The real reason she’s falling is that the more voters learn about Harris’ decade-and-a-half record, first as a San Francisco prosecutor and then as the California attorney general, the more they recoil. And rightly so.
Harris has long billed herself as a “progressive prosecutor.” To most people, that would strike as oxymoronic. But to her this meant using the carceral state that conservatives like to tackle social problems that progressives care about. She’s got the mindset of a cop who wants to save you not from the bad guys but yourself. “She repeatedly fought for more aggressive prosecution not just of violent criminals but of people who committed misdemeanor and ‘quality of life’ crimes,” Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown noted after an exhaustive look at Harris’ record.
What kind of “quality of life” crimes did she crackdown on? Panhandling, prostitution, graffiti, loitering, driving under the influence, and living in an unapproved homeless encampment. This issue set would have made former New York Mayor and now Trump confidante Rudy Giuliani proud. It is also one that targets people of color the most. Of all people, Harris should have understood that, especially since she was railing against mass incarceration and its disparate impact on poor and black communities at Yale University in 2006, when she was San Francisco’s district attorney and launching her “quality of life” crackdown.