Elizabeth Warren spoke at the NETROOTS NATION convention in Detroit last week. I've attached a link to her speech thanks to the Daily Koz:
Not surprisingly, she gave essentailly the same stump speech we all heard at the Merkley rallly in Portland earlier on May 28th. The $64 question is she running for President? She says "no means no." Then why is she all over the place instead of staying in DC crafting legislation to fix Obamacare or the Dodd/Frank bill to hold "banks too big to fail accountable?"
My issue with Warren's speech is that when she claims "WE" held Wall Street accountable she never gives credit to Barack Obama for being center stage in this fight. The reality is without having Barack in the White House, Wall Street would never have been held accountable with Boehner in charge in the House and if Mitch McConnell were the Senate Majority Leader.
Sure Barack has been feckless at times and too cozy with the dudes on The Street, in and out of the administration. Sure RAD would love to see some "banks too big to fail" CEOs in jail. But this administration's justice department has squeezed billions of dollars out of all of the big banks to help people facing foreclosure to save their homes and to pay back their ill gotten gains to the American taxpayer.
We look back at how much has changed since the passage of the Civil Right Acts of '64/'65 forgetting that the President who signed those bills and who bludgeoned Congress into passing them was a very flawed POTUS - Lyndon Bains Johnson who got us knee deep into the big muddy in Vietnam! By contrast Barack Obama has gotten us out of Afghanistan and Iraq while John McCain cries "betrayal."
Liz is right, organizing is important but that alone won't do the job. All one has to do is look at Oregon to see how important leadership at the center of power is. Governor Kitz has sold his political soul to Intel, Nike and corporate Oregon while making a mess of CoverOregon. Democratic legislators like State Senator Betsy Johnson (D, Scappose) represents those same interests and she's not alone in the Puzzle Palace.
So while Liz Warren burnishes her image via a stump speech in front of political nerds who think social media is the wave of the future, those of us in Washington County know better because we lost big time in May to the TROIKA who are wheeling and dealing. If the net was the road to power Howard Dean would have been elected POTUS in 2004.
If one is going to speak truth to power it helps to have those in power on your side. That was not in evidence last Thursday at the ConnectOregon hearings. As Liz Warren would say "the game is rigged." Fortunately progressives have some extra arrows in their quivers but we need allies to clear out the political underbrush at election time.
Oregon lost a role model of honesty, integrity, humility and accessibility this week - former Governor Vic Atiyeh. I didn't always agree with Vic but one always knew what he believed - the private and the public man were one in the same. Like Barack he took us through hard times and did so with a simple grace. No drama, Vic.