The Iowa caucuses, Round One in the quadrennial exercise leading to the election of a president, are still a year away, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts delivered a fix this week for Democrats who can’t wait to get started on the considerable task of deposing Donald Trump.
As the old year died, she announced the formation of an “exploratory committee” to tell her that she’s doing the right thing by running for president. That’s what “exploratory committees” are expected to do. What else the committee is expected to “explore” is not exactly clear, but an exploration of her learned papers and past speeches, and the release of a video accompanying the announcement will show clearly what Mrs. Warren is up to.
Mrs. Warren, a onetime Harvard law professor, will run as a committed leftist: America’s problems are the fault of “billionaires” and “big corporations.” Energy companies are “destroying this planet.” Taxes are good, and tax relief is bad, because relief is really about politicians “cutting their own taxes so they pay less than their secretaries and janitors.”
She won’t be satisfied by reforming some of the less desirable consequences of robust capitalism, she wants to throw out baby, bathwater and the basin the baby took its bath in. Her Accountable Capitalism Act would require companies with a billion dollars in annual revenue and with a state charter to trade that state charter for a federal charter. Companies would be required to staff 40 percent of their boards of directors with employees who would not have to know any more than Mrs. Warren does about running a profitable business.
She further promotes racial division. The video displays a graph exploiting the gap between “white household wealth” and “black household wealth.” Mrs. Warren ignores the tens of millions of American households who don’t fit into the “white” versus “black” scheme so popular with Democrats and other liberals. The video does not mention the president though his image flickers across the screen a few times.
Mrs. Warren is for “Medicare for All,” the new code word for a government takeover of the health care industry. Her “Accountable Capitalism Act,” with zero chances of passage, would grant extraordinary governmental control of companies with annual revenue of more than $1 billion.
The lady’s timing is off. Had she run in 2016, she might have had an excellent shot at her party’s nomination, so desperate were most Democrats to avoid nominating Hillary Clinton. They turned to Bernie Sanders, the ill-tempered Vermont senator who aggressively embraces socialism in its purest European form. There was even a “draft Warren” movement that year, though it didn’t go very far.
In the year 2020 she will face a more competitive field. Two dozen Democrats are likely to run, some of them capable of mounting an effective campaign. The charismatic Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke will be an early favorite of the media. Several senators, including Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, have a ready base of support. Joe Biden, the former vice president, is leading the early polls.
Mrs. Warren has a considerable immediate past to overcome. As she climbed through academia, the native of Oklahoma, where there are many actual Indians, claimed Indian, or Native American, ancestry. After considerable public skepticism of her claim — President Trump refers to her as “Pocahontas” — she submitted to a DNA test that determined she was somewhere between 1/64th and 1/1024th Indian, or Native American. That’s a pretty big somewhere. President Trump still calls her Pocahontas, and will no doubt continue to do so.
Running in one of the most ardently Democratic states, she toppled a Republican incumbent, Scott Brown, by eight points in 2012, a landslide anywhere but Massachusetts, where Democrats often do much better than that against Republicans in statewide races. She was re-elected handily against a no-name challenger last year, but for comparison’s sake she ran 100,000 votes behind the Republican candidate for governor.
Once voters examine Elizabeth Warren closely, they will see not a candidate for president of the United States but a candidate for president of Utopia.