Many of my Democratic friends say that though Hillary Clinton caters to Wall Street, and though her list of top campaign contributors is almost entirely Wall Street, they back Clinton’s all-but-declared Presidential candidacy, because she’s female and Democrat and has lots of “experience” (though no achievements) and is at the top in all of the polls.
But those things don’t necessarily make for a good President. And her lack of achievements and her catering to, and being backed by, the bailed-out megabanks, indicate that she’d probably be yet another bad President, maybe even worse than Obama. Republicans might want a President who’s even worse than she would be (for example, they loathe feminists, and anything that opposes any form of bigotry, unless it happens to be bigotry against white Christian males), but Democrats do not. Democrats are just passive, but supportive of “liberalism.” In their accepting Hillary as the next President (despite all of her warning-flags), those Democrats accept continuation of our status-quo, which is rotten-to-the-core with corruption. They should be ashamed of themselves: they violate the best traditions of the Democratic Party.
If Democrats will represent the status-quo, and Republicans continue to represent even worse, then what will this country (and the world) be coming to after 2016? It will be moving even farther to the right — farther into corruption and concentrated wealth.
This is not acceptable; it’s also not necessary.
Both Parties have been taken over by the aristocracy. Bill Clinton deregulated Wall Street so that unregulated derivatives-trading and megabanks could defraud outside investors and deceive homebuyers and so bring the economy to collapse under George W. Bush; and Barack Obama has the record of zero prosecutions of those banksters, even though the recent investigation by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice says that he and his Attorney General blatantly lied when they said that any crimes by megabank executives would be prosecuted.
So, can Senator Elizabeth Warren, the foe of Wall Street and friend to Main Street, be elected, by Democrats, in Democratic Party primaries, to become the Democratic nominee for President in 2016, despite her having virtually no Wall Street money backing her? And, if so, then would she be able to beat the Republican? The answer to both is likely yes, and here is how:
Oddly, Barack Obama’s run for the Presidency in 2007-08 shows the way for Warren, even though she is very different from him in her political values (not meaning their rhetorics, but their actual records).
Like Obama, Warren came into national politics with a devoted following of admirers who were willing to ring doorbells and volunteer on their behalf. This broad-based support also showed up in the sources of their campaign-funds: both politicians rose with an extraordinarily large percentage of their campaign funds coming from small donors.
If you will look at opensecrets.org, the “Top Contributors” (the top 10 donors, via PAC’s, direct contributions by employees, etc.) to “Barack Obama” in “the 2008 election cycle,” (and this can be found at http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00009638), you’ll see that they were, in order: University of California, Goldman Sachs, Harvard University, Microsoft, Google, Citigroup, JPMorgan/Chase, Time Warner, Sidley Austin (law firm), and Stanford University. The top ten for his opponent John McCain were: Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Government (employees), AT&T, Wachovia, UBS, and Credit Suisse.
3 of Obama’s top 10 were Wall Street firms, but 7 of McCain’s were. Moreover, among the top 20, for each candidate, were, additionally, to Obama, UBS and Morgan Stanley; and, to McCain, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, and Lehman; so Obama’s top 20 included only 5 megabanks, whereas McCain’s included 10 megabanks. (However, though that’s so, Wall Street donated more to Obama than to McCain, because virtually every economic sector did: Almost all businesses prefer to invest in a winner, and only fools didn’t know that Obama dwarfed McCain as a political campaigner, and that Bush’s eight years had also greatly damaged the Republican brand, so that Obama would almost certainly win that contest. This is the reason why McCain’s #1 contributor, Merrill Lynch, donated $373,595 to his campaign, whereas Obama’s #20 contributor, the law firm Latham & Watkins, donated $493,835 to Obama’s campaign. Or, in other words, Obama’s #20 donated a third more to his campaign than McCain’s #1 did to McCain’s. For once, even big business was contributing far more to a Democrat than to a Republican.)
However, unlike Bush and other Republicans, Obama didn’t continue Bush’s bailout of Wall Street on account of the money they had contributed to his campaign; he did it because he favored God’s People over the public. Like Bush, but in a different way, he identified himself as one of God’s People, and he personally identified more with (and respected the opinions of) other elite individuals than he did with the not-so-blessed mass of American people. America has been dying from the elitism disease of its values, and Obama (like Bush) has represented this disease — a disease which every aristocracy cultivates, nourishes, and supports, in order to sustain itself and the myth of its own superiority.
