Now I’m beginning to question my support for Elizabeth Warren

The New York Times editorial board has published their endorsement for the Democratic party nomination, and it’s two candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. This makes no sense. We don’t get to vote for two candidates, but only one, and the problem with the Democrats right now is that they have a too-crowded field. The only way to interpret this is that the NYT wants people to split their vote in a winner-takes-all system and disrupt the process even more, effectively handing the election over to Trump.

Also, it’s clear in the write-up that they really hate and fear Bernie Sanders. Their two choices are Amy Klobuchar, because she’s as moderate as they come, and Elizabeth Warren. They promote Warren because they see all the excitement and good ideas are coming from the left, not the center, and so they are acknowledging Warren is the lesser of two evils (from their perspective) in the battle with Sanders, but they don’t want her to get too cocky or too successful either, so they balance her with a spoiler, Amy Klobuchar.

It’s a cowardly, divisive endorsement from a conservative newspaper, calculated to create more confusion than clarity. It is also effective at making me question my choices, because Warren has been my #1 preference so far, but jeez, if she has the endorsement of such a chickenshit establishment paper that hates Sanders, maybe I should join my wife in voting for Bernie in the Minnesota primary.


  1. says

    If you need more of a reason, just remember that Sanders voted against the military budget increases and Warren voted for them. Not only does the US military kill shits tons of innocent people, it’s also the organization with the largest carbon footprint on the planet. We don’t have time for that shit.

  2. says

    However Bernie Sanders come across to me as the US version of Jeremy Corbyn (without the propensity for ignoring anti-semitism). We in the UK know how well that turned out. Stick with Warren and persuede your wife to do the same.

  3. joehoffman says

    The NYT does not share our goals, so their advice should be irrelevant to our choices. Sen. Warren can do the job, and she agrees with me on over half the issues I care about. US politics isn’t going to deliver anything better, so I’m sticking with her. I don’t care if some rich person in New York wants to play 3-D chess.

  4. mistershelden says

    @3 “without the propensity for ignoring anti-semitism” That was entirely (and I mean entirely) an invention of the media. 100% false. The fact is that Jeremy supports basic human rights for Palestinians and this is beyond the pale.

  5. kome says

    Yes, support Sanders over Warren. She’s not an awful choice, but she’s not the best choice.

    @3 What anti-semitism? Corbyn was critical of Israel, not the Jewish people.

  6. specialffrog says

    @mistersheldden, kome: It wasn’t a complete invention. It was demonstrably the case that a number of senior figures in Labour bought into anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

    The media invention was that this was somehow a Labour-specific problem when not only are these views unfortunately widespread in a cross-section of UK society but the Tories have been playing footsie with various fascist and racist groups for decades.

    Corbyn could have handled the whole thing better but I agree that we should not have ended up in this ridiculous scenario where the Tories were calling Labour anti-Semitic while sharing ‘George Soros’ memes on Facebook.

  7. dianne says

    I am amused that this thread, so far, has been largely a thread about British politics. Usually it’s US politics showing up at random on a thread about politics in another country, any other country. A sign of waning US dominance?

  8. says

    It is also incredibly misogynist I mean their both women right so they must be the same just like Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Thatcher.

    A point about Corbyn and Sanders if we run away from confrontation with the right wing then we will never win anything and we will continue to lose just like we have been for the last 40 years.

    Finally, I do not see any antisemitism at all in the upper ranks of the Labour party. I have looked at the “examples” at the most they are mistakes or misunderstanding of history, but mostly they are nothing.

  9. Dunc says

    About the the closest anybody came to substantiating the claims of Corbynite anti-Semitism was stuff like “he once stood near some people who were in Facebook groups where other posters shared anti-Semitic memes”, or “a number of people who support Corbyn have in the past shared anti-Semitic memes on Facebook”. (Bearing in mind that there was a spate of pretty carefully-disguised anti-Semitic memes being spread on FB by various apparently left / atheist oriented groups a few years back – obvious enough if you know what to look for, but well enough disguised to fool the average share-happy FB user who would reply to the question “what do George Soros and Lloyd Blankfein have in common?” with a blank look and “Who?”)

  10. says

    I won’t necessarily argue with Matthew Ostergren @1 over Sanders being a better choice ideologically. I will, however, quote Amanda Marcotte’s argument in favor of Warren as it reflects why I am supporting Warren:

    What gets lost in the discussion around presidential candidates is that it’s an executive position. So it’s not just about having the right ideology. It’s about being good at enacting it: Hiring the right people, knowing what levers to pull to get things done. To me, the argument for Warren over Sanders is that: She knows better how to get things done. She created a federal bureau without even being in the Senate. She derailed Biden’s terrible bankruptcy bill twice, without being in the Senate. Imagine what she can do with real power.

    On the contrary, I am not convinced Sanders knows how to get things done. It would seem he has spent much of his life being a detractor to stand for his principles. As noble and as justified as he may be in having done so, he’s now asking us to vote him into a position where he will have to work with many of the people he has disparaged. Or he sort of has. I know he’s been making a point of getting other progressive politicians elected as part of his “political revolution,” noting that such politicians will be essential to getting a progressive agenda through Congress. I, however, do not believe that revolution is coming and certainly not in the numbers he needs. We know Republicans are going to be a roadblock for any Democrat who would be POTUS and so the POTUS is going to need about every Democrat they can get on their side. Sanders’ political revolution isn’t going to overthrow enough of the Democratic party. It probably won’t come anywhere close. He needs a backup plan and I don’t think he has one.

    Wrapping this up, I see two choices (yes, I may be overgeneralizing here…but it’s for the sake of summarizing): One is a progressive candidate whose political views align well with my own, but who may not be able to get much accomplished due to having burned too many bridges with Democrats in the center-left. The other is a generally progressive candidate who unfortunately has some center-left political views that I do not like, but stands a better chance of getting Democrats in the center-left to go along with a progressive agenda. I’m going with the second choice.

  11. says

    Dunc/Kome If you read my original post properly, I did not accuse Corbyn of being an anti-Semite, I don’t think he is and I don’t think that criticism of Israeli policies is the same as anti Semitism. I said that he and the party (my party incidentally) failed to act against obvious acts of anti Semitism by members of the party. The fact that he was also useless as a politician didn’t help.

