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Liz Warren decides to lose to Scott Brown

2011 October 4
by Ian Welsh

Seems her comment on #Occupy is that people should obey the law, and she wasn’t talking about the cops.  Oh, and she’s against marijuana legalization.

Leaving all else aside, this is awful politics in the most technical sense.  Her statement, if she didn’t want to endorse #Occupy should have been something like “this movement shows that until we reform Wall Street and the Banking system unrest will continue to grow,” or something similar.  As a politician, when asked about something, say it proves the need for your program.  In Warren’s case it’s even plausible.

But let’s be frank, she is a stalking horse for Obama. She is deep in his pockets, supported strongly by his organization.  She is the spokesman for “saving the Middle Class”, saying things which Obama can no longer say and pass the laugh test.  The problem with “saving the Middle Class” is that for the people in #Occupy movement, it’s too late.  Most of the core people are no longer in the middle class.  Saving those still in it will do nothing for them, even if the policies suggested would work, which they wouldn’t.

But what this mainly reveals is that Warren is incompetent.  She has just told most of the left, the very people who are reluctant to work for Obama, that there is no real point in working for her.  She may believe in some consumer protections, but she’s still a conservative Democrat, who just wants to tweak the status quo.  She regards the #Occupy people as illegitimate, as law breakers.  She wants to keep the war on drugs going, even though, as a Law Prof, she has to know it doesn’t work and causes unimaginable suffering.

Contemptible and incompetent.

86 Responses
  1. Matt Stoller permalink
    October 4, 2011

    At first, I thought she was distancing herself from the protests. Now I’m not sure. She might have simply been a bit incoherent on answering a question. I’m going to try and get some clarification.

  2. Ian Welsh permalink
    October 4, 2011

    I certainly hope that was the case. Still, this is a question she should have been ready for and prepped on by her staff. I mean, it was close to 100% it was going to be asked.

  3. October 4, 2011

    I’m tentatively with Matt, she may have – may have – just buggered up the answer and not realized it on #OWS. That, however, cannot be said about the marijuana answer, which was just bad. Shit, at worst, you say let the people vote or some pablum. Flat stating you are all in on the war on drugs, including simple pot, is just dumb. And bad politics for Warren. I didn’t hear it, but understand she also whipped out some pablum on needing “to reduce and make clear regulations”. If true, also horrid framing.

  4. October 4, 2011

    Does anyone know who is running her campaign? Because those people should be fired. I hope she didn’t hire the same old, tired hacks that pop up every election.

  5. Neil Sagan permalink
    October 4, 2011

    Fair criticism if you’re reading it right.

  6. Neil Sagan permalink
    October 4, 2011

    Phil Perspective,

    Doug Rubin. He ran Deval Patrick’s campaign, (…and lobbies for casinos, which wil be the biggest mistake MA will make this year, if Deval doesn’t veto the bill. )

    I was waiting for questions on civil rights, Patriot Act renewal, etc… which frequently separate conservadems from liberals.

  7. Ian Welsh permalink
    October 4, 2011

    Even if I’m reading it wrong, the criticisms on competence and drug legalization stand. That question is one she should have had cold.

  8. BDBlue permalink
    October 4, 2011

    She’s not only running for the D nomination, isn’t she doing it at the behest – or at least with the support of – the D apparatus? If so, then there’s a cost to doing that (although, hell, what do I know, maybe she thinks pot really is the devil weed). Which is why, of course, that expecting much from her was always going to be a mistake. She remains firmly entrenched in the rotting corpse that is the Democratic Party. If she were really interested in changing things at a deep level, she wouldn’t be running as a Democrat and she wouldn’t be running for Senate – since neither will ever change voluntarily from within.

  9. October 4, 2011

    She can’t publicly criticize the drug war and win as a major party candidate. The right would blast her, you know that.

    Why even make that argument?

  10. Pepe permalink
    October 4, 2011

    @The Raven

    Because now the Right will praise her?

  11. BDBlue permalink
    October 4, 2011

    I’m not sure that’s exactly right, Raven. She can’t run against the war on drugs and keep Dem party apparatus support. I’m not so sure she couldn’t win with the voters, especially on marijuana (even my parents think it’s time to legalize marijuana and they’re hardly hippies, just people tired of paying to jail others for smoking a plant), it’s just she’ll lose the party support.

  12. Sandy Berman permalink
    October 4, 2011

    What a steaming pile of garbage.

  13. Stav permalink
    October 4, 2011

    Liberals eat their young.

    Get out there and destroy her!!! She is not 100% pure!!!

  14. atcooper permalink
    October 4, 2011

    Yves made the case a few weeks ago that if Ms. Warren ran for the Senate, Warren was already done. The gist was that if Warren got quartered away in the Senate, an institution ripe with corruption, her effectiveness as advocate for the people would be contained.

    Here’s maybe the most relevant, single link:

    Yves has a good number of articles on Warren, and they are all worth reading. I fear she is being proved correct.

