Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Think Bernie Is the Most Liberal Senator? Look at Kamala Harris and Think Again

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Senator Bernie Sanders (I- Vt.) has earned a reputation as the most left-leaning member of Senate. Given his self-applied “Democratic Socialist” label, it is easy to see why that is. But is it accurate? In short, no: That title actually goes to the “African-American” woman born to a Jamaican immigrant father and Indian immigrant mother who hopes to be the next vice president — Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

Non-partisan GovTrack.us — which describes itself as “the leading non-governmental source of legislative information and statistics” — has been using technology to make the U.S. Congress more open and accessible since 2004. The site publishes “Report Cards” on all members of Congress. As a non-partisan organization, GovTrack does not base the scores on any given political position, explaining, “A higher or lower number below doesn’t necessarily make a legislator any better or worse, or more or less effective, than other Members of Congress. We present these statistics for you to understand the quantitative aspects of legislating and make your own judgments based on what legislative activities you think are important.”

In 2018, Harris ranked as the fourth-most left-wing Senator. But as she campaigned in 2019 for the Democratic nomination for the presidential race, she shot forward (or leftward) at a surprising pace. The scores are listed in descending numerical order, based on how conservative a senator is. In the 2019 Report Card, Harris was ranked the “least conservative” (read: most liberal) senator, putting her at #100 — the only senator with a score of 0.00.


Her radical move to the left is not surprising, given that Harris appears — like many liberals — to shift with prevailing winds. As her party has been more and more influenced by its left-most elements, Harris made the needed shift. While her move more to the left is no great departure, it is noteworthy — especially considering both the speed and the methodology.


The rapidity with which she closed the gap and earned her “Top Liberal” badge (edging out Sanders, who bills himself as a socialist) in just one year is directly tied to the path she took to get there. That path includes her early co-sponsorship of the “Green New Deal” introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Other sign posts along that path are her co-sponsorship of the “Medicare for All” bill introduced by Sanders, her endorsement of granting free health care to illegal aliens while gutting the military budget, her vote for raising taxes, publicly comparing police to the Ku Klux Klan, and more.

Considering Joe Biden’s rapidly diminishing mental capacity — as witnessed almost daily in his gaffes, flubs, and stumblings to remember basic facts, names, places, and more — Harris appears to be running for president via vice president. It is a nearly foregone conclusion that if Biden were to somehow manage to stumble across the finish line, Harris would be sworn in as president within months, if not weeks, of Biden’s inauguration. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel not only recognizes that reality, but addressed it, saying Biden “didn’t just select a vice-presidential candidate, he chose the person who would actually be in charge the next four years if he is somehow able to win.”

And perhaps that has been the plan all along: Put Biden out front — slipping mind and all — and then have someone from the extreme Left ready to step in once he is inaugurated. Enter Kamala Harris, the most liberal person in the Senate. The woman who would be president.

That, of course, assumes that Biden wins — which given his inability to even state his name and the office he seeks, is not great. While social media was immediately abuzz with Biden/Harris supporters looking forward to a Pence/Harris debate, this writer is on the edge of his seat waiting for the Trump/Biden debates. Trump performed quite well in his 2016 debates with Hillary Clinton. And she was able to bring her full mental faculties to the event. Biden’s performance should be interesting.

Photo: AP Images

C. Mitchell Shaw is a freelance writer and public speaker who addresses a range of topics related to liberty and the U.S. Constitution. A strong privacy advocate, he was a privacy nerd before it was cool. He hosts and produces the popular Enemy of the [Surveillance] State podcast.

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