Why Elizabeth Warren Strikes Such a Chord

It seems like just about everyone these days is talking about Elizabeth Warren. I saw Jay Leno -not a very political guy or especially progressive- the other day on Bill Maher’s show, talking about how shocked he was that Elizabeth Warren was only 18 months younger than Hilary because of how vital and energetic she seemed. A focus group of swing voters, who traditionally don’t follow politics very closely, in Colorado a couple of weeks back were disdainful of the politicians they had heard of like Jeb Bush and Hillary who were likely running for president, but loved what they were hearing about Elizabeth Warren. The Sunday “Doonesbury” this weekend was a plea to “run, Lizzie, run” because “s

Elizabeth Warren and the Four Corners of American Politics

The last couple of days have been a provocative view of the near-term future of American politics. There are four major teams on the scene at the same time, coming from four different corners of the field, and they all have some amount of political juice. How they end up interacting and competing with each other will be the driving political story for quite a while into the future. On the Republican side, there is the increasingly conservative — but apparently never extreme enough — establishment wing of the party led by Boehner and McConnell and the big business lobby, and there is the Tea Party anti-establishment wing. The establishment guys, pretty much all guys, have the upper hand for n

Elizabeth Warren’s Economic Agenda

On Wednesday, I wrote about the AFL-CIO’s terrific event, their Raising Wages Summit, and the difference in messaging on economics coming from the Obama administration and Elizabeth Warren highlighted there. This difference in messaging is at the heart of the strategic dilemma Democrats have to figure out to succeed in the 2016 election. There is a way to bridge this divide, and I will get to that below, but first I think it is important to talk about the policy agenda that undergirds the message debate. Warren is well-known for her cutting analysis of how Wall Street and other wealthy special interests have, with no effective government watchdog or accountability, messed up the American eco

2015: A Year of Great Opportunity for Progressives

Watching the Republicans glory in their new majority in the Senate and expanded majority in the House is hard to take for progressive Democrats. Democrats have dug ourselves a deep hole, and the country will suffer as the most conservative political party in American history controls the Congress. What very few people (especially progressive activists) understand, though, is that it is in moments like this when really important victories can be won. America’s political history is full of examples. Decisive defeat in an election doesn’t automatically spell doom to the side either in the short run or long run in terms of policy fights. The election of hard pro-slavery President James Buchanan,

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