Did you even DOOO the reading?
October 23, 2009 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Do you feel disappointed in government? Does Obama seem a little too meek for the Presidency? Do you wish he'd make larger structural reforms? Maybe, suggests Matt Taibbi, there's an answer.

Citing her ability to speak plainly and her extensive knowledge of the credit system, Taibbi suggests that Elizabeth Warren should run for President.

Not in 2016, but in 2012.
posted by jock@law (43 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
oh, please.
posted by msconduct at 10:27 AM on October 23, 2009


This does nothing to further any conversation, but:

Damn, I love Matt Taibbi.
posted by palindromic at 10:27 AM on October 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren versus Sarah Palin.

Palin would have her for lunch.
posted by blucevalo at 10:27 AM on October 23, 2009


WHBT.
posted by dersins at 10:31 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, no, and larger than reforming 1/6th of the economy? Not until we're done with this round.
posted by Liver at 10:31 AM on October 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


May interview with Elizabeth Warren by NPR's Adam Davidson. I'm not so sure she's as independent as Taibbi makes out.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:32 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can she shoot unicorns out of her butt?
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought you just had to be over 35 and born in the U.S., I didn't know about the unicorn requirement until just now.
posted by Auden at 10:39 AM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Extent of knowledge of the credit system is not the only, or even one of the top 5, characteristics I look for in a President.
posted by DU at 10:40 AM on October 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Can she shoot unicorns out of her butt?

With what?
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:42 AM on October 23, 2009


Ha! Elizabeth Warren was my Bankruptcy professor. In some ways, she would be perfect; she's a plain-spoken Okie with the requisite folk wisdom and catchy but practical-sounding anecdotes and figures of speech. She's got a populist streak a mile wide, but the intellectual chops to back it up and call out the crony capitalists for what they are.

In other ways, she would never cut it. She doesn't suffer fools kindly, which sounds like a positive thing until you see her on some Sunday talk show telling the host essentially "that was the stupidest question I've ever heard in my life" (with a tone of voice to match). She would have a tough time charming the press, given that I've never even seen her try, and that's really an essential skill for any politician today. Add that to her fancy Harvard pedigree and I fear she would just come off as a terribly elite, intellectual snob - even though she would in fact be fighting for the little guy every step of the way.

Given her deep expertise in bankruptcy, credit, and related financial matters, I think maybe the "TARP COP" position is the perfect place for her. She could probably work out as a firebrand senator in the Franken mold, but that's about it.
posted by rkent at 10:42 AM on October 23, 2009 [18 favorites]


Did you even DOOO the reading?

that's a rather trollish title you've given this post, isn't it?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:46 AM on October 23, 2009


I saw Elizabeth Warren on The Daily Show and I wanted to hug her and take her home with me.

Dunno if I'd vote for her though. She's in government, but she's pretty specialized. I'd vote for her for President of Making A More Awesome Economy, but as for the rest of the country? Well... there's a lot of crap going on. I want the most successful crap-juggler, not a specific crap variety specialist.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:47 AM on October 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


I looooooove Elizabeth Warren so much! I loved her in Maxed Out, loved her books.

I hope more people pay attention to her work. I don't think she should run for president but the current president and congress SHOULD be listening to her. She's freakin' smart and she spent her career studying bankruptcy so she actually knows and cares about what goes on financially for the bottom 95% of Americans.
posted by vespabelle at 10:48 AM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


CHRIST ON THE CROSS THE ELECTION TALK JUST ENDED DON'T START AGAIN
posted by GuyZero at 10:48 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


that's a rather trollish title you've given this post, isn't it?

it's an inside joke: like rkent said, warren doesnt suffer fools kindly. apologies.
posted by jock@law at 10:49 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


He didn’t close Guantanamo Bay...

*sighs*

Congress threw up roadblocks. That's the way the system works. If you can't or won't understand that, why should I listen to what else you have to say?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:51 AM on October 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


I hate Matt Taibbi.
posted by spaltavian at 10:52 AM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


But I love the elections! So many people spending so much money just to impress me! More catty smack-talk than a teenager's baby shower! Fuckin' BALLOONS FALLING OUT OF THE SKY
posted by kathrineg at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2009 [9 favorites]


Man I love unsubstantiated sourceless stories about how out-of-touch major unnamed government officials are. "Boy howdy, dem gubmint bigwigs sure don't no nuttin 'bout the way real 'mericans live. They's too dumb to unnerstand anything on them there news channels that hardly talk bout anything else these days." He's using the same rhetorical techniques that right-wingers use there, and there's probably about as much truth to them.
posted by Caduceus at 10:57 AM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


that's a rather trollish title you've given this post, isn't it?

