A couple of items from the establishment media in the last few days have led to the suggestion in the title. Senator Warren appears to be the ‘left-extreme’ among the Democratic candidates. This is a highly relative term given how far to the right the American establishment is. I define ‘left-extreme’ as follows: she is as far left as the corporate establishment is willing to tolerate. It looks like the establishment is setting up Senator Warren as a sort of ‘left gatekeeper’ against the actual progressive candidate in the primary, Bernie Sanders. Please note that I am not criticising Senator Warren herself. Rather, the problem is the media outlets and the establishment using her in this way.
Item One: The Politico Article
In a remarkable piece of condescending propaganda, Politico recently tweeted this
In poll after poll, Sanders appeals to: lower-income and less-educated people, men and younger people who vote less frequently. While Warren’s camp consists of: people with postgraduate degrees, women, and seniors who follow politics closely
The contrast in how Politico depicts the two camps could not be more stark. The poor and less educated (mostly men) who are less engaged in politics are likely to support Bernie. There is a distinct tone of elitism there that is dismissive of Sanders’ supporters. To paraphrase Jimmy Dore, if you are an idiot who does not ‘really know how politics works’ (read you do not know your place), you will support Bernie. There is a definite air of deligitimisation of Bernie and his supporters in that statement: as if it is the dregs of society, the lower orders, the peasants who support him. As someone with a PhD, I support Bernie Sanders, and I am not alone.
Turning now to Warren’s supporters, these are people with more formal education, women and seniors who pay more attention to politics. We might understand this group as those favoured by the elites: the right kind of people. People with postgraduate degrees are likely to earn more money and be less worried about the issues of concern to Sanders. It must be noted that possession of a degree is no indicator of your level of intelligence, how informed you are about politics or anything else. The political opinion of someone with an MA or a PhD carries no more weight than that of a tradesman. The bias on display in this comparison of the two candidates’ respective supporters is thus clear.
Item Two: The MSNBC Segment
On a recent segment on The Contenders on MSNBC, Mimi Rocah offered the following statement on the comparison between Sanders and Warren
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren next to each other will really highlight…because – for me as – again I’m not a political analyst, but just – as a woman, probably considered a somewhat moderate Democrat, I…Bernie Sanders makes my skin crawl. I can’t even identify for you what exactly it is, but I see him as a…not pro-woman candidate. So, having the two of them there – like – I don’t understand young women who support him, and I’m hoping that having him next to her will help highlight that, because those are the people that, if I were her, I would want to say ‘why are you supporting him and not me if you’re gonna choose between the two of us?
Wow – where to start? First, if you are not a political analyst, as you yourself admit, what are you doing on a political talk show? If you have a personal opinion, go on social media and display it for the world to see. But if you are not a political analyst, why should I take your opinion seriously? Second, she admitted there was absolutely no substance to her criticism of Sanders! He ‘makes my skin crawl’ – what does that mean? Pathetic, substance free, feelings based crap. Third, he is a ‘not pro-woman candidate’ – Hitchens’ Razor: that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Having feelings-based verbal diarrhea does not constitute a political argument. Fourth, she says she does not understand young women who support Sanders, the implication being that there is a perfectly good female candidate right there in Warren.
Identity Politics Rides Again
If you think that last point a stretch, look at her next sentence ‘why are you supporting him and not me’; she said that directly after she said she does not understand young women who support him. I do not think that is a stretch: support her because woman; if not, you sexist. I have intentionally used caveman style broken English there to convey the simple-minded garbage that is this brand of politics. Policy substance did not even enter the discussion! She clearly implied that Warren should be the candidate of any self-respecting woman based, appropriately enough, on dick!
A quick question for Ms. Rocah and those who agree with her: how did that work out last time you tried it? This was the precise strategy that Hillary used in 2016. Remember ‘I’m with Her’ as the red arrow pointed to the right (a great political Freudian slip)? You have tried the ‘support her because woman’ approach before, and you lost! The electorate does not like being told who to vote for based on gender, or race, or sexual orientation. They care about policy!
Contrary to your insulated, buble-world opinion, these women (or anyone else for that matter) who support America’s Dad are doing so because they agree with his policies! They do not care if he is the dreaded straight, old, white man. His policies would help them in their day-to-day lives much more than screaming Russia Russia Russia!
Conclusion: Warren as Corporate Compromise Candidate
The point of the respective treatment of Warren and Bernie here seems clear enough. The corporate elite have seen that the energy in the Democratic party is in the populist wing. They have thus chosen a compromise candidate: one who is populist enough to excite the base but who will ‘play ball’. Senator Warren is also a woman, so identity politics becomes a viable weapon against her detractors.
To end, I reiterate that this is not a critique of the Senator herself; she is merely running her campaign for the nomination. It is the media who are to blame here, cynically manipulating her campaign in an effort to bring down Bernie Sanders.
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