Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Warren Bubble

The minor boomlet of the 'professional left's' favorite Elizabeth Warren running for president against Hillary Clinton in 2016 has gotten some attention. Here are the voters in the 'D' column aligned against Hillary Clinton:
[A] majority of Democratic voters, who are angrier, more disaffected, and altogether more populist than they’ve been in years. They are more attuned to income inequality than before the Obama presidency and more supportive of Social Security and Medicare.1 They’ve grown fonder of regulation and more skeptical of big business.2 A recent Pew poll showed that voters under 30—who skew overwhelmingly Democratic—view socialism more favorably than capitalism. Above all, Democrats are increasingly hostile to Wall Street and believe the government should rein it in.
Of course she's not without her detractors, who have given her the nickname 'Fauxcahontas' after, allegedly, claiming native-American heritage she does not actually have.

Her biggest claim to fame is, apparently, a viral video where she asks a bunch of bank regulators how many bankers they've taken to trial. Answer, apparently, zero--and the web loved her and hated that.

Considering that Bill de Blasio just won with a left-wing populist approach in New York City (a red city in the reddest of states*)!? Could the tide be turning left?

Does that mean Elizabeth Warren could run, win the nomination, and compete against Scott Walker in 2016 for the presidency!?

Only if the Democrats want to break their national election winning streak.

What Positioning! 
The paragraph I've quoted above is simply mind-boggling in the degree to which it does not get it. I mean, really? Voters under 30? You might as well have the vote of every left-handed septuagenarian--there are probably about as many. Democrats increasingly hostile to Wall Street and skeptical of Big Business? What is that if not boilerplate? De Blasio? A pretty far left guy won in NYC!? Come on--that's supposed to be breaking news?

Let's be frank: voters under 30 don't understand what "socialism" is--and it's hard to blame anyone but Fox News for calling anything they don't like Socialism.

Of course the Warren boomlet is just random noise: she's even said she's not running against Hillary. The question is "why?"

Why Elizabeth Warren?
People who claim Obama is some kind of super-leftist baffle me. I assume that the smart ones are just using the term as code / propaganda / positioning--and the dumb ones don't know what they're talking about anyway--but does anyone smart actually believe it?

The answer is "yes." Apparently 'fat cat' bankers really took it personal-like when Obama called them out. The were sure this was dirty, nasty class-warfare coming straight out of Marx (I read this, more or less, in Double Down, the story of the 2012 election I'll be reviewing here when I finish it).

These bankers are smart--and believing that someone calling them fat-cats is socialist ultra-leftism is, well, stupid. I don't care what kind of deeper framework of a nonsense argument you try to construct around the terms, the fact is that Obama didn't nationalize the banks, include single-payer or the public option in his health-care plan, or try to stick it to the auto-companies (Oh, he just did that to protect the unions? Okay smart guy: tell me about all those banker-unions when Obama strongly supported TARP. Oh, that's okay: go Google it or whatever. I'll wait. Nope? Still waiting--could it be that Obama's been pretty friendly to large business since before he got into office? Uh huh.)

The fact is that there actually is a real left out there and ever since Clinton invented 'Triangulation' (adopting a few moderately conservative popular positions) and the Democrats bred the 'Blue-Dogs' through the dirty trick of running conservatives in the south under the 'D' brand it has been less and less well served since it burned itself out in the 60's and 70's.

Now, to be clear, Elizabeth Warren is probably not a 'super leftist'--from what I know I don't think her response to 9/11 would be to apologize to Al Queada for US colonialism, for example. I'm not sure if she wants the Bush administration literally prosecuted for war crimes (some bankers, okay--but outgoing presidential administrations? Not sure where she stands ... but I doubt it)--but the point is that there really is an "American left" (hard left? Hard core left?) and very, very few popular public figures in government are actually it.

Warren for Tea
Which brings me to the thinking that led to this post: a Warren nomination for president would be the left-wing equivalent of a Cuccinelli nomination (or worse) by the Tea Party in a general election. The idea that a wave of 'distrust' for big business would trump all other possible concerns (national defense, for example) is the kind of thinking that the base engages in where their personal 'star' issue eclipses everything else and they can't see that the candidate is clearly a loser.

I don't think the Democrats are in any danger of dumping Hillary (presently: a likely winner) for Warren (presently: a tremendous loser) but the idea that an editorial about her is getting that much play is a window into the left's own fantasy land.

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