It was enormously gratifying to watch Senator Elizabeth Warren come out swinging against those sneaky provisions in the $1.1 trillion federal spending bill that would roll back regulation on big banks and allow the wealthy to donate ten times more money to political parties.
Warren is modeling the kind of progressive politics she argued for forcefully in an op-ed for The Washington Post,
just after Election Day, when she pointed out that people “see a government that bows and scrapes for big corporations, big banks, big oil companies and big political donors—and they know this government does not work for them.”
The kind of politics that propels President Obama to “cut deals—any deals—just to show he can do business” is the kind of politics that lost the election and is losing Americans’ faith that government can make their lives better, Warren explained.
Warren is showing how a strong opposition party ought to behave, on the eve of the Republican takeover in Congress.
And Democrats are listening.
Emboldened by Warren’s leadership, 139 Democratic House members, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, voted against the spending bill because of its bank-coddling provisions.
Voters are listening, too. In “Not Ready for Hillary,” an article in the March 2014 issue of The Progressive, Abby Scher interviewed young feminists all over the United States who are reluctant to climb aboard the Hillary bandwagon.
Their hero: Elizabeth Warren.
Warren’s leadership on student debt relief is a big reason young people are attracted to her: she speaks to one of the very most important issues on their minds.
Likewise, her strong stance against inequality and the rigged system that favors big banks and big corporations over the needs of students, workers, and families hoping to build a better life, resonates with the Occupy generation.
No wonder young women like Warren so much. And no wonder the campaign to get her to run for President just got a new burst of life.
“She’s amazing!” Adriana Cortes, a twenty-five-year-old organizer with Feminist Campus in California told The Progressive. “She’s doing a really good job going after bankers and folks who are really responsible for the economic situation we’re in. I wish there were more politicians with that kind of integrity.”
“Liberal politicians don’t talk to people who don’t make a lot of money. We don’t exist.” Laurel Bertram Roberts, a mother of seven in Oklahoma who calls herself a “flyover feminist” (i.e. red state feminist activist) told Scher.
Warren, Bertram Roberts said, “doesn’t just say ‘middle class,’ which . . . decreases solidarity for people who should acknowledge we are working poor. So I love her for those things.”
In this difficult political environment, Elizabeth Warren is feeling more and more love.