  15. Old Wolf permalink
    October 4, 2011

    Ian – My apologies for hijacking your thread but I thought your readers might be interested in knowing that the Manitoba provincial election was held today and CTV has declared an unprecedented 4th consecutive majority government for the NDP to remain the only NDP provincial government in the country. The standings at the moment are NDP elected or leading in 37 seats; the Conservatives elected/leading in 19 seats and the Liberals elected/leading in 1 seat – almost the same results as the last election. A majority is 29.

    Again, my apologies and we now return you to regularly scheduled commenting.

  16. atcooper permalink
    October 4, 2011

    And maybe this is just troll food, but I still gotta say it. Warren’s advocating for the Drug War might as well be advocating for the Patriot Act with a bit of Jim Crow love thrown in for good measure.

  17. Walter Wit Man permalink
    October 4, 2011

    As someone who was reluctantly hopeful that she would be a positive political figure, I hope liberals do get out there and destroy her.

    It’s not that she’s not “pure.” It’s that she does not fundamentally represent leftist interests. Some may have been willing to forgive her for running as a Democrat and trying to change the system from within, something that has about the same chance of succeeding as a snowball does in hell, if she was willing to advocate for leftish policies.

    But she’s clearly not advancing any leftish policies and is clearly in the president’s hip pocket. What a fraud!

    Unfortunately, she will probably be rewarded by the party establishment because she is further conditioning liberals to accept shit sandwiches. She’s proving her value.

  18. Jumpjet permalink
    October 4, 2011

    Welp, it’s a good thing we found out now instead of four months from now. Less time and energy wasted by activists on her behalf.

    On the purely political level, the Democrats have twice fouled up their shots at winning the seat. Mike Capuano would probably be the best candidate of the names floated, yet he’s consistently ignored. That’s not to say he’d be a representative of the people, but he throws them more bones than most, and he’s appropriately vicious.

  19. jcapan permalink
    October 4, 2011

    What BD and Walter said. I read a post by MsExPat yesterday and she said of OWS:

    “The talk on the ground is not about elections anymore. It’s about transforming society.”

    Any energy wasted supporting (even authentic) liberals for elective office is energy wasted at this point. And the House of Lords is one institution that should be destroyed, not reformed.

  20. Paul K permalink
    October 4, 2011

    Can I pose a question to most of the commenters?

    When was the last time you voted? And when was the last time you voted for someone who won? I bet there was a compromise somewhere along the way.

    I am a strong supporter of #OWS. And of ending a war on drugs that is essentially a tool for imprisoning people of color and supporting a private prison industry.

    But this shit is genuinely fucking stupid. Part of being a grownup is working actively towards achievable goals. Why the hell would ANYONE feel accountable to a set of ideological purists who proudly pronounce themselves so far out of the mainstream that they’re cheering for a “liberal” to knock Elizabeth Warren out of the race?

    I swear to god, it’s like reading the comment section on Redstate, where they’ve all but convinced themselves that a goddamn wackjob like Rick Perry or an imbecile like Herman Cain actually have a better chance of beating Obama than Romney, because of their ideological purity. These clowns are so far up their own assholes they are about to cede the single greatest opportunity they’ve had in a generation to sweep in the fascism they so fervently desire.

    Now most of you would never have actually manned a phone bank to get ANYONE elected, so it’s no real loss that you’re sitting here crying into your keyboards about some answers from Warren that you didn’t like. But frankly, people who ask about marijuana legalization (as opposed to ending mandatory sentencing or overall drug amnesty) are single issue voters. Who generally don’t fucking vote. And frankly, there is not enough of a coherent message coming out of #OWS for anyone running for election to be able to identify themselves with.

    So keep bitching and moaning. It’s done wonders so far.

  21. Paul K permalink
    October 4, 2011

    PS……“The talk on the ground is not about elections anymore. It’s about transforming society.”

    Great. It’s not the liberals who have guns in this country, and believe me, when the “revolution” comes in America, it’s going to look a lot more like Germany in 1936 than whatever the fuck you’re dreaming of.

  22. Jumpjet permalink
    October 4, 2011

    There’s plenty of liberals with guns. Ever been to Vermont?

  23. October 4, 2011

    Now most of you would never have actually manned a phone bank to get ANYONE elected, so it’s no real loss that you’re sitting here crying into your keyboards about some answers from Warren that you didn’t like.

    wow, arrogant much? how do you know anything about us? For my part not only have I volunteered for phone bank, I ran phone banks on more than one occasion and recruited my volunteers. I cannot tell you the a?mount of doors I have rung, going back decades. I donated money, even though my resources were limited. I ran voter registration drives out of my own pocket because I believed in the necessity for them.

    And what did I get for all my effort, and the effort of the volunteers I recruited? A bunch or pro-torture kleptocrats. Empty suits that I mistook for flawed leaders. What is winning? What is the good of electing someone from your team if they turn around and cheat you out of your social security and medicare? What have you won?

