New Orleans Why in the world would the New York Times be “left-baiting” Elizabeth Warren, the recently elected US Senator from Massachusetts? The front page headline read, “Warren is now the Hot Ticket on the Far Left.” Huh?
What’s up? Is she leading sugar cutting expeditions to Cuba with the Vinceramos Brigade? Did she just attend a memorial service for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela? Did she just have lunch in Germany at the Rosa Luxemburg Institute of the former East German Communist Party?
No, the former Harvard Law professor and consumer advocate from Oklahoma who was the architect behind the new federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is exciting people with a populist message. The “far left” where she is supposedly a “hot ticket” includes the following wild-eyed radical groups according to the Time where she recently was a speaker: the AFL-CIO at its national convention, a MoveOn.org conference call, the League of Conservation Voters, the Campaign for America’s Future, the Wellstone Institute, the Daily Kos, and the like. Are these mainstream, pillars of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party now somehow defined not just as “left” which would surprise many of them, but as “far left?” Wow! And, does the fact that she is also courted to help raise money for other Senators like Barbara Boxer of California, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Richard Durbin of Illinois make them fellow Molotov cocktail throwers on the far left?
What’s the story behind the news here? Is a little taste of “make the banks pay” populism scaring the Times and the Establishment voices whispering in their top editor and owners’ ears? Is this an early stealth campaign by the Hillary and Bill gang of Clintonistas trying to preemptively strike at Warren and paint her as too radical and “far left” so she doesn’t come out of nowhere and derail their hopes in the same fresh-faced and aspirational way that Barack Obama did in 2008?
She’s reportedly going out of her way to tamp down any speculation that she might run for President in 2016, which is smart, whether she means it or not, but frankly, if a populist message about wealth inequality, banking and loan abuse, and equal opportunity for lower income and working Americans, is scaring the Establishment, Senator Warren, originally from the bright red state of Oklahoma and now representing the deep blue state of Massachusetts, might be just the voice – and candidate – we need to make sure that our issues don’t get ignored once again.
If Elizabeth Warren is “far left,” then we need to pull the whole country in that direction!