Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Liberal Party Could Use an Elizabeth Warren or Two
If you want to see the face of progressivism, take a look at Elizabeth Warren. If you want to understand what progressivism in the 21st century is about, listen to her. And then ask yourself why we don't have that sort of leadership.
Heavens to Betsy. Sen. Elizabeth Warren leapt from the gate of her first term pummeling Ben Bernanke on too-big-to-fail financial institutions. Then she demanded to know why American banks were never brought to trial. Finally, last Thursday, looking for all the world like a school principal called to sort out teenage hooligans, she queried regulators as to why HSBC bankers who launder money for drug lords and terrorists should go free. Quoth the senator:
"If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you're going to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night.”
Economist Robert Johnson, executive director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, who served as chief economist to the Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of William Proxmire, praised Warren's resolve in an email to me: "Elizabeth Warren has chosen to do something novel as a US senator: represent the people. In our money-drenched political system that is akin to defying gravity. God bless Elizabeth Warren."
Who in Canada stands against the excesses of our own corporatism? Not the Latter-Day-Liberals, formerly known as New Democrats, nor the Conservative-Lites, once known as the Liberal Party of Canada. It's no coincidence that it's a genuine progressive, like Warren, who represents the people. The others represent something else.