Last week, during a campus appearance, Kamala Harris was asked by a student about the recent vote in Congress to fund Israel’s Iron Dome antimissile system. The student stated that “it hurts my heart” to see America supporting a country responsible for “ethnic genocide.” While the vice-president isn’t known for anti-Israel sentiment, she made no effort to correct her interlocutor or explain the importance of America’s relationship with the Jewish state. Instead, she responded, “Your voice, your perspective, your experience, your truth cannot be suppressed, and it must be heard.” Jonathan Tobin comments:
Not everyone is always ready with the right response or quip in the moment when it’s needed. A lot of us have to think a bit before we realize what is happening in a conversation and then only come up with what should have been said until much later. But Harris—a quick-witted veteran attorney, prosecutor and politician—is actually known for her sharp tongue and readiness to use it on anyone with whom she disagrees. . . . It’s also true that politicians are generally not in the business of telling people “no.” They love to be loved and generally seek applause wherever they go.
Yet in order to understand the significance of an incident that loyal Democrats insist is a meaningless kerfuffle, ask yourself this question. What would Democrats have said if the former vice-president Mike Pence had responded with the same sort of blather about diversity and pluralism if he was confronted with a question by someone who expressed racist views disparaging African Americans or Hispanics?
More than an example of liberal hypocrisy, what happened at George Mason was likely an expression of the dynamic that currently exists on the political left these days. Harris went to the school to generate support for her party’s positions from student activists. . . . Speaking up for the Jewish state, under those circumstances, would have undermined the whole point of the appearance and alienated the very leftist base that is the cutting edge of Democratic-party activism these days.
Her instincts were to stay silent because that is what she and many others in her party think are in their best political interests.