Massachusetts --- Democratic, Liberal and Totally Clueless

Massachusetts --- Democratic, Liberal and Totally Clueless

© David Burton 2011

Barney Frank

     With the approach of the 2012 elections, Massachusetts is once again demonstrating to the nation that its electorate is blindly Democratic and Liberal – it is also totally clueless!

     Elizabeth Warren is seeking the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican Scott Brown in the November 2012 national elections. Scott Brown, surprisingly, won his seat in a special election following the death of Ted Kennedy of the royal Kennedy clan of Democratic Massachusetts. In what follows, the focus is not so much on who is my preferred candidate, but on what drives the voters of my home state of Massachusetts to select their elected officials. Do Massachusetts voters decide based upon qualifications, upon a candidate’s record – or do they decide based upon less reasonable criteria? Let’s look at the Brown and Warren candidacies and what Massachusetts voters are doing and saying.

     On 14 September 2011 Elizabeth Warren announced that she would seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. Amazingly, within a day or two of Warren’s announcement of her decision to seek the seat held by Republican Scott Brown, polls indicated that she was already in a tie or leading her Republican opponent in popularity. “Less than a week after Democrat Elizabeth Warren launched her campaign for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, a new automated poll shows her running neck-and-neck with incumbent Republican Scott Brown.
     The new survey, conducted by the Democratic-affiliated firm Public Policy Polling (PPP), gives Warren a slight edge over Brown (46 to 44 percent) among likely voters.”
     The results come as something of a surprise, given that two live-interviewer polls conducted in late August {before Warren announced her candidacy} showed Brown comfortably ahead.” (Ref. 1)

     Voters here in Massachusetts had decided to vote for Warren as soon as she announced and before learning of her qualifications, before a single primary debate had been held, and before a debate between her and Brown (assuming that she wins the Democratic nomination) had been held. Apparently, for Massachusetts voters, there are only one or two important qualifications for elective office: 1) the candidate must be a Democrat, preferably a life-long Democrat; 2) the candidate must be a liberal, preferably a card-carrying, left-leaning ultra-liberal; 3) the candidate should be associated with an elite eastern ivy-league university, preferably Harvard. Other qualifications are relatively inconsequential.

     Warren has a folksy style that has helped make her a middle-class populist hero. She has been called a “superstar of consumer advocacy.” Said one supporter, “She comes off like one of us, ready to protect us,” “She’s a champion of the common people” said another. Much of Warren’s political persona derives from a perception that she is a foe of the big bad banks. According to one supporter, “Wall Street and Big Banks are terrified of her, which means she is on the right track.” Warren supporters have sometimes been referred to as a cult to emphasize the adoration in which she is held. Indeed, it has been said that some of Warren’s supporters appear to view her as a “Messiah.”

     As most Democrats in Massachusetts lean to the left, it’s not surprising that Elizabeth Warren also belongs in the liberal camp. As someone said, “I can’t imagine someone with such intelligence, honesty, and fortitude being anything other than a raging social Liberal.”

     The Democratic voters here in Massachusetts became ecstatic when Warren announced her candidacy. Never mind the qualifications for the office – the really important things are: she’s female; she’s a Democrat; she’s a Liberal; she came from a poor family; she’s a Harvard academic; she’s been a bankruptcy-law scholar. Nothing else matters – she has never held elective office and she has no business experience. Witness the comment of her supporters. “Oh, my God, I am obsessed with her”; a third-year law student of Warren’s comparing her to a superhero (“Wonder Woman wishes she could be Professor Warren”); a man stopping Warren on the street and introducing himself as the guy who recently passed her a mash note on a plane (“I was hitting on you,” he said). “Warren became a regular guest of Bill Maher’s and Jon Stewart’s, and both went weak for the straight-talking professor. Stewart told her he wanted to make out.” (Ref. 2)

     Warren is a left-wing idol and is viewed by her admirers as a cult-hero crusader. She headed Congressional oversight of TARP and she helped to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is supposed to enforce rules to protect consumers entering into everything from credit-card agreements to mortgages. Her socialist leanings show through when she says, “there’s nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” implying that big bother government helped them and, in return, they are obligated to “redistribute their wealth” back to those “less fortunate.” Warren’s campaign organization provides the following list of legislation she will push if elected: spending on infrastructure; spending on education; spending on renewable energy; strengthening of labor unions; and re-regulation of the big banks. The Warren adoration recalls the ardor once felt by many for Obama.

