Pro-abortion Democrats outraged over news that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn its landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade are looking to Vice President Kamala Harris to be their champion. But Democrats should be warned; that strategy has been tried before, and failed.
What are the details?
The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that the embattled vice president “is likely to play an expanded role in pushing the Democrats’ political case on protecting abortion rights” ahead of a formal ruling on the matter, expected sometime this summer.
In a statement issued Tuesday in response to a leaked draft memo of the forthcoming decision, Harris took hold of her vaunted position and proclaimed, “This is the time to fight for women.”
“Opponents of Roe want to punish women and take away their rights to make decisions about their own bodies. Republican legislators in states across the country are weaponizing the use of the law against women,” the vice president argued.
She added: “The rights of all Americans are at risk. If the right to privacy is weakened, every person could face a future in which the government can potentially interfere in the personal decisions you make about your life. This is the time to fight for women and for our country with everything we have.”
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@Vice President Kamala Harris)
Harris’s combative statement was met with a positive response from abortion advocates on social media, many of whom are enraged over the notion that the right to an abortion — which was invented out of thin air in Roe — could soon be sent back to the states for deliberation.
They want to see national Democrats step up and do something. The current idea being postulated is to eliminate the filibuster and codify abortion rights in federal law.
“This is a moment that @VP should step up, must step up and lead,” tweeted author David Rothkopf.
— David Rothkopf (@David Rothkopf)
Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali added, “Kamala Harris can emerge and own this moment … She is the first Black female VP. She can marshall this energy and try to galvanize it.”
— Wajahat Ali (@Wajahat Ali)
Others on social media concurred with the opinion.
The Los Angeles Times even added that Harris “would be a natural point person for the administration to vocally raise the issue on the midterm campaign trail” thanks to her gender and her longstanding support for abortion.
“She’s been a champion of the pro-choice movement for a long time,” noted Karen Finney, a NARAL Pro-Choice America board member and Harris ally. “She is a very important messenger to talk about the impact that this is going to have on women — from a health perspective, from the perspective of our bodily autonomy, from the perspective of rights, as a former attorney general.”
What’s the problem?
The problem for Democrats is this: Harris is historically unpopular and has failed remarkably at every initiative she’s been tasked with leading as vice president — be that the border crisis, Russia-Ukraine diplomacy, or management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, Republicans will likely welcome the news that Harris may be tapped to lead on the abortion issue.
Early in President Biden’s term, Harris was named point person on the unprecedented immigration crisis on the southern border. She responded by never so much as making a trip to the border and ultimately unveiling a vague, “root causes” strategy with no “detailed timeline or specific policy actions to be taken.” She has since moved on from that task, yet the border assault still rages.
Late last year, she created a significant snafu for the Biden administration when she confusingly stated that the administration “didn’t see” waves of virus variants “coming.”
Most recently, Harris embarrassed herself after being dispatched to Germany to meet with top European leaders in hopes of deescalating the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and decreasing the chances of war. During the meeting, she declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “made his decision” to invade Ukraine while also promising that the U.S. would “absolutely” deter Putin from invading Ukraine.
But now, she apparently hopes to turn the tides on her disappointing vice presidency by saving the day on one of the most consequential issues in modern American history.