If politicians “grow” in office, then Elizabeth Warren can now play center for the San Antonio Spurs and claim Japan’s Sumo championship title.
Warren’s only compelling attribute, other than the high cheekbones that are a hallmark of Cherokee ancestry, is her reputation as an “economic populist,” someone who, like most rich liberals, spends every waking hour nannying you to make sure you are making the right choices.
In Democratic circles, disappointment in the promise of the Obama presidency and unease over a possible restoration of the Clintons have made the senator, who was sworn in just 10 months ago, the object of huge interest and the avatar of a newly assertive, fervently populist left eager for a more confrontational approach to politics.
But in seizing on issues animating her party’s base — the influence of big banks, soaring student loan debt and the widening gulf between the wealthy and the working class — Ms. Warren is challenging the centrist economic approach that has been the de facto Democratic policy since President Bill Clinton and his fellow moderates took control of the party two decades ago.
So why is Elizabeth Warren championing the extension of the charter of the Export Import Bank? An organization that epitomizes crony capitalism? (RedState coverage of the Export Import Bank) In July, Heritage Action reached out to Warren to cooperate on killing the Export Import Bank. This is not a stretch. There have been numerous cases where conservative and liberal groups have made common cause and this seem logical based on Warren’s reputation:
Could the dynamic repeat itself on the question of whether to renew the U.S. Export-Import Bank? Heritage Action of America thinks so.
The Tea Party-aligned group sent a letter today to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat known for taking populist stands against corporate America, inviting her to speak about ending the lender “and the political favoritism it engenders.”
“We, like you, are frustrated with a political economy that benefits well-connected elites at the expense of all Americans,” Heritage Action Chief Executive Officer Michael Needham wrote. “Your presence will send a clear signal that you are going to fight the most pressing example of corporate welfare and cronyism pending before Congress right now.”
Alas, it doesn’t sound like the former Harvard law professor will be lecturing to Heritage audiences any time soon.
“Senator Warren believes that the Export-Import Bank helps create American jobs and spur economic growth, but recognizes that there is room for improvement in the bank’s operations,” Warren spokesman Lacey Rose tells us in an e-mail. “She looks forward to reviewing re-authorization legislation if and when it is introduced.”
While she did vote against the bill extending the charter her objection, according to Reason’s Shikha Dalmia, was to the aid to Syrian rebels included in the package.
What then has motivated this particular leopard to change her spots? Cash. And a perceived chance to take control of Congress.
Congressional battles over the Export-Import Bank and terrorism insurance are an opportunity for Democrats to win back corporate elites who abandoned the party after the passage of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms, according to one of that law’s primary architects, former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
Business leaders, Frank said, have begun to focus on the “increasing domination by the Republican Party now by the people who don’t believe in reasonable governance of the sort that the business community needs.”
“I think this is finally starting to get to the business community now,” he told HuffPost during a July interview. “Part of this was the real significance of the defeat of [then-House Majority Leader] Eric Cantor. Eric Cantor was one of [Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd] Blankfein’s best friends in government. His wife used to work [at Goldman] and they were personally friendly — of course, a great recipient of money. And then Cantor loses and now Kevin McCarthy shifts his position on the Export-Import Bank.”
Warren is the embodiment of the axiom that money talks and bull**** walks. She talks populism and looking after the “little guy” but when push comes to shove she is as much a tool of corporate interests as any plutocrat in politics.