     Warren has never run for office. Like Obama in 2008, she’s a political unknown who admirers turned into whoever and whatever they most want to see. This can also be viewed as one more indication of a lack of qualification and experience. If Warren is the answer to a liberal’s prayers, why then didn’t President Obama nominate her to run the consumer-protection agency she created? Was it because, as Democrat Chris Dodd suggested publicly, she lacks the managerial experience to run the agency? For those Massachusetts voters who favor left-leaning liberals with an academic background, Warren is Nirvana. Even before the formal announcement of her candidacy, bleeding heart liberals in Massachusetts were swooning over one of their own running for the Senate seat previously held by the Kennedy royalty - first the late president, John F. Kennedy, and then the late senator, Ted Kennedy.

     While Elizabeth Warren has portrayed herself as just one of the common people, she is definitely not one of the 99% identified by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Her liberal admirers have chosen to close their eyes to the facts that: she has hired a lobbyist to advise her campaign; she has accepted a $1,000 donation from a General Electric lobbyist; she has a half -million-dollar-a-year income.

     In Elizabeth Warren, we have an academic, doctrinaire, Democratic Liberal would-be U.S. Senator who is against building a pipeline to bring oil from Canada to the U.S. with the consequences that: the U.S. will need to continue importing oil from not-so-friendly foreign countries; will eliminate the creation of 20,000 blue-collar jobs; will impede the likelihood of America achieving energy independence. This is the person the Democratic voters in Massachusetts have fallen in love with. As has been pointed out, “‘Democrats {here in Massachusetts} like to think of themselves as the party of smart people. And that’s doubly true of Warren’s supporters, who refer to her Harvard curriculum vitae in tones of hushed reverence.” (Ref. 3) These Warren supporters go around shouting “No war for oil!” or stating that they oppose the Canada oil line because “Massachusetts can expect higher rates of climate disasters.” (Ref. 3) If they are so smart, then let them tell me why importing oil from Canada won’t obviate the need to go to war over oil from anti-American countries, or why oil from Canada can create higher rates of climate disasters than oil imported from anti-American countries. It seems to me, that domestic drilling for oil and a pipeline to import Canadian oil go a long way toward the elimination of the need to buy oil from the less-than-friendly dictatorial, anti-American regimes of the world.

     “Instead, the Liz Warren left starts with ‘No war for oil,’ then ‘No oil from Canada.’ ‘No nukes,’ No coal,’ and then the inevitable, ‘Hey – wait! My iPad just died and there’s no electricity to charge it. Where’s my oil?’
     “Remember: they’re the smart ones.” (Ref. 3)

     Elizabeth Warren has been identified as an expert face for the anarchistic and anti-capitalistic fervor shown by the now largely discredited Occupy Wall Street and elsewhere movement. She early-on took credit for inventing the Occupy Wall Street philosophy. She quickly went silent on the subject when the movement showed itself to be nothing more than a group of anarchists and liberal idealists with no real program to propose other than to protest, garner attention like a screaming 2-year old, inconvenience the public and run up municipal costs. To Demonstrate that she is for the poor, oppressed owntrodden masses, Warren jumped at the opportunity to endorse the aimless Occupy Wall Street movement. “In one moment of candor tinged with a touch of hubris, Elizabeth Warren suggested that she provided the intellectual foundation for the Occupy Wall street movement . . . but Warren also kept a safe distance from protesters who pitched tents in the movement’s name.” What Warren said was that she “created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do. I support what they do.” (Ref. 4) So, what have the Occupy Wall Street protesters done and what is their intellectual foundation? They have behaved liked spoiled brats. They have taken over and trashed other people’s property. In one case, “About 150 Occupy Wall Street protesters who scaled a fence outside a church-owned lot they wanted to use as a campsite were arrested … Protesters shouted obscenities and screamed ‘Make them catch you!’” (Ref. 5) They have no specific goals or plans. They have screamed for the confiscation and distribution to them of the earnings of others more industrious or more successful than they are. Some intellectual foundation!!!