Right, exactly what jock@law said - that is just how she would mock you if you try to bluff your way through a class discussion.
posted by rkent at 11:00 AM on October 23, 2009


Shit, I wasn't even done reading the article, just reacting to paragraphs six and seven, and then four paragraphs later he actually uses the term bigwigs. That's just... great.
posted by Caduceus at 11:04 AM on October 23, 2009


I have nothing to add.
posted by Postroad at 11:13 AM on October 23, 2009


weakish post

Warren is pretty great, but seriously these knee-jerk "oh-this-person-agrees-with-me-about-$issue-they-should-be-president" has jumped so many sharks even Fonzie would be uncool about it by now.
posted by edgeways at 11:16 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


This post needs an "excessivetags" tag.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:17 AM on October 23, 2009


Can she shoot unicorns out of her butt?

From a helicopter?
posted by incster at 11:26 AM on October 23, 2009


Ohhhh I thought this was going to be about The Rock Obama.
posted by stormpooper at 11:26 AM on October 23, 2009


May interview with Elizabeth Warren by NPR's Adam Davidson. I'm not so sure she's as independent as Taibbi makes out.

Davidson apologized for that interview. I'm not so sure he's as independent as he thinks he is.

From the article:
They [Democrats] do not seem to understand or even recognize that real wages in this country have not grown for most people for decades.
A flat quarter on Wall Street is front-page news but a flat twenty-thirty years for everyone else is almost never mentioned, let alone discussed, among the political class or the professional media class.

And unrelatedly: what the hell is it with people spelling the White House chief of staff's surname with two Ms? Am I missing something? It's "Emanuel," right?
posted by enn at 11:48 AM on October 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Matt Taibbi has, simply and utterly, lost it. Maybe he's been looking at the economic crisis so intently for so long that he's forgotten the last two times that the Democrats tried running a candidate purely on the basis of brains.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:52 AM on October 23, 2009


There's enough milkshake to go around.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:55 AM on October 23, 2009


I am Matt Taibbi, and I claim my five dollars.
posted by Rat Spatula at 11:57 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


the last two times that the Democrats tried running a candidate purely on the basis of brains.

Four out of six times, but who's counting?
posted by blucevalo at 1:00 PM on October 23, 2009


enn: Davidson apologized for that interview. I'm not so sure he's as independent as he thinks he is.

Important difference: a major US political commentator is not suggesting Davidson should run for President.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:41 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can she shoot unicorns out of her butt?

With what?

Rainbows.
posted by loquacious at 1:52 PM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


People need to cut Obama a hell of a lot of slack. Really. Dude is on the cusp of passing health care reform that Bill Clinton couldn't pass. Yep. You really think anyone could do better? How is Elizabeth Warren gonna get votes on the floor of Congress? Her magic wand? Puleeze. If this was as easy as everybody in this place seems to think it is, then why hasn't it been done before?

It is HARD people. Really HARD. Take a dose of patience, call your congress person and ask for them to vote for what you want. That's all we can do here.

I expect a lot more of this kind of wishful thinking over the next few years.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:02 PM on October 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


The butt-held laser-guided unicorn-seeking missile has never been properly tested and should not be included as part of any campaign's promises.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:29 PM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


MetaFail.

"We’re coming up on the one- year anniversary of Barack Obama’s election."

Pretty irrelevant, as the implication this idiot is giving is that everything should change on Nov. 5th.

The fact is, President Obama has had about nine months in office now, and the Republicans are *STILL* blocking his appointees, which makes the whole process of governance much more difficult. Only about 35% of President Obama's appointees for Heath & Human Services, and less than half of his appointees for the Treasury Department have even been approved yet. (And we wonder why the Treasury Department seems to be dragging their feet at times?!)

263 positions confirmed, in total... 169 left to go.

"He didn’t close Guantanamo Bay"

.. which is not surprising, since his promise was to close it by the end of January 2010, only to find that our own states wouldn't take them in, even as max security prisoners. That's being sorted out, finally... and the President has approached other nations to take some in as well. Spain recently agreed to do so with several, citing Obama's determination to try to make his deadline.

"He promised health care reform and campaigned on a public option, and we all know how that is going to turn out."

That he'll sign a plan into law with some kind of a public option?!

"But most importantly, he came into office amidst sweeping crises in the financial sector and did not do what needed to be done..."

Other than making unpopular decisions that saved our economy, and which have triggered an unexpectedly rapid rebound in financial markets.

"he failed to push for tough financial reforms"

...such as the ones he is pushing for now.