    Surely posters have the right to have their posts judged on their merits. but in my case I have done a great deal of volunteer work over the decades for candidates who have no regard for my interests. I am old enough to remember LBJ and the 88th congress. I watched Hubert Humphrey break the filibuster and pass the 1964 civil rights act, back in the day when you had to find 68 votes for cloture. We don’t have anyone on Capitol Hill like the 88th Congress and certainly Obama is nothing like LBJ, save for his eagerness for war. As Warren Mosler says, this is not your father’s Democratic party.

  24. October 4, 2011

    This was about as predictable as anything. She sat around and took abuse from O and the D’s for what, a year or more? Stockholm Syndrome should not be a plus on a resume’, much less qualification for higher office.

    Good grief, how can so many smart people keep negotiating for or with anyone who registers as, aligns with, much less runs for office in the criminal D party? It’s simply a criminal organization dependent on bribes. That alone should be more than enough to both quit negotiating or pretending… really it should be all about shaming people who have not left it. People don’t join the mafia to change it from within!

    A Jehovah’s witness solicitor will be greeted far more warmly at my front door than a Dem running for so much as dog catcher.

  25. October 4, 2011

    “She can’t publicly criticize the drug war and win as a major party candidate. ”

    Even in Massachusettes?

  26. Paul K permalink
    October 4, 2011

    @DCblogger, I agree with much of what you say and have nothing but respect for the work you’ve done in the past. But with all due respect, you offer nothing in terms of a solution. I am not a big fan of Barack Obama, but he has not proposed cutting medicare or social security beyond a shell game he played with republicans during the debt ceiling bullshit. Suggesting that he’s out to “cheat you out of it” is playing into a narrative that has been pushed (and funded) to death by the republican party and their surrogates. But quite simply, there’s no there there. No pen has hit paper and no law proposed with those cuts…whether it’s only because he knows it would be the end of his political career or not, it’s not really productive to spend a lot of time convicting people of hypothetical actions.

    And this quote from the poster before me really says it all:
    “Any energy wasted supporting (even authentic) liberals for elective office is energy wasted at this point.”

    Seriously. This is about as productive as arming up and heading out to the country, which is what many of my white anarchist friends did back in the mid-90s. Their class and race privilege allowed them the luxury to do so…and their immediate irrelevancy to the greater political discourse couldn’t be greater.

  27. Jack Crow permalink
    October 4, 2011


    I started off stuffing envelopes. Then I worked phones. Then I went door to door with clipboards. I sat on strategy meetings, and wrote press releases. Eventually, I ran a campaign for an alderman’s seat. Helped defeat a sitting mayor. Got involved in a congressional effort. Worked on a national presidential campaign.

    Nothing changed.

    The system doesn’t exist as a benefit for the electorate. The electorate exists to puts its stamp on the benefits the rich have already taken for themselves. Mo’betta will never change that:

    “Once upon a time, there was a game called paofpopafsoj.

    There are four teams. The referee is on one of the teams. The referee decides what the rules are, how points are awarded, and who wins. All disputes are settled by the referee. The referee’s authority is final and absolute. The referee records the score in a book. Whichever team wins gets to choose the referee for the next game.

    What could possibly go wrong?”

    (originally written by Life After Authority)

    Every concession granted through the system (before the regulatory apparatus was captured or turned against the people) was given because the system was threatened from below. We should remember that these were concessions. They could be taken away at any time, because they were allowed in order that the system of extraction be preserved.

    Giving time to running that racket, or the politics of its spectacles, is feeding blood directly to the leech.

    If you want to do it, more power to you.

    But you’re also going to have to live with the fact the a large number of us are now beyond all that. We don’t want increments and revokable concessions. We want lives worth living.

    And we won’t be getting them from elections.

  28. October 4, 2011

    “when the “revolution” comes in America, it’s going to look a lot more like Germany in 1936 than whatever the fuck you’re dreaming of”

    Well then maybe we should have our revolution before they can have theirs.

  29. October 5, 2011

    ” Barack Obama, but he has not proposed cutting medicare or social security ”


    I know, I know he “didn’t really mean it.” He’s been talking about cutting those programs since day one and actually offered to cut them, but it was all just 84950909-dimensional chess. Sure.

  30. October 5, 2011

    last summer a friend of mine said the voters don’t have any influence I am still trying to come up with an example of how voters have influence.

  31. October 5, 2011

    ” Barack Obama, but he has not proposed cutting medicare or social security ”


    I know, I know he “didn’t really mean it.” He’s been talking about cutting those programs since day one and actually offered to cut them, but it was all just 84950909-dimensional chess. Sure.

    Obama has been attacking social security since his speech to the Hamilton Institute in 2007.

    I left the Democratic party by the end of 2007 when it became painfully obvious that Democrats did not care about torture. That is an absolute with me, all who condone torture are just plain evil and need to be driven from polite society, with the exception of those who actually order torture, who need to be put in prison for the rest of their sorry lives.

  32. Ian Welsh permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Silliness. Whatever one can say about my commenters and readers, they vote and volunteer at a much much higher rate than the general population. That’s the point, these are the Dem party volunteers, and they feel disenfranchised, because no one represents them. Most especially not Barack Obama.

    Bitching and moaning may not help, but these people know for a fact that volunteering and voting has not helped.

