By Laurie Dobson
I started this article intending prior to Super Tuesday, to appeal to Sen. Elizabeth Warren to be true to her ‘Sooner State’ roots and to drop out sooner, not later. I realize that dropping out is not in her nature, but feel it’s worth a try, for the sake of her being able to claim her role in helping secure, and be part of, a progressive ticket. The alternative is to be remembered as the spoiler of the progressive movement’s best chance at the White House in generations.
“Progressive spoiler” will be the title that will stick to her should she fail to recognize and seize her moment. She will become this decade’s Ralph Nader, deservedly or not. Alternatively, Warren can take a different path instead and assume her rightful place as VP and Treasury Secretary, in a progressive administration headed by candidate Sanders, who unlike her still has a strong shot at winning the Democratic Presidential nomination and the general election.
She can make this happen right now, a day prior to Super Tuesday. And I’m not the only person suggesting she do this, and now. Check out these articles in Jacobin.com, RealClearPolitics, Krystal Ball, NY Magazine and Newsweek.
There are similarities in our upbringing that give me hope that she will consider my suggestion.
Like Warren, I grew up in Oklahoma, in stolen Indian Territory. Like her, I was surrounded by masculine energies of the military variety. (I grew up on an Air Force Base while she has three brothers who were in the military. I remember the jock, cowboy mentality in the flat Oklahoma panhandle, where the men had the fancy titles, bomber jets and uniforms, and women were considered ‘squaws.’)
Like Warren, I moved to the Northeast when I got older, raised three children, hit the sexist glass ceiling, and, in my case, was convinced that I should raise my children before continuing a career. I know about foiled opportunities.
I don’t know that I can convince Elizabeth with this appeal, particularly since I have again become a Bernie supporter (despite his abdicating to Clinton in 2016, when even Bloomberg said Sanders could have beaten Trump). Everyone knows Warren has more balls than Bernie and is willing to push harder, say more, and say it more memorably. Like me, she is supremely capable in certain arenas and will not be told what to do.
It galls me that Warren would try to win at Bernie’s expense by accusing him of sexism (with CNN’s willing connivance) during the Iowa debate, However, if she has been scarred by male attitudes, including his, I get her anger. Having experienced domestic violence and other assaults myself, I appreciate Warren’s sensitivity toward male authoritarianism whether in the workplace, at home or on the campaign.
Actually, I could write a whole article on our similarities in age, temperament, experience and early childhood lessons in the unfair treatment of women. I even ran for office myself, twice for State Representative and once for US Senator. I too know about corrupt politicians and electoral practices!
While I was an early and unapologetic progressive, I admired Warren for her willingness to drive harder and say more. She has a commendable past and has been a powerful force for reform.
However, I did not like Warren’s decision to support Hillary over Bernie in the 2016 Democratic Primary, given that they are longtime political allies and friends. Bernie was akin to her in progressive politics. But if this race, for her, is about being a woman and wanting a woman to be President, it makes sense.
When Warren talks about “the mommas,” she sounds like she’s speaking from her core beliefs. She is in it to win it for women, the largest and most repressed identity group. We women have been denied the vote and other basic human rights longer than any other group. And, to this day, men do not get it. However, I still believe Warren must drop out now and support Sanders.
Pete Buttegieg’s departure from the primary competition over the weekend and Amy Klobuchar’s departure on Monday (she endorsed Joe Biden), could allow the notoriously antagonistic, demented creep Biden, to get over the top in delegates. This also potentially benefits Bloomberg, who may win enough delegates to either help Biden, or himself, should Biden short circuit (which seems likely, given his history of regrettable gaffes). These campaign departures will also quickly undermine Warren if she stays in the contest any longer. Her star will fade and there will be no room for her on any ticket.
Warren’s advisors may be trying to convince her that she could be part of a winning ticket with Biden or some other outsider — even Hillary — at a brokered convention. Bloomberg might be persuaded to help support her, financially or otherwise, since he has to continue to appear as a Democrat this season.
In doing so, she would be helping to defeat Bernie. That would be a spectacular sellout and fall from grace.
If she is involved in any scenario, or combination with any other candidate besides Sanders, the resulting Democratic ticket would almost certainly lose to Trump. No other Presidential candidate without Sanders’ movement behind it can hope to beat Trump. Nearly every one of the 70 polls out there makes this clear. The most powerful and resurgent movement the Dems have ever assembled will be destroyed for years and this disaster will be blamed on Warren.
Super Tuesday is her historic moment to play a pivotal role. Will she see it? Maybe not, because she either values herself too little to see this priceless power she briefly holds, or because she thinks too much of herself and her own ambition.
Warren can blame her advisors for deceptively filling her head with nonsensical narratives and fanciful incentives. It won’t be Warren’s advisors, however, who will keep her from winning the honor due her, or for failing to use her power to announce that since she cannot win, she is asking her backers to vote for Sanders.
If she takes that noble step publicly on the eve of Super Tuesday, she will be the hero of the primaries, and surely also Sanders’ VP and perhaps Secretary of the Treasury (an idea Sanders reportedly looked into the legality of in November).
It also won’t be her advisors who will forever be blamed for keeping women, especially black women, from attaining status and opportunity so well deserved and so long denied, when they have come so close to winning under a progressive banner. Who could forgive her this betrayal of women?
It will be Warren, sadly unable to break 10% in South Carolina, who could end up winning nothing on Super Tuesday. Or, who takes her best shot, throws her spear the highest, aims for the stars, and combines with fellow progressive Sanders to form a ticket that could win the presidency and control of the Democratic Party for the progressive movement.
The time is now Elizabeth! Tomorrow will be too late!
Update: Well, it is too late now. Since Warren showed her supporters, on Monday, that she is not willing to do the graceful timely exit o benefit Sanders, she has finally revealed her true self to them. Had she shown solidarity for the progressive policies and programs that she and Bernie have long supposedly shared, he could have offered her a position prior to Super Tuesday. Some of his supporters might have resented such a deal, but would surely have accepted it to gain her support at a critical time. It would clearly have shown a solid progressive path to victory through solidarity.Instead, she has shown herself to be in this campaign for herself alone. Warren’s concern is boosting her delegate win in California over the 15% threshold and then holding out for a contested convention in the vain hope of getting, if not the presidential nomination (which is clearly not going to happen) then second spot on some other eventual centrist nominee’s slate. Her attitude seems to be to “win” something come what may. Or, as William Henry Vanderbilt said in 1882, when pressed by a reporter to explain how rail freight rates were determined, because the “public has a right to know,” said curtly, “the Public Be Damned.”
Journalist LAURIE DOBSON, who lives in Maine, is a veteran Sanders supporter and past progressive candidate for public office. She contributed this article to ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, which can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net