they can follow the money."
People for Bernie co-founder Winnie Wong went further, contending, "She is the preferred candidate of extremely wealthy and out-of-touch Democratic party donors…Her recent anointing is extremely telling. These donors will line her coffers ahead of 2020 and she will have the next two years to craft a message of broad appeal to a rapidly changing electorate."
MSNBC host Joy Reid sparked further conflict after tweeting the Mic piece with the caption, "This piece would have been more convincing had it quoted Millennial voters, rather than 3 alt left activists." Actress Susan Sarandon joined in on the criticism of Reid's remark, chastising her for downplaying the "important points" activists made in the article.
Case in point.
Though the media has high hopes for her political future, Harris' corporate and establishment ties make her a lightning rod for the progressive ire that's driving the already-problematic intraparty divisions. Further elevating her risks exacerbating those conflicts.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.