    That’s why #Occupy. It may or may not work, but it least it isn’t a proven failure, like working for Obama.

  33. jcapan permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Paul, I voted from 1988-2008, for a number of winning candidates at all levels, and volunteered, and contributed. So, your comforting stereotype lasted all of a few mins.
    I’m happy to hear you’re supportive of OWS, but by maintaining support for BHO, you’re practicing cognitive dissonance of the highest order. His administration is dedicated to just about everything the left is opposed to. Their interests and our interests have virtually no overlap, discounting his fabulous campaign rhetoric at least. Christ, if you want to argue for less evilism, you might make a marginally better case, but this is some weak stuff.
    I’m also thrilled to hear that in your opinion we are no better than commenters at Red State. You sound like you’d fit in perfectly at the MSM or in the DLC in that regard, the false equivalence is spouted with great verve.
    “Any energy wasted supporting (even authentic) liberals for elective office is energy wasted at this point.”
    And I stand by this call 100%. Vote if you like, it’s harmless enough, but your energy, your time, or your money should not be spent redeeming the irredeemable. Voting is one thing, but paying attn. to, let alone being enthralled, by the reality TV show of the looming Obama-Romney campaign, as if there’s significant wiggle room between the two corporatists, is patently absurd.
    Per your white anarchist friends: “their immediate irrelevancy to the greater political discourse couldn’t be greater.” The greater political discourse disallows anything of merit to penetrate its magical forcefield. Had they stayed among practical compromisers like yourself, fighting the good fight over the last 20 odd years, we’d still be faced with BHO and two parties inherently/irreparably corrupted by corporate money. Their irrelevancy is akin to Noam Chomsky’s—it’s what lends them authority in the reality-based community. But keep up with the administration talking points, trying to whip the DFHs into line. Every corporate farm needs its border collies.

    And also what Jack Crow said.

  34. October 5, 2011

    A new hope

  35. October 5, 2011

    That’s depressing, but like someone else already said, at least we got that bit of disappointment out of the way early. Suddenly she is reminding me of Ned Lamont, the first politician I ever gave money too (and I made multiple contributions, but it’s truer that they were contributions against Lieberman rather than for Lamont). But early after his primary win I caught something in his statements and attitude that told me he didn’t have what it took to win the election. LW may not be contemptible, unless you are into Jehovah’s biblical contempt for the lukewarm. But unless you get excited by the LL Bean catalogue, she apparently isn’t anything to get excited about either. I think she can still win (and without any help from me), but she sure as hell won’t be a leader of anything new or significant.

  36. BDBlue permalink
    October 5, 2011

    I’ve always voted, often for winning candidates, for all the good it’s done me. But I’ve come around to believing that Emma Goldman was right, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

  37. someofparts permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Where can I go to find more conversation about the NDP in Manitoba. I was so stunned to realize you folks even have such a thing. Then, when they took off in the last national elections, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. And sure, I know it’s not some fairy-tale ideal. I know the conservatives are majority party for a while yet. Still – interesting. Please recommend good places to find Canadians talking about this. And Manitoba? I thought the interior provinces were more conservative, like ours down here in the Shorts of Canada.

  38. someofparts permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Is it just me, or is hope becoming a four-letter word?

  39. someofparts permalink
    October 5, 2011

    This post and the comments have been cracking me up, starting with Ian’s snappy title. Then the Onion bit about cutting out the Senate. And dcbloggger still trying to think of an example of voters having influence. horrible horrible funny funny

  40. October 5, 2011

    I’m a little late to this, but can Ian or someone provide a link to her actual comments and/or the context of them?

  41. Paul K permalink
    October 5, 2011

    @jcjapan: “Authority in the reality based community?” Amazing. The only thing that gave these white anarchists who escaped the reality of real community organizing any “authority” in this country was that they were born white. And when they got sick of being told their fantasies of revolution were absurd by elders of color in Oakland who had actually lived through the civil rights struggle, they copped out.

    I stand corrected in my comparisons of the commenters here to those at Redstate. The dipshits at Redstate at least excoriate those amongst them who would suggest that not voting is a realistic option. That’s why the people THEY elect take them seriously as a voting bloc. Everything folks are saying here is a perfect validation for ignoring leftists.

    Of course, I expect that nobody commenting here would even feel any pain should Rick Perry be elected president. The joke is that ending WIC, shuttering planned parenthood clinics, and ending head start programs likely would not affect most commenters here. For the rest of us, there are clear stakes in 2012. Call me an Obama apologist if it makes you feel better, but I can see the difference between supreme court justices like Sotomayor and John Roberts or a veto on a vote to end the EPA (as opposed to a delay in implementing a single law)…and while @dcblogger celebrates the civil rights act, voting rights are being removed throughout the country by republican legislators (there are not any dems participating in this gross act of mass disenfranchisement, and Obama’s justice department has been working to overturn these laws) while people fiddle here about how dems are worthless. It’s as much of a fantasy as this coming “revolution”.

