Elizabeth Warren on Principles & Values
Massachusetts Senator; former head of CFPB; Dem. Presidential Challenger
So far as I know, no one ever asked the men in the in the 2020 race if they felt they were treated differently because they were men. And if that sounds like whining , please reread the preceding paragraph.
We also need to commit ourselves to the act of planning. Planning makes our Democracy work. When candidates stand up and say, "here's what's wrong, and here's what I plan to do to fix it", then voters have real choices. Plans give us the chance to voice our opinions as a nation and show us the way to meet those ambitions. And as time goes on , plans allow us to hold elected officials accountable and stay on track as we make change.
So far as I know, no one ever asked the men in the in the 2020 race if they felt they were treated differently because they were men. And if that sounds like whining, please reread the preceding paragraph.
We also need to commit ourselves to the act of planning. Planning makes our Democracy work. When candidates stand up and say, "here's what's wrong, and here's what I plan to do to fix it", then voters have real choices. Plans give us the chance to voice our opinions as a nation and show us the way to meet those ambitions. And as time goes on, plans allow us to hold elected officials accountable and stay on track as we make change.
WARREN: My motto is Mathew 25, and that is, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of these, the least of thy brethren, ye have done it unto me." For me this is about how we treat other people and how we lift them up. That is why I am in this fight. That is why I am running to be president, and it is why I will be an effective president.
WARREN: Yes, I was. I learned that you never give up. You never give up on someone else, because that's what being a teacher is all about, that you try and you try, and sometimes you don't seem to be there. But that means it's up to me then to try another way. I learned no matter how hard it gets, you just don't give up. Never give up.
Warren responded, "Michael Bloomberg may think he doesn't need people to win this election--he just needs bags of money. He's wrong. That's why I'm investing in meeting thousands of voters, taking over 85,000 selfies, and building a grassroots movement that will fight for big, structural change."
WARREN: Of course I will.
WARREN: The obvious answer is to say, "First, read the Mueller report, all 442 pages of it." That showed how the president tried to obstruct justice, and when Congress failed to act at that moment, and that the president felt free to break the law again and again and again. And that's what's happened with Ukraine. We have to establish the principle: no one is above the law. We have a constitutional responsibility, and we need to meet it. But I want to add:
V.P Joe BIDEN: Because I've watched it, I know what the job is. One of the reasons I'm running is because of my age and my experience. With it, comes wisdom.
Q [to WARREN]: You would be the oldest president ever inaugurated on a first term. You'll be 71. 40% of Democratic primary vot think a candidate under the age of 70 is more likely to defeat President Trump. What do you say to them?
WARREN: I say I will out-work, out-organize and outlast anyone, and that includes Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or whoever the Republicans get stuck with. Democrats will win when we fight for the things that touch people's lives, things like childcare and healthcare and housing costs, Democrats will win when we give people a reason to get in the fight.
Senate Rule 19 prohibits impugning another senator's conduct as unbecoming, which basically meant that Warren wasn't allowed to call out a fellow Senator who had an atrocious track record, simply because he was a Senator. So, what was the excerpt that caused so much drama? She stated boldly, "Mr. Sessions had used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by Black citizens."
The 49-43 party line objection silenced Senator Warren; Majority Leader McConnell said, "Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted. " Those three seemingly insignificant words instantly turned into an internet tag line.
"Bernie has to speak to what Democratic Socialism is," replied Warren. The interview asked, "And you are not one?"
"I am not. And the centrists have to speak to whatever they are doing. What I can speak is to is how I am doing," Warren said.
She continued: "All I can tell you is what I believe. And that is there is an enormous amount to be gained from markets. That markets create opportunities. Markets have to have rules. They have to have a cop on the beat," she said, adding that "markets without rules are theft."
Think how often you've heard these words used about women who lead: angry, strident, feisty, difficult, irritable, bossy, brassy, emotional, abrasive, high-maintenance, ambitious. The linguist George Lakoff both identified this problem and embodied it when he said about Senator Elizabeth Warren, "Elizabeth has a problem. She is shrill, and there is a prejudice against shrill women."
I know it sounds nuts. How could I have said yes? I was halfway to graduation and my teaching certificate. But I didn't hesitate to drop out of college and marry Jim.
For 19 years I had absorbed the lesson that the best and the most important thing any girl could do was "marry well." And for 19 years I had also absorbed the message that I was a pretty iffy case--not very pretty, not very flirty, and definitely not very good at making boys feel like they were smarter than I was. So when Jim popped the question, I was so shocked that it took me about a nanosecond to say yes.
