With the launch of her exploratory presidential committee on New Year’s Eve, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been among the first to jump into what is sure to be a crowded field of Democrats vying for their party’s 2020 nomination.
Elizabeth Warren never ran for Congress as a progressive on economic or financial issues. During her career
she raised $2.6 million from the F.I.RE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) sector, $3.5 million from lobbyists/lawyers and $9.1 million from Ideological/Single-Issue donors, see: Open Secrets.
Elizabeth Warren’s modus operandi on issues is to wait until the public has made up their minds about an issue and then provide a watered down solution or stay quiet while others water down her solution.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
After the Federal Reserve member banks had already run amok with sub-prime lending, a housing bubble, predatory student loans, 9 million foreclosures, the credit crunch and bank bailouts, the public understood the issue was not an “honest mistake” by the too-big-to-fail member banks. At that time Warren decided to be the front man for a potential solution, the CFPB.
Sonali is right to state that the Obama administration set out to weaken the CFPB, here is a CD article in support of that. However note that Warren rolled over and didn’t fight back against Obama. Her agency was moved out of the federal government to the Federal Reserve, a semi-autonomous agency that is owned by the member banks, not the Federal Government and whose member banks the CFPB is supposed to regulate. Federal Reserve Chair Greenspan was the architect of the financial crisis and Chair Bernanke kept lying up to the last minute that everything was OK. Warren never spoke out against these Wall Street cronies and “her” CFPB agency is completely toothless now.
On Afghanistan Sonali gave a link to Warren’s statement that maybe it’s time to bring the troops home. Her statement appeared 17 years after the war began. Again a very late response to what most Americans wanted years ago.
Medicare for All
Warren stayed quiet while corruption was influencing the Democratic Party under Obama. She embraced the Affordable Care Act and didn’t say a word when Medicare for All was canned by the Obama wing of the Democratic Party. Warren also failed to endorse Sanders over Clinton in 2016 when Sanders was promoting Medicare for All and Clinton was undermining it. From the Open Secrets link she took in $1.6 million from the Healthcare industry.
Warren did not make any issue of the numerous free trade agreements on the table under either Obama or Trump. This was another issue that Sanders differed with Clinton over. In the end Warren endorsed Clinton despite Clinton working tirelessly to promote offshoring of US jobs and was a key reason for her failure to win the rust belt states against Trump.
No more PAC Funding
Warren’s recent stunt to stop taking PAC money is interesting. If you look at the Open Secrets link at the top you’ll notice she never really took in a lot of PAC money to begin with. She has put a bill on the table that is so far to the left that it has no chance of passing with a Republican controlled Congress and she has done a weak job to explain it to the public in a way that convinces Democrats and Republicans.
Warren has never made a great speech that resonates with all Americans. She comes across aloof, abstract, timid and unclear. Her ideas are highly regulatory with gaping loopholes. Trump would eat her for lunch.
Being a progressive thought leader would mean taking issues that the public is aware have clear solutions and use the Presidential bully pulpit to convince the public those ideas are the right path to go and have history judge those ideas favorably. In other words, good foresight.
Warren is not a leader on issues but a very late follower.
Bernie Sanders was behaving exactly like a thought leader, taking risks on bold easily articulated ideas with a no-backdown personality behind them. A true leader who can defeat Trump.
There will be debates–one hopes. Kolhatkar seems to dismiss these out of hand, but they are the point of having questions to be answered, and she is clearly participating in them herself. After all, “Hello, Dr. Warren, are you progressive enough?” and “Why, yes, just barely!” are not going to cut it.
Warren’s a sort of LBJ Democrat–she favors social programs, but there’s nothing progressive in her foreign policy. And this is again not too unlike Sanders, though Sanders sometimes does take an antiwar stance. Both candidates have folded to the party leaders: Sanders did so more dramatically, but Warren did so more quickly, by first calling out the Clinton candidacy as stolen (on the wake of Donna Brazile’s tell-part book), and then rescinding the statement days later, apparently on someone’s instructions.
What difference does Kolhatkar see between Sanders and Warren as regards race? Both will remain White in 2020.
Sanders’ supposed “problems with race” in '16 were media-driven, by mostly the same media that took copy direct from the DNC and Clinton camp. Black people voted Clinton thinking that she was the safest bet to keep Trump from office (at the time, I found Glen Ford’s analyses of this at Black Agenda Report to be particularly useful).
Trump’s regime has taught us that a choice between two oligarchs is bitter. Does anyone still regard that as news? I cannot picture Clinton throwing a hissy fit about not getting a border wall, but I also cannot picture her crossing her generals to draw troops out of battle–nor even attempting to do so. The commercial media that reflect deep-state values continue to criticize Donald Trump–even Donald Trump–from a MIC and neoconservative position to his right as regards foreign policy. Whether a Clinton presidency would have had us headlong into war with Iran by now thankfully remains unproven.
There is something that pro-Dem commentators ignore persistently about those of us on the left (and many independents) who did not vote for Clinton. We mostly differ from those who voted Clinton as a least-worst candidate not because we expected better of Donald Trump, but because we did not expect better of Hillary Clinton. As awful as Trump is, it is nearly impossible for him to do anything to demonstrate that a Clinton presidency would have been even preferable.
Both Sanders and Warren really belong in the senate, dealing more prominently with the domestic issues, to which their spoken policies at least are better aligned. But that does not leave us with a Democratic candidate.
Something has got to give.
Make that a true leader who would have buried Trump in 2016 and who will not be allowed to defeat Trump in 2020. I predict the Democratic nomination for POTUS, will go to Biden in 2020.
And if that happens then Trump is garanteed to get reelected. And by some chance he isn’t, expect an even further right leaning demagogue to come after.
There is a major error in this article - Warren never endorsed anyone in the 2016 primary, she repeatedly refused to say whether she supported Clinton or Sanders!! I am very surprised the author did not know this or at least fact checked it! After the primary she promptly endorsed Clinton as did Sanders himself. I would like the author to address this mistake!!
Warren would be as good a President as we can possibly elect but so would a number of other candidates, Sanders, Harris, Brown…
She faces the usual problem of double standards for women, her mannerisms annoy many, and the fuss the media makes about her native American ancestry, a non-issue that reminds me of the endless fuss over Clinton’s e-mails that amounted to nothing, won’t go away as the media doesn’t like to discuss Warren’s real issues such as consumer protection and income inequality.
I think progressives shouldn’t get too wrapped up at this point with one progressive candidate or another, or nit-pick too much their inevitably flawed record, ultimately we have to come together to have any chance to stop the Trump regime predations.
The American voter (including progressives) tends to narrowly focus on the candidate and forgets to balance what the candidate says, with what the party behind the candidate will do, if said candidate gets elected. In terms of actual change, then, a progressive in the White House can only be as progressive as the party that supports said candidate, be it Warren, Sanders or any other candidate. For damn sure, anyone who thinks the Democratic party will get behind a progressive talking president to enact serious, progressive change, has a short memory. How soon we forget the Hope and Change swindle of 2008.
And if that happens, Trump is guaranteed to be SELECTED!
This is an excellent comment. Hope you don’t mind if I share it? I’ll link to you OP.
He might already be. After all we no longer live in a democracy.
A search reveals many mainstream media articles stating that Warren endorsed Clinton. One even cites her appearance on Rachel Maddow. Suggest you do a search yourself. Here’s one for you:https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/06/09/elizabeth-warren-hillary-clinton/85664500/