  12. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re OP:

    Warren has been my #1 preference so far, but jeez, if she has the endorsement of such a chickenshit establishment paper that hates Sanders, maybe I should join my wife in voting for Bernie in the Minnesota primary.

    You know that is an invalid argument, IE
    ->>>> (hatred of A) + (A endorses candidate B) = (B not worthy of a vote)
    hatred doesn’t have the transitive property
    Select the candidate to get your vote regardless of who else votes for them.
    I know you, and that you were hypothesizing your primary vote rhetorically (to get me to verbalize how rhetorical it was).
    Thank you for letting me think I can speak for you.

  13. hollandheese says

    Leo @14, you are correct that the Dems are much more likely to work with Warren. But that’s because she doesn’t really want to challenge any of their power structures and is perfectly happy to be Obama 2.0. She’s already backtracked on M4A and will instead just push a public option (and would probably fail at that). She’s voted for Trump’s defense spending bills, and voted for Trump’s new NAFTA (To know how bad that is, even Chuck Schumer and Kamala Harris opposed it). Yeah, she’s more likely to get things done, but they’re much more likely to be the wrong things that will just further the divide between the poor and the rich.

    And that’s if she gets elected, which I find extremely unlikely. She and Buttigeg tend to poll poorly against Trump (in comparison to Sanders and Biden).

    Plus, she lied for decades about her “native ancestry”, I do not know how anyone could vote for her after that. The tribes have clear and defined ways to determine membership, the Cherokee (like my tribe, the Choctaw) ask that you are descended from someone on the Dawes Roll. No DNA test will help you get enrolled as a tribal member. The funny thing about the Dawes Rolls is that they were around the time when Warren’s grandparents were alive, and so if they actually were Cherokee at the time they’d be on the rolls.

  14. harryblack says

    The idea that Warren could “get things done” better than Sanders is a bit of mythology I think. She has done a great job in that regard but as a new mayor of a city where the existing bureaucracy was against him, Sanders did very well.
    He has also done well in his work to get more support for veterans and has shown that he knows how to mobilise. He has given a very plausible way of dealing with obstructive republicans and democrats.
    He has a stronger record than Warren and seems to have better judgement (look at the things he was right about decades before most of us) and much sharper instincts (going by her multiple blunders and misjudgements in the last couple of years).
    He is pro Palestinian rights and will be able to act on that without fear of anti semitism accusations (which people seem bizarrely gullible about with other politicians) and he is ANTI WAR!!!
    That is the big one. Ask yourself if you really value points A, B and C of a given 26 point plan over actually breaking the cycle of forever war, stopping war crimes being committed in your name and bringing a generation of young people home and allowing them to know peace?
    Warren is not going to stop the foreign adventures, she is just going to make them “more green”. She has compromised on nearly every one of her policies before she has even gotten the nomination, let alone gotten into office.
    Any other year she would be the best candidate by a country mile, but Bernie Sanders is just better and this is the last chance to try someone whose track record indicates he is serious about change. This is it.
    The rest of us dont get to vote for who runs the empire at whose leisure we exist.

  15. says

    Okay so I’m just gonna be honest… I lost a ton of respect for the Warren campaign recently when they claimed that Sanders told her that a woman couldn’t be president. Which he supposedly told her when he was trying to convince her to run against Hillary before he decided to run.

    You have to admit… that would have been a strange conversation…

    “Elizabeth, please… you need to run against Clinton. Not that I think you’ll win because I don’t think women are capable of being president, but you should still run.”

    Like I’m sorry but he didn’t say that. I’m not arguing that Sanders isn’t a class reductionist who clearly holds some racist and sexist views… that’s obvious. But the closest I could see Sanders getting to what the Warren campaign is claiming he said is if he were trying to discuss a strategy with her to beat the sexism of US society.

    But there’s also the fact that Warren’s backed off on M4A (which we need), has supported several of Trump’s bullshit proposals, and at the end of the day is still a Capitalist, despite Capitalism being a demonstrable evil to society (we need Socialism if for no other reason than the fact that Capitalism can not, and will not, entertain any solution to climate change).

    She’s still my second pick. I prefer Sanders, but I’ll proudly campaign and vote for Warren in the general (she’s the only other Democrat, besides Sanders, who I’ll campaign for in the general… I’ll vote for any of them in the general, though, because we need to get rid of Trump).

  16. Dunc says

    johnm55, @ #16: I wasn’t responding to your post, I was just contributing to the general Corbyn / anti-Semitism discussion. I usually explicitly indicate if I’m responding to a specific comment.

  17. anat says

    Leo Buzalsky @14: Also, Warren supports ending the filibuster, while Sanders supports keeping it.

    hollandheese @18: She is possibly correct about her ancestry, and my understanding is she never claimed tribal membership.

    Nathan @20 – wasn’t the infamous conversation allegedly held in 2018? I respect her for standing up to herself when his campaign is trying to de-legitimize her supporters.

  18. hollandheese says

    Anat @22 If you’re going to claim to be Cherokee, you’ve got to be an enrolled member (or at least eligible to be). Full Stop. No else is Cherokee. She claimed tribal membership by listing herself as Native American on employment forms and government forms.

    Also, this is a large reason why the vast majority of the left believes Sanders over Warren on the 2018 conversation. Warren has been proven to lie for personal gain.

  19. vucodlak says

    The MSM is all-in for Biden. CNN successfully torpedoed the greatest threat to the status quo, Elizabeth Warren, in the last debate, with tons of help from Russian propagandists. Now the New York Times is endorsing her to further damage Warren’s campaign in some quarters, and pull supporters away from Sanders in others. The winner of the resulting infighting is Joe Biden.

    The loser is all of humanity.

    Also, congratulations to the many, many people talking about the “Bernie said/didn’t say a woman couldn’t win the presidency:” you fell for it, exactly like you were supposed to. This story ostensibly originates with Warren campaign staffers (read: Republican/Russian/centrist trolls planted the idea to make it a big deal) and the media dutifully ran with it, despite Warren herself not wanting to make a big deal out of it.

