What an enticing headline the New York Times featured on Page 1 Sept. 30: “Warren is Now Hot Ticket On the Far Left.” The story, written by Jonathan Martin, told readers how Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has become the darling and favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 among America’s “far left,” and thus a threat to the party’s centrist front-runner, Hillary Clinton.
No doubt Warren appeals to progressive and populist sentiments among Democrats with statements like this one: “This country should not be run for the biggest corporations and largest financial institutions.” Shucks, I know libertarians and Republicans who’d agree with that. And we know, also, that Clinton is a bit too close to Wall Street, described in the story as “a major source of her fundraising,” to suit the supporters of Warren’s more populist economics.
But who’s that “far left” the New York Times discovered rallying to Warren’s side? Come out, come out, wherever you are, because you sure can’t be found in the story. Let’s see whom Martin cites as her fans or supporters:
- Markos Moulitsas, publisher of a “a leading liberal blog,” Daily Kos.
- Campaign for America’s Future, a “liberal advocacy group.”
Others see Warren as a “hot number” or “electric figure” among liberals or “on the left,” including stalwarts of American Marxism-Leninism such as Leo Hindrey Jr., partner of a private equity fund, and David Axelrod, President Obama’s longtime adviser.
There’s not a whiff of anything “far left” in the story, unless the New York Times now views the spectrum of American politics from the Fox News perspective, where anything not right wing is tossed into the “liberal, left, socialist” heap of un-Americanism.
Even if Martin had looked at such “left” organizations as MoveOn.org or Occupy Wall Street, he would not have found anything that smacked of “far” left ideology. At MoveOn.org, there’s a petition to boycott Barilla Pasta products because the company president refuses to use gay couples in its advertising. And the Occupy tactics of sit-ins in parks across from Bank of America offices hardly live up to “far left” dreams of revolution.
You can find some hard “far left” stuff on the website of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA, whose leader, Bob Avakian, has been in exile for more than two decades. It’s a nostalgia trip for lefties to the 1930s, when some Americans paid attention to the “far left” and others joined it. Those days are gone. Some things go away and come back; others never do. Somebody ought to tell the New York Times that the “far left” is gone for now, save perhaps for a few really old or really young dreamers of the socialist dream.
And I really like Elizabeth Warren.