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September 21st, 2021

Insight

Please let Biden endure until 2024

John Kass

By John Kass

Published June 10, 2021

There is one takeaway from watching Vice President Kamala Harris' horrifying interview on NBC about whether she'll visit our southern border to see the crisis with her own eyes:

President Joe Biden must endure until 2024. Please G od, please.

And I'm asking every American, even Democrats, to pray that Biden endures. He must endure, even if it means we have to suffer through his fading and increasingly creaky Uncle Joe act, a role better suited for a '60s sitcom ("Petticoat Junction") than his upcoming one-on-one meeting with Russia strongman Vladimir Putin.

Old Uncle Joe, he's a-moving kinda slow, we can handle. But under our laws there is a backup to Biden: President Kamala Harris.

Please G od, no.

In that NBC Nightly News interview with Lester Holt, Harris displayed her many talents, which include a stupefying shallowness and stubborn inability to process all those briefs the State Department and others have given to her.

Holt: "Do you have any plans to visit the border?"

"At some point, you know," Harris said, raising her hands. "We are going to the border. We've been to the border. So this whole thing about the border," (now hands waving), "we've been to the border. We've been to the border."

Holt: "You haven't been to the border."

"And I haven't been to Europe," Harris said, laughing and again waving those hands. "I mean, I don't understand the point you are making. I'm not discounting the importance of the border."

It was then that I began wishing Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the star of the HBO series "Veep," was our vice president.

Louis-Dreyfus could handle it. Liberal, neurotic and consumed by ambition, I can deal with.

But incompetence one breath away from the presidency is another matter. Biden put Harris in charge of the border crisis in March. And while dozens of elected officials from both parties have gone to see with their own eyes the situation there, Harris has not.

Does the Biden administration not want cameras following her to capture what she might see? Is this the same Harris who, when running for president, consistently talked up the need for the next president to be "true to our values" and to welcome migrants and families? To stop what she described as "human rights abuses" at the border?

Now she's in charge and she laughs off a question about why she hasn't gone to the border herself to get a better understanding of what is unfolding. Her swallowing, the nervousness, the hand waving, Harris repeating herself, "We've been to the border, we've been to the border," as if she was some damaged robot stuck in a loop.

She has not been to the border. Neither has Biden.

C'mon man, (or ye mighty), look at your own works and despair.

Republicans mock them for avoiding the border, with some suggesting her face be put on a milk carton as the missing vice president. But Democrats like U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas have also called on Biden and Harris to come and see for themselves.

If she and Biden did visit, they might be asked about that 5-year-old boy recently dropped by smugglers alone at a rural, empty, industrial-looking spot at the border in Texas, the boy screaming hysterically, coughing and crying, "No! No! No! Don't leave!" on a video now gone viral that is as heartbreaking as anything out of this mess.

They might be asked why Biden's and Harris' warning to Central Americans "do not come" isn't working.

They avoid the border like the plague. Holt didn't ask Harris, a Democrat, about the little boy. And Holt didn't mention that as a result of Biden's policies, the number of encounters with children has increased more than 160% in the past year.

All Holt did was ask Harris when she planned on visiting the border. He wasn't tough about it. He asked it in a soothing voice. There was nothing catty about his questions.

And her answer is what it is. Gobbledygook.

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Holt was characterized as having grilled Harris. But using "grilled" is about protecting her performance. Holt was gentle.

He also didn't mention that the president rolled back many Trump border protection policies, such as the Migrant Protection Protocols, that once kept migrants in Mexico as they sought immigration hearings.

Or that Biden once called for migrants to "surge" the southern border, which is exactly what they've been doing since he was elected, and that Harris telling Guatemalans "don't come" isn't policy. It's spin.

She has a difficult job, nodding sagely at what Biden says, standing in the background waiting her turn. At one speech in March when he put her in charge of immigration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned to her and began applauding.

And even with a mask on, you could see Harris' eyes widening in horror at the warm bucket of something she'd been given by the president.

After her NBC interview brought her criticism, Harris continued her meltdown, like Captain Queeg with the strawberries.

Biden's border policy is not only a crisis for the administration of its own making, it is a political disaster for Democrats. And Republicans will shout exhortations.

But take Harris' flippancy out of it for a second. That's not the most disturbing issue.

China is the issue. Russia is the issue. Iran is the issue.

The world is a dangerous place. Predatory nations and allies look for weak leaders out of their depth. And the interview revealed Harris as unprepared. Silly. Not serious.

How will Putin and China's Xi Jinping process that interview? Let's hope it never comes to that.

President Biden must endure until 2024. Please, G od, please.

(COMMENT, BELOW)

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune who also hosts a radio show on WLS-AM.

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