Elizabeth Warren Deserves Your Undivided Attention

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"Drew Magary on the Massachusetts senator who's lapping the democratic field ideas-wise."

GQ - May 14, 2019

On Tuesday, Massachusetts Senator and 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren told Americans that she was turning down invitation to hold a town hall over on FOX News. The reason she gave for giving that network the Heisman is because, on an elemental level, FOX sucks.

That ANY self-respecting Democrat would accept that invite is galling, but of course some of them already have. So here’s Warren again, distinguishing herself from many others in the 2020 field by formally adopting positions that the rest of her party should have adopted a long time ago.

In fact, the senator’s been on an absolute tear of late, throwing down one good idea after another and posting them to her Medium… a rare example of a prominent American using that platform to do something other than apologize for tweeting about molesting a parakeet. And these are not ideas that Warren has contaminated with the kind of wonk-ese that well-meaning Democrats often deploy, submarining their own rhetoric in the process. No no, she’s putting these policy positions in plain-spoken terms: the kind of forthright demeanor that some Republican would brag about having while standing on the bed of a Ford F150.

People should be paying attention to what Warren is offering. Nate Silver has lately transmogrified into your standard haughty pundit, sourcing supposedly precious electoral insight directly from his own large intestine. But while he’s busy musing and supposing, his 538 website has done some actual math and aggregated early 2020 polls, the bulk of which show Warren lagging in fourth place with support in the single digits.

There are any number of reasons for this. It could be because two of the candidates ahead of her are huge national figures who have both run in the past. It could be because Joe Biden’s name recognition alone threatens to render the entire race a formality, even as he’s out here asking to meet climate change in the middle, and sorry-not-sorrying his treatment of Anita Hill, and projecting Disney-grade fantasies about the GOP making a face turn, and cordoning himself off from voters so that he doesn’t compulsively sniff their hair. It could be because the media simply abhors Warren's ideas and would rather treat a Biden nomination as a cold dose of reality to liberals who actually want their Democrats to act like Democrats. It could be because voters are scared Trump will center his campaign around that racist-ass Pocahontas nickname he uses for Warren, or because Warren addressed the matter of her blood heritage with uncharacteristic clumsiness.

But regardless, it would be stupid to just accept Biden as an inevitability. The case for Warren is self-evident, and I’m gonna reinforce it the ethical way: by doing a listicle on the internet. Look at Warren’s platform, will you?

OPIOIDS

The Gutless Take: Opioids are bad, but weed is also bad AMIRITE?!

Warren’s Idea: $100 billion in federal funding toward addiction treatment, first responders treating overdoses, research, professional training, and more. Also, a Corporate Executive Accountability Act that would impose criminal charges on “major companies that deliberately hurt people through criminal negligence.”

Why Her Idea Is Good: Because FUCK the Sackler family, that’s why. Warren understands this innately. Any Democrat who doesn’t probably has that family’s blood money in their campaign coffers.

CHILD CARE

The Gutless Take: Can’t you just get an au pair?

Warren’s Idea: “The federal government will partner with local providers — states, cities, school districts, nonprofits, tribes, faith-based organizations — to create a network of child care options that would be available to every family… The federal government will pick up a huge chunk of the cost of operating these new high-quality options. That allows local providers to provide access for free to any family that makes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line. That means free coverage for millions of children.”

Why Her Idea Is Good: Child care cost is another financial drain that causes people heartache and robs them of the opportunity—the freedom!—to follow a desired career path, or to quit a job they despise, or to eat out a night or two a week. Wingnuts don’t care about any of this because they think your local day care center should be a profit mine, and because they think a woman working is a sin. Personally, I’m 100 percent in favor of offloading my kids to someone else, at no cost, so that I can go to the movies before lunch. THAT's how you stimulate the economy. ...
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