What Is True/Slant?
275+ knowledgeable contributors.
Reporting and insight on news of the moment.
Follow them and join the news conversation.

Jul. 26 2010 - 9:41 am | 442 views | 1 recommendation | 13 comments

Elizabeth Warren, President Obama, and my broken heart

Elizabeth Warren, TARP (Troubled Asset Relief ...

Image by AFP/Getty Images via @daylife

I do a sport that results in a lot of broken toes.  What I’ve learned is this: once a toe is broken, it will break more easily in the future until having a broken toe becomes a regular part of life.  This is, I believe,  why God invented sports tape.

Broken hearts are different.  Once a heart gets broken a few times, it builds up a tough shell that stops it from ever breaking again, or at least from breaking into a million pieces again.  That’s the way it is for those of us who actually opened our hearts and our wallets and our lives to getting President Obama elected.  We got our hearts broken over and over and over again.  And now, for many of us, we expect nothing but betrayal.

Of course, like any dysfunctional relationship, there were clues immediately that we should start hardening ourselves to the fantasy that we would finally have an administration that was ours and ours alone, rather than a President that is always sneaking off to cavort with big military and big banks.  But then came Larry Summers and the TARP bailouts and the increase of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan and so many betrayals that by now, my heart is like stone and there is nothing left for the Obama-ites to do that will hurt me.

Or so I say.  Like any broken-hearted lover, continuously rejected and then courted and then rejected again, I harbor a small piece of hope.  This time he’ll do the right thing.  This time will be different.  This time he’ll appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the consumer advocacy agency that she invented.  But even that little piece of hopefulness buried deep in the recesses of my stony heart knows, deep down, that the chances of this happening are about the same as the chances of a perfectly romantic ending to my life, where my beloved rides up on a white horse and takes me off into a sunset to live happily ever after.

According to an article in today’s New York Times, the Obama Administration has not ruled out appointing Warren, especially given how vocal the support for her is from leading Democrats and some of the press, as well as some labor unions and progressive.  The Obama administration knows what we want.

It is essential to the bill and very, very important that Elizabeth Warren be appointed,” Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and an architect of the law, said Friday on MSNBC.

But not surprisingly, our arch rival, the banking industry, opposes Professor Warren as too invested in protecting the people rather than being “neutral.”  As if the head of a consumer protection agency should be neutral about how the banks have profited from the immense information asymmetry involved in debt.  In other words, Warren actually believes we ought to know what we’re getting when we take on a mortgage or a credit card instead of continuing to allow a system where you would need an MBA to understand what the hell it means to sign on the dotted line.

According to Roger M. Beverage, head of the Oklahoma Banker’s Association, Oklahoma native Warren is “competent” and “exceptionally bright” but

We just fear what she might come up with.  She’s a partisan and she’s bull-headed and she’s opinionated. And she’s terrific. She’s a great advocate. We just respectfully disagree with her view of the world.”

Already key Democrats, such as Senator Christopher Dodd (CT), the chairman of the banking committee, are warning that they won’t be able to muster the votes necessary for Warren’s nomination.  It is only a matter of time till the Obama administration shrugs and says “What can I do.”

And the heart-broken progressives of this country either continue to excuse our beloved, like any abused spouse, with “He had no choice” and “He couldn’t help it” or, more likely, turn our backs on the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections and risk losing the only thing like a happy ending we have ever had.


Active Conversation
9 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 13 Total Comments
Post your comment »
  1. collapse expand

    I don’t know how you feel about it, bu there are people that are no where near existing on the “progressive” range of the ideological continuum that hope to see Elizabeth Warren appointed. Her value to society and the potential that her appointment represents transcends political ideologies. She stands for doing what is right, which will strengthen capitalism. This a great opportunity for Obama to not screw up for a change. If he goofs on this, a third party is our only hope.

    • collapse expand

      I agree 100%.- I also think that progressive values- as opposed to the Dems or even the liberals- represent “what is right” in the sense of what makes government FOR the people and BY the people. That may or may not involve capitalism, but not capitalism for and by the robber barons who have been running the show since the late 1970s while nearly all of us have been getting poorer and the environment has been degraded possibly to the point of no return.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    Broken heart?! Are you kidding me? You were all rubes, suckered into believing Obama would save the american empire just like the rubes who backed Constantine were suckered into believing he would restore the majesty of the roman empire.

