The Big Reason Lefties Aren’t Upset About Kamala Harris

Elaine Godfrey in The Atlantic:

The far left of the Democratic Party spent much of the primary attacking Kamala Harris, decrying her as an untrustworthy “cop” whose overtures to the left were half-hearted and opportunistic. But with Joe Biden naming the senator from California as his running mate, some progressive leaders and activists, including Harris skeptics, sound reluctantly optimistic about what the pair could achieve. The progressives I interviewed seem to view Harris and Biden as similar figures, occupying an “in-between space” in American politics, as one activist put it to me. Their political identities and agendas are a muddled mix of the old establishment Democratic politics and the progressivism of the surging Millennial left—a combination progressives believe they can work with. They think that, just as Biden has already welcomed progressive input in his campaign, Harris could be malleable, a potential vice president they can push in their ideological direction. “The same guy who was willing to sit down with Strom Thurmond is now talking like he wants to be the 21st-century FDR,” Julian Brave NoiseCat, the vice president of policy and strategy at the progressive polling firm Data for Progress, told me. “A savvy politician like Harris is going to see where the winds are blowing and move in that direction.”

…There’s no pretending that Harris was their ideal candidate for vice president, the progressives I talked with acknowledged. They still want and expect Biden to demonstrate his commitment to party unity by appointing more liberal Democrats to key roles in his administration, such as tapping Warren to oversee the Treasury Department. And they’re prepared to apply constant pressure to extract the most progressive policy outcomes if the ticket wins in November. “Harris didn’t run on big reforms and neither did Joe Biden, so progressives are going to be pushing them to go as big as they can,” said Charles Chamberlain, the executive director of the lefty political-action committee Democracy for America. But the former vice president has surprised them so far. The next one might too.

More here.