Elizabeth Warren Lanches Campaign Against the TPP

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Vanity Fair tisk tisks that Elizabeth Warren has mounted two attacks against major Clinton supporters in the last week. Surely the Massachusetts senator must know this is not the way to curry favor? And gah, Warren sounds, um, like Trump! Well not really except she actually does once say “rigged system” if you listen to the video.

From Vanity Fair’s article, Elizabeth Warren Just Made Hillary Clinton Look Bad – Again:

Warren has a problematic habit of criticizing Clinton’s most loyal donors, a fact that has not been overlooked by the Wall Street moneymen bankrolling her campaign. As if that were not enough to dampen the veepstakes buzz…she is embarking on a major nationwide campaign to derail a major trade deal being pushed by the White House and that Clinton supported as secretary of state…

Warren, in other words, is not the first Democrat (or Republican) to attack the T.P.P., highlighting Clinton’s flip-flop. But it’s not the first time the fiery politician has taken a stance that clashes with Clinton’s policy platform, either. Just last week, Warren unloaded on Silicon Valley for what she claimed are anti-competitive practices, and singled out a handful of the same tech titans that Clinton had been busy currying favor with less than 24 hours earlier. If the senator is still in the running for Clinton’s ticket, her anti-T.P.P. tirade won’t do the presidential hopeful any favors. It also doesn’t inspire confidence in her ability to help Clinton build a unified front in the battle against Trump, no matter how much she inspires the Sanders wing of the party. The last thing any presidential nominee needs is a No. 2 who doesn’t know how to fall in line.

We’ve deemed the rumors that Warren was a serious vice presidential candidate for Clinton as ludicrous. Yes, the Clinton campaign may have gone through the motions of vetting her, but planting the story that Warren was under consideration was merely to burnish Clinton’s image with progressives and Sanders voters.

Notice that Warren launched her anti-TPP campaign the day after Clinton was cleared by the FBI in its e-mail investigation. Did she hold her fire till then so as not to be accused of undermining the presumptive nominee?

As we have said repeatedly, one Senator cannot do much. Being a legislator in a two party system means having to support party positions at least some of the time or be totally ineffective. That is why we were opposed to Warren running for the Senate in the first place. However, Warren has punched above her weight on some important issues, not just banking, but also income inequality and preferential tax treatment for the rich. Changes in prevailing ideology do not happen overnight; it took the a well-funded right wing effort the better part of a generation to legitimate neoliberal ideology, and the better part of another generation for it to become mainstream. The Vichy Left hyped Warren as being the Great Progressive Hope when Warren herself never made any promises to that effect. She remains what she has always been: a technocrat who defers to orthodox technocratic thinking except when she has done enough homework to be willing to step out with her own views. So while many may be upset with Warren for not living up to what they deem to be her brand promise, she was not the one who created those expectations.

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    1. Pirmann

      Clinton Theater Production. Does NOT work for me.

      They need Liddy Warren to appear genuine/authentic. If she doesn’t, her endorsement does nothing to move the needle on getting Sanders supporters on board with Her. The matching blue pantsuit act didn’t focus group very well.

      Not to worry… none of this will be taken seriously once the Clintons have moved back into the White House.

      1. Debra D.

        I agree. My take on Elizabeth Warren’s role in this theater production. The Dems take turns playing the part of “man/woman of the people.” In this high visibility, it’s HerTurn drama, Elizabeth Warren gets the lead, so HRC doesn’t have to try to sell it.

      2. casino implosion

        Agreed. This is pure theater for consumption by the important impoverished grad student Sanders base–the future meritocrats who will be running our world as soon as they pay off their student loans.

  1. JerryDenim

    Future of left Liz is not, but in times like these i’ll settle for a plucky, populist consumer watchdog as long as she continues to bite the right hands. I can never fully trust anyone who was a Republican well into their forties though.

    1. pretzelattack

      credit to her for biting the right hand here. stopping the tpp is immensely important. interesting to see how clinton reacts to this, because she needs warren as a fig leaf. she also desperately needs to support the tpp.

    2. jgordon

      What does being a Republican have to do with untrustworthiness? At least Republicans are somewhat honest about wanting to screw everyone. Democrats on the other hand tend to be duplicitous, sanctimonious rats who always try to pretend that they’re the good guys who are out to help people–while they’re screwing everyone over. I wouldn’t trust anyone who’s been roped into either party.

      1. Vatch

        I’ve had the exact same thought! The Republicans, as odious as they are, at least are honest about their desire to destroy the lives of vast numbers of people. Sure, they lie about some things, such as Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. But it’s the slightly more decent Democrats who are the real pathological liars.