    Did he say it? Unless video evidence emerges of him saying it, we’ll never know for sure. I’m not certain that even Warren and Sanders know the truth. It’s entirely possible that he said it. It’s entirely possible that Warren honestly misinterpreted something he said. It’s entirely possible that this whole thing originates with the servants of the status quo, and neither of them is remembering it correctly. I’m skeptical that Sanders actually said those words, but I don’t really think Warren is lying either, because that would be a colossally stupid miscalculation on her part.

    The important thing here is that if we don’t pull our shit together and stop listening to the MSM’s lies, we’re all going to die. Horribly. That’s all there is to it.

  20. anat says

    Ronald Couch @22: The whole thing about Warren supporters being more affluent and more educated than Sanders supporters. Why is any of that relevant? Especially education. Are they saying ‘support Bernie (U of Chicago, BTW), all those college graduates supporting Warren don’t know shit’? ‘All those college graduates support Warren, you can’t trust them to look out for you’? If neither of these is the intent then why use it in canvassing?

  21. consciousness razor says

    We know Republicans are going to be a roadblock for any Democrat who would be POTUS and so the POTUS is going to need about every Democrat they can get on their side. Sanders’ political revolution isn’t going to overthrow enough of the Democratic party. It probably won’t come anywhere close. He needs a backup plan and I don’t think he has one.

    He’s not Lenin, and it’s not that kind of revolution. The selling point here is that he would simply be a better president than Warren. (She is nonetheless second-best, which is in fact worse than first-best.). He’s a person whose views are more consistent with the factual, real-world, on-the-ground, everyday-person situation that we are actually in and need to deal with effectively. If you don’t forget that and don’t confuse yourself with your own assumptions (not known facts) about how the political landscape looks, the choice is very clear.
    There is also not a whole lot of difference between Sanders and Warren, with regard to a large number of issues and policy proposals — partly because she joined his very popular bandwagons and partly because she had (also, along with Sanders) been on board with some of those things for a considerable amount of time. At any rate, if he’s not already on the same “side” as the rest of the Democratic party in all of those respects, then neither is she.
    Besides, there is no legitimate plan (or backup plan) which consists of aligning with conservatives in the Republican and Democratic parties, in order to “get stuff done” in some kind of bipartisan fashion, where that stuff consists of things which actually ought to be done. If it were true that she can “get stuff done” (with for example our military-industrial complex which wants wars or our Supreme Court which is aching to end abortion, gay marriage, etc.), while Sanders could not do such things, and if this done by forming a coalition from hell with the establishment Dems and Republicans, then that is not the sort of thing which is worth doing or what we wanted done.
    So, it is not something that you could advertise as such. Not to me, at least. To me, that sounds like a more dangerous situation for us, at best a riskier one, not anything like an improvement. Perhaps only confused people like you might think that type of shit sounds just peachy, because you sorta wanted wars or hate or inequality or injustice, or whatever it is that you hope to “compromise” with your “plan.” Or it may be a different confusion, where you just think that “bridge-building” sounds nice in the abstract, without ever considering what that concretely means when the bridge has to be (by hypothesis) headed in the direction of conservatism — and not just any old conservatism but the utterly bizarre and hate-fueled conservatism represented in is the current Republican party.
    Either way, this is the same bullshit that Clintonites said in 2016, and it is still thoroughly wrong-headed. Here’s a thought: just say, in as straightforward a way as you can, what you don’t like about Sanders’ platform as compared to Warrens’. Are there any issues which you think he is wrong about, and if so, what specifically are they? Answer that simple question honestly, and you can dispense with the amateur punditry, your evidence-free predictions about the horse race, and all of your other speculation and bullshit that has little or no basis in the facts.

  22. anat says

    hollandheese @24 What benefit has Warren gained from making those claims on government and employment forms?

    I know people who use the flimsiest justification to fill such forms with something other than ‘white’. I don’t think they gain anything tangible from it, at most they ever-so-slightly mess up government statistics.

  23. petesh says

    I was firmly with Warren, then wobbled a bit, and now I’m back with Warren, because Bernie cannot control either himself or his supporters. He mishandled that whole “did he/didn’t he” kerfuffle; Warren is correct that he called her a liar on national TV, and he didn’t have to do that. Now I read that his supporters are circulating a slur against Biden that, by selective misquoting, claims he said the opposite what he said about deficits and Social Security. I’m sick of that shit.

    Even here, in this comment section, I see people excoriating Warren for the “tribal” shit that was basically drummed up by Scott Brown and exaggerated even further by Trump — for which Warren has apologized profusely, frequently, and directly to the Cherokee Nation. Stop it. Stop repeating Trump’s bullshit.

  24. anat says

    consciousness razor @27: Whoever the next Democratic president ends up being, the legislation that will pass in their time will be limited by the position of the most right-wing senator needed to pass it. With filibuster (Sanders) it is the senator #60 from the left end of the Senate, without filibuster (Warren) it is the senator #50.

  25. dianne says

    Re Warren’s ancestry: 1. Yes, she is part Cherokee, genetically. That’s all she claimed and it is true. Should she have pretended to be pure white for your comfort? 2. The fact that people are repeating her truthful statement negatively here is evidence that Trump has already run against her. There is already a meme out about her and how terrible she is. If Trump aka Putin weren’t behind it, you would have long since forgotten about it. 3. Trump has never, ever run against Sanders. The minute Sanders wins the nomination, Trump says “Bernie will raise taxes”, the US voter will faint in horror, and that will be that for the election.

  26. consciousness razor says

    With filibuster (Sanders) it is the senator #60 from the left end of the Senate, without filibuster (Warren) it is the senator #50.

