I’ve come slowly but firmly to the conviction that, while our political class is generally vile, nevertheless its members display certain talents for which they should receive the credit due them. Some of those talents are demonstrably world-class. Consider, for example, the ability of the underappreciated Kamala Harris to speak at length, and entirely in English, without saying anything intelligible. Deb Heine presents a recent example:
Harris met with the Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the White House on Wednesday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the United States and Jamaica….
In her remarks about the meeting with Holness, Harris offered the sort of absurd word salad she has become known for.
“We also recognize just as it’s been in the United States, for Jamaica, one of the issues that has been presented as an issue, that is economic in the way of its impact, has been the pandemic,” Harris said. “So to that end, we are announcing today also that we will assist Jamaica in COVID recovery by assisting in terms of the recovery efforts in Jamaica that have been essential to what, I believe, is necessary to strengthen not only the issue of public health but also the economy.”
C’est incroyable! Sixty-seven words, all of them recognizable English vocabulary, and in aggregate meaning absolutely nothing! She might as well have been speaking some wholly forgotten tongue. Sir Edward Grey is probably applauding vigorously in heaven.
But that is merely a fresh example of the rhetorical genius of this modern-day Disraeli. Who could ever forget these stirring words:
In an interview with Craig Melvin on the Today show, Harris was not prepared to say definitively whether we should be wearing N95 or KN95 masks instead of cloth, nor what the correct response might be to people who simply refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated, but she did deliver one illuminating gem about the nature of time. Melvin called attention to recent pleas from high-profile medical professionals urging the Biden administration to take both a longer view of the pandemic, rather than tackling it crisis by crisis, and a firmer stance on vaccine requirements. Is it time to change course? he asked. And, um:
It is time for us to do what we have been doing, and that time is every day. Every day, it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down.
What verbal adroitness! What brilliance! Then there was this encounter on CBS:
“Was it wrong to consider inflation transitory? These price spikes seem like they’re going to be with us for a while,” [Face The Nation’s Margaret] Brennan asked, referring to a previous statement pushed by White House press secretary Jen Psaki that insisted inflation was only “transitory” and should go down within the next year.
Harris did not provide a clear answer and appeared to stumble on describing the process before pivoting to support for Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
“We have to address the fact that we have got to deal with the fact that folks are paying for gas, paying for groceries, and are – need solutions to it. So let’s talk about that,” Harris said. “Short-term solution includes what we need to do around the supply chain, right? So, we went to the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Savannah, Georgia, and said, ‘Hey, guys, no more five days a week, eight hours a day; 24/7, let’s move the products because people need their product – they need what they need.’ We’re dealing with it in terms of the long term. And that’s about what we need to do to pass Build Back Better. It strengthens our economy.”
Words fail me, Gentle Reader, though they certainly didn’t fail Kamala Harris. She had plenty for her purpose…whatever that purpose might have been.
(I just checked, and Google Translate, which covers a multitude of languages, does not yet have the ability to translate Harris’s dialect. I’m sure they’re working on it, but I wouldn’t presume to predict when it will be ready.)
Rumor has it that Joe Biden’s running mate was chosen to make him look more “presidential.” I disagree. It’s clear that Kamala Harris was picked so there would be someone to clarify the pResident’s sometimes murky statements on policy. After all, who could possibly do it better? Besides, the United States Senate already has quite enough clarity, wouldn’t you say?
“Ridicule is the unanswerable weapon.” – Saul Alinsky
UPDATE: Oops! I forgot one:
The Governor and I and we were all doing a tour of the library here and talking about the significance of the passage of time. Right? The significance of the passage of time. So, when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time in terms of what we need to do to lay these wires, what we need to do to create these jobs. And there is such great significance to the passage of time…
That might be the best of them all.