      2. beene

        jgordon, are you saying democrats are not really the lessor evil?

        jgordon, keeping you’re great comment on our two party system; thanks.

      3. reslez

        Since the Republicans are somewhat more honest about what their policies are truly about, it’s hard to trust a long-term supporter. Since the Democrats lie more, some wiggle room is in order for the people they’ve fooled. By now everyone should know better — I think most people just don’t really see alternatives, and that’s why approval ratings of virtually every systemic institution bar the military is so low.

        I can forgive people who are fooled by liars once or twice. To be fall for it continually is something else.

      4. seabos84

        Obama’s sell out on health care in 2010, at age 50, was the final straw for me. Decades of getting strung along with all the K-School College Of Eruditical Excuses, only to get betrayed again. At least with Ronnie RayGun & the Bushes, I never believed ’em, I never gave them time or money or votes. Lots of my Seattle friends get mad at me when I say at least Ronnie & GWB are honest thieves – and – they’re effective at what they’ve been hired to do, unlike the Dim-0-Crap$ who are supposed to be on our side.
        As an aside, I’ve skimmed some random on the net paragraphs of Frank’s “Listen Liberal.” They took me back …
        In ’86 I was doing fancy cooking in Boston & Tip was selling my age group out on Social Security. In ’80 & ’84, as a lowly cook, I marveled at the effectiveness of the right wing lies, and I was … appalled? at how flat footed and incompetent “my” side was. In Boston, you can spit in any direction and hit someone with a fancy degree, and it was always easy for me to rustle up some fancy credentialed know it all to en-lite-en me with how complex the world was and is, & how I shouldn’t be criticizing my champions. After the Dudkakis debacle of ’88, I didn’t mind that Clinton was doing whatever it took to win. I was getting a math b.a., I was getting on the dot.bomb bubble in Seattle, I was doing the STFU.
        In this last year, experiencing the blind ass loyalty to Hillary & her crowd, & especially the loyalty to the incessant excuses for losing by sell out, by political incompetence, or by a mix of both – wow, what a brain washing job.
        I could say “good luck, Hillary”, except, I’m as concerned with her as she is with me.

      5. Lord Koos

        Both parties screw the people pretty thoroughly, but the Democrats use a little lubricant.

      6. Lord Koos

        Both parties are good at screwing the people but the Democrats use a little lubricant.

    3. Denise Lowy

      What you were politically when young, you will generally remain…Ergo, R.Clinton, was and
      still is a Goldwater (right wing) Republican, and agreed,
      so is Warren (maybe not that right wing, more moderate, maybe)…but still Republican….just playing the populist card….

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        A Javits Republican circa 1985 would now be a screaming leftie. You airbrush out of your tidy picture how much this country has moved to the right.

        Please tell me how Warren stacks up on traditional Republican hobby-horses, like lowering taxes, regulations, and shrinking government generally. The answer is not. Nor is she pro-business, another core position.

        And your comment about people sticking to their political views when they were young is also bogus. I personally know quite a few diehard Reagan revolution supporters in their college years who realized they had been had and are now firmly left, such as Mark Ames.

      1. NeqNeq

        By that logic Trump could ‘own’ Black Lives Matter as soon as he uses it in an attack on HRC. That too would get repeated enough that it fills the first page of Google results.

  2. NYPaul

    Now lets wait a short while and watch as Donald Trump converts this absolute free gift from heaven into a home run for Clinton.

    Don’t ask me how, but, I’ll put money down it’ll happen before the day is out.

    1. reslez

      The media is happy to spin everything to HRC’s benefit. That’s how they crushed Gore, it’s how they’ll crush Trump.

  3. weinerdog43

    Good for Senator Warren.

    Just my total speculation, but it is my hope that her effort to derail the TPP will encourage a rethinking of the Dem platform regarding a vote on TPP during the lame duck session. That had been one of Sanders sore points with the platform committee. I think that preventing a vote before the next inauguration may finally ensure its well deserved demise.

    1. seabos84

      Unless Clinton signs some kind of legal irrevocable contract to resign 1 hour if TPP passes, listening to her is like believing Lee Atewater, Karl Rove or Roger Ailes. yawn. whatever.

  4. sd

    Interesting. Warren has been using some form of the expression “the system is rigged” since she ran for Senate. She spoke at the DNC Convention in 2012. At that same convention she said of Bill Clinton that he had “good sense to marry one of the coolest women on this planet,” who she spoke just before.

    So this is actually kind of a rhyming version of her speech in 2012.

  5. John

    The Republican Warren just is trying to get our vote for Clinton.