    So, a President Warren could (and doesn’t merely like saying it on TV but would) eliminate the filibuster?
    Is that how it works now, that the president just decrees what the Senate rules will be?
    I did not know that. Indeed, I still don’t.
    This sounds like a problem that Senators need to sort out. (Because it is.) They’d also probably need a supermajority to do that, so good luck with your #60 Senator from the left, if that were really how things always worked on every imaginable vote. (It isn’t.)
    Anyway, if either of them became president, they would no longer be a Senator, so they would not have a Senate vote to cast on the matter. Given this, it seems like you should want Warren to stay in the Senate, not to leave her position for the presidency, so that she will be one of the people in the Senate doing that.
    Also, as far I can tell, Sanders is not opposed to ending it either, as a president or otherwise. He only said something to the effect that he would still attempt to get some important bills passed, without needing to overcome a filibuster concerning those particular bills. It seems like you’re conflating that with some kind of generic ideological support of filibusters, which he would somehow (?) leverage in his role as president (while presumably Warren wouldn’t do so). But hoping to get around it and supporting it are not even remotely the same thing.

  27. hillaryrettig says

    Vote for Bernie PZ! He’s been on the right side of nearly every issue AND avoided pretty much all the mistakes of the others. (Iraq War, etc.) Also this:

    Also notice that the Dem discussion now is HIS discussion. Medicare for All, debt relief, $15 living wage – it’s all HIS platform. And his plan for enacting everything, once elected, is to bring the debate right to the recalcitrant legislators’ districts. He got Amazon to raise worker salaries that way, I’m sure he can do the same with legislators.

    Warren voted for both of Trump’s military budgets AND last week’s massive trade deal. What’s the point in voting for Dems who rubber stamp GOP policies?

    Also I doubt Warren would win against Trump. She has massive vulnerabilities.

  28. Ed Peters says

    As far as military expenditures go, no one is going to zero it out. Thus the issue is where are we wasting money on things we’ll never need or should not ever have? I am no expert, but the thing that worries me most is we seem to have virtually no cyber-defense capability. Shouldn’t some of the DOD’s billions be spent protecting us from the only meaningful enemy attacks of the last decade? DOD should eliminate the useless macho hardware and start protecting their own damn invention – the internet.

  29. katahdin says

    “ The only way to interpret this is that the NYT wants people to split their vote in a winner-takes-all system and disrupt the process even more, effectively handing the election over to Trump. “

  30. says

    Anat @ 26. So you are angry at Bernie’s supporters, not at this policies? Also, by the way if you look back at the coalitions that elected FDR, Truman, and JFK/LBJ you will find that they were not the college educated, but rather the workers.

  31. hollandheese says

    anat @ 26 The reason well-off college educated whites are mostly supporting Warren rather than Bernie is because they aren’t as hurt by the ravages of capitalism as the poor. No matter who wins most of them will be just fine, so they really don’t want to rock the boat. It’s not that they know “more”, it’s that their class interests want to maintain the status quo.

    Dianne @ 31 DNA tests can not show what tribe your ancestor was from. So no, it didn’t prove anything of the sort. Further look at what happened to Rachel Dolezal and see just how easy Warren got off from her claims. Is it more okay to pretend to be Native than Black?

  32. nomdeplume says

    Warren would be good enough, but Sanders would be better. Scary to see even on a thread such as this that people have adopted the “Corbyn anti-Semitic” slur pushed by the right-wing media.

  33. dianne says

    @39: A person is only a member of a given tribe if they have a tribal affiliation. So no, Warren is not a member of any Cherokee tribe. Nor did she claim she was. She claimed that family oral history stated that they were descended from Cherokees. Which she is. Dolezal has no ancestors that came to the Americas directly from Africa. Warren has ancestors that came to the Americas in the pre-columbian era. See the difference? And the difference in the claims? No?

  34. dianne says

    Also, can we have a little realism about Sanders? He’s a successful mainstream politician. His best rating from the NRA is a “B”. His claim to have always voted against the Hyde amendment is true only if you consider bills that address the Hyde amendment alone. If you include all bills (i.e. HHS funding bills), his record is far more mixed. In short, he would be a good president, but not a revolutionary, rule changing, institution burning president. Which, as far as I’m concerned, is one of the best reasons to vote for him. We have a rule changing institution burning president right now. It’s not working out.

  35. vucodlak says

    @ katahdin, #37


    Well… yeah? It’s entirely possible that the people responsible for this article have their heads so far up their own asses that they think Biden has the best chance of beating Trump, but that’s bullshit. Biden is by far the weakest of the frontrunners, and he’s second only to Bloomberg if we add in the semi-plausible nominee longshots. The only chance Biden has of winning the general is if the voter’s loathing of Trump overcomes his enormous negatives. His nomination will be a giant middle finger to everyone except the old, white cis-men of the Democratic Party, and that’s a demographic that overwhelmingly supports Trump.

    So yes, endorsing both Warren and Klobuchar helps Biden, and helping Biden is helping Trump. If the NYT actually wanted to dethrone Trump, they’d pick ONE candidate with a decent chance of beating him. The best two people for that job, of the remaining candidates, are Warren and Sanders. Alternately, just coming out against Biden (and Bloomberg, for good measure) would have been helpful.

  36. anat says

    Ronald Couch @38: Not ‘Bernie supporters’, but ‘Bernie campaign staffers’. Additionally I have issues with Bernie himself. I don’t trust his hiring practices, and I don’t have a sense he understands that people have concerns besides and on top of economic ones, sometimes ones that matter more than economic concerns.

  37. dianne says

    2016: We’re not against a woman running for president. It’s just that Hillary…
    2020: We’re not against a woman running for president. It’s just that Warren…(And Harris, etc.) Just never quite the right one, huh?

  38. says
    Note: The above is by an actual Cherokee genealogist.

    Warren is an fraud* who benefited from (and in the process, likely denied it to an actual minority) for ten years and was conned into revealing it by trump at the advice of podcast hosts. She is both morally repulsive and would be summarily dismantled by The Orange One as that test is perhaps the ONLY time Trump has ever won a contest of wits with someone.

    She will go down in history as the greatest democratic self-owner, as this will eclipse The Dean Scream by a large margin, as that was just a… silly expression of enthusiasm.

    *She’s less Cherokee then I’m a Mi’kmaq FFS, and I don’t make noises about being native, let alone the citizenship rules.

