Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"She hears the voices no one else hears"


DOONESBURY by G. B. Trudeau (Jan. 18)

[Click to enlarge]

by Gaius Publius

I wanted to point out this nice Mike Lux piece, at Huffington Post and elsewhere, because it makes an important point. It's also an obvious point, but the obvious often goes unnoticed. The buzz and eager interest in an Elizabeth Warren presidency is not about Warren herself. It's about what she offers at this historical moment.

Lux (my emphasis):
It seems like just about everyone these days is talking about Elizabeth Warren. I saw Jay Leno- not a very political guy or especially progressive- the other day on Bill Maher's show, talking about how shocked he was that Elizabeth Warren was only 18 months younger than Hillary because of how vital and energetic she seemed.

A focus group of swing voters, who traditionally don't follow politics very closely, in Colorado a couple of weeks back were disdainful of the politicians they had heard of like Jeb Bush and Hillary who were likely running for president, but loved what they were hearing about Elizabeth Warren.

The Sunday Doonesbury this weekend was a plea to "run, Lizzie, run" because "she hears the voices no one else hears". The Washington Post print addition on Sunday had a front page article whose headline asked "What does Elizabeth Warren want?"

Why is a first-term Senator in the minority party, a wonky college professor who had never held elective office before 2013, a woman who insists to everyone who asks that she is not running for president, striking such a chord in American politics right now? ... I think the chord she strikes has at least as much to do with the moment we are in as to who she is. I think most Americans in both parties have come to believe that government is too bought off by big money special interests to care about them anymore.

That is so refreshing to voters and activists alike, and it is turning Elizabeth into an icon that people respond to. ... She calls "Charge!" on a nomination fight for a position that no one has ever heard of, or a legislative fight that they weren't even aware of, and people answer the call because they trust her- they know in their hearts that she is fighting for them.
That "nomination fight" was over Wall Street insider Antonio Weiss for under-secretary of Treasury, and was covered in a number of venues, including here.

Lux goes on to detail the history of the Warren phenomenon, and lists her implied economic agenda. It's a good read and well worth your time. But I want to return to the headline quote from Doonesbury:
"She hears the voices no one else hears."
No one but us voters, that is, red-striped or blue; the many; the ignored. What does this tell us? That we need to be finding more Elizabeth Warrens, not just the one; and we need to be doing it now — just in case the first is not available.


Cross-posted with permission from Digby's Hullabaloo

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