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I am Nostradamus: Warren Falls in Line

Ok, I admit: the title is rather pompous. But I can never resist a Judas Priest reference.

In a piece published on July 23rd of this year, I suggested that Senator Elizabeth Warren was the ‘Corporate Compromise Candidate’. This phrase meant that she was as far left as the corporate elite would tolerate. They had seen that the energy in the primary was in the populist wing of the Democratic party. Thus, they needed a candidate who was populist enough to excite the base but who would ‘play ball’. It gives me no great pleasure to say that I was right in my prediction. Senator Warren has backtracked on the major issue of this primary: Medicare4All. In addition, despite ripping on the rich in public, her campaign has maintained close links with major Democratic donors.

Senator Warren and Med4All, Part One: The Backflip 

In a recent set of tweets, cited by the Washington Post, Warren put forth her plan to, over the course of her first term

reverse Trump’s sabotage of the ACA, lower drug prices, lower the Medicare age to 50 and create a true Medicare for All option—and fully transition to

Warren appears to have adopted the corporate Democrat talking point about strengthening ObamaCare, which was, we should note, originally a rightwing plan. Medicare4All would replace this individual mandate system, which forces people to buy private insurance, with universal coverage paid for by tax revenue. The Medicare for All ‘option’ that she talks about is but a slight variant on the corporatist lines ‘Medicare for All who want it’, ‘preserving choice’ and ‘expanding access to care’. Specifically, if the goal is Medicare for All, why would you not go directly to that, instead of putting an extra destination on the trip?

Senator Warren and Med4All, Part Two: Nice While it Lasted

There is a degree of incrementalism in Senator Warren’s plan that is disturbing. She appears to lack vision and boldness. She does not realise (or is ignoring) that the people support Medicare4All as a specific policy initiative without transition. Senator, it is not necessary to hold the hand of the electorate and walk them towards something to which they wish to run.

In addition, the Medicare4All ‘option’ is, as Axios notes, a public option, which the Democrats were not able to get during the original healthcare debate under Mr. Obama. The public option represents a halfway point between the current system and universal coverage. Once again we see the Senator’s incrementalism. As a snide jab Senator, the idea is to wait until you win the primary before pivoting to the ‘centre’. Finally on the public option, as Secular Talk’s Kyle Kulinski noted, the private insurance companies would simply palm off the sick onto the public system and keep the healthy for themselves. The public system would suffer, ultimately collapse and, after a time, things would return to business as usual. Just as the corporations like it.

Senator Warren’s backflip on this was present in the ether as early as October. In that month, former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did an interview with CNN. He noted that Warren was ‘more pragmatic’ (read corrupt) than to pursue Medicare for All. Reid seemingly knew something the rest of us did not, and he was right.

Senator Warren and The Donor Class: Public vs Private Positions 

Warren is running a populist campaign, or so she claims. Publically, she has ripped on the rich. This culminated in her selling a mug with the phrase ‘Billionaire Tears’ on it. However, as Politico notes, Senator Warren maintains connections to a wide network of Democratic party big donors. We should note that she is never actually present at fundraisers. This is a laudable effort to eschew paid access to her. In spite of this, she is still raising money from big donors and vowed earlier this year to take corporate money in the general (election).

Now, before anyone suggests that ‘this is how the game is played’, I offer a counter-example: Senator Bernie Sanders. Per the Rational National on YouTube, Sanders has broken yet another fundraising record in terms of individual donors, breaking the previous record that he also set. In addition, many of Sanders’ donors are recurring. These include monthly pledges which will allow him to continue beyond the primary should he be successful. Bernie is thus showing that it is possible to run a successful primary campaign without reference to the corporate elite.

Returning to Senator Warren, before anyone argues that it is the campaign rather than her that is doing this, stop. She is ultimately (and quite literally) the face of this campaign. The buck stops with her. If the staff acted without her knowledge (no evidence of that) she should fire them post-haste. Her own claims earlier this year (referenced above) about corporate money in the general tend to argue against this idea.

Conclusion: Warren as Corporate Compromise Candidate

As I suggested in July, Senator Warren is the ‘left gatekeeper’ of this Democratic primary. She is as far left as the corporations will tolerate. Her falling into line with the establishment, rhetorically and financially, outs her as an Obama-style Democrat. A corporate wolf in social-democratic sheep’s clothing.

At least Mr. Obama had the good sense to get elected before turning on his base and becoming another corporate Democrat.