    One of two things happens with the TPP, they pass it in the lame duck session this year,
    or they “tweak” it and pass it when Clinton is president.

    But I do not believe for one hot minute Clinton is now against the TPP.

    And how can Warren be endorsing and campaigning with Clinton if she really holds these views?

    She is a sheepdog just like Sanders is to herd the left back into the Democratic party’s arms.

    1. sd

      Stop spamming please. You keep repeating more or less the same comment in multiple,threads.

    2. Tobin Paz

      The TPP was fast tracked, meaning that it will be an up/down vote.
      The fact that Clinton has not specifically denounced it means that
      she supports it.

      1. John

        That I know.
        That’s why the lame duck session
        is so dangerous.

        The election will be over.
        They will have been voted
        back in.

        And they will think we won’t remember
        their vote for it in two years.

      2. Craig Welch

        It would be an up/down vote even without fast track. Some are pretending that Congress can modify the TPP. They can’t. If they try to, it won’t proceed.

          1. Craig Welch

            But to fix the biologic issue, for example, it would have to do a side deal with each country. It won’t happen. Some countries, such as Australia and Japan have simple said “no” already.

    3. different clue

      Can a President unilaterally withdraw from, cancel and abrogate a Trade Agreement signed by a previous President? I remember that Dubya Bush cancelled and withdrew the US from the ABM Treaty at the start of his Presidency. Would a passed and signed TPP be abrogatable the same way the ABM Treaty was abrogatable? This is a real question that I really have.

      1. GM

        Executive power has increased so exponentially in the past decade or so that the question you should be asking yourself is what a President cannot do rather what a President can do.

  6. Carolinian

    Maybe as a lawyer Warren decided to decline any VP offer since running with HRC would be aiding and abetting a known (if not tried and convicted) felon. By this theory Comey’s statement jolted her to her senses.

  7. Arizona Slim

    For those who think that Warren is presidential material, I have a suggestion: Read her books. They will show you where her strength is — consumer finance. You will also conclude that she doesn’t have the intellectual breadth that a president needs.

    1. walt

      Perhaps you could favor us with a list of presidents who had “the intellectual breadth that a president needs.” Certainly not the sacred FDR.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Okay, here goes. My Presidential Intellectual Breadth list:

        George Washington
        Thomas Jefferson
        Abraham Lincoln
        Theodore Roosevelt

        Honorable mentions:

        James Madison
        James Monroe

        Pretty short list and very heavy on Founding Fathers. And, no, FDR is not on it. Recall that he was described as having a first-rate temperament and a second-rate intellect.

        1. Vatch

          I can think of a few more very smart Presidents, but their intellectual breadth was too narrow, and they made some big mistakes.

          John Adams, who signed into law the Alien and Sedition acts.

          Woodrow Wilson, professor and college president, who signed into law the Federal Reserve Act, and probably screwed up the League of Nations, although I’m sure that historians disagree about this.

          Herbert Hoover was a prominent engineer. He understood things that few Presidents were capable of understanding, and we know how badly his administration turned out.

          1. R. B. Du Boff

            Woodrow Wilson’s “big mistakes”?? League of Nations? How about organizing the first, and original, red scare, and the Palmer raids which were carried out by FBI agent J. Edgar Hoover directly appointed to that position by Wilson? How about the most racist President in US history, whowent about resegregating the Federal govt. for starters

            1. NeqNeq

              I’m confused now. It seems like you are saying that most presidents do an acceptable job, even though only a few have the intellectual bandwidth necessary for it. But, if that is the case, why does EW’s lack of bandwidth disqualify her?

        2. jrs

          Bernie had the intellectual bredth you’d have to admit. I’m not saying he’s a genius, just he’d more than suffice.

      2. Lord Koos

        Gerald Ford? Richard Nixon? Ulysses Grant? It’s more about cunning and shrewdness than “intellectual breadth” when it comes to being a politician.

  8. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Regardless of VP sweepstakes speculation, this is good news because it exposes House Democrats who might have used the lack of a Warren/progressive attack on TPP as cover to vote for it in the lame duck.

    If I were betting I’d lay odds that the TPP does not get a vote in this Congress. However, as pointed out by others it could still come back in Clinton’s first term, maybe with minor tweaks to make it appear less awful, when in fact the only way it could be salvaged is to burn it to the ground.

    1. Praedor

      A good starting point (JUST starting point) is to totally eliminate ISDS from the deal entirely. See how keen the supporters of TPP are to keep supporting it when the extralegal/extrajudicial language is stripped from it.

      How eager would the big finance/big corporation supporters be to see it passed if they don’t get the final say in what laws/regulations they are to be bound by?

