Julian Castro: The media held Kamala Harris to a “grossly unfair” double standard


This guy’s awfully thirsty to ingratiate himself to her voters, isn’t he? But then, after struggling for the entire race, picking up her supporters might be his only play left to build some eye-catching momentum before he too is forced to quit. (He’s technically still running even though he’s no longer qualifying for the debates.)

Imagine Castro’s disappointment when he finds out she had only slightly more support in the polls than he currently has.

Although he never explicitly claims here that the alleged double standard to which Harris was subjected was driven by prejudice against her race and sex, that’s the obvious implication. It’s pure garbage and he knows it, but it’s the sort of casual demagoguery he’s prepared to engage in to give himself one last chance to push on to Iowa.

“In the last few days, to see articles out of Politico, the New York Times, Washington Post that have basically trashed her campaign, and focused on just one small part of it, and I think held her to a different standard, a double standard, has been grossly unfair and unfortunate,” he says. What “small part” of the campaign is he referring to? Near as I can tell, after reading those Politico and Times stories, it’s the fact that the campaign was an out-and-out managerial fiasco, with no clear lines of authority and a strategy opaque enough that even staffers weren’t sure what the plan was. Politico claimed more than a dozen sources for its story, the Times boasted “more than 50 current and former campaign staff members and allies” who wanted to talk. The campaign’s state operations director resigned via a letter that was so brutal in its criticism of the mismanagement at the top that the Times uploaded a copy to its website for readers to digest in full.

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The campaign was running around like a chicken that had lost its head, obviously in its death throes, and Castro would have you believe that it was somehow nitpicking on the media’s part to take an interest. As if it’s unlike the press to descend on a campaign torn by internal dissension that’s in the process of flaming out spectacularly in the polls. The truth is actually the opposite of what Castro says. If the media had declined to report on the implosion of Harris’s campaign despite the fact that so many insiders were willing to air their grievances, that would have been proof of a double standard.

I mean, reporters literally went shopping with her at one point and watched her try on clothes. That’s how much they had it in for Harris. Does this tool really think American media wouldn’t have relished watching her become the first woman president in U.S. history, an African-American senator who rose up to slay the Trumpy dragon?

Granted, political media is chiefly a Buttigieg demographic — white, overeducated, firmly liberal but not quite “seize the means of production” liberal like Bernie. But if they can’t get President Pete, they obviously would have been very, very, very happy with President Kamala. She gave them no room to help make it happen for her, though: She stunk on ice as a retail candidate with her vacillations on health care and her organizational catastrophe proved her to be an amateur at heart. And the professional political press corps disdains amateurs unless they’re super-charismatic. Which Kamala Harris, to put it mildly, is not.

If Castro were serious about calling out double standards and not saying what he said here purely to pander to Harris voters, he might have accused the Democratic electorate, not the media, of showing a bit of prejudice towards her. Not in the sense of animus towards her race or gender but in discounting her electability due to the fear that swing voters would show animus towards her race and gender. That is, in a primary where the ability to defeat Trump is the first quality Democrats are looking for in a nominee, Harris may have been deemed a nonstarter by some voters who were otherwise open to her because they feared a black woman simply couldn’t take back the midwest from the president. But Castro’s not going to say that since it would risk insulting the people whose votes he’s trying to win, so he resorts to flogging the media instead.

Here’s Harris’s farewell message, which includes some obligatory whining about billionaires even though (a) she was dead in the polls before Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer entered the race and (b) Harris herself sucked up to enough billionaire donors to have received more contributions from that stratum of society than any other Democratic candidate through the first three quarters of this year. And beneath that, enjoy the Trump campaign’s own farewell message to her. Quality trolling, as always.

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