For cripes sake, if you’re going to waffle your way through an answer to this question, at least serve up a tastier waffle than a trite, vaguely condescending dismissal about having a national “conversation.” In fact, don’t waffle at all: You should be able to formulate a firm position on whether incarcerated felons should retain their voting rights or not. Join Team Bernie in the conviction that voting is a sacred privilege of citizenship and prisoners remain citizens no matter how evil their actions. Or join Team Buttigieg in the belief that choosing to plant bombs in a crowd means you forfeit certain civil rights, like getting to choose the next leader of the free world.

Or at least muddle through with some compromise position in which nonviolent felons get to vote but the violent don’t.

Harris has a special problem in answering questions about prisoner rights, though, because she’s a former prosecutor, which is both an asset and a liability to her. It’s an asset among centrist Dems and potentially in the general election; you can imagine some “return to law and order” pitch at Trump’s expense. But it’s a liability to progressives who want to hear contrition from her for, among other things, locking up nonviolent drug offenders. However she answered on the Boston bomber question would have been treated as a small proxy for that — if she’s Team Bernie then she’s pissing away her tough-on-crime cred but if she’s Team Buttigieg then clearly she hasn’t made as much “progress” on how to treat convicts as she claims. As you’ll see, she shrewdly used the question to emphasize her commitment to voting rights generally, which you would think would have given her enough cover to say, “But Bernie’s wrong in this case.” The fact that she decided to punt shows you how insecure she is about her record as California’s AG vis-a-vis the left.

Says Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was murdered in the Parkland massacre, “Should my daughter’s murderer be allowed to keep the rights that she’ll never have?” Maybe CNN can ask her that one next time she’s on.

In a better world she would have said what she really feels, which is that Bernie must have a head injury to insist on making terrorist voting rights a hot topic in the Democratic primary. But that’s his blessing and curse as a politician, that he seems to feel obliged to state his honest opinion when asked a policy question even when it’s a gift-wrapped Election Day present for Trump.

Two clips here, one of her answer on prisoners voting, the other of her answer on gun control. Jazz mentioned the latter earlier but you should watch the clip to see how far Harris goes. She talks about issuing an ultimatum to Congress to do what she wants on gun-grabbing or else she’ll do it via executive order. That’s a direct descendant of Obama suddenly deciding after five years in office that he could grant temporary amnesty to DREAMers because Congress wouldn’t act legislatively and Trump deciding after two years in office that he could appropriate funding for the border wall via emergency declaration because Congress wouldn’t give it to him. We have presidential candidates, credible ones, openly vowing to dictate to the national legislature what U.S. policy will be and expecting — correctly — that that’ll appeal to voters in what’s supposed to be a republic. It’s a nightmare in the making.