There's been some talk about Elizabeth Warren running for President. See, for example, bostonboomer's piece here:
Warren has nothing to lose–Obama already hates her guts and has publicly humiliated her multiple times. What more can he do to her? Running against Obama would give Warren a chance to turn the tables and represent the American people against the top enforcer of the oligarchy.
And just imagine the debates! Warren would wipe the floor with Obama, exposing his lack of moral values and his pitiful ignorance of basic economics. Obama would be horrified to once again have to compete with a brilliant, competent woman. He might even be forced to sneakily use his middle finger again or pull out his tired sexist remarks. This time more people might notice, now that the koolaid has worn off for so many former Obots.
Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism seems to have been the first voice to raise this cry. It's a realistic assessment:
The obvious defect of a Warren bid for the Presidency is that she won’t win. Obama is expected to raise $1 billion for his campaign, as his Republican opponent presumably will. Warren has been branded as a scourge of banks. Even though it should be common sense that selling exploding toasters is bad business, the fact that she talks repeatedly and persuasively about the need for rules to have markets work well makes her a threat to much of Corporate America. Note that their heated opposition to the idea of fair play reveals the importance of treating customers badly, looting the official coffers, or both to their business models.
So why should she bother? She has become a forceful, self appointed advocate for middle class American families...
So the logic of having her run would be to change the terms of discourse in this country. In case you have managed to miss it, ideas that might interfere with the perquisites of those at the top of the food chain and their hired hands are virtually banned from the mainstream media.
Just so. We need to get the message out: Obama does not represent us. Young people -- both on the right and and on the left -- look at Obama and think: That's what liberalism IS.
No. No, it is not.
We need a standard bearer who will look at Obama in the face and tell him that he's a Republican who campaigned as a progressive -- that he lied about NAFTA, about FISA, about the wars, about representing working Americans. He lied about being an alternative to Bush. Like Bush, he had but one real prescription for America's ills: Tax cuts and more tax cuts. Worse, Obama has gone overseas to South Korea and India in order to pave the way for more free trade and more job outsourcing.
For this, he was called a socialist!
We need someone who will remind the world what true liberalism stands for. No, it's not socialism. And no, it has nothing to do with anything Obama has had to offer. It's about making sure that working people have decent paying jobs. It's about borrowing money to get a stuck-at-the-bottom economy unstuck and then paying it back during good economic times -- the exact opposite of the Republican approach. It's about creating rules that protect the working class from the rapists and pillagers at the top of the economic heap.
For god's sake, why didn't he tell the Republicans at the beginning of the debt ceiling negotiations that he would sign no bill that did not include a tax increase for the affluent? He could have presented a plan which included a (very) modest tax cut for the working poor coupled with the reversion to the Clinton era's tax structure for the upper bracket. The reactions to Warren, both on the right and left, are becoming divorced from reality. She has assumed iconic status as a lone mediagenic figure in the officialdom who reliably speaks out for the average person, a Joan of Arc for the little guy. And she drives the right crazy because she is rock solid competent and plays their game better than they do. She sticks to simple, compelling soundbites and images without the benefit of Roger Ailes and Madison Avenue packaging, and she speaks to an even broader constituency, Americans done wrong by the banks, than they target. No wonder they want to burn her at the stake.
Yves goes on the point out that Warren is, to a great degree, still something of an unknown quantity. We don't know where she stands on many issues.
Well, we knew even less about Obama. A lot of people thought they knew about him -- but they were simply using him as a movie screen on which to project their dreams.
Matt Taibbi may have been the first to make this suggestion, back in October of 2009. His words then are still worth reading.
But I’d like to see it get talked about anyway. The way I look at it, the problem with the Democratic Party is not the voters, it’s the 19 or 20 people who are paying for the campaigns and sitting in at those meetings with Rahm and Billy Tauzin. We have to get rid of those people, herd them all to the edge of a very tall cliff and push them off and be done with it.
We need someone in there who is willing to run one this one issue: who owns the Democratic Party? Is it the voters, or is it Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and United Health Care? There are plenty of candidates out there who’d fit — Toledo’s Marcy Kaptur got a nice bounce from the Michael Moore movie, and Jan Schakowsky is another who comes to mind — but Warren to me makes the most sense for the simple reason that it will be virtually impossible for the Democratic Party hacks to dismiss her as a fringe character, given that they themselves gave her such a big public position as chief of the Congressional Oversight Panel.
This is a woman who understands the finance issues as well as we can hope to expect from any politician and moreover seems to connect the dots when it comes to dissecting the problems on Wall Street...
I think someone needs to put a scare into the Democratic Party leaders.
That last sentence sums up the case for Warren elegantly.
Despite his status as the incumbent and his $1 billion campaign war chest, President Obama could find himself voted out of office in 2012. When you consider the fact that the Republican Party candidates who are currently generating the most excitement are women (Bachmann and the undeclared Palin) just imagine how many voters might gravitate to a populist female candidate with substantially more brains than Obama.
The disillusionment factor afflicting Obama is not something which can be easily overlooked. The man I have referred to as the “Disappointer-In-Chief” since his third month in office has lost more than the enthusiasm of his “base” supporters – he has lost the false “progressive” image he had been able to portray.
I see no pressing reason for her to run against Scott Brown, whom I dislike less than I dislike Obama. Brown has shown some independence, while Obama has shown utter fealty to the Wall Streeters who despise him. How can anyone respect a dog who remains loyal to an abusive master?
