Elizabeth Warren: Holding Out For A Liberal Hero

The Shero the Left's been looking for?

It’s been a rough time to be an American liberal.  Despite having a Democrat in the White House and Democrats in control of the Senate, there’s a lot of disillusionment in how moderate and cautious Barack Obama and Harry Reid have dealt with the Republican resistance.

There’s been a longing for a liberal–no, make that a LIBERAL who won’t back down when the conservatives raise up.  The president has to lead from the middle.  There’s a void of the Left.

Along comes Elizabeth Warren to fill it.   Liberals need a hero and Warren fills the bill.  Foiled by the Republicans in the Senate who blocked her nomination by President Obama to head the newly created banking oversight agency, is making a bid to join them by running for the seat formerly held by the iconic Ted Kennedy and being kept warm by Scott Brown

Warren is tough, smart, ready, willing to take on special interests and a damn sight smarter than some of the zombies who would be her colleagues like David “Diaper” Vitter or Rand Paul.

Plus, right-wingers hate her which is big plus on her side. I can’t vote for Warren, but I’d definitely scratch a check for her campaign fund.   So many liberals aren’t willing to stand up and call themselves a liberal.  For calling out the big banks and Wall Street, Warren has earned their enmity.

This is a seat the Democrats desperately want back and they will pump a lot of money into knocking off a vulnerable Brown. Just as certain is the amount of money the GOP will pour into keeping Brown there as they are poised to take control of the Senate in next year’s elections.

There will be other challengers Warren will have to beat before she can get to Brown, but whomever gets the support of Ted’s widow, Victoria, will get a huge lift from that endorsement.

Brown is the incumbent, but he’s hardly invulnerable.  If Democrats can’t beat him in liberal Massachusetts, they probably can’t beat any Republican anywhere.  While the presidential race gets the lion’s share of the attention, even if Obama wins reelection, he could find himself surrounded by Republican control of both houses of Congress.

Fighting words for believers in economic justice.

A match between Warren and Brown would bring national attention to the importance of maintaining Democratic power and go a long ways in determining whether Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell is the next Senate Majority Leader.

But Brown isn’t waiting for Warren to win the chance to become his formal opponent before attacking her.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) was interviewed on a local talk radio show Thursday morning. And he had an interesting response to a recent line from Democratic frontrunner Elizabeth Warren.

At a Democratic primary debate this week, Warren was asked how she paid for college — in contrast to Brown having posed nude for Cosmopolitan. “I kept my clothes on,” Warren replied. “I borrowed money.”

This morning, one of the hosts asked Brown: “Have you officially responded to Elizabeth Warren’s comment about how she didn’t take her clothes off?”

Brown began laughing lightheartedly, and gave his reply.

“Thank God,” he said, with more laughter.

“That’s what I said!” the host responded. “Hey look, can you blame a good-looking guy for, for — you know.”

“Listen, bottom line is I didn’t go to Harvard. You know, I went to the school of hard knocks. And I did whatever I had to do to pay for school.” Brown continued. “And for people who know me, and know what I’ve been through — my mom and dad married and divorced four times each, and you know some real challenges growing up. You know, whatever.

Brown has something in common with Warren.  She didn’t go to Harvard either.  She teaches there but she was born in Oklahoma, the University of Houston and got her law degree from Rutgers University.   Warren is more blue collar than blue blood, but that was a nice attempt at a “class warfare” jab there, Scotty boy.

Warren’s campaign raised over $3 million in its first month, most of it in $100 donations.  The ability to raise that kind of cash should worry Brown and his backers.

Warren is despised by the Republicans precisely because she’s the kind of feisty, fighting liberal  you don’t see much of these days.   She could teach President Obama a thing or two about standing up to right-wing attacks.

There are plenty of people in Washington looking out for the billion dollar corporations. My life’s work has been fighting for middle class families, taking on big banks, putting forward new ideas, and working to turn those ideas into a reality that makes a difference for people. That’s what I’ll do in the U.S. Senate.

I want you to know what I believe, where I stand, and what I think is worth fighting for: I want to help rebuild America’s middle class. I want a future filled with opportunities for those who work hard and play by the rules.

We need a 21st century manufacturing base and expanded service capacity. We need a set of workable rules that don’t tangle up those who are trying to create something new. We need to be able to invent things, make things, and sell things to the rest of the world. We did that once, and we can do it again.

I like this woman. I might have to quit my job, move to Massachusetts and go work for her.  Warren is the one liberals have been waiting for.

Game Changed.

The President likes teachable moments. He just got schooled.

If I were Spike Lee, I’d be telling President Obama and the Democrats to WAKE UP!!!! The alarm clock went off in Massachusetts  and it brought glad tidings and good news for the Republicans.   For the Democrats?   Not so much.

All politics may be local, so the saying goes, but the impact of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat switching to the Republicans has far-reaching consequences for the nation as a whole.   The president  likes to seize upon “teachable moments?”  This is one of them.

