Elizabeth Warren, Traitor to the Cause?

03 Mar 2016

Elizabeth Warren, Traitor to the Cause?

Looking at Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Facebook page, you’d think she betrayed every one of her liberal values, since her account was overrun by hateful comments. Her crime: not endorsing Bernie Sanders. Some of his supporters seemed to blame her for his loss in the Massachusetts primary on Super Tuesday. Without discussing the merits of either Hillary or Bernie, counting on endorsements to pull a candidate across the finish line is not a wise strategy.  And how much weight do endorsements carry anyway?

Those who followed the 2008 primaries and the ultra-close contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may remember that then-Senator Obama had the endorsements of Governor Duval Patrick, Senator John Kerry and the “liberal lion” himself, Senator Teddy Kennedy — the three most powerful Democrats in the state. Yet Hillary took the Massachusetts primary by a clear 15 points.

I can understand why Bernie’s people were upset because, while not so for Hillary, Massachusetts is Mr. Sanders’ back yard. But if we’re looking for him to inspire a revolution, Warren’s endorsement or the lack thereof should be moot.

Until now, the far Left seemed to have a rhapsodic love affair with Warren, and worked hard to draft her into running for President in 2016, the romance owing to her bluster against Wall Street and Big Banks. Conversely, Hillary Clinton is attacked on social media for being a “Goldwater Girl” – although she followed in her father’s Republican footsteps for about two minutes when she was seventeen. The first time she could vote in an election in College, she voted Democrat and has every election since, even registering Latino voters for Presidential candidate McGovern in Texas in 1972.

Senator Warren, however, voted Republican well into her 40s, in 1996. So ideological purity tests don’t make much sense.

For the record, Clinton and Sanders voted the same way 93% of the time in the Senate. Clinton was ranked one of the most liberal Senators, more liberal than then-Senator Obama. Per OnTheIssues.org, Hillary ranks as a “hard core liberal” like Warren, though you’d never know it from attacks against her.

Yet before Super Tuesday, no one doubted Elizabeth Warren’s liberal bona fides. The sudden hostility toward her evident on social media also proves the “I’d vote for a woman just not that woman” Hillary-meme false. Senator Warren was trashed, even abandoned, as soon as she displeased those who would have put her in power. As fellow traveler Peter Daou pointed out, under the glare of the national spotlight in a presidential race, she would get similar sexist treatment to Hillary. He quotes some of the name calling she received: “arrogant, a wuss, sleazy, sellout, middle-aged, disgusting, coward.”

Has a familiar ring. But since anyone can pretend to be anyone on the internet, here’s hoping those comments came from a small percentage of the whole, and only seem louder owing to their destructive nature.

Some also seem to forget that like Sanders and Clinton, Warren is a politician. Politicians look for power and leverage so that they can move their agenda (legislation) forward.

Warren has not endorsed Clinton either, although she wrote a letter a couple of years ago urging Hillary to run and recently praised her Wall Street plan.

Warren owes no one an endorsement. But perhaps she is holding it out as a plum that will increase her leverage in the Senate down the road.  Maybe she’s playing it cagey because she wishes to back the eventual winner, not wanting to alienate an incoming President. Or perhaps she’s remaining neutral as a courtesy to both candidates, who may each call to her for different reasons.

Only in hindsight can we determine either altruistic or political motives and whether or not she has overplayed her hand. Warren is a politician, as they all are, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Comments

  1. Amy Lomasney Says: March 4, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Except there are people like me. I worked to help EW win. I knocked on doors, I campaigned heavily and I donated. Because it seemed she had a great agenda. This is a really hard fight, but it is principled and legit. I helped Elizabeth and I sure wish she’d return the favor.
    I am not in a position to judge her, nor will I bash her but feel truly abandoned by someone I loved and looked up to.

    • Why do you feel betrayed? What did she promise you when you worked for her? I worked for Claire McCaskill and she endorsed Obama. I supported HRC in that election. I was disappointed but I still voted for her again. This time around Claire was front and center and has been one of Clinrton’s strongest and most vocal surrogates Warren hasn’t even endorsed yet. isn’t this just a little short sighted to say you would like EW to return the favor. What happens when supporters have different wants. How does she “please” everyone? You need to remember you are not the only constituent she has.