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  1. Matters Not

    Methinks you’re being far too harsh on Warren. Certainly she has the 1% rather worried as evidenced by Bezos backing Bloomberg’s (maybe) candidacy. You cite the Washington Post with apparent approval – perhaps you might’ve mentioned that Bezos owns that publication and is not afraid to use it in pursuit of political goals. (Just ask Trump.)

    Seems like Warren has already gone too far for tolerance from the corporate elite. As you know, Bloomberg was a Republican Mayor (spent approx $78 million on each of two mayoral campaigns) and now is supposedly rediscovering his historic democratic roots. His personal fortune is about $50 billion plus. Bezos has at least three times that. Both are one percenters and both like that class location. And perhaps the time that money buys all in US politics might have peaked. Hope so.

    You say re Medicare for All:

    why would you not go directly to that

    Because lots of employed people have health insurance via their employment don’t want to risk it. Plus there’s a general dislike for all things governmental. etc.

    Yes Warren has a fair bit of ambit in her policy agenda and will do some slicing, dicing and trimming before any presidential campaign but at least her sums show she is prepared to do her homework. As you would know she is fond of saying: I have a plan. And that’s because she has. For me she’s the stand-out. Sanders’ time has gone and his recent heart problems is a further hinderance. As for Biden, the Trump impeachment hearings are also his waterloo.

  2. One Foot In The Grave.

    So Tim, does this mean we are in an end game,and no matter who gets elected we are basically fucked? Has planet Earth reached a climate and political tipping point where all is lost? What are your alternatives?Because it appears that the bulk of the planet’s population is only the plaything of the mega rich and their political, moronic puppets.Give us a sign here.

  3. Roswell

    I’m inclined to think she’ll get the gong in a tight fight-out with Joe Biden.

  4. John L

    One foot in the grave……basically…..yes. The US elections are basically irrelevant these days. It’s a government of the autocrats, for the autocrats, so you do what you’re told. Trump, unfortunately, is a wild card, who they are fighting to bring under control. Warren or Biden would do what they are told. Biden is so corrupt he fits right in, and Warren would be a female Obama….grand words, shite actions.

  5. Matters Not

    From the latest debate:

    Warren shares that goal. And über-wonk that she is, Warren has recently articulated in detail how to pay for and transition to a single-payer health care system.”

    … the challenges came from former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s spent much of the fall hammering Warren for bringing an “elitist” attitude to her health care plan … Obama, addressing a crowd of some of the Democratic party’s wealthiest donors, voiced concern that continued emphasis on Medicare for All could alienate moderate voters worried about losing their private health insurance—regardless of what type of plan might follow in its stead.

  6. crypt0

    There is one candidate that I would vote for in a heartbeat … I only wish that she was standing for office here. The Democratic party machine has got it in for her, smears, lies and all the rest … from Hillary Clinton (remember Libya?) down and not forgetting the MSM, doing their part as they do.
    That should tell you something …
    Aloha Tulsi Gabbard !
    From the latest debate …

  7. Puking Wetback

    I’d vote for Trump. .He ripped the bandage off the USA and revealed the gangrenous mess that is US politics. Okay, he’s a mendacious, greedy, half-witted scumbag, but at least we know it. The only prez’dent they’ve had that wasn’t is Jimmy Carter, who made the mistake of thinking that what the US spouted about freedom and world peace was true. It’s a rogue state.

  8. Matters Not

    crypt0, I don’t think Gabbard will get the nomination but she won’t be forgotten during the ensuing presidential campaign. No, her pointed attacks on her fellow Democrats (as featured on Fox) ensures that the Trump caravan will give her a starring role.

    She will be remembered.

  9. Michael Taylor

    I wouldn’t be putting any money on Gabbard.

  10. crypt0

    Now I don’t place much credence on all the misinformation flying around the airwaves about her, whether it be “endorsements” from people you would rather did not exist, or the smears and lies of others {that I would prefer did not exist} … No, I am focussed on her record and what she has to say
    So, not expecting her to get elected, but she is just so different to the usual run of corruptoids and warmongers running for the White House. We could hardly expect anyone opposing all the regime change wars the two major parties are so fond of, and taking into account the US voting system, to actually get elected as president.
    But at the tender age of 38, her time is hardly over.

  11. Marion Hosking OAM

    Women are held to a much higher standard than are men! Warrren has a far different atmosphere to fight through than any male politician. Leave her alone!

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