Elizabeth Warren helps another politician raise money on a “get money out of politics” platform

A friend of a friend is running for Congress in a district outside of Massachusetts. One big element of her campaign is that rich people and rich corporations should not have a large influence on American politics. She came to Boston to raise money at a private party in a 6,000 square-foot house that Zillow says is worth $3.5 million. Elizabeth Warren spoke in support of this candidate noting that she shared the goal of wanting every citizen to have equal power and not having politicians controlled by distant rich supporters. Neither politician addressed the apparent contradiction of coming to a different state to raise money from rich people whose interests may or may not align with those of the prospective Representative’s actual constituents.

The two women agreed on a range of issues. The state politician that they hate the most is some guy who “voted against equal pay” multiple times (this was in the state where the Congressional race is happening, not in Massachusetts). Free trade agreements are bad. President Obama is a godlike figure in most respects, but his support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is misguided. Previous trade agreements should be reevaluated and potentially repudiated. (Nobody explained how this was different from Donald Trump’s campaign promises.) One thing that was especially bad about the TPP is that some aspects of U.S. sovereignty would be compromised and handed over to a transnational bureaucracy (“offshoring of power”). (Nobody explained how opposing this was consistent with telling the Brits to stay in the EU.) In the opinion of these female politicians, what is key to their support is that voters care passionately about women’s rights, especially the right to an on-demand abortion without any conditions.

The audience applauded loudest for the following propositions: (1) breaking up big banks, and (2) protectionism.

There were a lot of lawyers present and they got Elizabeth Warren on the subject of approving Obama’s federal judge nominations. Warren riffed on the subject of how federal courts are super friendly to big corporations (this will come as news to Fortune 500 companies facing patent infringement lawsuits in Texas).

The candidates and the audience agreed that Black Lives Matter though as it happened the gathering did not include any black people.

Stylistically it was possible to see how a novice politician becomes a professional. Elizabeth Warren used the word “fight” in nearly every sentence; her young protégé used the word “fight” only about one third as much.

Private audience reaction to the talk was less enthusiastic than the public reaction. An attorney specializing in Asian-U.S. deals noted that the TPP would have little effect due to existing bilateral agreements already incorporating most of its provisions. He said that Senator Warren greatly overestimated American economic power. “It’s not 1945 anymore,” he said. “Singapore and Hong Kong are richer than we are; Taiwan and Korea will surpass us soon.”

9 thoughts on “Elizabeth Warren helps another politician raise money on a “get money out of politics” platform

  1. Can’t but note that you, if only tempirarily so, and on the eve of a wedding to which you’ve been invited (if not a bridegroom, of?), decamp to another continent to be able to post that highly-anonimized account of a fundraising event from some time before (“Radical Chic” by Tom Wolfe comes to mind, but never mind me).

  2. That last part is a little strange. What is it that Senator Warren said that overestimated American economic power? Wikipedia says that Taiwanese GDP per capita GDP is around 16% lower than America’s. Given the slowing Chinese economy, which is very important to Taiwan, I wouldn’t count on Taiwan surpassing America anytime soon. And, of course, it needs to be mentioned that exports to America have been very important to economic growth in Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. On the other hand, if we’re a weak, uncompetitive little economy, maybe we need high tariffs to prevent what’s left of our manufacturing industry from getting wiped out by Asian competition.

    Also, the ISDS provision of the TPP is not really similar to the European Union, National governments lose the ability to make enact certain laws. Those powers are not transferred to another body, such as the European parliament. And did Elizabeth Warren or this other woman suggest that the British shouldn’t leave the EU?

  3. I may not have read this carefully enough. Are you saying I can live IN Boston in a six thousand square foot house for less than four million dollars?

  4. To clarify another, perhaps minor, point, what ALTERNATIVE venue (for that “private party in a 557.5m² house that Zillow says is worth $3.5 million“) for the fundraiser would meet your (and, especially, the presumptive donors’) approval? It’s one thing to complain, another to come up with a place where the exquisite—I’m sure—hors d’oeuvres served wouldn’t feel out of place (do tell).

  5. Well, free trade is good if and only if both sides play by the same rules. One good thing about TPP, is that it is partially aimed at excluding China from the new trade zone, and giving the US the freedom to levy high import tariffs on goods made by companies with (partial) State ownership. Most of the giant Chinese companies are at least partially state-owned.
    It is time that US companies forget about chasing after the Chinese market. Chasing that illusion is exactly like stopping the thirst by drinking rat poison. Google was chased out of that market. Facebook/twitter/whatapp/instagram etc were forbidden to enter. Now Apple will be the next big fat target, as illustrated by the recent IP court ruling handed down in Beijing that iP6 infringes on a local company’s IP. China’s new $130B microelectronics state fund will ensure domestic substitutes of Intel/ARM/TI/Sony chips can completely replace the foreign rivals, as illustrated by the recent Chinese supercomputer which is 5x faster and 2x as efficient as the top US supercomputer, using completely domestically sourced CPUs.

  6. Interesting, Marvin, you seem to imply that the only natural(?), or perhaps default world trade structure is the American (c:a 1950-ish) hegemony. Until forever and ever, even though the demography and industrial development slowly but surely shifts the center of world affairs away from Northern & Western Hemisphere, and towards the Indian Ocean. At the same time you conveniently forget who enabled said China to catch up with the Joneses in less than three decades: you did, along with Joneses. I know that it may be hard to swallow (and the Chinese eat swallow nests!), but there you have it.

    Perhaps, after all, the “salvation” for America lies with President Trump – if not this November, then again in 2020. Even though The Donald’s outrageous claims that “Mexico is the new China” have effectively been rebuked as patently false, because, as everybody knows, “it’s the Tupperware that’s the new China.”

  7. Colin: You can certainly live in the City of Boston in a monster house for less than $4 million. Far far less if you are a liberal Democrat who is actually willing to live within walking distance of “people of color.” However, most liberal Democrats in our area choose to profess their love for those of color while actually settling in an adjacent-to-Boston or close-to-Boston suburb where their children won’t encounter anyone of color in the schools (unless you consider Asian to be “of color”). This too can be done for less than $4 million if 6,000 square feet is sufficient.

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