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Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
A schoolmarm for US Senator
If not careful, Warren could go the way of Coakley
By Michael Bradley
If the TV ad campaign now being waged by Elizabeth Warren to unseat Scott Brown from the U.S. Senate is any indicator, Mr. Brown will win reelection whether he’s driving his pickup truck or a Lexus, or wearing his expensive barn coat or a tailored suit.
Ms. Warren, in the most prominent of her current TV ads, declares: “They give billions to oil companies, the most profitable corporations on the planet, and then they try to slash student loans…Washington’s got it all wrong…(but) we can make this right.”
Warren makes those declarations in grave, pedantic earnestness, much like the stereotype of a schoolmarm of old. Meanwhile, Brown presents himself as the perfect image of an everyman from the Ozzie and Harriet world of the 1950’s.
If this continues, Elizabeth Warren will join Martha Coakley in founding an elite club of Democratic women who were rejected by Blue State Massachusetts.
But there is time yet to change direction.
Ms. Warren and her counselors may feel constrained by the agreement they made with Brown over negative advertising, but if that is the reason behind the insipid ads they are now issuing, it is a great mistake. A simple example is the mealy-mouthed phrase, “Washington’s got it all wrong…”
No! Washington doesn’t have it all wrong. The Republicans have it all wrong!
By saying that ‘Washington has it all wrong’ Ms. Warren is playing into the GOP game, blaming the central government as a whole, which automatically implies both Democrats and Republicans are at fault. Obviously, and in today’s world, emphatically, this is not the case.
The national media is also caught up in this stupidity, playing it safe by always trying to show that no matter how bizarre the GOP tactics are, there are also problems with the Democrats. It’s the ‘everyone does it’ explanation that leaves the nation and its voters feeling helpless to find a mechanism to right the American ship of state.
It simply isn’t true that ‘everyone does it.’
The Democrats are largely what they have always been; that is, a huge, disparate collection of mostly well intentioned individuals who want to see prosperity while not leaving too many people behind. The GOP used to be quite similar, honest conservatives acting largely as accountants who still had the nation’s health in mind, but wanted the dollars well accounted for and justified.
But that GOP has been obliterated by cadres of caustic, single-minded politicians who hi-jacked the term conservative and, by all indications, have come to believe that righteousness is illustrated by how rich someone has become. This new GOP cares not at all for anyone who is not well to do and seems to believe that any twisting and turning of American values is appropriate so long as it furthers the goal of pushing the Democrats and all who believe in Democratic values out of the political system.
The new GOP wants a one-party state, but it will settle for complete dominance and a beaten and downtrodden Democratic Party. It is class warfare directed by those with the greatest wealth, many of whom – like the infamous Koch brothers – desire to press short-term goals, such as the exploitation of coal and gas reserves by destructive fracking and other environmentally unfriendly techniques.
These people are the ones behind Scott Brown. They are the ones who back the so-called Tea Party. They are the ones who have pushed the Republican Party into a hard right-wing position.
This is why it is so incredibly frustrating to hear Elizabeth Warren talk about how ‘Washington’s got it all wrong…’
It’s not Washington! It’s the Republicans. And if Ms. Warren continues to use that approach, sounding like a schoolmarm who will somehow single-handedly go to Washington and change things, like Mr. Smith of Hollywood fame, she will lose. Voters who are given such a choice will make the common-sense decision to vote for the man, Scott Brown, who seems so pleasant and is a loving, family man, as his wife, the TV reporter Gail Huff, so consistently declares.
Elizabeth Warren still has time, but not too much time. She must stop these insipid ads and start speaking her mind directly. She can do it. She did it brilliantly at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention.
It is time to change the language of her ads from ‘Washington’s got it all wrong…’ to ‘The Republicans have got it all wrong…’
This will not obviate the agreement against negative personal advertising she struck with Scott Brown, because it is not an attack on him individually. But it is absolutely imperative that she take this course of action, because if she doesn’t speak honestly and directly to the people of Massachusetts, giving up all the code words, she will lose!
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