Saturday, July 19, 2014

There is something about these women ...

On Friday at Netroots Nation I got a look at two women in politics about whom I can feel genuinely warm.

Elizabeth Warren spoke to a packed ballroom -- in the picture, she's that tiny figure on the left; the big screen is how most of us "see" the speakers. It is not a bad view.

If you've had any exposure to Warren, she didn't say anything new. Here's what the New York Times reported in a rather sympathetic piece.

“They cheated American families, crashed the economy, got bailed out, and now the biggest banks are even bigger than they were when they got too big to fail in 2008!” Ms. Warren thundered, in one of her many applause lines. “A kid gets caught with a few ounces of pot and goes to jail, but a big bank launders drug money and no one gets arrested. The game is rigged!”

She went on: “Billionaires pay taxes at lower rates than their secretaries. How does this happen? It happens because they all have lobbyists. Lobbyist and Republican friends in Congress. Lobbyists and Republicans to protect every loophole and every privilege. The game is rigged, and it isn’t right!”

She brought down the house by ending with the declaration that citizens such as those of us at NN14 represent "21st century democracy." I need to think about that.

Meanwhile, Ready4Warren and others had seeded the room with "run, Liz, run" paraphernalia. The Netroots Nation folk are enthusiastic.

I've scandalized some Democrats at NN by saying I'll work to elect Hillary Clinton, but don't ask me to cast my vote for her (abstention is a privilege I get for living in California.) Any number of people in this convention from places like Michigan, North Carolina and Maine who are suffering under Republican governors will tell anyone who will listen why we have to elect even bad Democrats rather than let the other guys in. And I buy it. But it sure would be nice to have someone to be for.

I don't see Warren challenging Hillary Clinton from the left, however much I'd like that. But she sure is keeping Teddy Kennedy's seat properly warm. And she'll take on anyone in service of an economic equity agenda.

The only sadness I felt over Warren's appearance is that she drew three times the crowd that had gathered to listen to Rev. Barber the previous evening. I get that, but I can't be happy about what that says about the progressive movement.
***
The other highlight of the day was hearing my favorite candidate of this cycle, Shenna Bellows who is running for the Senate in Maine give her stump speech. She's animated, intelligent, principled -- and because she is challenging an incumbent has to convince with every utterance that she can upset a three term incumbent.

A former ACLU affiliate director, she has been called the "Elizabeth Warren of civil liberties." She's out to repeal the Patriot Act, but also to bring infrastructure development to rural communities, defend Social Security and enact some tax fairness.

This candidate could (and should) be the surprise of 2014. On Sunday she sets out to walk from Houlton to Kittery to reach as many Mainers as possible. No matter where you live, this is a candidate well worth any contribution you can make.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

I will work and vote for Hillary but I don't want her. From my first election where I got to vote for a President, I have always voted. And most of the time it's not been with enthusiasm for either candidate but a 'lesser of evils' as you said. By 2016, I'll be 73 and if I am still around, it won't be my first time not to vote, but I really really hope democrats come up with an alternative to Clinton. Right now it does not seem likely. I would like Warren but there must be other alternatives out there. Obama came from out of seemingly nowhere. I am hoping a democrat will do that again. I suspect though the younger ones will want to hold off assuming she has a lock on it :(. My problem always is since I don't support the total liberal agenda, I am unlikely to be totally happy with whoever it is-- but the worst is DINOs.

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