     In Contrast, Senator Brown said that "this group of protesters has a poisonous message which needs to be loudly refuted." (Ref. 6)

     Scott Brown has a record of public service in elective office. He is a Republican but not a Republican ideologue. His voting record in Congress demonstrates that he votes as his conscience and common sense dictate and not simply as the political bosses order their underlings. Brown has voted with the Republican majority 75% of the time while the other senator from Massachusetts, John Kerry, has voted with his Democratic leadership some 97% of the time. As a case in point, consider the following: “Businesses dodged another burdensome tax and returning war veterans received a job boost this past week, courtesy of a U.S. Congress that put ideology aside and showed common sense.
     “The champion behind the effort was Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who was the lone Republican to co-author the Hire a Hero Act and advocate for the repeal of a 3 percent withholding tax on contracts that would have ended up hurting both businesses and consumers.”
     "Brown is an independent lawmaker fighting for the little guy.” (Ref. 7)

     Elizabeth Warren’s early campaign ad’s lacked any real substance and instead focused primarily on her family background, i.e., voting for Elizabeth Warren was akin to being in favor of motherhood and apple pie. For example: "My three brothers joined the military." (This was to offset the fact that her Republican opponent had served in the National Guard for more than 31 years and, in August of 2011 as a lieutenant colonel in the Judge Advocate General Corps, had just returned from a week of active duty training in Afghanistan); "I got married at 19." (How does this relate to a race for a U.S. Senate seat?); "I worked my way through college." (as have many of us, including her Republican opponent); "I taught elementary school." (Does this make her more qualified to sit in the U.S. Senate?); "For years I've worked to expose how Wall Street and the big banks are crushing middle class families." (Ah, finally some meat!).

     With the exception of the statement concerning her background in working on the issues of Wall Street and large banks, the campaign ad's provided little or nothing on which a rational voter could base his/her voting decision. To her Massachusetts followers, this was irrelevant.

     Will Elizabeth Warren prove to be a product of the "Massachusetts Machine" that in many ways mirrors the Chicago System that produced Barack Obama? Is Elizabeth Warren anything more than a Harvard economist? Does she have any real background in anything other than economics as related to Wall Street and banking – say foreign relations, or national defense or civil rights?

     The proponents of socialism in America found themselves in a paroxysm of ecstasy when they viewed a video by Warren in which she explained why redistribution of wealth must be government policy:

     “’I hear all this, you know. Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,’ she said. ‘No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.
     “’You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.
     “’Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.’
     “In a sense, no one on the current American political scene has said it better — everything you have belongs to the state and the people. You will be allowed to keep some of it, but it doesn’t belong to you." (Ref. 8)

     What about the taxes paid by the entrepreneur and the company? What about the jobs created and the benefits paid on behalf of the workers? What about the other businesses that are supported by the contracts that they receive from the big company? And just who, in Warren’s Utopian view of America, will decide on what a successful entrepreneur will be allowed to keep? As in any socialistic system, this will be some government bureaucrat who didn’t have the American entrepreneurial spirit, who didn’t have to put in the sweat equity to succeed, and who didn’t have to take any of the risks in building a successful business. It will be another cog in the wheels of big government who will have a life-long sinecure with benefits and a comfortable retirement plan that the rest of us will pay for with our tax dollars. But remember, this is Massachusetts and, to many of the voters here in the Bay State, this is the ideal of who we want to make our laws and establish our governmental policies. Is this really the America that the first Bay Staters like John Hancock, John Adams and Sam Adams envisioned back in 1770’s? Who is better qualified to follow in their footsteps – Elizabeth Warren or Scott Brown?

  1. PPP Poll Shows Elizabeth Warren Surging Against Scott Brown, The Huffpost Pollster, 20, September 2011.
  2. Heaven Is a Place Called Elizabeth Warren, Rebecca Traister, New York Times; Magazine, 11 November 2011.
  3. Harvard prof flunks economics, Michael Graham, Boston Herald, Page 23, 16 December 2011.
  4. A safe distance from Occupy, Joan Vennoch, Boston Sunday Globe, Page K10, 18 December 2011.
  5. About 50 Occupy protesters arrested, The nation Today, Boston Sunday Globe, Page A14, 18 December 2011.
  6. Elizabeth Warren vs Scott Brown,, {Accessed 19 December 2011}.
  7. Bipartisan Brown, Editorial, Lowell sun, 20, November 2011.
  8. Elizabeth Warren: Everything you have belongs to us , William A. Jacobson, Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion, 22 September 2011.

  31 Dec 2011 {Article 115; State_06}    
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