Don't Read This if You Think Elizabeth Warren is the Future of American Politics
Updated on March 5: Note the photo credit I just added. The shot of Warren was taken by Tim Pierce on November 3, 2012 and is posted here. His main Flickr page—well worth spending time at—is here.
Sharp piece by Russ "Mugger" Smith at SpliceToday. He takes aim at the heartfelt belief among progressives and liberals that there is some sort of groundswell for left-wing populism as personified by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Smith trains his sites on Daily Beast columnist, former American Prospect editor, and Hillary Clinton biographer Michael Tomasky, who recently wrote a weak-in-the-knees mash note to Warren in The New York Review of Books.
Where does Tomasky think all the foot soldiers for The Cause are going to come from, aside from liberal media outlets? A neutral observer (which I'm not) will, after shaking the cobwebs, recall the short-lived Occupy Wall Street movement from a few years ago that was, if you believed the rhapsodic press accounts, the new force that would bring Wall Street, the Tea Party, the "1 percent," mega-banks, Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, insurance companies and corporations like Walmart to their knees. (It goes without saying that Hollywood millionaires and Silicon Valley tech billionaires are exempt from scorn.) It didn't happen, of course, as the rudderless throngs that gathered at Zuccotti Park and countless other urban locations either got bored or frustrated with their protests. OWS, which for several months really did look like a potential political player—far more significant than blue-state scold Elizabeth Warren—squandered its potency and, at least right now, is a footnote.
In fact, writes Smith,
if there were a significant populist wave that captures the imagination of Americans, I'd say it's likely to come from the Republican Party, with the likes of Sen. Rand Paul (sculpting a more "electable" image every day), Govs. Scott Walker and John Kasich and maybe Sen. Marco Rubio. The Other Side. It's messy: the GOP would need to dispatch the polarizing and narcissistic Sen. Ted Cruz, insufferable moralists Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, forget the names Mitt Romney and Chris Christie and dispel any idea that Jeb Bush might be the palooka to combat Mrs. Clinton.