The problem with Harris instead is her tendency to say what is popular in front of progressive audiences while defaulting to the political status quo when it comes time to make tough decisions. It would have taken real courage to stand up to the Obama administration in 2012 when it was pushing states hard to sweep the robosigning scandal — which involved flagrant document fraud on an industrial scale — under the rug. But Harris was the top law enforcement official in the largest state in the country. She certainly could have gotten far better terms than she did.

Even attempting to fix the many crises afflicting the United States — from hideous inequality, to climate change, to structural racism, to a broken foreign policy — is going to take some steely resolve, not just talking a big game. So far Harris’ is not promising on this front.