Warren on progressives: “We are the heart and soul of today’s Democratic Party”
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) fired up the Netroots crowd with one of her now-familiar red meat-tossing, flame-throwing speeches. The speech is being touted as the launch of her 2020 presidential campaign.
Warren railed against moderate Democrats and insisted that “we are not a wing of today’s Democratic Party. We are the heart and soul of today’s Democratic Party.”
Her goal appears to be to push her already-decimated party further away from mainstream Americans who find her repellent and her regressive, 1930’s-era ideas idiotic.
Senator Elizabeth Warren used a speech to a grass-roots conference Saturday to take direct aim at Democrats’ diminished moderate wing, ridiculing Clinton-era policies and jubilantly proclaiming that liberals had taken control of the party.
While not invoking former President Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton by name, Ms. Warren sent an unambiguous message that she believes the Clinton effort to push Democrats toward the political center should be relegated to history.
“The Democratic Party isn’t going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill,” she said, highlighting measures Mr. Clinton signed into law as president that are reviled by much of the left. “It is not going to happen.”
Yet Ms. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who is widely thought to be considering running for president in 2020, noted to about 1,000 activists here for the yearly Netroots Nation meeting that they hardly needed to worry about the party shifting to the middle as it did in the 1990s. Liberals, she said, have taken charge.
“We are not the gate-crashers of today’s Democratic Party,” Ms. Warren said, invoking a term first used to describe the liberal blogosphere that emerged a decade ago. “We are not a wing of today’s Democratic Party. We are the heart and soul of today’s Democratic Party.”
Warren appears to be doubling-down on Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) recent insistence that single-payer be a litmus test for the Democratic Party. Bernie’s statement, however, alarmed Democrats.
Politico reported last week:
House and Senate Democrats have wondered for months whether Bernie Sanders’ supporters might choose to focus their energy on launching primary challenges to party moderates in 2018. They’re about to get an answer.
Sanders has decided the moment is right to launch his proposal for the single-payer health insurance system that helped form the backbone of his presidential message. And Democrats who don’t get behind it could find themselves on the wrong side of the most energetic wing of the party — as well as the once and possibly future presidential candidate who serves as its figurehead.The Vermont senator himself has not explicitly said he’ll support primary challenges to those who won’t support his push for a so-called Medicare-for-all health care plan. But there are plenty of signs that Sanders and his allies view the issue as a defining moment for Democratic lawmakers.
“Our view is that within the Democratic Party, this is fast-emerging as a litmus test,” said Ben Tulchin, the pollster for Sanders’ White House run.
. . . . With Sanders promising to play a major role in 2018 races, that’s led many party officials to worry about the prospect of his involvement in primaries that could upend the Democratic establishment’s plans to win crucial House, Senate and gubernatorial seats.
Like Sanders, Warren derides any Democrat who does not fully support single-payer. She also implies that she is on board with DNC chair Tom Perez’s declaration that all Democrats must be pro-abortion.
The progressive site Vox reports:
“We’re not going back to the days of being lukewarm on choice,” Warren told a crowd of about 3,000 people at Netroots Nation. “We’re not going back to the days when universal health care was something Democrats talked about on the campaign trail, but were too chicken to fight for after they got elected.”
Warren cited, and then mocked, a column by former Hillary Clinton adviser Mark Penn in the New York Times arguing that Democrats should “move back to the center.”
Centrist want Democrats to “Give up, keep your heads down, be realistic, act like a grown-up, keep doing the same old same old,” Warren said. But, she added, “we’re not going back to the days when a Democrat who wanted to run for a seat in Washington first had to grovel on Wall Street.”
What Warren is calling for appears to be the same sort of influence over Democrats that the Tea Party had over the GOP in the early years of Obama’s first term.
Just as the tea party complemented the work of the Obama-era GOP, progressives want to build organizations, national and hyperlocal, to turn out voters who might be turned off by Democrats.
. . . . MoveOn.org, fresh off organizing protests to save the Affordable Care Act from repeal, was promoting a “Resistance Summer” in which thousands of activists would talk to their neighbors about progressive politics. Our Revolution, the group founded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after his 2016 presidential bid, promoted its own “Summer of Progress” — activists getting congressional Democrats on record behind eight left-wing bills designed to ease voter registration, create universal health insurance, raise the minimum wage to $15, and reform the criminal justice system.
Firing up the Netroot attendees, Warren guides them toward insisting on, without compromise, these planks in the progressive platform.
Vox has the transcript of her prepared remarks:
I look out here and see 3000 progressives, people of every race, gender, religion, and color, all committed to building a better future. I look out here and I see Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.
Yes, Trump’s worst nightmare, but also a big threat to everyone who kind of likes things the way they work now. A few weeks ago, I saw an op-ed in the New York Times from a so-called Democratic strategist titled, “Back to the Center, Democrats.”
It was all about how we have to stop caring about, quote, “identity politics” and stop waging, quote, “class warfare.” Apparently, the path forward is to go back to locking up non-violent drug offenders and ripping more holes in our economic safety net.
I even got a shoutout! Apparently, I’m the face of the problem. So is Bernie. But let’s be really clear here – the real power, the real threat, is not me—it’s you, all of you. It’s your energy, your passion, and your commitment to our values that threaten the bland, business-as-usual establishment.
We’ve been warned off before. Give up, keep your heads down, be realistic, act like a grown-up, keep doing the same old same old.
But here’s what’s interesting: instead of lots of lots of ferocious back-and-forth and piling on, this time, no one cared. Big yawn. Why? Because the Democratic Party isn’t going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill. It is NOT going to happen.
As she gets revved up, she says the following:
We wanted a party led by people who weren’t afraid to call themselves progressives.
We wanted a party that would defend progressive values.
We wanted a chance to fight for progressive solutions to our nation’s challenges.
We wanted a movement. And now, look around. We got the progressive movement, and we gather here every year to organize, to energize, and to sing karaoke.
Sing karaoke? Even the progressive crowd didn’t know what to do with that.
She then goes on to try to dismantle or to at least recast her party’s long, turbulent marriage to identity politics. The goal, now, apparently, is to unite all the demographic groups they’ve spent decades separating into easily-manageable, perpetually-outraged “communities” (read: voting blocs).
How about you? By applause: Who got into the fight because they were passionate about economic justice? Who came to fight for reproductive rights? How about clean air and clean water? How about immigration? Civil rights? Human rights? Anti-war? Campaign finance reform? Net neutrality? Any other bankruptcy nerds in the house?
That’s one of the things I love about coming to Netroots. We all came to this fight from different experiences. We all get fired up about different issues.
But if we’re going to be the people who lead the Democratic Party back from the wilderness and lead our country out of this dark time, then we can’t waste energy arguing about whose issue matters most or who in our alliance should be voted off the island.
We need to see each other’s fights as our own.
In other words, decades of work building a sense of anger, entitlement, and seething hate rooted in one issue needs to be refocused so that the sense of anger, entitlement, and seething hatred can be felt by all progressives for all issues. For example, an eco-fascist should be just as outraged about issues that Black Lives Matter ostensibly addresses as they should be about transgender bathroom “rights” and taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand. And so on.
It’s time to spread that rage and hate all around, Warren implies.
She says a lot more, and all of it is yawn-worthy in its predictability. Planned Parenthood should be “kept alive” (presumably funded by taxpayers), national minimum wage should be $15, “debt-free” college (she can’t yet bring herself to say “free,” I guess), climate change is settled science, the system is rigged, you’re all victims of one thing or another, and on. And on.
You can watch Warren’s full speech here if you are so-inclined:DONATE
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