    PS…as for the “border collies on the corporate farm” stuff. Reminds me of an old RCP pamphlet. If you’re going to be condescending, you could do better than sounding like a shining path defending maoist. You’re too old for that kind of silly language.

  42. October 5, 2011

    “She can’t run against the war on drugs and keep Dem party apparatus support.”

    And if she doesn’t have Dem party support, she will be an ineffective Senator. The Senate runs on consensus.

    I don’t see the point in criticizing Warren for this. By running for Senate, she has committed herself to working within the system and the Senate consensus, and she has to speak the party line in public, like all Senators. I’d still rather have her than Brown, or any Republican.

  43. Pepe permalink
    October 5, 2011

    By running for Senate, she has committed herself to working within the system and the Senate consensus, and she has to speak the party line in public,

    And has thereby relegated herself to irrelevancy, if she can even win the election.

  44. October 5, 2011

    That was pretty funny, Paul K: I knew from your opening question that you were going to put your foot in it. (For what it’s worth, I last voted in November 2010. In fact, I voted for Obama in 2008 — not because I had any illusions about him, but just to be able to throw the fact in the face of stooges like you.) And then you claimed that Obama hasn’t “proposed cutting medicare or social security,” which shows that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    And then you dug yourself in even deeper with “Of course, I expect that nobody commenting here would even feel any pain should Rick Perry be elected president.” Maybe some people will take the trouble to tell you that they use Planned Parenthood and Head Start. I rather suspect that people who read and comment on blogs like this one are more, rather than less likely to rely on such programs, while the Obama stooges who hector them are probably less likely to do so, having jobs and insurance and money of their own for daycare. The irony, of course, is that should Barack Obama be elected president, we’ll be feeling even more pain.

    someofparts, Hope was the final evil to come out of Pandora’s box. It’s not a new notion that hope is not a good thing.

    I’ve been saying for some time that many, if not most Democratic pols would rather lose to a Republican than vote against the corporate agenda. Warren apparently fits that pattern; it’s no longer news that Obama does.

  45. Paul K permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Duncan: You know the surest tell of a Koch funded troll poster is the “I voted for Obama in 2008!” line. The sad joke is that you’re probably NOT on their payroll. That’s your loss brother.

    Whatever, some people probably agree with your line of thinking, god knows I sure did when I was in my early 20s. Gotta get worse before it gets better! Maybe if there’s NO planned parenthood the MASSES will RISE UP and… THEN…. uh…that shit will never happen. Enjoy your fantasies, and keep working against good and bad democrats alike! The Plutocracy thanks you in advance.

  46. October 5, 2011

    Yes, if there’s anyone who is against President Obama is the Koch brothers. Those two factions have no goals in common.

    “Koch Subsidiary Told Regulators It Has ‘Direct and Substantial Interest’ in Keystone XL”

  47. Jack Crow permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Christ, Paul. Duncan and I have our issues, but “Koch funded troll poster” is so off base it’s amusing. Especially if you’re reading phonetically, and “poster” is the thing pasted to a wall, and not the person angry at people who are wrong on the internet.

  48. Jack Crow permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Paul, can Troy Davis tell the difference between Sotomayor and Roberts?

  49. JustMe permalink
    October 5, 2011

    One thing is for sure Paul K, regardless of who wins in 2012, it’s gonna get worse. I don’t think it has to get worse before it gets better, but given who will be running the country (Obama or Romney or some other GOP nominee), it’s gonna get worse. They’ve all promised us that. I’m sure you’d like to blame that on us “purists”, but I ain’t the one chomping at the bit to raise the Medicare eligibility age or gut Social Security.

  50. par4 permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Was anybody REALLY expecting something like ‘Hope and Change’ from someone running as a Democrat? If you were I have a bridge for sale.

  51. JustMe permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Oh and spare me the Planned Parenthood crap. Obama has done more to set back abortion rights than Bush did what with his executive order making the Hyde Amendment permanent and throwing DC women under the bus to get that awful debt deal (or was it the awful budget deal, I can’t remember). Hell, it was the WH that suggested cutting the deficit by cutting federal funding for birth control, which – not for nothing – actually hurts the budget so it was just a gratuitous slap at poor women to show they were willing to slap ’em around.

    Seriously, the Dems have been trading away women’s rights for at least 20 years. If Dems want this woman’s vote, they’re going to need to find another hostage. They’ve pretty much already killed this one.

  52. Walt Wit Man permalink
    October 5, 2011

    The Liz Warrens and Paul Ks are far more destructive than Rick Perry or the Tea Party.

    When Rick Perry decides to invade the next country, or execute people via drone bombings, or implement the drill baby drill policy, there will be opposition from people like Paul K and the Democratic establishment. We on the left stand a better chance at stopping the bipartisan assault on the bottom 99% with a common, declared, enemy rather than allowing the wolves in sheep clothing, Barack Obama and the Democrats, to “protect” us.

    When Obama does these same things people like Paul K. switch sides and beg understanding for Obama’s actions.