    You can’t fight history. Our day in the sun has come and gone. There’s nothing left but memories and photo albums.

  3. collapse expand

    Don’t be ridiculous. Do not abandon the Democratic party. Do you want Tea party nut cases to be in power? Do you want Republicans to undo the progress that has been brought (will be brought) in by Obama? No matter how disappointed you may be with the things that Obama hasn’t done as you hoped that is no reason to give up. This happened in Canada. Voters got so fed up with a prime minister that to this day his party continues to be shut out. That is how we got Harper. He is far worse than anything that the other guys would have done. Is that what you want? You turn your back at your peril.

    • collapse expand

      So true, Violet.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      So untrue, Violet. The Canadian Liberal Party had been publicly revealed to be routinely corrupt with public funds. If you let one party get away with that, all parties will practice it forever. You still would have got Harper (or another Conservative) eventually, and he would have been able to play his hand with the Liberal’s morals.

      IF (and, yes, I know of course it won’t happen) Obama were to be turfed out via attack from the left, or a Ralph-Nader-type third party spoiler, it might result in another bad decade, but at least the principle would have been saved that you can’t run on one platform and govern on another. There would be hope for reversal of the bad decade’s changes.

      If Obama succeeds with his current strategy of appeal-to-the-left, then don’t-change-Bush-policies, what you get from here on is endless Bush no matter whom you vote for.

      I know it’s a hard call, but it’s planning for the long-term future to hold Obama’s feet to the fire now.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    Elizabeth Warren is competent, experienced, able and a great defender of the little guy. How could she possibly get the job? It would be as close to a fairy tale ending as one could hope for in this financial mess.

  5. collapse expand

    I don’t understand why anyone still thinks this guy Obama is ever going to go with the rational and right choice, why anyone would still believe he is down for the fight. He has never struck me as a person that is willing to upset people to do what should be be done, unless those people are the ones expecting that the right thing be done.
    I decided to turn my back on the whole thing, until I thought about it and ended up going against myself and voting for this man-the lesser of the 2 evils. And all its done was convince me that I was right to be done with it the first time, and this idea that we can’t walk away is just as much a crock as “hoping” for anything to come of this system.

  6. collapse expand

    Obama: joined Bush to bail the banks that they may continue their depredations upon the rest of us; expanded Afghanistan–immolating American thugs and Afghan patriots to be re-elected and show himself all manned-up for the Repubs; continues Iraq; continues Gitmo; fails to prosecute the war criminals of the previous administration, making his own even more complicit in their crimes; dithers about foreclosures; expands Bagram, where Afghans and others may be tortured to death by the CIA without any oversight; expands drone attacks whereby American heroes annihilate the wedding parties of innocent (“terrorist”) Afghans by flipping a switch at Nelson AFB; makes sure meaningful health care reform will NOT occur; bails the companies who then coolly outsource more jobs; takes direction from BP; and makes certain real banking reform will not get Citibank’s panties in a twist. In short, Obama joins the powerful in making sure this crisis reduces plain American to the peonage the powerful want. No more unions, no more living wages–just the workers in their place, happy to be wage slaves.

    If you voted for Obama, you really weren’t listening. He is and always has been a right-wing tool.

Log in for notification options
Comments RSS

Post Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment

Log in with your True/Slant account.

Previously logged in with Facebook?

Create an account to join True/Slant now.

Facebook users:
Create T/S account with Facebook

My T/S Activity Feed


    About Me

    I'm an academic who does not believe in abstract knowledge. Like Marx, I think the point isn't just to describe the world, but to change it. Unlike Marx I don't have Engels sending me my monthly rent. So I have a day job teaching sociology at Middlebury College. In my real life, I'm a fighter (taekwondo) and a writer

    (Salon, Legal Affairs, NPR's "All Things Considered") and now this blog. My second book, American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and the Spirit of Our Time, is a critique of neoliberal capitalism through cosmetic surgery. American Plastic will be published by Beacon in 2010.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 221
    Contributor Since: December 2008
    Location:Montreal, QC & Burlington, VT

    What I'm Up To

    Buy the book

    If you want to buy my book now and avoid the holiday rush (obviously it will be a hot hot item come December- kinda like an i-Pad or maybe more like a Cabbage Patch Doll?) you can do it here.