Hillary Clinton to Liz Warren: "Senator, we're both part of the same hypocrisy."
Any Godfather film aficionado will instantly get the reference. Nevada's fictional Senator Pat Geary has just informed Mafia don Michael Corleone that he intends to approve the Corleone family's request for a state gaming license--but at a price: as the mobsters say, a little wetting of his own beak. Well actually, more than a little--a truly extortionate grab that would do any mobster proud. And, seriously miscalculating his and Michael's relative power positions, Senator Geary adds insult to injury: some gratuitous trashing of Michael's oily-haired, silk-suited "whole f*cking family."
It's at this point that Michael, with the classy calm veiling explosive fury so crucial to his character, delivers his movie quote for the ages. Which reads in full, "Senator, we're both part of the same hypocrisy " but never think it applies to my family." Seeing that for our purposes, Michael Corleone parallels arch-dynastic candidate Hillary Clinton (and Warren a far-less-corrupt but equally outgunned Senator Geary), the lesser-known part referring to family will prove especially relevant.
Now, perhaps no one (at least no one still alive) can verify the oft-rumored existence of an outright Clinton mafia, but one thing's for sure: Hillary's dynastic family is even better positioned than the Corleones for painfully twisting arms--and hardly just in figurative ways. Who'd expect less from a full-fledged clan of globally connected Bilderbergs? And who can say what really happened at last December's hushed-up private meeting between Warren and Clinton at Hillary's Washington home ? But one thing is clear: Warren now kowtows to Clinton--precisely when one would expect Warren's leverage with a credibility-challenged presidential aspirant to be at its max--as if she'd been threatened within an inch of her life. Her shabby, hypocritical appearance on the Today show, where she emphatically ruled out opposing Hillary for president, should irresistibly convince progressives that Warren and Clinton are very much part of the same hypocrisy. The mealy-mouthed hypocrisy now required of every Democrat, just as the oath of silence (omerta) is imposed on every "made" mobster.
Clearly, no one should be rebuked for refusing to run for president. Much as Warren seemed the only progressive high-profile and popular enough to defeat Wall Street heartthrob Hillary--and clearly the only one who could trump her "first woman president" card--that in no sense personally obliges her to vie for our nation's highest office. Warren demonstrably lacks ambition for highest office, as perhaps any sensible, conscientious person would, knowing both the staggering life-or-death responsibilities and the wearying, acrimonious conflict and gutter-snipe personal smears that go with the role. Even the assassination risk is far from negligible--and heightened for anyone (like Warren) espousing policies that enrage the powers that be. If we don't lack for presidential aspirants, especially from the Republican aisle, it's precisely because most candidates likely take the office's staggering responsibilities--the ones that gave Honest Abe migraines--with roughly the brooding gravitas of overgrown frat boy Dubya. And furthermore because, amidst oligarchic and Deep State stranglehold on U.S. policy , few White House wannabes intend the remotest hint of offense to the powers that be. Hillary certainly doesn't, being as deep-dyed a "made" member of the Beltway Cosa Nostra as anyone possibly could.
No, it's hardly Warren's refusal to run that should enrage progressives, but the sniveling, insult-added-to-injury manner in which she announced it. It's bad enough we're forced to hear--in, for once, a convincing refusal--that our one most plausible hope for besting Hillary the Horrible is self-sidelined, but that such frustration of our hopes should be seasoned with the nauseating advice to "give Clinton a chance and find out what she's running on" is really beyond the pale. As if we didn't already know that she's running on oligarch dollars and a staunch unwillingness to offend suppliers of the same. Or on a record of unapologetic hawkishness, contempt for heroic whistleblowers like Snowden, ardent promotion of fossil fuels, knee-jerk support for Israel, and obsessive secretiveness--capped by her support for ultra-secret corporate power grabs like the TPP. Or on an utter lack of personal taste for a populist economics like Warren's, matched only by a triangulating unscrupulousness willing to tell progressives anything that will help her win the presidency. Doesn't Warren fathom that only someone with "populism in the blood" and therefore hell-bent on urgent reform would dare--in an age dominated by "malefactors of great wealth"--risk incurring their hatred in the way FDR did?
If Warren not only feels no self-recrimination for frustrating progressives' hopes (our hopes of defeating someone we ardently detest)--but to boot insults us by providing a model of how to snivel and crawl before that very person--she can hardly expect progressives to be pleased. And if she now intends--as her Today interview signals--to play the role of Hillary's dog for herding progressive livestock, she should, as payback for taunting animals galled by Democrats' long neglect and abuse, seriously expect to get kicked.And Warren's best punishment, progressives' best way of kicking back at her spineless hypocrisy is--as with any national politician--a public shaming. CREDO has a brilliant petition, a more direct version of an initiative launched by Pitchforks Against Plutocracy, demanding Hillary Clinton take a stand against both the Trans-Pacific Partnership and, above all, TPP fast track. The Pitchforks initiative, hoping to exploit populist favorite Warren's leverage with credibility-challenged candidate Clinton, had readers to contact Warren, demanding that she make Clinton's denouncing the TPP the price of her support. Warren's Today appearance renouncing her own candidacy would have been the ideal occasion for doing so. Her sniveling failure to do so, in effect attaching zero meaningful strings to her support for Clinton--despite Clinton's likely diametrical opposition to Warren on major issues like TPP--suggests a fitting punishment. Not only should readers sign the CREDO petition, but they should flood Warren with copies of it, asking her why she failed to challenge Clinton on such a crucial issue of economics and democracy both.
Here's the link to the CREDO petition: http://act.credoaction.com/sign/Clinton_TPP?sp_ref=112550363.4.12330.f.49777.2&referring_akid=.3456960.GcEB6W&source=fb_share_sp
And here's Elizabeth Warren's e-mail:
Pitchforks Against Plutocracy thanks you for emphatically showing Warren she can't play Hillary's herd dog for progressives without our kicking back.
(Article changed on April 5, 2015 at 22:51)