    And as far as Paul’s trite* advice, “Part of being a grownup is working actively towards achievable goals,”, uh, whatever dude. Those refusing to vote for or support the criminal and corrupt Democratic party are the ones that are on a better path to achieve something. There is very little hope under any course of action but the only hope, as far as electoral politics go, is to abandon the Democrats and support politicians that fundamentally represent the left. The Democrats are enemies of the left. That is clear. Especially the poseurs like Warren. The fact you (Paul K. and ilk) are an apologist for them actually means you are working to achieve goals that serve the plutocracy. You are working for the wrong team!

    The only effective electoral goal in 2012 for the left will be to do our best to destroy or render ineffective, the Democratic party. That’s an achievable goal because these crooks are frauds and criminals and serve the plutocracy and not the people! The Democrats need the left to remain ignorant and tribal–that’s their only hope.

    *I don’t hang out with Democratic/Obama partisans much any longer so it is a bit jarring for me to see the “purity” and “act like an adult” slurs still being slung around so cavalierly. Do these slurs have any resonance for anyone that is not a Democrat-no-matter-what?

  53. Walt Wit Man permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Re hope being a dirty word . . . in my first comment I said I was “hopeful” that Warren would be a positive figure and I almost put the word in quotes the first time to acknowledge the sketchiness of that word choice (and thinking, I suppose).

    I guess I have come a long way in the last 5 years or so as I was leaving the Democratic party. I am at least aware now that my “hope” is a long shot and really just a an expression of the long odds that even the self-styled populist Democrats will do anything significant to positively change our neo-fascist political reality. [there was a time I really believed Kucinich or Grayson or Grijalva or Warren really wanted to do something.]

    But Liz Warren has some acting lessons to take if she wants to win. Maybe she needs to confer with Grayson or one of those other Dem guys to help her build up her lefty cred so she can better serve her corporate masters in the Democratic party.

  54. silenthill permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Ian, thanks for posting this. I would never have known otherwise since no one else, including FDL are reporting on Liz Warren’s comments. I have been very wary about her since she caved to Obama and started walking the line. Now I know for sure that she has been co-opted. The war on drugs is just another corporate sponsored government measure to perpetuate the class and race war on minorities and the poor.

    To the Obot that has leaked through. Go fuck yourself. Seriously. We’re done with you assholes. You guys had three years to prove that your ideas were good. You failed. You failed with control of the Senate, the House, and the Executive Branch. That is pathetic. So go declare another war on another African country why don’t you? and go steal their resources, fucking scum.

  55. October 5, 2011

    For me and I think for most others here, it isn’t mostly about whether I vote in 2012, and for whom. It’s about how I deal, during the remaining years of my life, with what this country has become.

    I didn’t expect much from Obama, and he turned out much worse than I expected. The “Hope you can believe in” slogan has turned out so ironically that it’s positively corny. He ran on the very thing he was destroying. The first five years of Bush almost killed me, but then it seemed for awhile that the Democrats were reviving. But Obama stepped on that.

  56. October 5, 2011

    Pepe, “And has thereby relegated herself to irrelevancy, if she can even win the election.”

    Was Edward Kennedy irrelevant? Paul Wellstone?

    I don’t think much of the Senate as a body in its current form, but so long as it exists, I will support the election of liberal Senators.

    John, “Break their hearts and stamp on the pieces,” was what I was saying before the election. Still, that is what OWS is about. It may not, itself, gain any concessions, but it may a nucleus for organizing the next generation of activists.

  57. Jack Crow permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Organizing the next generation? For what – electing more and better Democrats?

  58. October 5, 2011

    Jack, the foundation of a new major party, swinging the Democrats to the left, or something else entirely. Does it matter, so long as there are activists?

  59. Stav permalink
    October 5, 2011

    For two reasons I suggest many of the commenters here would do well with their time by reading some medieval histories.

    First, the people you are allowing to take over the government and the system by your demolition of anyone who doesn’t meet your purity standards would like to bring us all back to a Feudal period. It’s good to know what they have in mind.

    Second, you couldn’t take over a castle through frontal assault or siege. You had to sneak someone on the inside to open the gates. In one debate, Warren may not have answered to questions to your liking, but she has proven to be the effective communicator who may have a chance to open those gates.

    *By the way to the person who said Mike Capuano? Really? Has Mike ever done squat for liberals despite representing what is one of the 5 most liberal districts in the country? No. I’ve asked Mike why he doesn’t do anything for his liberal constituency. His answer is reasonable but maddening to me and judging by your comments, grounds for immediate execution for many of you. Basically he doesn’t want to make a Dem in a swing district have to vote on a liberal proposal.
    I’ll see Prof Warren tomorrow and ask directly her about her feelings towards OWS (which in someways she is the progenitor). I’ll also ask if she doesn’t see our draconian drug laws as a method for private prisons to make a profit off poor black men. I bet her answers are more reasonable than you think.

  60. Naseer permalink
    October 5, 2011

    I wonder at what point Democrats will stop whining that progressives have to vote for them, otherwise we’ll have the seven plagues and the apocalypse in one.