I was going to get to be a wife & mother, after all. I was walking on air. And that whole plan to go to college and teach? My mother had predicted that it would go away, and now I supposed she was right. I finished up my degree with correspondence courses.
We believe in that America. That is the America we fight for.
We believe, but we are worried--worried that those opportunities are slipping away. In fact, a lot of America is worried--worried and angry. Angry that far too often Washington works for those at the top and leaves everyone else behind.
I laid it out as best I could. This is about our values, I said, about the things we believe in, the reasons we get up every day and work as hard as we can. About debt-free college and expanded Social Security. About science and climate change. About our capacity to invest together to create something better.
We believe that millionaires and billionaires and giant corporations should not be able to buy our elections and our politicians. Corporations are not people.
Who benefits? I'll tell you exactly who benefits: When we turn on each other, bankers can run our economy for Wall Street. When we spend our energy attacking immigrants, oil companies can fight off clean energy. When we argue over who got more crumbs of food stamps, giant corporations can ship the last good jobs overseas. When we turn on each other, rich guys can push through more tax breaks for themselves.
We've also got to be prepared to lose some battles. Without control of Congress or the White House, we will often come up short. We simply don't have the tools and the weapons to win every time. But that doesn't mean we are powerless. It doesn't mean we should not fight back.
To rebuild an economy that works for everyone--we need to be clear about our values. We need, in other words, to be clear about our core principles.
We stand up and we fight back--and we do so on a very personal level. We start with clarity about the principle we are fighting for: everybody counts and everybody gets a chance to build something. Or to say it another way: America must be a country that respects every human being and that builds opportunity not just for some of us, but for all of us. We fight for a country we can believe in.
Collective action begins with individual action, and each of us must find our own way to speak up.
Our country's future is not determined by some law of physics. It's not determined by some preordained path. It's not even determined by Donald Trump. Our country's future is up to us. We can let the great American promise die or we can fight back. Me? I'm fighting back.
This fight is our fight.
WARREN: I think it's four [years]..
Q: What drew you to the GOP and why did you leave?.
WARREN: I was originally an independent. I was with the GOP for a while because I really thought that it was a party that was principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets. And I feel like the GOP party just left that. That they moved to a party that said, no, it's not about a level playing field, it's now about a field that has gotten tilted. And they really stood up for the big financial institutions when the big financial institutions are just hammering middle class American families. You know, I just feel like that's a party that moved way, way away.
Reverend Culpepper at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church offered me wise counsel: Be still and listen. Have faith. Let people know your heart. As the campaign progressed, I found myself thinking about Reverend Culpepper's words time and again.
I carried my King James Bible to services, the same one I'd carried since 4th grade. Sometimes the pastor called on me to speak. I'd never spoken to a whole congregation. But I talked about my favorite Bible verse, Matthew 25:40. Its message was very simple: The Lord calls us to action. It's what we DO that matters most.
[Matthew 25:40 "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."]
When I decided to run for the Senate in 2012, I never thought that my family's Native American heritage would come under attack and my dead parents would be called liars. I never expected my academic career to become the stuff of right-wing conspiracy theories. And I never expected the President of the United States to use my family's story as a racist political joke against Native American history, culture, and people--over, and over, and over.
I took the extra step and did a DNA test. It contains Native American ancestry. The first Native American in our family that can be proved is generations back, and there could be others. No matter. It's my family, and--like it or not Donald Trump--my family's stories are supported by this test.
"The Globe found clear evidence that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman."
I'm not afraid of the facts, so today we're launching a new Fact Squad website for anyone who wants see the facts for themselves: http://www.elizabethwarren.com/heritage
This new website has more than you'd ever want to know: It has personnel files. It has interviews with the people who hired me, and my own family members.
"At the same time she claims she is so outraged, her campaign is sending out fundraising emails using the term 'Pocahontas,'" Republican state Rep. Geoff Diehl said. Trump again used Pocahontas to refer to Warren during a recent White House event honoring Navajo Code Talkers. Later that day, Warren emailed supporters referencing the comment and soliciting campaign donations.
Warren has said she never relied on her Native American heritage to gain any advantage. In a 2012 interview with the AP, Warren said she was told her mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware. "I never used it to get anything. I didn't use it to get a job. I didn't use it to get into school," she said Monday. "The people who have hired me have made that clear."
