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Karma for Kamala Harris and other commentary

Conservative: Karma for Kamala

Why did Kamala Harris’ 2020 run fail? Her “unbridled ambition and ­aggression” weren’t enough to overcome her “lack of a clear policy vision,” argues RealClearPolitics’ Philip Wegmann. She flip-flopped on Medicare for All; she embraced “her reputation as the tough-on-crime former attorney general of California one moment” until it proved politically inconvenient. Mostly, though, “she just fought” — scorching opponents Joe Biden, Tulsi Gabbard and Pete Buttigieg, among others — without ever finding a consistent message, which manifested in an aimlessness that “bred resentment within her own ranks.” Now the candidates she attacked are “free to pick among the wreckage of her campaign” — but “they won’t find much.”

2020 watch: Biden Struts His Stuff

“Joe Biden’s feeling awfully confident these days,” report Politico’s Natasha Korecki and Marc Caputo. After “endless predications his candidacy would have crumbled by now,” he is still out front, while Kamala Harris and other “candidates who pitched themselves as Biden alternatives are the ones dropping.” Prominent Democrats agree: Florida pol Andrew Gillum describes the ex-veep as “durable and somewhat Teflon,” while California consultant Garry South says Biden’s consistent lead is “something to crow about.” Biden himself said Monday that Dems have little enthusiasm for rival Elizabeth Warren and shrugged off Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy. He could still win the nomination if he lost in Iowa, Biden says, but winning there would make him “almost unstoppable.”

Media watch: Covering for Warren, Hitting Jeb

National Review’s Jim Geraghty is amazed: Elizabeth Warren got caught lying about sending her children to private schools, lied, but what angered a top political reporter was that a Republican called her out on it. After Jeb Bush tweeted out an article on Warren’s fib — noting that it’s highly relevant because she is “a full-spectrum critic of school choice” — NBC News’ Jonathan Allen took it as a sign of everything that’s wrong with American politics: “It used to be that polticians [sic] drew the line at attacking each other’s children.” Allen didn’t even back down when challenged, tweeting: “Most politicians used to refrain from going after each other for how they raised their own kids.” It’s all too typical of the Washington press corps, sighs Geraghty, to find “the angle of the story that is most interesting, newsworthy and relevant is the one where the Democratic figure is the victim or good guy and the one where the Republican figure is the bad guy.”

Culture beat: Cheers for ‘Cultural Appropriation’

Black author Bernadine Evaristo is a co-winner of this year’s Booker Prize, Britain’s highest literary award — and a determined critic of the campaign against “cultural appropriation,” cheers Reason’s Robby Soave. Progressives see “theft” when someone “imitates a culture to which they do not belong,” he explains. The whole idea “is ridiculous,” Evaristo told The Times (of London); “That would mean that I could never write white characters or white writers can never write black characters.” Indeed, notes Soave, the concept “puts writers and artists in cultural boxes and tells them it’s wrong to use their imaginations, to draw from other people’s experiences, to mix and match and blend” — when, in fact, “cultural intermingling often breaks down barriers and prejudices.”

Foreign desk: The Trouble With Turkey

Don’t blame US foreign-policy failures when it comes to Turkey on President Trump or his predecessors, warns Michael Rubin at The American ­Interest: “The problem . . . is Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” who is “the most consequential Turkish leader since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.” Since taking power in 2002, he “has used his position to remake Turkey fundamentally,” ending its “commitment to secularism in education,” turning the Turkish army into “a driver for Islamism,” destroying media freedom, massively reducing women’s public power, promoting “a Muslim Brotherhood worldview” and even supporting terrorism. He has made Turkey one of “the most anti-American countries on earth.” Enough with “wishful thinking”: The truth is now “all too clear: Any possibility of a Western-leaning Turkey is gone.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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