  61. Naseer permalink
    October 5, 2011

    @Stav, with all due respect, I’d have preferred she communicated the answer to those questions directly in a public debate, and not in a private chat, thank you very much.

  62. BDBlue permalink
    October 5, 2011

    I’m not sure anyone here is saying “don’t vote for Elizabeth Warren”, but rather that don’t expect much from a vote for Warren. If I lived in Massachusetts, I might vote for her (I might not, depending on my choices). But I wouldn’t waste my time and money and energy doing anything more for her campaign (or any campaign by a major party) because you’ll get much more from that time – including from elected officials – by organizing, participating in, funding direct actions.

    Nixon signed the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Reagan signed onto the sanctions against South Africa. Hell, right now, Republicans are working to put money back into the heating program for poor people that Obama wants to cut. None of which is to say that anyone should vote Republican (although there is an argument to be made that they are the less effective evil), it’s only to say that elections actually decide very little, which is why we’re always encouraged to focus so much of our energy on them.

    And in case you haven’t noticed, Stav, there’s bipartisan support for taking us back to the feudal system. They simply disagree on how fast to do it. The GOP is for doing it immediately and being honest about it. The Ds are for doing it over the next several years while being lying weasels about it. But the destination is the same, it’s just a question of how quickly we get there. Me? I’d rather change the destination than simply opt for the slow boat to hell.

    As for Paul K, I see he’s determined to follow the tried and true Obama tactic of insulting the very people he’s trying to win over. It worked great in 2010 and I suspect will be about as successful in 2012.

    And for the record, I don’t expect purity, but there are some things I absolutely will not endorse with my support (vote). There are lines I will not cross. I wouldn’t cross them to vote for Bush and I’m not going to cross them to vote to re-elect Obama. It’s interesting that so many people who found Bush totally unacceptable, have no problem voting for Obama even after he’s expanded upon most of Bush’s unacceptable policies. And they don’t have any problem doing it, if they did, there would be a primary challenger.

  63. Jack Crow permalink
    October 5, 2011


    A person running to be one of only 100 Senatorial oligarchs is not an inside man. The castle, to use your analogy, has watchers who are ready for the attempt. And people who have more bribe money than you can think imagine.

    And, why would the world return to feudalism, anyway?

  64. October 5, 2011

    Well i can’t say that i’m surprised. She’s a Democrat, after all. Aren’t those pretty much party line answers?

    @Paul, thanks for the pep-talk. You’re right, the only thing i can do – the only right thing to do – is to vote Democrat and like it … because they’re less evil than our only other option.

    How much less evil they really are is debatable, and less evil is still evil. It’s not a question of purity when we’re talking about a man who assumes the right to assassinate American citizens without trial. Is the Democratic Party really, significantly less friendly to malignant financial interests than the GOP? Are they the party of civil rights? Workers? Will they make an honest attempt to dismantle an empire that will bring us to collapse?

    If you answered “No” to any of these questions and/or cannot provide recent, concrete and well-documented (including outcomes) proof that the answer to at least three of my questions is yes, then you and the Democratic Party know how to get my vote.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  65. October 5, 2011

    Basically he doesn’t want to make a Dem in a swing district have to vote on a liberal proposal.

    If Hubert Humphrey had taken that view, we would never have gotten the 1964 civil rights act. Frankly, we could not have gotten any of the Great Society.

    The legacy parties have clearly abandoned us, past time for us to abandon them.

  66. jcapan permalink
    October 5, 2011

    BD Blue: But I’ve come around to believing that Emma Goldman was right, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

    Here’s another that I quote regularly:

    “If the gods had intended for people to vote, they would have given us candidates”

    -Howard Zinn

  67. Ian Welsh permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Personal insults to a dull roar please.

  68. Goyim Flackington Bridwell IV permalink
    October 5, 2011

    Okay, then:

    Matt Stoller is self-impressed, but that bears not a whit on his wisdom.

  69. October 6, 2011

    “It may or may not work, but it least it isn’t a proven failure, like working for Obama.”


    Elizabeth Warren was, IIRC, the great liberator of consumers who was going to castrate the banks as head of the new “Consumer Financial Protection Agency” or whatever the name was, right? Same person?

  70. October 6, 2011

    “don’t expect much from a vote for Warren.”

    In the short term, no. In the long term, yes.

    Besides, anything that weakens the Tea Party Republicans is good for the country.

  71. October 6, 2011

    The reversal of the onus of proof in drug-possession cases is incompatible with the rule of law and is therefore unconstitutional in ALL jurisdictions.

    More: .

  72. October 6, 2011

    BDB, re: “I’m not sure anyone here is saying “don’t vote for Elizabeth Warren.”

    I’m not voting for her, because as noted in the cartoon I linked above, the central significance of her campaign is to reapply a veneer of legitimacy to the myth that Democrats represent left/liberal/progressive values and interests, a myth that’s unimaginably costly to chances to improve this country.

  73. October 6, 2011

    Given that whatever it is that Warren said is ostensibly grounds to crucify her, I’m confused as to why there is neither a link to nor a quote of what she actually said. Is there some reason for this?

