Biden/Harris: Never mind all that stuff we said during the primary

It’s a tradition that dates back further than I can remember, and that’s quite a while. The period following the naming of a presidential candidate’s running mate and the party’s convention is a magical time when the members of that party enter into a state of voluntary amnesia and beg the rest of the country to do the same. During the heat of the primary, many things are said, frequently including unpleasant, biting attacks on the eventual winner. But now that we’re officially into the general election season, that’s all water under the bridge, spilled milk or whichever other metaphor you’d care to embrace. Everyone is part of the same, big, happy team

That’s clearly the case with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris now. As the New York Times points out, Biden and Harris offered their first joint interview following the convention to ABC News on Sunday. To the network’s credit, both of the candidates were asked about Harris’ sharp attacks against Biden during the debates, focusing in particular on his record on school bussing back in the day. And what did they have to say for themselves? That’s just a “distraction” at this point. We’ve “moved on.”

The two members of the Democratic ticket participated in a socially distanced interview on ABC that aired Sunday. In the interview, both were pressed on Ms. Harris’s previous criticism of Mr. Biden’s record on busing. That issue was the subject of one of the most dramatic moments on the debate stage during the primary — a searing attack that also gave some of Mr. Biden’s allies pause about Ms. Harris during the vice-presidential search process.

A discussion of that issue now, Ms. Harris suggested, is “a distraction from what we need to accomplish right now and what we need to do.”

Mr. Biden, for his part, stressed that both had moved on.

Kamala Harris is finding herself “moving on” from all sorts of things now and those topics cover a lot more territory than just some ancient votes that Biden took on bussing. Recall that she signed on to Bernie Sanders Medicare for All proposal. Biden, conversely, wouldn’t endorse the elimination of private health insurance, preferring to build on and expand Obamacare. So what did Harris have to say about that? She said (and this is a direct quote), “I signed on to that. I signed on to a number of bills that were about great ideas to fix the problem.”

Hey, you guys. I signed all sorts of things. Who can even remember at this point, amirite? But now I’m 100% onboard with Joe’s plan, whatever that might be.

There’s plenty more where that came from. Perhaps one of the most explosive bits of their joint history has to do with the sexual assault allegations made against Biden by Tara Reade. You may recall that Harris said on more than one occasion that she “believed” the women (including Reade) who had brought various accusations against Uncle Joe and wanted their “voices to be heard.” But now she’s willing to serve as the second-in-command to someone she believes may be a serial sexual abuser?

Reade hasn’t forgotten about it and she’s been coming after Harris demanding an explanation. She’s getting some support from the entertainment industry, too. Singer Meredith Brooks went directly after Harris on this score recently.

Okay, I’ll confess that I had to Google Meredith Brooks to find out who she is, but she’s apparently a pretty big deal in the music business. And she’s not alone.

So will Harris be forced to address this issue anew as part of the general election parade? Don’t count on it. As I said at the top, we’re in the season of voluntary amnesia now and the Democrats have to find a way to be one big, happy family if they hope to unseat Donald Trump. Besides, what could Kamala Harris conceivably say about the Reade allegations at this point?

Ya know, I supported all sorts of women who were victims of abuse during the primary. Who can even remember, amirite? But I’m sure that whatever Joe Biden may or may not have done in that dark hallway in Congress back then, well… I’m sure he had a good reason.