  9. NeqNeq

    I seem to remember that there is a stipulation in the agreement which says that the TPP will still be binding on all parties/go into effect so long as countries representing x% (90%?) of total gdp ratify the agreement.

    Has anyone done the math on who has to ratify this and who can avoid it? A search did not bring up many results (at least sources I know to be reputable).

  10. nippersmom

    How does Warren reconcile stumping for “Gold Standard” Clinton with her own views on the TPP? This is a huge issue. I don’t understand how anyone who realizes how disastrous the TPP is could actively support someone who will sign it.

    1. Skip Intro

      Warren has been dangled like a shiny object in front of the left by the Clinton media machine. She is now using that increased mainstream visibility and prestige (‘Potential VP comes out against TPP‘) to fight the single most important political battle there is. Is she knowingly biting the hand that ‘feeds’ her, probably. Can the Clinton gang openly do anything about it? No, since they are pretending to oppose TPP at the moment. The GOP and the Clinton gang are loving every attempt by embittered purists to paint Bernie and Warren as sellouts. These tactics were already old when the FBI used them on Dr. King.

    2. nick

      Has it ever occurred to you that just maybe the TPP isn’t Armageddon? Just as an exercise, it could be fun to imagine things in not such a Manichean fashion and explore the possibility that your certainty could be flawed.

      1. pretzelattack

        i’ve also heard the trope “global warming is good for you”. i didn’t find that convincing either.

      2. jrs

        well the text of the TPP is still secret. So what you are asking can not actually be done, it’s impossible. Educated guesses are just being made on what is leaked etc..

        Now riddle me this: if the TPP is actually NOT so bad, why do they need to keep it secret?

  11. gizzardboy

    Warren can credit Hillary for opposing TTP in her attacks on it and in the process paint Hillary into a corner where she either has to tell everybody that she is really for and just lied to quiet Bernie down, or go along with opposing it.

    If Bernie ends up endorsing Clinton, he should say he will fight for her with all the vigor she displays in opposing TTP.

    1. Anarcissie

      No, all Clinton has to do with the TPP is make some minor tweaks (to save appearances) and resume her support of it after she’s elected. Who said what doesn’t matter; the Fix will be In. Regardless of what they think, Sanders and Warren will not be able to do anything. And neither is going to be Vice President, not that that matters either. Proggies who think Clinton and company can be influenced are in for a hard landing.

      1. different clue

        That might only work if Clinton were elected. If Trump were elected, would Trump be as anti TPP as he now claims he is / would be? If so, could a President Trump abrogate and cancel a TPP that was signed by Obama during the Lame Duck? If so, electing Trump is the only hope we have of getting an anti-TPP President in office to undo what the Republans, the Clintonite Sh*tocrats and Obama plan to do during the Lame Duck . . . which is to pass and sign TPP.

        Hmm. . . it looks like I am talking myself into voting for Trump. Electing Trump is the only hope we have of possibly undoing Clintonite Sh*tocrat Obamatrade agreements.

  12. Aint no

    Well yeah, in response to the original post, Elizabeth Warren is not the great liberal hope, but personally I think in many respects, she’s better than that. She’s not really a liberal and that’s a good thing. What appears to be happening, probably based on some kind of tacit agreement with Bernie, is that she’s playing Ms. Inside, to Bernie’s Mr. Outside.

    Warren played by the Clinton rules and has won the right to say what she wants and as it happens what she wants neatly dovetails with at least the interim and procedural goals of the . . .political revolution. One of these days, and maybe soon, the Democrats are going to wake up and find the friendly enemy within. And what’s more they’ll be glad she’s there, just like they’ll be glad to embrace Bernie.

    Like Trump is to the Republicans, Hillary’s a disaster waiting to happen for the Democrats. At least Ms. Inside and Mr. Outside will offer the sell-out Labor (as opposed to the corporate) Democrats some political cover from the fallout.

    1. RootieKazootie

      I flirted with this line of thought as well, even though it does feel a little too much Obama-3D-Chess. Bernie and Warren have tag-teamed before and Bernie is a 30+ year pro who squeezes every last ounce out of a political negotiation. Comey’s statements also changed the political calculus. Hilbots and/or Bernie-or-Busts weren’t (aren’t) EVER changing their votes, but the average undecided is feeling some anger. Cable news stories with HRC’s statements contrasting so dramatically with Comey’s have her bona-fides as a World Class Liar on prominent display. And with Warren making two of these “HRC’s good, but these policies suck” speeches in such short order, it really does feel that she’s intentionally boxing HRC in.

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