by Patrick Walker
April 5, 2015
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Senator Elizabeth Warren has recently told the media she will not be trying to run for president against Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, Warren seemed like the perfect high-profile and popular progressive to defeat Hillary, who many do not support for presidency.
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 fucking 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.
Lest my talk of progressives kicking Warren for her hypocrisy sound overly harsh, consider the following. Hypocrisy has never been an endearing human trait; whatever the Christian Gospel writers’ likely unfairness to historical Pharisees, it’s precisely our instinctive repugnance for hypocrites that makes Jesus’ unstinting rebukes of their Gospel avatars so compelling. But when hypocrisy gains monopoly over mainstream political discourse—especially in a civilization facing climate annihilation or possessing unprecedented police weaponry and tools of surveillance—it becomes downright dangerous. If truth be told, our 2016 presidential race will likely pit a war criminal’s brother against a sanction mass murderer’s wife; far from abjectly hiding their faces in familial disgrace, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, abetted by the universal hypocrisy of mainstream media and all duopoly politicians, are not merely treated with the respect due legitimate candidates, but are the actual frontrunners of their respective parties. And neither mainstream media nor any other likely presidential candidate—without being summarily dismissed as a fruitcake—will dare breathe a word about the “murderers in the family.” Although—sheer propriety aside—this issue couldn’t be more relevant to both the advisors both will bring and their likely decisions as Commander-in-Chief.
Nor, amidst the universal hypocrisy (again of both mainstream media and duopoly pols), will we again hear a word about the draconian sentences imposed (years of prison for Chelsea Manning, exile for Edward Snowden) for whistleblowers on government wrongdoing while perpetrators of that wrongdoing—the major Nuremberg war criminals of the Dubya Bush administration—not only walk free, but build presidential libraries and get treated as media pundits. And pundits on war-and-peace issues, mind you! If I mention Nuremberg, the reference is quite deliberate: not merely are Bush & Co. guilty of torture, but that is their lesser offense; in fact, they lied our nation into an aggressive war—the worst crime against humanity possible in the eyes of the Nuremberg tribunal. Nor are the lurking Nazi allusions in the Nuremberg reference irrelevant; in fact, harshly punishing whistleblowers against elite wrongdoing while letting the perpetrators live in prosperity and honor is the very essence of “fascist justice,” oxymoronic as the very term is. Yet neither Jeb nor Hillary will face a question from media, let alone a challenge from a fellow candidate, about the gross injustice now standing. When, all the while, the nature of both candidates’ sense of justice couldn’t be more relevant to their potential role as chief administrator of national justice. It’s very much like how both Obama and Romney, potential chief executives on energy and environmental policy, escaped their presidential debates without having to utter a word on climate change, our world’s chief energy and environmental emergency. Insane, dangerous hypocrisy in our public discourse is provably the new normal.
So, calling out Liz Warren for being “part of the same hypocrisy” as Hillary Clinton shouldn’t shock anyone; progressives assumed all along that Warren—like every other duopoly politician—already was. The exact same omerta about Obama’s (and almost surely, Hillary’s) warmongering, two-tiered application of justice, and “all of the above” energy policy, aggravated by some personal “piling on” in favor of Israeli injustice. But progressives were willing to overlook Warren’s typical “Beltway madness” for the sake of her principled stances on economic-inequality issues—the ones that, by leveling the social and governmental playing field, hold the key to sanity on so many others. But Warren hypocritically cowering before Clinton on her bailiwick issue—the one that raised the hopes of so many progressives—is simply not to be tolerated. Warren deserves to be punished.
And her best punishment, as with any national politician, is 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 ... b_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 dogs for progressives with our kicking back.