FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Elizabeth Warren has Betrayed the Cause

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.16.31 PM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren just had a chance to turn the tide in this rigged Democratic primary season last Tuesday, and she ran away from it.

As most people know, the Democratic Party leadership, decades ago following the primary victory of Sen. George McGovern that gave him the party’s 1972 nomination for president despite the opposition of the whole ruling party elite, tried to make such an upstart left candidate impossible in the future by front-running primaries and caucuses in a bunch of deeply conservative Southern states. The idea was to crush any liberal candidate in those states (where no Democrat would stand a chance in the general election), so their funding would dry up and their campaigns would die early in the primary season.

This ugly strategy worked like a charm for decades and it even worked this year to the extent that the Establishment’s candidate, Hillary Clinton, was able to win big in those Southern states. But her upstart opponent Bernie Sanders to some extent blunted the effort this year by winning handily in Colorado, Oklahoma, Minnesota and in his home state of Vermont — four of the five non-Southern states also holding primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday. Sanders really would have actually defeated the DNC’s sabotage efforts though, had he won Massachusetts, a significantly larger state in terms of delegates, instead of just managing to come within 1.5% of doing so — and without any major endorsers backing him.

Imagine if Warren, the wildly popular senior senator from Massachusetts, in the days or weeks ahead of the primary, had endorsed Sanders, who after all is attacking the same corrupt big banks that Warren built her whole political career by denouncing. There’s no way having a popular anti-bankster, feminist senator endorsing Sanders wouldn’t have won him at least another 10% of the primary vote in Massachusetts — enough to have really damaged Clinton. Instead, Clinton was allowed to eke out a narrow victory there by picking up the support of identity-voting women who didn’t bother to examine her bogus feminism.

The Sanders campaign can still push forward in future primaries, because unlike prior liberal insurgents who were relying on big donors, his campaign is funded entirely by small donors, and those doners are proving to be resilient and energized, not easily demoralized, by evidence that the game is rigged (in February, the Sanders campaign took in a record $42 million in new small donations, and continues to build its campaign war-chest despite Clinton’s wins in the South on Tuesday). But how much better it would have been had he won Massachusetts.

A Warren endorsement would have made all the difference.

Now she stands exposed as a fraud posing as a radical reformer.

No doubt Warren will end up being rewarded with some appointment in a Clinton administration should Clinton manage to steal the Democratic Party’s nomination and go on to win the election despite the reality that she is widely loathed, and despite a majority even of Democrats saying they don’t trust her. Though of course an appointment in an administration where the president is in the pocket of the big Wall Street banks would severely constrain Warren’s ability to do anything of substance in the way of weakening the power of Wall Street. She would just be window-dressing, forced to do the bidding of the president — a woman who is already wallowing in tens of millions of dollars of legal bribes (not even campaign contributions, but speaking fees, ie personal income!) from the banking industry.

Put another way, Sen. Warren, a progressive Democrats’ darling who has made it clear that she agrees with Sanders’ positions on the banks and on issues like single-payer health care and debt-free college education and other progressive stands. has done what calculating, self=aggrandizing politicians always do: look at the odds and go with a winner. That is to say, if Warren had thought Sanders had a reasonably good chance of winning the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, she’d have surely been out there in Massachusetts and other states a week ago campaigning for and with him. Instead, because she probably believes his campaign will ultimately fall short given all the forces arrayed against him in the Democratic Party establishment and the media, she’s hedging her bets and not making any endorsement until the primaries are over.

That way, she probably figures she can negotiate a good deal for herself with Clinton in return for an endorsement should Clinton manage to gain a lock on the nomination.

That might be good politics if you’re Elizabeth Warren and you’re just thinking of what kind of power and influence you might have in the next presidential term either as the senior senator from Massachusetts, or perhaps as a cabinet officer in a Clinton administration, but it’s pathetic, smarmy, unprincipled politics in terms of trying to tackle the corrupt oligarchy that Warren knows is running the country.

Basically, for the calculating Warren it’s a no-lose situation. If Clinton wins the delegates she needs to be nominated, she’ll need Warren to endorse her to help her win over disgruntled and angry Democratic and independent progressives. If Sanders manages to beat Clinton and win the needed delegates over the next few months, he’s not going to hold her self-serving failure to endorse him earlier against her. He will want her on his side going into the general election.

A no-lose stance to be sure, but not what a real progressive would do. Battling for radical change is not for sissies or self-aggrandizing calculators. It calls for principled behavior and for demonstrating the courage of one’s convictions.

Warren has failed abysmally on both of those counts.

Had she endorsed Sanders before the Massachusetts primary, the state’s senior senator would have assured his victory over Hillary Clinton and probably helped him win big. By not endorsing him, she proved that she’s no radical progressive, but just another calculating self-interested political hack.

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail