Should Elizabeth Warren Run for President?
If anything, the efforts to sanctify Warren have grown. She is treated as the last, best hope of the tattered progressives, when it isn’t even clear how much she supports their agenda. She would presumably promote policies that would stem or reverse the concentration of income and wealth in the top 1%, but her view on other issues is unclear. What is her stand on our military commitments? On gay marriage? On immigration? On our broken health care system? On out of control college costs that result in most new graduates being debt slaves? On climate change? On China? She’s a formidable policy wonk and no doubt a quick study, but even smart people who step outside their areas of expertise can become hostage to bad orthodox thinking or its ugly cousin, leading edge conventional wisdom. And well advised or not, Warren may not be as liberal as her fans like to believe.
But even if she fails to be the Great Liberal Hope, she is an influential counterweight on the most pressing battleground, that of the rearchitecting of our political and economic structures to assure and extend rent extraction by the top 1% (indeed, the top 0.1%).
The other open question is whether she can be a successful candidate. Even though Warren has done remarkably well every time she has been thrown in the deep end of the pool, this is yet another new realm, one where a lot of battlefield judgments are required (like how to respond to swiftboating).
These are gambles a large number of Americans would like to see Warren take on their behalf. She said in March in a Huffington Post interview, “My first choice is a strong consumer agency…My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”
Perhaps Warren has since come to realize that her pugnacious impulse was right. No consumer agency or any effort that threatens the banks and plutocrats can succeed unless the fundamental terms of political discourse in this country change. Warren may be able to give that effort the impetus it desperately needs.
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