It was a year ago that Vice President Kamala Harris made a dubious claim that bordered on being an outright lie – and some suggested she had been taking lessons from her boss, President Joe Biden, in how to tell an audience what you believe they want to hear.
“The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system, in particular over the last four years before we came in, and it needs to be fixed,” Harris told Chuck Todd, the former host and moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press on the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and she added. “We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration.”
It would be hard to describe the southern border as secure today, as during the first eight months of 2023, more than 2.2 million migrants have been encountered along the border as of June. On a single day this month, Border Patrol apprehended more than 8,000 migrants according to a DHS official
Failed on the Border – So Why Not Guns?
Not surprisingly, critics of the VEEP pounced on her statement a year ago, and many were reminded of it this month when the vice president was tasked to oversee the White House’s first “Office of Gun Violence Prevention.”
“Because you marched, organized, and voted, we passed the most significant gun safety legislation in 30 years. But let’s be clear — we have more work to do. Today, I am proud to share that I will oversee the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention,” Harris (@VP) said via a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Almost immediately, there was a firestorm of comments on the social media platform.
Living Embodiment of the Peter Principle?
As previously reported, VP Harris has been described by some of her critics as the living embodiment of the “Peter Principle,” where people keep getting promoted until they reach jobs for which they are clearly unqualified.
Kamala Harris was ill-suited to handling the crisis at the border, and it is unclear what she can actually do by overseeing the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
It could be argued that it is law enforcement’s job, including the ATF, to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them – just as it is the Border Patrol and DHS tasked with managing the border. This is a case of government interference that makes it sound like the White House is trying to tackle a problem, yet results in no real progress. There was a high-profile press conference, Biden and Harris each said a few words, and then …
What exactly can the vice president do? She no more oversees the ATF than she does DHS or Border Patrol, but that may not matter. This is simply political theater.
“Harris, the vice president, brings a lot of visibility to it that necessarily would not have been there if they had just appointed other civil servants or brought in lower-level people. And so she’s — this is a part of her larger effort to really reach young voters and to show that the administration is focused on this issue,” explained PBS News Hour White House correspondent Laura Barrón-López.
This could also satisfy gun control advocates who have called for a federal office to address the issue of gun violence. This is simply a way for the White House to create an office that has little to no power and has virtually no way of actually solving the problem, yet it suggests that President Biden is taking the issue head-on in the run-up to the 2024 election to court younger voters.
We should expect Kamala Harris to fail, simply because these are issues that no one individual – or even White House office – can tackle.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.