The simple fact is, when the ship is sinking, you don't spend all your time publicly flogging the guy who rammed the ship into an iceberg. You patch the hole and stop bailing... once you're sure that the ship isn't going under and have a bit of time, then you make sure it never happens again.

"Barack Obama needed to be the FDR figure who remade the American capital markets and made them fair again"

Take a look at FDR's timeline. He was still passing systemic reforms six years after being elected.

"...and ended up bailing them out instead of the rest of the country, at huge current and (presumably) future cost.The total bill for the Bush-Obama bailout. . . "

Gee. I thought Senator Obama only had one vote on the Bush bailout.

To clarify, we're talking about loans here. But if you look at what money *might* be defaulted on, it's almost entirely within that Bush bailout.

"Meanwhile, the congress is stuck in the mud, panicked at the thought of paying three or four trillion over a decade or so for a health care program."

Again... one is a loan, that will hopefully be repaid, plus interest. The other is deficit, that will hopefully be justifiable under tough financial conditions. If it saves consumers a lot of money and lowers costs, it most certainly should be worthwhile.

So basically, the article says to me... "let's be incredibly, willfully naive about reality to create a strawman... and *then* let's elect a strawperson in 2012.
posted by markkraft at 3:15 PM on October 23, 2009 [9 favorites]


Obama is not a progressive-left politician. The reason why liberals vote for him is because there is a direct and tangible difference between center-right, which is what Obama is, and right-wing nationalist, which is what the Republicans are since they've run out the "RINOs". (Except, maybe, Snowe and Collins and to a lesser extent McCain.) The public support for a progressive-left candidate just isn't there, not now... but after eight years of moving back to the middle and systematically marginalizing the radical right by driving them even further into ideological lockstep (which is the current game plan for the Democratic Party, and a damn good one), there might be a place for a center-left candidate to win it all in 2016.
posted by Slap*Happy at 3:22 PM on October 23, 2009


Obama is absolutely a progressive. Moreover he is a liberal a president as we can get in this country without being unelectable. Ignoring civil liberties, there is no reason for progressives to not support Obama as a president. Ignoring civil liberties, if you think you can get more out of another Democratic President, you're as blind to reality as Fox news contingent. (I don't think he's right on DOMA or DADT, but that's also up for argument.)

As a political group (and I count myself among them) progressives in this country have been idealistic and unreasonable since its founding. The fact that we have been able to accomplish as much as we have has been a testament to the ability of more reasonable liberals amongst our ranks to put up with our constant bitching for this long. The fact that progressives seem to be abandoning Obama so early in his first term speaks loudly to their political acumen.
posted by napkin at 8:26 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


He promised health care reform and campaigned on a public option, and we all know how that is going to turn out.

I stopped reading right there. Taibbi is becoming the leading voice for the type of progressives who seem to only get their news from FOX. They are still acting like the fact that a bunch of crazy people showed up in DC August was the most important moment of the health care reform debate. But as events quickly showed those people were less relevant than Olympia Snowe's toenail clippings.

Taibbie's style worked during the Bush admnistration because their abuses were so blatantly awful that they needed a bombastic critic. While the Obama administration needs to be critiqued as well, it needs somebody who is a lot better with policy nuances.
posted by afu at 9:45 PM on October 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


Dear American lefties,

I can understand that you wish public policy was more in line with your ideas. I can even understand that you're all a bit disappointed that this Obama guy that some among you worked so hard to get elected hasn't turned out to be quite the Messiah that you (unreasonably) hoped for, and I sympathise. But you should begin understanding that, if the policies that you wish are not enacted, it isn't because of Rahm Emmanuel, or a plutocrat conspiracy: it's because they lack public support. In some cases, to be quite frank, it's because they're quite stupid, but even in some cases where you ARE entirely right (see health care), the public isn't necessarily following you. Any successful modern politician will bend over backwards to conform to the public mood. That may seem craven, but it's also, after all, the ultimate triumph of democracy.
So, if Obama and Congress don't impose your favoured policies, don't shoot the messengers, because that's what they are: finely-tuned messengers of the public mood. Try rather to understand why the public mood sometimes fails to appreciate what seems bloody obvious to you.
posted by Skeptic at 7:59 AM on October 24, 2009 [2 favorites]




I am tired of the term "Messiah" being applied to Obama. I suspect very few of those who voted for him had any sort of messianic expectations from him, and to continue to apply that term, nearly always coming from non-supporters, is a ploy to attempt to paint him in terms which his supporters never used themselves, either literally or metaphorically.
posted by hippybear at 1:52 PM on October 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


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