A Warren Run Would Change Everything
Over the past few weeks, Elizabeth Warren has emerged as a leader of progressives on Capitol Hill. She led the charge against the part of the CRomnibus that gutted our financial regulations, and she is still fighting the White House over its nomination of bankster Antonio Weiss as Undersecretary of Domestic Finance in the Treasury Department.
But while those of us on the left are thrilled that Senator Warren is coming into her own as a voice for change in Washington, the right, well, isn’t so thrilled. In fact, it’s downright terrified.
During an episode of “Outnumbered” yesterday, Fox So-Called News host Melissa Francis said that as far as Wall Street was concerned, Elizabeth Warren was “the devil” and then warned that her populist message could be a big winner in 2016.
Melissa’s right to be scared, because Elizabeth Warren represents one of - if not the biggest - threat to Republicans winning the presidency in 2016. Warren is, essentially, a populist, and if there was one good sign from this year’s midterm elections it’s that Americans of all stripes, even those living in red states, support a populist agenda.
If Elizabeth Warren were to run for president on a populist platform, it could help the Democratic Party reclaim the so-called "red states." But a Warren presidential run wouldn’t just be good for the Democratic Party, it would be good for the entire country because it would change how we talk about politics.
Like Teddy Roosevelt before her, Warren doesn’t just take the fight across the aisle, she also sticks up to those people within her own party who do more for special interests than they do for everyday people. Her fight against part of a government spending bill that was supported by most of Democratic leadership and the White House was a great example of this kind of “no party” populism.
For Warren, it’s not about left vs. right; it’s about insiders vs. outsiders. That’s a really important point, and it’s the single most important reason why she should become our president in 2016.
In her memoir Fighting Chance, Warren quotes Larry Summers as telling her that when people get Washington, they have a choice: they can either be insiders or outsiders. “Outsiders,” Summers explained, “can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say.”
Summers’ message here was clear: If you want to get things in done in Washington, you have to follow the rules and avoid ruffling people’s feathers. But if we’ve learned anything over the past few weeks, it’s that Larry Summers, as has been the case at virtually every consequential moment in his entire career, was totally and completely wrong.
By speaking out about Antonio Weiss and the government spending CRomnibus bill, Elizabeth Warren is proving that being an outsider works. She’s proving that populism cuts across the left-right divide.
She’s proving that acting like an outsider rearranges the debate so that it’s about “us vs. them,” with “us” being the American people and “them” being the insiders and special interest groups that use government to pad their pockets.
An Elizabeth Warren presidential run would give us a chance to have a national conversation about these issues. And even if she didn’t make it out of the primaries, our country would be a lot healthier for having had that discussion than having not had it.
Senator Warren has said again and again that she’s not going to run for president in 2016. But that’s the exact same thing a junior Illinois senator named Barack Obama said back in 2006, and look where he is now.
It’s time for a real national conversation about populism and democracy. Go to MoveOn.org to tell Senator Elizabeth Warren that you want her to run for president.