Matt Stoller articulated the differences between Obama and Warren:
He won’t announce Social Security or Medicare cuts, he wants it to be part of a Grand Bargain for whom no one has to take responsibility. He demands an end to earmarks, or something, but we need an infrastructure bank or something. As a result, the Democratic Party is enmeshed right now in a guessing game about the true goals of their leader, paralyzed and unable to govern. When Warren is present, by contrast, the Republicans are able to argue strongly that they do not believe in government as an agent of good, while Democrats are able to articulate the opposite. It’s a real, open, honest debate. There’s no sliding around with 11 dimensional chess nonsense, it’s straight up democracy.
One last link. I'm not a Facebook fan by any stretch of the imagination -- but if you are a resident of that universe, go here.
Added note: In his address to the press today, Obama noted that -- among our other problems -- the Arab uprising led to "the rile in oil prices."
Methinks he made a miltake in reading from his teseprompter.
The reality is the Democrat machine voters will line up behind Obama again like a battered spouse attacking the police officers responding to her domestic violence call. The Kossholes will go on another misogyny spree and Chris Matthews will get that old familiar tingle, probably because his thirty pieces of ABM silver wore a hole in his trouser pocket.
I just had a vision. The FDR Democrats piled in a Lincoln powered EAT ME cake float lurching toward Washington in 2012.
posted by Mr. Mike : 7:58 AM
I'll just say this: ceteris paribus, in the extremely unlikely event that Elizabeth Warren ever comes to occupy a position in which she has the power to effect real changes pertinent to what America has become, she'll quickly fall prey to the old mechanism of "death-by-lone-gunman". The FDR period has imprinted in the hearts and minds of the American Oligarchy: *never again*. Vide the '60s.
Alternative political figures is not what I think the American people needs - but then again I'm just a foreigner poking my nose around in interesting times...
posted by moshe : 11:09 AM
I really like Elizabeth Warren but I see this as just another pipe dream. I can't see Warren entering a race in which she has no realistic chance of winning. More a chance of being savaged by the same wolves that made it clear they wanted her out of DC. Even Yves over at Naked Capitalism said Warren would never make it out of the primaries. And the simple fact is: Obama needs to be dumped, completely.
But . . . if Warren were to throw herself in, knowing the risks and the stones being thrown to change the conversation then she would absolutely earn the title of Joan of Arc. And I would get on my knees and cross myself.
I'd like to believe that there's someone, a single brave, fierce person, out there who could grab the reins and change our course. But I'm coming to the conclusion that it's going to take more than one person. It's going to take an army of Americans, hitting the streets and screaming: NO MORE.
Well, the theory is NOT for her to actually win, (Yves expressly says she thinks Obama would still win the nomination).
Warren in the primary is just a means to try to move the overton window back to the left. (In theory, as stated, no one knows exactly what Warren would do outside of the financial area)
I think it would be equally as effective if she just went ahead and called Obama the liar I'm sure she knows he is. The 64K question is, is she willing to do so? Actually speak truth to power? Call people out?
posted by willyjsimmons : 1:08 PM
Primarying Obama would be great...except I'd hate to see the Obamacrats destroy another reputation.
"Emanuel defends Obama on Republican criticism ahead of birthday fundraiser"
D*mn it, I hate to say it but Taibbi is quite right in his diagnosis. The problem is that the Democratic party does not actually represent anyone. Perhaps the same is true of the Republicans. They both simple hire themselves out to the highest bidder in the corporate lobbying world.
So of course Emmanuel defends Obama against Republican criticsm, while no one hears any Democrat criticism so they and the papers can maintain the fiction that there are two cliches fighting a class war.
This is clearly not true. There are two parties fighting a class war alright. But both parties are beating up on the same class.
So bless Warren. If I voted I would support her too. But its not about her being good is it? Its about Obama being one giant douche bag. I suppose we can try and apply pressure. But frankly Im sickened by him and his mates. Im so glad I dont vote here. Consider me excused from partipating in your farce of a democracy.
I prefer she run for the Senate and win, rather than run challenge Obama in a primary for President snd lose. The press will have a field day on her lack of foreign policy experience if she runs for president. And I doubt Obama would even deign to debate her. But she could win the Senate.
posted by djmm : 9:59 PM
Speaking as a Massachusetts resident and a member of my Democratic ward committee, as well as a female graduate of Harvard Law School, although I predate Professor Warren so I have no personal experience with her, I'm torn. I know one of the current Democratic candidates for senator, Bob Massie, and I think he'd make a great senator, so I'm distressed at the thought of Elizabeth Warren's stepping in and eclipsing everybody else (shades of Mitt Romney vs. Jane Swift, although I see a qualitative difference between Elizabeth Warren and Mitt Romney). At the same time, I really do get goosebumps at the thought of having someone in national office who seems to have her head screwed on straight and have a backbone underneath it.
posted by CambridgeKnitter : 12:52 AM
The fact is that what we see today is not what we will see in a month or six months. Elizabeth Warren could grow stronger because of the attacks that would be waged against her is a primary. Obama's billion could be his undoing. The country wants someone sensible who is truly interested in governing responsibly. Bachman, Palin, Obama, etc., have shown their fickle posturing. Given the choice between someone genuine and Obama I think genuine wins. Given the choice between Republican crazy and genuine, again genuine wins.