  39. hollandheese says

    @41 from

    “In 1836, Warren’s great-great-great-grandfather, a white man named William Marsh, enlisted himself in a Tennessee militia to fight in the “Cherokee War,” an occupation of Cherokee land in the lead-up to the Trail of Tears. Decades later, his grandson John Houston Crawford moved his family onto Indian Territory and squatted on Cherokee land in a move that, with no record of a permit, was almost certainly illegal.

    The Crawfords were just some of the tens of thousands of white squatters who outnumber Cherokees on our own land. While Cherokee Nation beseeched Congress to enforce our treaty rights and kick them out, the squatters pushed Congress to divide up our treaty territory and create a path to white land ownership; the squatters won.

    The Crawfords settled in the new state of Oklahoma. They lived among Indians, but it wasn’t always peaceful. In 1906, John Crawford shot a Creek man for hitting his son. According to The Boston Globe, his son, Rosco, would later tell stories about how “mean” the Indians were. But one of Crawford’s grandchildren, Pauline Reed, told a very different story. Not a story of living among Indians, a story of being Indian.

    Pauline’s youngest child, Elizabeth, grew up with her mother’s version of the story. And though the family had no evidence or relationship to the tribe, Elizabeth Warren never questioned it, she wrote in her memoir. It was her family story, she would say.”

    Warren continued this lie and has done nothing to help Native communities. She and people who falsely claim native heritage do irreparable harm to Native sovereignty.

  40. susans says

    Multiple posters, you are conflating tribal membership with American Indian ancestry. They are not the same thing. There are unknown numbers of American Indians who are not enrolled members of any tribe. In living memory, there are tribes that have changed criteria for enrollment and have enrolled/disenrolled people known to be Indian, for various reasons.

  41. VolcanoMan says

    Essay below…sorry, I got worked up, and 1,500 words just…sprang onto the page.

    I’m not American, but I still did the WaPo quiz, mostly to see what the candidates believe, but also to see with whom I align most. And surprisingly, it was Warren (17 of 20…Biden was least at 3 of 20). But there is a sort of deal-breaker that I really don’t understand, that PZ didn’t mention: she (and basically every other candidate except Yang) is not only NOT supportive of the expansion of nuclear power generation, she wants to phase it out completely. Unfortunately, she is 100% wrong on this. There is no way to phase out nuclear without increasing our reliance on fossil fuels. Just look at the climate disaster Germany has recently created, having committed to closing all of its nuclear plants in the wake of Fukushima – the earthquake and tsunami risk in Germany is negligible, so the closure of the nuclear plants was profoundly irrational, and it’s unsurprisingly led to a massive increase in COAL burning to meet the nation’s electricity needs. Even if such an increase is temporary, and renewables are able to take over some of that ground after a couple decades (which is the absolute best-case scenario…VERY unlikely), that carbon will still be in the atmosphere, warming the planet. We need to stop burning coal, oil, and natural gas, by any means necessary. Full stop. And the only way to achieve this without changing the very structure of our civilization, is to expand nuclear.

    “But what about the waste?” I can hear them cry. “And there might be meltdowns!” These are real issues to be sure, but it’s important to remember just how much HARM the combustion of fossil fuels is doing every single day. MILLIONS of people are dying annually from the extraction, transport and combustion of fossil fuels. Air pollution (from coal, oil, natural gas and biomass) alone accounts for ~4 to 8 MILLION deaths annually (and that’s a conservative estimate), 100,000 of which are Americans. Add in the deaths due to contamination of groundwater from fracking and leaking oil pipelines, and the deaths that climate change itself will cause (indeed, is already causing), and it is clear that our reliance on fossil fuels is likely to eventually kill someone we care about (if it doesn’t kill us first!). Increasing our use of this resource in order to phase out nuclear power will therefore have a disastrous impact on tens of millions of people.

    Contrast this to the fact that the commercial production of nuclear power has not been proven to have killed ANY American (even the exposure that people near Three Mile Island endured was just 1/6th the amount of radiation delivered in a single chest X-ray). The worst nuclear accident ever (Chernobyl) only killed a maximum of 4,000 people (and that estimate has been called into serious question, so take this as a FIRM upper limit on the deaths…a few hundred deaths is more probable). And the incident at Fukushima, which was basically a worst-case scenario (how many plants are at risk of both earthquakes AND tsunami, and how common are earthquakes and tsunami that are severe enough to overwhelm safety systems designed to handle all but the most extreme of disasters?) has not killed a single person yet. So even if the anti-nuke peoples’ fears are proven correct, and one or two ageing American power plants kept open to replace the additional burning of fossil fuels do end up having incidents (even full-blown meltdowns) the impact (in lives lost/shortened and land contaminated) would be a tiny fraction of the impact fossil fuels have on society annually. It’s the whole “fear of flying” issue all over again – driving cars is one of the most risky things we do, and yet it’s planes, with their infrequent crashes (/infrequent accidental destruction by anti-aircraft missiles) that people fear. We accept a MUCH greater risk because it’s common, and avoid taking a miniscule risk, because it’s rare. We’re surprisingly stupid for a supposedly double-wise (sapiens sapiens) species.

    Even if environmentalists do manage to get people to reduce their consumption of electricity (which has the implicit, and profoundly unfair requirement that developing nations, which have never been massive consumers of power, don’t get the opportunity to enjoy the kind of growth we’ve had in the developed world which was largely due to our profligate use of fossil fuels), with present technology there is no way for renewables to fully meet even a strongly reduced demand (unless the reduction is wholly unrealistic…like 90% or something). Moreover, the construction of more hydroelectric dams (which can actually be MASSIVE sources of both carbon dioxide and methane) to replace some of the fossil fuels we are trying not to burn, isn’t a great idea – many of the areas that rely on hydro are also forecasted to have a diminished hydrological cycle in the near future DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE. So the power these dams generate will be reduced since less rain will be falling at higher altitudes. Renewables are simply not enough.