  74. October 6, 2011


    @Stav, with all due respect, I’d have preferred she communicated the answer to those questions directly in a public debate, and not in a private chat, thank you very much.

    x2. I once had multiple meetings with a self-proclaimed mavericky Independent gubernatorial candidate in AZ as an activist, providing him with talking points on the relevancy of a state executive in the effort to end the war on marijuana. Lots of enthusiasm and agreement. Not a fucking word in public. And it’s not like he wasn’t exploring other “radical” ideas in his stump speeches.

  75. October 6, 2011

    Like I said the other day, the vampire squids always overreach and in the long run will do more damage to themselves than any protestors will. The tone-deafness of this is amazing though not surprising:

  76. 3plex permalink
    October 6, 2011

    And they don’t have any problem doing it, if they did, there would be a primary challenger.

    The Democratic Party isn’t afraid to s***can due process to prevent one.

  77. 3plex permalink
    October 6, 2011

    And they don’t have any problem doing it, if they did, there would be a primary challenger.

    The Democratic Party isn’t afraid to as***can due process to prevent one.

  78. 3plex permalink
    October 6, 2011

    Sigh. Hopefully third time’s the charm.

    And they don’t have any problem doing it, if they did, there would be a primary challenger.

    The Democratic Party isn’t afraid to s***can due process to prevent one.

  79. James McGuire permalink
    October 6, 2011

    Thank you for saving me a trip to the polls. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

  80. October 6, 2011

    In case @Lisa Simeone is lurking about, this one’s for you:

    3:52 PM October 2011 has become Occupy DC. I’m just going to call it Occupy DC because it has merged with the great people who were in McPherson Square. People will see what is going on as part of the Occupy Together movement.

  81. October 6, 2011

    That’s why I knew voting for Obama in 2008 would be so useful. If I didn’t vote for him and criticized him, his minions would say, “Oh, so you wish McCain had become President!” If I did vote for him, they’d be reduced to nonsense like Paulk’s accusation that I’m a Koch troll, which only makes them look more foolish and their candidate look worse. (I’ve also been accused of wanting more and better Democrats, which reminds me of the time I was walking down the street on a weekend night carrying my guitar, and some guy yelled from a passing car, “Hey, man, your guitar sucks!” I realized then that such people have no intelligence whatever; they just spew whatever nonsense comes into their stunted little brains.)

    I liked BDBlue’s argument that Ian wasn’t necessarily telling people not to vote for Warren; he was merely pointing out that she had shot herself in the foot, turning off people who might otherwise vote for her. Hell, he even suggested a less damaging way of indicating her lack of support for OWS. But it’s never the candidates’ or the incumbent’s fault, is it? It’s the fault of the bad professional leftists who point out who incompetent they are.

    This tactic, of savaging potential voters who criticize your Democratic candidate from the left, didn’t first appear in 2008, by the way. I encountered it in 2000 and 2004, and I wasn’t the only person who noticed it. And of course it was all over the place in 2010. Great way to build a broad-based coalition, guys!

  82. October 7, 2011

    A full transcript of that debate is hard to come by. The NYT partial quotes are:

    On the protests, Ms. Warren said that “everyone has to follow the law” but added, in a line that drew applause, “The people on Wall Street broke this country, and they did it one lousy mortgage at a time. It happened more than three years ago, and there has been no real accountability, and there has been no real effort to fix it. That’s why I want to run for the United States Senate.” link

    So, let’s look at this. She spends one ambiguous sentence on OWS, and goes on two strong sentences critical of the banks and then says she wants to do something about the banks. I think that’s pretty positive, actually. Politic, but she is, after all, running for political office.

    Ian, what’s your problem with this? By all accounts Warren will be our ally in the Senate, though–like any Senator–she will not always vote our way. I’d rather her than Brown any day.

  83. October 8, 2011

    If by “breaking the law” she meant the NY police, good for her; but I doubt she did.

    Once again, Ian was saying that if she wants to become Senator, she needs not to alienate people who might otherwise vote for her by attacking the wrong people. Democrats have a tendency to do this, as we’ve seen often in the past three years. She might well be better than Scott Brown, but she’ll never get a chance to prove it if she doesn’t watch her mouth. And being better than Brown doesn’t mean that she isn’t also a stalking horse for Obama, who’ll back down on important issues when things get a little difficult. I don’t see why this is so hard to grasp.

  84. CDW permalink
    October 9, 2011

    Why would any politician endorse a movement that has no goals. God knows where it will end up and what it will stand for. There are anarchists amongst them and they are not good for anyone, especially politicians. #ows is a flash in the pan anyway.

  85. Mumbles Menino permalink
    October 11, 2011

    Well, nice to see how the progressive Democratic mayors of Boston and Seattle reached out in pragmatic Democratic centirst fashion to resolve the #occupy issue. That should teach those lefties to shut up, sit down and do what the Democratic party tells them to, just like Paul wanted. it don’t get no more pragmaticd than unleashing a police riot on the DFHs, do it Mr Citizen Paul K?

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