Monday, June 22, 2015

Why Sanders Is a Good Fit for Warren Backers

Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren leave the Senate Democrats' policy luncheon on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call Inc)
Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren leave the Senate Democrats' policy luncheon on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call Inc)

By Erica Sagrans and Charles Lenchner, CNN
20 June 15
lizabeth Warren's rallying cry is simple: If we fight for our values, we will win. And the question she's asked supporters is this: Are you ready to fight?

It was that fearless, fighting spirit that inspired us to start Ready for Warren more than a year ago to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for president. We believe the movement to draft Warren fundamentally changed the terms of the 2016 debate, and these days, just about every Democrat running for president seems to sound a lot like Warren. Few people have ever played as large a role in a Democratic presidential primary without even entering the race.

But having demonstrated how much support Elizabeth Warren has, we've spent the past few weeks listening to our grassroots supporters and the progressive community about what they want to do next. And one thing we heard time and again is that they're ready to play a big role in 2016, fighting alongside Warren on issues like trade, student debt, and reining in Wall Street.

They are also ready to back "Warren Wing" candidates who embody Warren's fearless brand of progressive populism. And although it isn't just about the presidency, 56% of supporters have urged us to back Bernie Sanders as the candidate currently running for president who best embodies the values that Warren champions.

That's why on Friday, Ready for Warren is launching a new grassroots initiative called Ready to Fight -- and Ready to Fight is endorsing Bernie Sanders as its candidate for president.


Because while Warren is the champion who inspired this movement, the draft effort was never just about her -- it's about her message and the values she represents.

Bernie Sanders has caught fire in a way that's reminiscent of the draft Warren movement itself -- from the Internet to town halls in Iowa, Sanders has captured the imagination and support of people looking for a real progressive challenger in the 2016 Democratic primary.

One reason we're witnessing such a surge of support for politicians like Sanders and Warren is that they have given voice to Americans' deeply-felt frustration that the game is rigged against working people and stacked in favor of corporations and the very wealthy. For example, Robert Reich, citing a Pew report, notes that "the percentage of Americans who believe most people who want to get ahead can do so through hard work has plummeted 14 points since 2000."

While it's harder and harder for working people to get ahead or even get by, their voices are being drowned out by corporate influence and a flood of money in politics -- some $3.7 billion in last year's election cycle alone.

Indeed, a 2014 Princeton study of more than 1,800 policy initiatives concluded that, over the past two decades, the United States has transformed from a representative democracy to a country where the elites hold power and shape policy, regardless of the will of the majority of voters. We've seen this imbalance play out with the outsize influence of corporations in the fight over the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership. About 500 corporate trade "advisers" have access and input into the details of the trade deal, while the text has been kept secret from representatives from labor and environmental groups, as well as the media and voters.

As the gap in priorities between policy makers in D.C. and people across America widens, the voices of progressive populists like Warren and Sanders are growing louder and louder. But to be successful, they need the power of the people behind them -- people who are willing to stand up and fight.

The launch of Ready to Fight doesn't mean the movement to draft Warren is over. Organizations don't create movements, and they can't end them. There is still a real and widespread desire to see Elizabeth Warren run for president, and Ready for Warren is continuing to organize in order to make the case to Warren, and the country, that she should be a candidate in the 2016 race. We're a long way from Iowa, and no one knows what the future holds.

But this effort has always been a bottom-up movement. It's an expression of a deep and broadly felt desire for leaders who are willing to stand up to powerful interests and fight for working families. The Warren Wing is on the rise -- you can see it in everything from the fight against TPP to the growing momentum around Bernie Sanders, and in the way Hillary Clinton and even Republican candidates are echoing Warren's themes on income inequality.

We're ready to fight -- standing with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to make sure the values we share are represented in next year's presidential election.


+23 # Dongi 2015-06-20 08:58
A new dream team - Sanders and Warren - for President and Vice-President. Or, vice versa. It's becoming one of those rare moments in American History when certain candidates are indispensable. The enormous gains of the New Deal are now in jeopardy. Progressives to the front.

+13 # Inspired Citizen 2015-06-20 12:04
Senator Sanders is going to need innovative techniques to fight the big moneyed machines of Clinton and Bush should Sanders face him in a general election. On Monday morning, we're announcing such a campaign on the Revolt Against Plutocracy Facebook page.
+7 # Seadog 2015-06-20 12:11
I'd prefer Warren in the Pres. spot, but we have to take what we can get and the two of them on the same ticket would definitely fire up the base.
+1 # CelticNavigator 2015-06-21 06:50
While many presidents relegate their VPs to back-burner roles, it is the prerogative of any prez to share more power and duties. In this age of super-complexity, the office of president is almost too big for one person to fill, and thus we could take a lesson from the 1000-year empire of Ancient Rome with its governance by two Co-Consuls, one for war/foreign affairs and the other for domestic governance.

I have mentioned the awesome Jessica Tuchman Mathews, daughter of my favorite historian Barbara Tuchman (her books examined we men's intransigent and problematic "wooden-headedn ess"), as a possible active VP or SecState for Bernie, and will do so again. She is a real Washington insider and a masterful foreign affairs expert who could make Bernie's task a LOT easier by greasing the skids for him. Jimmy Carter made the huge mistake of thinking his "Georgia Mafia" could drive the Washington Machine, and he was sadly mistaken. To imagine that the Machine can be ignored is sheer political suicide.

Barak is a control freak and was also mistaken in thinking he alone had the genius to operate the Machine, and ended up being OWNED by Wall Street and the Pentagon. If a new administration had 3-4 truly powerful independent thinkers, it would be much harder to buy off that admin, eh? Sanders, Warren and Mathews to share the load?

Wiki bio of Jessica Tuchman Mathews

+21 # CelticNavigator 2015-06-20 09:05
"Ready for Warren" endorsing Bernie Sanders is a superb example of true statesmanship! Liz has made it super clear that she is not running for prez, and Democratic Socialist Bernie is clearly the real deal, not some fast-talking wannabe. With 16 years in Congress and 7 in the Senate, he is no neophyte and knows where all the Washington bodies are buried, so to speak.

Here is a list of states with recent and current efforts for seceding from the USA, which IMHO, is a sign of political health and vigor. Vermont is here, and paradoxically my Rust Belt Jobs Overseas state of Ohio, where 53% of voters in my hometown of Dayton voted for the Socialist Party of America in 1905, is not... WTF?

+11 # Blackjack 2015-06-20 09:45
I am thrilled that Ready for Warren is endorsing Bernie. The two are really on the same page on almost every issue. I do have a concern, however, that the endorsement will still have illusions of a candidate pairing of the two for President/Vice President. I think that kind of pairing would kill the populist efforts for two reasons: one, it would be heartily dismissed as the Socialist Party by the Republicans, who would use it in every negative way possible to derail the entire populist movement; and two, it would go against what has always been considered smart politics--geogr aphically they are too close, enabling them to probably win their own two states, but denying them the opportunity to gain another state with more electoral votes.

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