    Finally, there are ways to make nuclear much safer. Firstly, we need to invest in molten salt reactors (MSRs). These are capable of using thorium (which has a fertile isotope that can be turned into nuclear fuel, and is much more naturally-abundant than uranium), and decommissioned nuclear weapons, as fuel. The waste that an MSR produces can also be MUCH less dangerous than that of traditional heavy and light-water reactors, most of it remaining harmful for 3 or 4 centuries instead of thousands of centuries (it is much easier to design a storage system that keeps nuclear waste safely isolated for a few hundred years than it is for a few tens of thousands of years). This does depend on the nature of the fuel that is used though, and the design of the reactor itself (and there are many variants of this type of reactor). Secondly, there are nuclear reactor designs (including PRISM, a modular sodium-cooled fast-breeder reactor) that are able to use dangerous nuclear waste (particularly plutonium isotopes, which are hazardous for tens of thousands of years) as fuel, transforming it into less dangerous isotopes with shorter half-lives. Doing this would enable us to get more energy out of the same unit of uranium fuel, making the process much more efficient. So it is totally feasible to keep running the existing reactors, accumulating waste whilst building next-generation reactors which will eventually run on thorium and existing high-level nuclear waste. And as a bonus, MSRs don’t use fluids under high pressures (making explosions unlikely), AND they have a failsafe that doesn’t rely on pumped coolant circulating through the reactor. If the power goes off and circulation stops, the heat melts a plug, allowing the fuel (a fluid) to disperse into several tanks, none of which is large enough for fission to be maintained. Once there they just cool off and remain safe until they can be processed. Sodium-cooled fast reactors are less safe (as they rely on molten sodium, a highly reactive metal that must be isolated from air and water), but they are still much safer than existing plants. Moreover, the need to develop nuclear-waste storage sites, and the land that will be taken up to do so, is a small price to pay to remove the sum total of the impacts of the fossil fuel-burning we currently do. It’s a price we need to be willing to pay, even if a waste-storage site ends up in our province or state.

    The take-home point is that if we invest as much money in this technology as has been invested in renewables, the use of fossil fuels for electricity production would become TOTALLY unnecessary – in as little as 15 years we could be seeing the first next-generation reactors come online, and within a generation, fossil fuel-burning power plants would be a relic of the past. As an added incentive, achieving all of this would create a huge number of jobs, as massive infrastructure projects tend to do…and even more jobs would result from the creation of green public transport options like LRT. Plus, this all needs to be combined with a society-wide shift to the use of electric vehicles (which are getting better and better as new technologies are employed – they aren’t a complete replacement for gas vehicles now, but they will become so in as little as a decade). Your electric car is only as green as the power you put into it, and meeting our electricity needs without burning fossil fuels would make essentially all private transport carbon-neutral.

    We should be terrified of climate change, especially the possibility that ~4 degrees of warming comes to pass (which is a conservative estimate of where we’ll be by the end of the century if we don’t take drastic actions). We should be especially alarmed at some of the most populous cities in the world going underwater (this is basically inevitable at this point…wave goodbye to Florida and Bangladesh as well!), of the mass migration that this creates, and the resultant conflict (including actual wars being fought). We should be doing everything in our power to ensure that we mitigate these impacts while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels as much as possible, and concurrently removing the greenhouse gases that are already there (via carbon capture and planting more trees). Even though Warren and Sanders are the most progressive candidates, and even IF one of them manages to beat the orange one (and manages to enact a good portion of their plans, which in itself is unlikely), by denying the need for nuclear, their presidency will contribute to the destruction of our species. Renewables are simply NOT enough to replace the fossil fuel energy that our societies rely on. By refusing to acknowledge this, these politicians are helping to doom our children and grandchildren to a hell on Earth, ending with our own extinction, if not as a species (we’re pretty resilient…I wouldn’t be surprised if some people manage to survive the doomsday climate scenario), then at least as a civilization. This isn’t scaremongering; it is the truth. It’s about time we take this seriously.

  42. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Support who you like in the primary. In the general, it’s vote blue, no matter who.

  43. John Morales says



    blockquote>There is no way to phase out nuclear without increasing our reliance on fossil fuels.



    Sure there is; as renewable resources (production, storage, distribution) increase, a concomitant decrease (however granular, after all, nuclear power plants are super big and super expensive) would not lessen the sum total.


    If your premise is unsound, your conclusion is not valid.

  44. says

    Several right-wing Tory-linked groups have come out, post election, and bragged that the antisemitism smear was used to smear Corbyn and it worked perfectly. It is also clear that the operation could not have succeeded without the assistance of Blairite right-wing Labour members who resented Corbyn. There has already been a trial balloon for accusing Sanders of antisemitism, which of course failed because he’s Jewish and had relatives who died in concentration camps.

    Given that we now live in a world where unfounded smears are weaponized by right-wingers and assisted by “centrist” members of opposition parties, and that Warrren’s campaign contains centrist former Clinton supporters, and also that the sexism claims as reported by CNN originated not with Warren but with her campaign members, I would like to register a suggestion that accusing Sanders of sexism is a deliberate attempt to split the left in the US and render both Warren and Sanders unelectable, being driven by Republicans and abetted by right-of-center Democrats.

    (And I also: the fact that Warren’s campaign is more supported by the “centrist” Democrats and is therefore at least plausibly susceptible to suborning by people who really prefer Biden is one of the reasons why, although I would be willing to vote for her in the general, I really don’t support her in the primaries. She’s already pushing rightward on policy, and her recent, post-Republican history includes not just voting for expanded military budgets but also things like repeated votes for extensions to the PATRIOT Act. She just does not have Sanders’ judgement.)

    (Oh, and finally: Warren is lying outright about the Native American thing. You can go look at the form she filled out, multiple “real” sites such as the Washington Post have pictures. She claimed, outright, that her primary, identify-me-as-this-on-the-census race was “Native American”. There was absolutely no way that that could have been done by accident out of a mistaken belief that she had a small amount of native ancestry in the past — it had to be an outright lie. I’m not happy about that, but on the other hand when you compare it to the whoppers that Joe Biden and the Clintons serve up on a regular basis it’s a drop in the bucket.)

  45. snuffcurry says

    It is also effective at making me question my choices, because Warren has been my #1 preference so far, but jeez, if she has the endorsement of such a chickenshit establishment paper that hates Sanders, maybe I should join my wife in voting for Bernie in the Minnesota primary.

