A reader writes:
You're being way too hard on her. Her Youtube sensation was actually a fairly nuanced defense of public investment to make capitalism work for everyone. Yes, she was passionate, but Democrats need passion! I know it probably irks you that the Dems have a liberal wing, but it's ostensibly the party in America that represents liberals! Also, Warren is not losing in MA because she's smug. She's tied because Brown was recently elected in a "change" election, MA voters are a little whip-sawed, Brown is likable, and he's deftly distanced himself from national Republicans. Can you really argue that she should be up by a healthy margin given the fundamentals?
I find it kind of laughable that you quoted the part of the article which takes issue with Warren criticizing Hillary since you have been making the same comments since the '90s.
That anecdote about Warren in which she remarked that she is running for the Senate to uphold her principles not because it is a great career move (implying that in Hillary's case it was a career move) is exactly the kind of thing I want to hear from a politician.
Frankly, I like her principles. Also, I don't think the dig at Hillary is that devastating, but in any case it is true that Democrats have largely capitulated to Wall Street and the lobbyist culture, so if anything it is deserved. All of a sudden you're knocking someone for being a principled politician??
You also point to the fact that "Warren is guided by 'the Aaron Sorkin–esque notion that, if a candidate laid out the facts and made her argument with conviction, voters would see the light'," as if it is a bad thing. Would you rather have a candidate who twists the truth and panders and constantly follows polls and focus groups? Those kind of tactics may help win elections, but at the cost of a candidate's integrity. Perhaps she is naive that voter's will see the light, but if the facts are on your side and your convictions are strong, I think that is the way to run a race. Thank God she isn't just another typical politician. I'm happy to see someone put their trust in Truth and let the chips fall where they may.
Liz is a warm, wonderful person. I've personally worked with her; she's brilliant, and she's a true progressive. I've been reading you for years, but today is the first I've heard you were so down on her. So far, the only concrete criticism I've heard from you is her comment about Hillary Clinton's vote on the 2005 bankruptcy law. Let me say that I'm a bankruptcy lawyer (corporate bankruptcy law, but still), and the 2005 law is an absolute, utter, unmitigated abomination. It's ugly, punitive, senseless, and simply a gift to big banks. I wouldn't fault Liz for a minute in questioning a vote for that abominable bill. Plus, Liz is the reason we have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is long, long overdue.
So why are you so down on Elizabeth Warren?
Full video of Warren's convention speech here.