  2. Amy, Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Two points, EW and Hillary agree on a great deal and there are Hillary supporters who feel EW should endorse her. As I wrote in my piece, only in hindsight will we know her reasons for staying silent. Thank you so much for visiting my site and taking the time to comment

  3. Stuart Johnson Says: March 4, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I am so disappointed with the anger that is being misplaced all over this election cycle. It is giving rise to Trump and dividing the Democratic party. I am an ardent Sanders supporter and have reservations about Mrs. Clinton, but they are no worse than I have about the political system in general. But as a lifelong Democrat, I am a part of of a very inclusive party where we respect each others differences. One of Bernie’s strengths is that he brings in a lot of independents, both right and left leaning and I feel that’s where the really angry supporters. As for Senator Warren, her progressive values are more American and truthful than belonging to a particular party. It’s really what America needs more of.

  4. Kathleen Wynne Says: March 7, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    The Sanders supporters have not had to endure vetting of their candidate, as we who support HRC have had to endure for years! There has been no checks on Bernie’s background, voting history, personal life that’s made the news since he started his run for the presidency. Before Hillary made the decision to run, the media was already attacking her!

    I have doubts about any politician, particularly those who have not been properly vetted by the MSM while running for President of the U.S. Hillary has been the most vetted candidate to ever run for the presidency and the continued attacks are the patriarchies’ fear of a woman ever getting into the Oval office. That fear is what’s wrong with this country and any country for that matter, which doesn’t view women as equals in every sector of society. I live for the day that this glass ceiling is finally broken and that inexplicable fear of women is no longer a part of the male psyche.

    • Anita Finlay Says: March 7, 2016 at 11:33 pm

      Great points about vetting, Kathleen. The media had gone easy on him to let him buildup a head of steam — they want a horse race, after all. Very different than the scrutiny Hillary has long received. He’s starting to get a taste of it now and just a glimpse of what she has had to deal with for 25 years. Not sure he likes it. Who would?

  5. Kathleen Wynne Says: March 8, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I wonder how the BernieBros are going to react when the media is no longer fluffing his pillows or giving him a pass? They are accustomed to the media making Bernie appear pure as the driven snow. When they find out he isn’t, I predict a virtual psunama fit being thrown by his supporters. They follow Bernie primarily because he is offering them something they will never get in this country — free college and healthcare. Nothing in life is “free”. Somebodies going to have to pay. We are too far in debt and there is no money to pay for all of this free stuff. Hillary’s approach is realistic and is actually possible to achieve.

    What i can figure out mathmatically is if these students cannot afford to make a payment on their student loans, where are they getting the money to donate to Bernie’s campaign?

    T

    • Free education is a concept that is embraced in practically all of the Europen Union countries. And as for public healthcare we are the only exception in whole developed world that does not have it. Also the US is the only single nation in whole developed world that does not have national health care for all it’s citizens. It’s something literally unheard of in among other industrialized nations. So, it’s really hard to understand why American citizens cannot have that too? After all, aren’t we the richest country of them all? Is it the lock of money the reason wht we cannot have it even thou less wealthy countries do or maybe- just maybe- it’s the way we manage our budges that is the problem? Don’t you think?

      • Kathleen Wynne Says: April 19, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        Those countries that can afford free healthcare and education are very small countries which do not either have a military to support or a relatively small military. This country is too large and complex for us to expect socialism to become part of our society in an election cycle. In fact, no revolution happens in an election cycle and with good reason. It takes years to build on the idea of the kind of change sanders is talking about. Such changes must be brought about incrementally or they will be met with overwhelming resistance. People don’t normally embrace change, especially the kind that conflicts with the core beliefs in the U.S. that we are a capitalist nation and not a socialist one. Hillary is the only candidate who is offering real policies that can actually be achieved.

        As she says, it’s easy to diagnose a problem but much harder to offer solutions in solving that problem. Simly yelling and blaming others for problems has never been a successful approach in solving them.

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