Obama as a child was always at the periphery of the aristocracy, and he was surrounded by their children at the elite Punahou School. Throughout his life, he really believed that the reason why he was getting ahead, having great success, was because he was superior to people who weren’t. This meant that he believed that the reason the masses weren’t successful, was because they weren’t as brilliant as he was — he accepted the aristocratic myth that the cream rises to the top, the scum does not rise to the top in our society. Thus, to him the people at the top are society’s cream, not its scum. The masses are the scum: this is the aristocratic myth, and he is a true-believer in it. That’s why, in a secret meeting with the banksters, on 27 March 2009, he promised he’d protect the banksters – he said, “My Administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks”; he actually compared the masses to the KKKers who had chased Blacks with pitchforks and then lynched them. The many statements by banksters claiming that they’re being persecuted by Democrats, can be traced right back to Obama himself, in private with them, who said that they were the victims, and the public were their victimizers:
(from page 234 of Ron Suskind’s 2011 book, Confidence Men):
The CEOs went into their traditional stance. “It’s almost impossible to set caps [to their bonuses]; it’s never worked, and you lose your best people,” said one. “We’re competing for talent on an international market,” said another. Obama cut them off.
“Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that,” he said. “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
It was an attention grabber, no doubt, especially that carefully chosen last word.
But then Obama’s flat tone turned to one of support, even sympathy. “You guys have an acute public relations problem that’s turning into a political problem,” he said. “And I want to help. But you need to show that you get that this is a crisis and that everyone has to make some sacrifices.” According to one of the participants, he then said, “I’m not out there to go after you. I’m protecting you. But if I’m going to shield you from public and congressional anger, you have to give me something to work with on these issues of compensation.”
No suggestions were forthcoming from the bankers on what they might offer, and the president didn’t seem to be championing any specific proposals. He had none: neither Geithner nor Summers believed compensation controls had any merit.
After a moment, the tension in the room seemed to lift: the bankers realized he was talking about voluntary limits on compensation until the storm of public anger passed. It would be for show.
He said, “I’m protecting you.” And he has fulfilled that promise to them, even though he lied to the public when he said (twice) that any crimes they had committed would be investigated by his Administration and prosecuted.
Elizabeth Warren terrifies them, but this doesn’t mean that she cannot win without their backing. Obama would have won without their backing; he was the biggest political talent since Ronald Reagan.
Unlike Obama, Warren actually did rise up from a hardscrabble existence. Her father was a janitor, who died when she was 12. Her mother found work at Sears, and young Elizabeth became a waitress at her aunt’s restaurant. She excelled in high school, married her high-school sweetheart, had children, got a college degree in speech pathology and audiology, then a Rutgers law degree, then won tenure at University of Pennsylvania Law School, and was quickly hired away by Harvard Law School. In 1995, her research for the National Bankruptcy Conference caused her to switch from her parents’ Republican Party to the Democratic Party, and she also decided that she must go beyond the Ivory Tower to enter politics so as to reform bankruptcy law, the field in which she had become America’s top expert. She was so highly regarded at Harvard that she was the third-highest-paid faculty member there. They didn’t want to lose her to politics, or anything else. But the Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate was disgusted with the Government’s continued protection of the banksters whose crimes had ditched the economy; so, “After the financial collapse of 2008, Warren was called by Senate majority leader Harry Reid to lead a panel overseeing the TARP bailout. That led to the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” Reid wanted her to run the CFPB, but Obama’s man Timothy Geithner hated her, and so did all Republicans, and Obama supported her only verbally; he happily yielded to them and didn’t appoint her to run the agency that she had created. Reid then urged her to run against Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts. Reid has been her guardian angel. He brought her into politics.
If Hillary becomes the nominee, the Republican is likely to win. Hillary’s 2008 run against Obama was massively incompetent; the only part that wasn’t was her skillfulness at evading to answer questions during the debates. As a strategist, she’s a moron; as a personnel director or hirer of talent, she cannot recognize it because she has so little of it herself.
Clinton would be a terrible candidate. Her polled support now is a mile wide and an inch deep; it’s extremely fragile, and during the rough and tumble of a campaign against (I expect) Rand Paul, she could easily crumble. Rand Paul would then come on as the outsider; Hillary as the insider. Rand Paul would come across as honest; Hillary as dishonest.
By contrast, Elizabeth Warren could come on like Obama did in 2008 but without the slickness, and overtake Hillary and go on to win the Presidency. She wouldn’t win as much financial backing as Hillary who has already become Wall Street’s darling, and who is aiming to score big also from the oil patch. But, like with Obama, she could score big online and with college-grads who have most of the money; she’s the dark horse who could really salvage this country.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.