Republicans also accused me of using my background to get ahead, but that simply wasn't true. It wasn't a question of whether I COULD have sought advantage--I just didn't. I never asked for special treatment when I applied to college, to law school, or for jobs. As the story broke and people dug through my background, every place that hired me backed that up 100%--including the Harvard hiring committee. Harvard told the media they didn't know about my background when they hired me; they offered me a job because they thought I was a good law professor. Period.
But the facts didn't slow the Republicans down, and their attacks continued. Right-wing blogs took to calling me "Fauxcahontas."
Warren said that her parents told her growing up that her mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware Indian and that as a child she never questioned that story. Warren also said those who hired her during her law school career had said they were either unaware of her background or that it played no role in their decision to hire her. "This is about family. I can't and I won't change who I am," she said.
Some members of Warren's extended family had also heard stories of Native American blood in the family, but others had not.
Brown challenged Warren to release her personnel records to prove that her claim of Native American heritage had played no role in her getting jobs. Warren pointed to the fact that Prof. Charles Fried, a Republican, who sat on the committee that recruited Warren for her Harvard job, said that he was unaware of her ancestry when she was hired. "There's nothing else there. The question has been asked and answered. I think the senator just doesn't like the answer," Warren said
BROWN: I think character is important. Professor Warren claimed she was a Native American, a person of color. And as you can see, she's not.
WARREN: When I was growing up, these were the stories I knew about my heritage. When [my parents] wanted to get married, my father's family said no because my mother was part Delaware and part Cherokee. This is my family, this is who I am, and it's not going to change.
Her opponents question whether Warren chose this heritage to gain advantages available to Indians and other underrepresented groups in academia. Warren has been adamant that she did not seek any advantage from Native American heritage. Records show that she declined to apply for admission to Rutgers Law School under a minority student program and identified her race as "White" on an employment record at the University of Texas.
Press Release from 9 Senators: [Cory Booker and 13 co-sponsors] introduced legislation that would block a registry of people based on their religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or nationality. "Religious freedom and freedom from discrimination are fundamental rights central to the very idea of being an American," Sen. Booker said. "Forcing people to sign up for a registry based on their religion, race, or national origin does nothing to keep America secure. It does, however, undermine the freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution and promote the false notion that people of certain faiths and nationalities are inherently suspect. Our legislation would block Donald Trump and subsequent administrations from infringing on religious liberty by creating an immigration-related religious registry."
National origin-based immigration registry systems have proven ineffective at combatting terrorism and strengthening national security, but effective at instilling fear in certain communities. The George W. Bush-era National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), registered over 83,000 individuals from 24 Muslim-majority countries, but yielded zero terrorism convictions.
Opposing argument: (GovTrack.us's analysis of S.54): President Trump pledged during his campaign to institute a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration and Syrian refugees "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." He made good on much of that promise with an executive order suspending America's refugee admission program for 120 days and banning all entry from seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days. Trump has defended a Muslim registry as necessary to national security. "They have to be [registered]. It's all about management. Our country has no management," he said when first proposing the idea in 2015. Trump reiterated his plans as president-elect in December.
Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization's continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution's two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:
Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, "Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire," 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.
FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, "FOIA Request," 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump's conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.
Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.
Bill summary:The select committee must (1) conduct an investigation of the relevant facts and circumstances relating to the attack on the Capitol; (2) identify, review, and evaluate the causes of and the lessons learned from this attack; and (3) submit a report containing findings, conclusions, and recommendations to prevent future acts of violence, domestic terrorism, and domestic violent extremism, and to improve the security of the U.S. Capitol Complex and other American democratic institutions.
CBS News summary, by Grace Segers on June 30, 2021:H.R. 3233 would have created a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the root causes of the breach of the U.S. Capitol, modeled after the 9/11 Commission.
On May 28, the House passed the bill by a vote of 222 to 190, including 35 Republican votes. It then failed in the Senate, where it received an insufficient number of Republican votes to advance.
In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on June 24 that the House would establish a select committee [appointed by House Democrats, instead of a bipartisan independent commission] to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection and general security issues related to the incident. Pelosi said its leadership and members would be announced later. The House passed the resolution to form the committee on June 29, 2021, by a vote of 222-190.
OnTheIssues note: The Senate voting record refers to the earlier rejected bill H.R. 3233, and the House voting record refers to the later bill H.Res.503. The later bill had no Senate vote (but the two House votes were almost identical).
