After years of relying on identity politics, Democrats no longer even know how to argue. 11:12 AM, May 13, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
After Senate Democrats went back on their word and killed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, Elizabeth Warren was upheld as a progressive champion for orchestrating the legicide. While Republicans were miffed about the betrayal, the situation quickly devolved into an ugly Democrat-on-Democrat spat between Warren and the White House, which had worked hard to sell the deal.
Strictly as a matter of political theater, it's difficult to root for either party. Warren, the great progressive hope, is scuttling an imperfect but potentially beneficial trade deal largely on the basis of protectionism and opportunism. Her status as a paladin of progressive principle on this issue certainly hasn't been earned. Just to cite one notable example, it's hard to square her opposition to the TPP with her strong support for the Export-Import Bank -- which is, as an informed friend notes, "trade-related, opaque, AND actually corrupt corpratism." But unions and other progressive constituencies oppose the TPP, so Warren worked to kill it. On the other hand, the story of Obama's presidency is that, despite being sold as a man with unparalled rhetorical gifts and charisma to burn, the man couldn't build consensus around free candy in a kindergarten class. Everytime he wades into a legislative debate, it's like tossing a Baby Ruth in the pool.
Anyway, as the tension over the TPP mounted, Obama couldn't hide his frustration with Warren and so he called her out by name. “The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else,” Obama told Yahoo News reporter Matt Bai. As insults go, this is a subtle but classic Obama formulation; it's undoubtedly true that Warren is a politician and motivated by political concerns. But by drawing this contrast between the two of them, the implication is that Obama is motivated by something more pure than the mere political concerns of Warren and "everybody else."
Did this result in a substantive intraparty debate on the issues? Of course not. It ended with the president of NOW and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown both calling Obama sexist for referring to Warren by her first name. Or something. Writing at The New York Observer, Brent Budowsky further characterizes Obama's defense of TPP as a matter of invective:
Obama's repeated attacks against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in which he charged that Warren’s concern about the trade bill is motivated not by a reasoned view of what is right for America but by her personal political motivations, is one of the most dishonest and repellant examples of character assassination and contempt by any American president, against any leading member of his own party, in my lifetime.
8:04 AM, Feb 20, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Florida congresswoman and chairman of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz might have been the subject of a federal investigation, suggests a former Democratic politician and ex-con. Politico reports that Wasserman Schultz "offered to change her position on medical marijuana if a major Florida donor recanted his withering criticism of her."
Here's more from Politico:
10:35 AM, Oct 9, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
For years, it's been axiomatic among political observers that the GOP "brand" is damaged. There is certainly merit to this observation, though it is often bandied about in contexts where there's little to no evidence supporting that conclusion.
1:51 PM, Jan 20, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, the boss writes that nothing about Hillary Clinton's candidacy, nomination, or election to the presidency in 2016 is inevitable. Here's an excerpt:
10:04 AM, Nov 26, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The politics of Obamacare have erased a lead Democrats once held in the generic congressional ballot for the 2014 elections, according to a new poll from CNN. Here are the details:
6:53 AM, Nov 26, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
At a Beverly Hills estate last night, President Obama heard a complaint from a major donor: There's no valet parking at the White House. The complaint was made by Haim Saban, who hosted a fundraiser with the president last night.
Via the pool report:
1:01 PM, Oct 25, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Charlie Crist, the former governor of Florida who lost a race for U.S. Senate in 2010, has a new ad that looks a lot like a campaign ad. Watch the video below:
'Portland's Weiner' resigns.3:49 PM, Sep 6, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Could we be witnessing a revival of moral standards in our politics?
2:31 PM, Jul 18, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
As witnesses have testified to the House Ways and Means Committee, the chief counsel for the Internal Revenue Service may have played a role in the IRS’s practice of reserving special scrutiny for Tea Party and other conservative political groups. William Wilkins, chief counsel and one of two political appointees at the IRS, was “closely involved in some of the applications” for tax-exempt status, according to a press release from the committee.
4:09 PM, May 29, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Off the top of his head, Democratic Senate candidate Ed Markey of Massachusetts can't think of a tax increase proposed by his party that he's opposed. Speaking to reporters, Markey, a longtime member of the House of Representatives, couldn't say if he'd voted against an income tax increase.
"Are there areas where you've broken with your party leadership where they've pushed for some kind of tax increase and you've said no?" a reporter asked Markey.
"I'm sorry, excuse me?" Markey responded.
"Fold it four ways and put it where the sun don't shine."11:16 AM, May 16, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey, his party's nominee for Senate in next month's special election, asked a former House colleague not to show up to a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. A Markey staff member reportedly called Ben Jones, a former Democratic congressman from Georgia who also starred as Cooter in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard, to disinvite him from a fundraiser.