Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden after spending much of her failed White House run passionately excoriating such behavior. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) says she believes the woman accusing Biden of sexually assaulting her, but will vote for the former vice president anyway. Perhaps it is not surprising that progressive Democrats are very publicly selling out their supposedly cherished principles for political expediency in an election year, despite the price that their credibility will pay. What is rather astonishing is that they are keen to do so for a deeply flawed candidate about whom nobody in the party is the least bit excited.
Willowy Warren Bends in the Wind
“Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” Warren lectured at a December Democrat presidential primary debate, referring to a tony Napa Valley fundraiser held for rival Pete Buttigieg. “I do not sell access to my time.” It was a position the notoriously truth-challenged Warren slowly hedged on as her campaign became more untenable in early 2020. She is now fully discarding it on behalf of an establishment dinosaur who is the antithesis of everything she claims to want the Democratic Party to stand for.
“We can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in just because we’re too scared to do anything else,” Warren said on the campaign trail last year. Of course, this is precisely what Democrats did, taking a cue from party elitists who fanned the flames of a lingering fear that socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would be a sure loser against President Trump.
That Warren would sabotage her own carefully constructed efforts to position herself as the leading face of opposition to the party’s Old Guard for a stumbling and gaffe-prone Biden is revealing. She either truly believes he is a formidable candidate who can win and then reward her with a plum position in his administration as thanks for services rendered or, more interestingly, she sees no future avenue for herself as that bold champion of a new Democrat direction. Warren turns 71 on June 22 and may feel her White House window has been permanently slammed shut. If so, she clearly sees insider access among those she ideologically claims to starkly disagree with as the more palatable choice over outsider activism for a real metamorphosis within the party. In any event, she will now be tagged all the more with the labels of opportunism and insincerity that are pure poison for politicians who attempt to craft narratives for themselves as authentic change agents.
Radical Catches Swamp Fever
The ever-controversial Rep. Omar has been an even more vocal proponent of the desperate need to overthrow an aging Democrat leadership and carve out a more progressive course for the party. She is a featured member of “The Squad,” that not-so-merry band of young female agitators that has coalesced around radical Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
“Believing survivors is consistent with my values,” Omar tweeted on May 25, referring to Tara Reade, the former Biden staffer who has accused the former longtime Delaware senator and vice president of sexually assaulting her in 1993. Remarkably, later in the same tweet, Omar said, “I will vote for him and help him defeat Trump.”
Omar made much hay over the past couple of years by presenting The Squad as a genuine populist reaction from the left side of the political aisle. “We look at the negative aspects of the Tea Party and not really at the part of them that spoke to the American people, that made them feel like there were people actively fighting for them,” she told Politico in March 2019. “There’s a resemblance there. A lot of us are not that much different in our eagerness to want to come here and fight for our constituents, fight for the American ideals we believe in.”
How did we get from going to Washington to fight for “ideals we believe in” to “it sounds like this aged career politician really is a molester but we have to support him nonetheless” in a little over a year? Omar will not be hurt by the outrageousness of her odd statement in support of Biden. Inflammatory dialogue is her political currency. But, as with Warren, she too comes off as willing to throw principle out the window to meet the needs of one political moment. That this goes against every standard she has tried to set for herself and her fellow young would-be revolutionaries apparently doesn’t register. Even worse, while Warren is proving herself a hypocrite over money, Omar is a supposed defender of oppressed women everywhere. Rewarding a woman’s sexual attacker by putting him in the White House makes such posturing laughable. Is Omar really willing to permanently forfeit the feminist credentials so valued among progressives for a man she had previously stoutly rejected as being wholly incapable of leading the critical fight for “progress” in America?
In 2020, Democrats need to produce “a president who realizes we are not just fighting for one election — we are fighting for the very soul of our democracy and what society we want to become,” Omar stated in Iowa last September. “There are few people who fit into the kind of progress that we all want to see in this country,” Omar later told The Guardian in expanding on that declaration. “And I would say he [Biden] is not one of them.”
Fast forward a few months and Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee. And here Omar is emphasizing the need to cast “the very soul of” principle aside and focus on “just fighting for one election.” How convenient.
What Omar and fellow rabble-rouser poseur Warren best represent is the common denominator that unites Democrats Old and New. That is the pursuit of power as the only cause ultimately worth fighting for. Words like “change” and “principle” are invoked only to attain the overriding aim. Now that is the kind of politics the Swamp understands.
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