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Senate races 2021-22:
AK: Incumbent Lisa Murkowski(R)
vs.Challenger Kelly Tshibaka(R)
vs.2020 candidate Al Gross(D)
AL: Incumbent Richard Shelby(R) vs.U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks(R) vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R) vs.Katie Britt(R) vs.Judge Jessica Taylor(R) vs.Brandaun Dean(D) vs.
AR: Incumbent John Boozman(R)
vs.Candidate Dan Whitfield(D)
AZ: Incumbent Mark Kelly(D)
vs.CEO Jim Lamon(R) vs.Blake Masters(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Brnovich(R) vs.Mick McGuire(R)
CA: Incumbent Alex Padilla(D)
vs.2018 Senate candidate James Bradley(R)
vs.State Rep. Jerome Horton(D)
CO: Incumbent Michael Bennet(D)
CT: Incumbent Richard Blumenthal(D)
vs.Challenger Joe Visconti(R)
vs.2018 & 2020 House candidate John Flynn(R)
FL: Incumbent Marco Rubio(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(D)
vs.U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson(D)
GA: Incumbent Raphael Warnock(D)
vs.Navy vet Latham Saddler(R)
HI: Incumbent Brian Schatz(D)
vs.Former State Rep. Cam Cavasso(R ?)
IA: Incumbent Chuck Grassley(R)
vs.State Sen. Jim Carlin(R)
vs.Former U.S. Rep IA-1 Abby Finkenauer(D)
ID: Incumbent Mike Crapo(R)
IL: Incumbent Tammy Duckworth(D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Adam Kinzinger(? R)
IN: Incumbent Todd Young(R)
vs.Challenger Haneefah Abdul-Khaaliq(D)
vs.Psychologist Valerie McCray(D)
KS: Incumbent Jerry Moran(R)
KY: Incumbent Rand Paul(R)
vs.State Rep Charles Booker(D)
LA: Incumbent John Kennedy(R)
MD: Incumbent Chris Van Hollen(D)
MO: Incumbent Roy Blunt(R)
vs.Eric Greitens(R) vs.Scott Sifton(D)
vs.Eric Schmitt(R) vs.Lucas Kunce(D)
vs.Mark McClosky(R) vs.Vicky Hartzler(R)
vs.Tim Shepard(D) vs.Billy Long(R)
NC: Incumbent Richard Burr(R,retiring)
vs.Ted Budd(R) vs.Pat McCrory(R)
vs.Cheri Beasley(D) vs.Rett Newton(D)
ND: Incumbent John Hoeven(R)
vs.Michael J. Steele(D)
NH: Incumbent Maggie Hassan(D)
vs.Chris Sununu(R ?)
NV: Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto(D)
NY: Incumbent Chuck Schumer(D)
OH: Incumbent Rob Portman(R,retiring)
Bernie Moreno(R) vs.Tim Ryan(D)
vs.Jane Timken(R) vs.Josh Mandel(R)
vs.JD Vance(R) vs.Mike Gibbons(R)
vs.Morgan Harper(D) vs.Matt Dolan(R)
OK: Incumbent James Lankford(R)
OR: Incumbent Ron Wyden(D)
vs.QAnon adherent Jo Rae Perkins(R)
PA: Incumbent Pat Toomey(R,retiring)
vs.Everett Stern(R) vs.Jeff Bartos(R)
vs.Val Arkoosh(D) vs.Carla Sands(R)
vs.John Fetterman(D) vs.Malcolm Kenyatta(D)
vs.Kathy Barnette(R) vs.Sharif Street(D)
vs.Conor Lamb(D) vs.Sean Parnell(R)
vs.Craig Snyder(R) vs.Mehmet Oz(R)
SC: Incumbent Tim Scott(R)
vs.State Rep. Krystle Matthews(D)
SD: Incumbent John Thune(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
UT: Incumbent Mike Lee(R) vs.Allen Glines(D)
vs.Austin Searle(D) vs.Evan McMullin(I)
VT: Incumbent Patrick Leahy(D)
vs.Scott Milne(? R)
WA: Incumbent Patty Murray(D)
vs.Challenger Tiffany Smiley(R)
WI: Incumbent Ron Johnson(R) vs.Tom Nelson(D)
vs.Sarah Godlewski(D) vs.Alex Lasry(D)
vs.Chris Larson(D) vs.Mandela Barnes(D)
Senate Votes (analysis)