    The most important thing is that your grievance is sated against the establishment that also failed to endorse Sanders last time. No one could have predicted, etc.

  46. KG says

    Renewables are simply NOT enough to replace the fossil fuel energy that our societies rely on. – VolcanoMan@50

    [citation needed]
    For a contrary view, see for example Deng et al. (2015) “Quantifying a realistic, worldwide wind and solar electricity supply”, Global Environmental Change 31:239-252. I don’t particularly want to get into an argument about nuclear power, but this is only one of many dubious claims in your screed.

    For the record, I agree that Germany should not have committed to closing nuclear power plants prematurely.

  47. says

    @#51, a_ray_in_dilbert_space:

    “Blue no matter who” was always a slogan with an unspoken “(but only for you)” at the end of it. Hillary Clinton has come out with a strong statement against Sanders, today, to the surprise of nobody who has paid any attention to her actual political career (as opposed to her rhetoric).

    “Blue no matter who” inevitably means “all you people who don’t like our right-of-center ‘Centrists’, make sure you vote for them anyway even though they are consistently wrong and keep steering the party in unpopular directions — and we won’t give you a damn thing in return”. F*ck the centrists. If the candidate isn’t Sanders or Warren, the Democrats won’t be worth voting for again.

  48. says

    A few things:

    1) There is zero evidence that Elizabeth Warren is Native American. None. The “test” that she took found Cherokee genes in a fucking dog. Given that fact, the test can be ignored. Elizabeth Warren lied about her heritage to take advantage of a hiring practice.

    Just accept it and move on.

    2) Sanders did not “fuck up” this thing about what Warren’s campaign claims he said. Of course he fucking denied it. That does have the unfortunate side-effect of calling Warren’s campaign out as a liar. But what did you want Sanders to do… admit he said something he probably didn’t?

    3) On the flipside, the Bernie Bros are clearly out in force being toxic assholes just as they were in 2016. Plus, it’s clear that Sanders is a Class Reductionist.

    4) Okay here comes a rant…

    If you refuse to vote for Democrats in the general if anyone but Sanders or Warren wins…

    Not even Biden would be worse than Trump already is. He has to go. I don’t care if a literal bag of dog shit wins the democratic nomination, you better fucking vote for that bag of dog shit in the general. I don’t know what more Trump has to do to prove that he is such a clear and present danger that literally any fucking Democrat is a better pick, no matter what. Does he have to start killing people? He already is. Does he have to open concentration camps? We’ve got them. Does he have to commit war crimes? He’s been doing that since he got in office. Does he have to legitimize Nazis? Look around you… they fucking love him because he’s legitimized them.

    We’re hurtling towards another civil war… one which many groups in this country already think they’re fucking fighting. Four more years of Donald Trump will make that civil war real. If Donald Trump wins another four years, I promise you all, he will be the last president this country ever has.

    We cannot afford another four years of Trump. Support whoever you want in the primary. But you damn well better vote Democrat in the general… unless you want the blood that will be spilt under another Trump term on your hands…

  49. vucodlak says

    @ Nathan, #59

    I will vote for Biden, Buttigieg, or Klobuchar if it comes down to it, but the only thing that will do is kick the can down another 4 to 8 years. Then someone worse than Trump will take office, just in time for climate change to really start hitting the planet hard, and we’ll have our war. Worse than war- there’s virtually no chance that we’ll avoid nuclear Armageddon.

    “Voting blue no matter who” is a strategy that will give us more time to prepare, but that’s it. Nothing less than vast, sweeping change has a hope of stopping what’s coming, and while I’m well aware that Warren and Sanders probably won’t succeed in bringing the change we need, none of the others have the stomach to even suggest that they’ll try.

    Take Amy Klobuchar. Her response to those who say we have ten years to reduce emissions by ninety percent is to propose a plan that will reduce emissions by forty-five percent in thirty years. For this ludicrous garbage she’s hailed as a brave realist.

    Or how about Joe Biden, who thinks that the only problem with the Republican Party is Donald Trump. He believes that they’ll be reasonable people when Trump is gone, and he’ll waste his entire term trying to reach across the aisle to a group of omnicidal sociopaths.

    Buttigieg? He won’t do anything that might upset the corporate overlords.

    Bloomberg? The bigoted-asshole-megabillionaire-New-Yorker? He’s the one person who can and will lose the election to Trump by a landslide. There is no chance what-so-ever that Bloomberg can win the general.

    If one of those centrist boobs takes office, then get ready for the end of the world.

  50. says

    @#59, Nathan:

    Biden has literally said that if he is elected, there will be no significant changes. And that’s something he said a couple of years into Trump’s administration. He will be as bad as Trump — arguably worse, because (like the Clintons) he will cripple the Democrats who ought to be the opposition to that sort of thing.

    And Buttigieg? The man has already blatantly changed his campaign policies directly and immediately in response to getting large campaign contributions from the 1%. He’s practically corruption personified, in the usual centrist “what I did was technically legal, even if it was ethically reprehensible, so everybody has to pretend I’m a decent person” way. (And, incidentally, the tendency of the Democratic rank and file to deliberately conflate “legal” with “acceptable” when centrists pull sh*t like that, and then defend cretinous or horrifying behavior, is the equivalent of Republicans cheering on anybody who “triggers the libs”.)

    Frankly, the Democrats have made themselves part of the problem. We’re in this position because of 30 years of Centrist idiocy. I refuse to reward them with my vote if they don’t stop doing that, which means: no more idiot centrists. If the Clinton camp hadn’t killed the careers of everybody who wasn’t their crony, so that we had some Gen X Democrats of national standing, I’d even go so far as to say “no more Baby Boomers”, but unfortunately we’re stuck with the best of a ludicrously pathetic lot. Sanders would not be my first choice — but he’s apparently the only person who actually withstood decades of centrist undermining of New Deal policies and politicians, and he only managed to do it by staying an Independent. (And that, in fact, is an indictment of the Democratic Party all by itself.)

