Column

The Hater’s Guide to Elizabeth Warren

She had a plan for everything except backpedaling on her biggest, boldest plan

Some people are supporters of Elizabeth Warren. But many, many more people are NOT supporters of Elizabeth Warren. This 2020 GEN hater’s guide, the fifth in an already famed and illustrious series, is for those in the latter group.

Your candidate

Hermione Granger, if Hermione Granger lied about having Muggle ancestry.

Her résumé

Junior senator from Massachusetts. Inevitable runner-up in the Democrats Who Are Actually Democrats sector of the primary. Patriots fan. GUHHHHHHHHH. You grew up in Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren! Being a Sooners fan is PLENTY evil already. There’s no need to ingratiate yourself with a somehow even worse fan base.

Sorry. Got off track there for a moment. Let’s go through Warren’s résumé for a moment, because hers is the kind of track record that makes her almost overqualified to become president. Can’t think of any other past candidate like that, no, I cannot! Anyway, Warren started off as a special needs teacher. Then she became a bankruptcy lawyer, a consumer advocate, and a professor at Harvard. You know the old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Harvard is ground zero for those intentions. We should seize its endowment and turn all of its buildings into free community food halls. My vision? Breakfast tacos ANYTIME FOR ANYONE.

Warren is famous for her blunt honesty, so when she’s reticent about shit like this, it’s like she peed in a swimming pool that contains the mythic urine-triggered dye.

As senator, Warren founded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has been summarily gutted by the Trump administration because the CFPB has the audacity to be a government agency that actually helps everyday citizens. And Warren would have been appointed to run that agency, except that President Obama — displaying a patented brand of timidity-disguised-as-strategy that would horribly mar the final six years of his tenure in office — passed her over because Wall Street didn’t like her. That sounds like me being nice to Warren until I get to the part where I tell you that she has now resorted to that exact same brand of meek strategizing to jump-start her flagging campaign. It hasn’t worked.

Why she sucks

I was Team Warren right up until November 2019. She had all the best ideas and she laid out comprehensive yet accessible plans to implement all those ideas. I was even gonna ask my editor if it was okay to donate to her campaign or if that would breach journalistic ethics. But I never ended up having to ask, because along came The Great Medicare Fuckup:

Only later, in her third year in the White House, does Warren say she would pursue Medicare-for-all legislation that would actually prohibit private health insurance, as would be required for the single-payer program that she says she, like Bernie Sanders, wants.

Warren framed this concession as a “path” to Medicare for All, but as Vox notes in the link above, the first stages of her plan will prove incredibly difficult to implement on their own, especially if Democrats don’t take back a Senate that has lately proven to be as useful to the country as an inflamed appendix left untreated.

This was a colossal unforced error from Warren that drove me right into the frail arms of the cranky old pinko running against her. This was one time when Warren’s whole “I have a plan for that” approach failed miserably. You can do all your homework. You can dot every i and cross every t and lay out your plan in simple English for everyone to understand. But when you do that on something as important as health care, you’re asking everyone to obsess over processes instead of end goals—the oldest mistake in the Democrat playbook. You’re also giving opponents of Medicare for All — many of them residing right in the current presidential field — an opening to chip away at your grand plan and, if you’re dealing with a think-tank plant like Pete Buttigieg, to accuse you of stealing their watered-down versions of it. Warren entered this race fierce and unapologetic and then backtracked on the one thing she NEVER should have backtracked on.

Sometimes people don’t want to hear your plan, no matter how well-crafted that plan may be. They just want to hear your objective — and that it’s big and bold. Once you put everything in “Here’s how I would get things done”–ese, you’re already conceding that there will be some things you cannot get done. That you have no force of will when it will be needed the most. I’m still pissed about this. Warren was on the upswing and poised to lay waste to the rest of this field. Instead, she decided to blend right in with the rest of them and faded accordingly. Now I gotta hope Bernie doesn’t have a fucking stroke.

Speaking of Bernie, we may as well get to Warren’s last gasp:

“Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”

Like a lot of other people, I am of the mind that both Bernie Sanders and Warren were telling the truth about the private meeting that ended up destroying their War of Nonaggression. I think Bernie told Warren that President Trump would use Warren’s gender against her in a general election campaign, the same way Trump pulls any cheap, hateful rhetoric from his quiver when anyone dares to oppose him. And I think Warren took that as Bernie saying Trump would beat her or any other woman this way. Here I am both-sides-ing this incident. I hate myself. The point is that you can see things from either vantage point, and you can concede that even if Bernie’s intentions were pure, they don’t amount to jack shit. BUT…

[Puts on free Chapo Trap House hat.]

It doesn’t take a Harvard degree to see that Warren told CNN about the meeting off the record knowing it would get out somewhere down the road, and then Warren deliberately tried to both confirm the smear while also distancing herself from its origins. I DON’T WANNA TALK ABOUT THIS BUT ALSO HE TOTALLY SAID IT. Warren is famous for her blunt honesty, so when she’s reticent about shit like this, it’s like she peed in a swimming pool that contains the mythic urine-triggered dye. She’s a shitty liar, and she’s even worse at cleaning up those lies.

Also, she used to be a Republican.

Why she’ll suck as president

Every plan Warren has comes with a plan B, and her campaign work so far has proven that she is all too prone to retreat to those secondary plans the second the original plan might seem too formidable. We already have enough Democrats in office with that kind of spine or lack thereof. For all her strength and tenacity, Elizabeth Warren has already bent a few critical promises, and that’s why she’s about to lose.

One unhateable thing

Yeah no, I’d still fucking kill for her to beat Trump.

Columnist at GEN. Co-founder, Defector. Author of Point B.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store