Elizabeth Warren, who during the course of her Senate campaign has been on some kind of a solidarity strike against producing an original thought, was given the distinction of introducing former president Bill Clinton at the DNC. And that seems to me appropriate: As I have long argued, Warren’s particular strain of paternalistic welfare statism is perfectly emblematic of what the Democratic party stands for today.
The problem with the lady from Cambridge is that Professor Warren thinks you’re stupid: too stupid to handle a credit card, too stupid to understand how a mortgage works (hint: You pay it all back, with interest) and prone to being, in her own words tonight, “fooled by student loans.” Fooled by student loans.
Reading her prepared remarks word-for-word, Professor Warren says that the president believes in a world “where no one can steal your purse on Main Street or your pension on Wall Street.” Was theft the problem on Wall Street, or were bad investments? And how exactly do we outlaw bad investments, for pension funds or anybody else? One good strategy for avoiding bad investments that a lot of public-sector pension funds discovered over the years: investing their money with Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s firm. Professor Warren’s cops-and-robbers analogy is grotesquely oversimplified. This from the alleged expert on these issues in the Democratic party.
There was a great deal of familiar boilerplate in her speech, of course, not one of which acknowledged the tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities related to Social Security and Medicare. She repeatedly said that we need to reaffirm our commitment to those programs, but they are bankrupt. Wishing it were otherwise will not make it so. What to do? Don’t ask Elizabeth Warren.
Some of her declarations were borderline delusional: “After the financial crisis, President Obama knew that we had to clean up Wall Street.” But here’s the thing: We didn’t clean up Wall Street. We didn’t end too big to fail. The Democrats and Warren had an excellent chance to do so, and they did not. Warren still doesn’t seem to have figured out that she’s running for office in Massachusetts, not for a nationwide office. Her performance at the DNC contained nothing to reassure Massachusetts voters otherwise.