    Centrists have been wrong at every step of the way. Every centrist policy which has not been shared by non-centrist Democrats has been a failure or worse. (Hell, the decision to do nothing about the Greenhouse Effect in the 1990s, when it would have been much easier and smaller actions would have had more impact, was a Clintonian policy which, they explained, had to happen because doing something serious about carbon dioxide emissions might have hurt the economy.) If you aren’t fighting the centrists as well as the Republicans, you might as well give up.

  51. says

    @ The Vicar #61:

    “He will be as bad as Trump — arguably worse, because (like the Clintons) he will cripple the Democrats who ought to be the opposition to that sort of thing.”

    Uh, no. Stop right there.

    Before you can say anyone is worse than Trump, you’ll have to say why. And not just some vague miasma of guilt concerning “The Clintons.” Holy Hell, Hillary Clinton was probably the best-qualified candidate to ever run for the office. I know she’s barely left of center. I know conservatives have spent the last 25 years in perpetual character-assassination mode.

    I know both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have supported things with which you and I both disagree. War, probably being the primary one. Let’s say, extra-judicial drone strikes as a specific here.

    I only say that because Obama had the same problems.

    Or you might be thinking the super-predator propaganda of the ’80s. And yeah. that was bad. I really can’t defend that.

    But worse than Trump?

    Every single issue you have with Biden or Hillary is evident ten-fold in Trump. There’s not a single issue you can articulate against either Clinton or Biden that Trump doesn’t manifest in an extreme degree. AND he’s spent the last three years deconstructing our State Department, so at the same time he’s randomly assassinating high-ranking officials of other countries, he’s blown up the only avenue of statesmanship to repair any damage he’s doing.

    Meanwhile, he’s trying to fucking electrocute NATO. And rolling back environmental standards.

    So, no. Don’t even try to argue that Biden is as bad as Trump. Because he FUCKING ISN’T.

    You might not agree with him on many issues. But trying to say he’d be WORSE THAN TRUMP is just fucking intentionally ignorant.

    Centrists might be wrong on every decision. But they haven’t been intentionally vindictive and spiteful. Trying to say “wrong” is worse than “fucking hateful” is just bullshit.

  52. says

    The Vicar @ #61:

    The fact that you think any single candidate currently running for president could actually be worse than Trump really tells me all I need to know about you.

    Literally no one will be worse than Trump. Trump is the worst president of my lifetime (I was born in 1987) at the very least. Any Democrat will be better. Trump has already done enough to prove that he’s worse. Wake the fuck up. Trump will be the end of this nation. You cannot say the same about a single Democrat.

    Not one.

  53. lotharloo says

    @Natha, Avo, also nigelTheBold

    I agree that very very few people can be “worse than Trump” but I also think that Vicar has a point. It’s better to think about it as shifting of overton window. E.g., when Trump proposes tax cuts, the left, the Democrats and the opposition can fight it, remember it and vow to reverse it when they have the power. But when Democrats do the similar things, i.e., when Obama made most of Bush tax-cuts permanent, there was no opposition. Obama by giving in to right-wing policies, pushed the overton window to the right.

    I guess what I’m saying is that if your supposed “left” politicians do right-wing policies, even if those policies are better than the policies of the actual right-wingers, then we are losing something.

  54. says

    @lotharloo, #64:

    That is a reasonable argument. It is also fallacious. To claim that Obama was worse than Trump because he gave in to political pressure, while dismissing the fact that Bush and Trump did the same thing willingly, ignores at least one axis of morality.

    My point was entirely about the Overton window. Any time someone says, “This person to the left of the Overton window is worse than this person on the right of the Overton window, because hand-waved reasons,” I get just a little bit irate. It’s not just illogical, it’s just not even in the realm of rationality. It’s so wrong, it’s no longer subject to any kind of rational rubrik.

    And that’s what’s happened here. I watched it in 2016, when Bernie Bros said Hillary was worse than Trump. And I’m seeing it here, right now, where a maybe-Bernie-Bro, maybe troll, is saying the same thing about Biden. It’s not even conceivably a true statement, and yet there it is.

    I voted for Bernie in the 2016 primary. I didn’t expect he’d win, but I wanted his voice to be heard. Then after Hillary got the nod, he disappointed me. He said that maybe his supporters wouldn’t vote for Hillary. He’s out of the picture, and he’s fucking disparaging the Democrat candidate. And provides coverage for his disappointed supporters to do the same.

    Then it became clear the Russians helped garner support for Bernie, to split the Democrat votes, an sow discord. Which they achieved. There’s not way to tell if Russian use of Bernie changed the outcome, but I can definitely say, the Bernie-or-bust people who refused to vote for Clinton didn’t help.

    And neither did Bernie.

    Ultimately my criticism is, NOBODY COULD POSSIBLY BE WORSE THAN TRUMP. Even Biden. And I have several and severe criticisms of Biden. But I’m not making them here, because all that can do is reduce his chances of winning the election. And if he gets the Primary nod, he’s the one I’m voting for, whether I think he’s a really-out-of-touch-warmonger or not.

    You got a gripe with that? Give me a real reason Biden is worse than Trump. Not some, “Oh, the Democrats are weak.” Which is essentially your argument.

    A weak resistance is far better than a strong fascism.

    (For the record: I’m for Warren. She’s savvy and has proven her political mettle. And I like what she represents.)

  55. says


    Lol at writing off the fact that the female options were: A transphobic cop in favor of using prisoners as forest fire fighters, a worker abuser and a Plastic Indian whose been known as such for 12 years and got owned by Trump in the first time he has ever won a contest of wits.

    Content of character matters.

  56. says

    If we were talking about a random woman from the population I grant that it wouldn’t be a reasonable assumption that you’d get someone with less overall negatives than Trump. But we’re not talking about random women from the population and while their negatives are worth shaming, that Trump comparison is crap. And I’m not willing to say that assuming the benefits of a woman’s perspective is irrational.

  57. stroppy says

    Who gets elected president means nothing if Republicans aren’t swept out of offices across the board.

    And is it just me, or am I hearing a lot of bitter divisiveness that more or less adds up to active voter suppression? Way to push the Russo-Republican agenda…