There’s no way to sugarcoat this one.  Maybe President Obama and the Democrats could write off the ominous results of the governor’s office in New Jersey and Virginia as a case of as an unpopular incumbent losing and a formidable G.O.P. challenger winning.   This is nothing but a nasty beatdown.   It’s one thing to lose what was considered a safe Democratic seat.   It’s quite another when the race boils down to a single volatile issue: healthcare reform, and the guy that wins is the one who promises to kill it.

You won’t be able to turn on a radio or television without being blasted by hot air from politicians, pundits and experts as to what happened in Massachusetts and what happens next, both to the chances of  health care reform in Congress, the president’s agenda, and the Democratic Party as a whole when November comes around.

The Democrats should make a hard turn to the Left and galvanize their disillusioned base.    President Obama has not done enough to bring moderate Republicans on board and keep independents.   Martha Coakley ran a lazy and ineffectual campaign and before she looked up, Brown had  seized the momentum.  This vote is a referendum on Obama’s big spending ways and the country’s distrust of nationalized health care.  The GOP is back, baby!   If a Republican can win Massachusetts, they can win anywhere.  Look out Democrats, you are going down and going down hard next November.

Let the blame game begin. The Democrats should take exactly ONE day to point fingers and fight among themselves. Then, they’d better figure out if they what they need to do to get healthcare reform through or there will be a lot more Scott Browns taking their place in November.

Is Brown a one-shot deal or a harbinger of things to come?

Republicans, whom at this time last year looked beaten down and politically impotent, can and should bask in the glory of breaking the stranglehold Democrats had on a Senate seat since 1952.   The day after Brown’s victory the storyline becomes one of dispirited Democrats and revitalized Republicans.   You’ll hear it repeated until your ears bleed.

The Republicans have established themselves as the “Party of No” and the tactic to “give them nothing but hell”  has only been strengthened by Brown’s impending arrival as the man who ended Harry Reid’s supermajority. The danger for the GOP is overreach.  There is a difference between opposing health care reform on principle and blatant obstructionism.    This is illustrated by the fact that in the first year of the Bush Administration 70 appointees to diplomatic and federal positions awaited confirmation.  Contrast that to the 177 appointees submitted to the Senate by the Obama Administration have yet to be confirmed and most have been blocked by Republicans placing a “hold” on the nominees that can only be broken by a 60 vote supermajority.

The Republicans have proven skillful in frustrating the will of the majority by the tyranny of the minority.

There will be no bipartisan outreach from either side 11 months out from the next election.   Republicans have shown no inclination to work with  Obama on any major issue and Democrats have polarized and hardened the GOP opposition with Harry Reid’s ineffectiveness and Nancy Pelosi  one-party rule in the House.   And the Democrats shouldn’t play games trying to delay seating Brown.  Barring any voting irregularities,  Brown should join the Republican minority in the Senate

Point of fact:  Obama is still the president and Democrats still control the Senate and House.   They can remind the GOP of this by passing the Senate’s healthcare  bill in the House as is without reconciliation and avoiding any possible filibuster.  This will provoke howls from Republicans and the right-wing noise machine of Fox, talk radio and the blogosphere, but their bitching is nothing compared to what Democrats will face if they do nothing and allow reform to wither and die.    If the Senate is a lost cause, the House of Representatives where Pelosi is dealing with a stronger hand can still save health care as Jonathan Cohn”s open letter to Democrats explains.

Oh, and President Obama?   The honeymoon is officially over.  In case you haven’t figured it out yet,  while the American people may like you personally and think you’re a smart guy, they don’t like their job situation and feel really nervous and uncertain about the economy and the direction the country is going.    It’s time to prove you’re a smart guy and focus that intellect on what it takes to get people working again.   I have two family members who have been looking for work for months and can’t find any.   I know I get nervous myself each time when I swipe my I.D. card at work  and wonder will the door lock flash green to let me in or stay red to keep me out?

Your reality has just been checked.

The president should be concerned that if he doesn’t demonstrate his leadership and political talents, he’ll look up in January 2011 and find a lot fewer Democrats around him and a lot more Republicans instead.   Blame it on the crappy economy, but he can’t blame in on George Bush anymore.   Blame in on the Tea Party protests but there’s no denying that there’s an anti-incumbent mood out there and it favors Republicans.

Succumbing to panic and recrimination won’t help Obama and the Democrats.  Remembering they were elected to bring about genuine and systemic change to the nation will.   It wasn’t to cut deals with pharmaceutical and insurance companies and water down health care reform until all that remained was a soggy mess of the original idea.     The people watched the Democrats dithering and got turned off by it.

Obama and the Dems can weather this storm and counter the Republican surge with one of their own.  It might not be enough to entirely blunt the Republican chances in November, but if they can  and should remind Americans how lousy the nation’s state of affairs were under GOP rule and start right now in winning back the disaffected and disappointed voters that gave them a shot in 2008,

It’s not too late to get this thing back on the move.   But as the leader of his party Obama has to point them in the right direction.