Bye-bye, fake liberals: The Warren Democrats are winning!

From Salon:

The backlash against an inane Op-Ed bashing Elizabeth Warren shows that “economic populism” is the way forward

Thursday, Dec 5, 2013

I am very late to the Third Way-trashing party, but that’s a story in itself. I didn’t need to weigh in; progressives erupted in immediate backlash at the group’s latest attack on “economic populism.”

By now everyone knows that the pro-Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York’s Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, arguing that their “economic populism” was a “dead end” outside of the midnight-blue communards of Massachusetts and New York City.

Not only was Third Way’s argument immediately and widely debunked – Salon’s Elias Isquith did it very well here – but its domination by Wall Street became an issue in itself, thanks to folks at Daily Kos and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.  Warren herself responded by asking Wall Street CEOs to voluntarily disclose their think tank funding – without mentioning Third Way by name – suggesting it amounted to “little more than another form of corporate lobbying.”

And by Wednesday evening centrist Pennsylvania Rep. Alison Schwartz, a Third Way co-chair who’s running for governor next year, had disavowed the group’s attempted takedown of her party’s populist wing, calling it “outrageous.” (Update: Thursday afternoon another co-chair, Rep. Joe Crowley, joined Schwartz.)

Oh, and meanwhile, President Obama gave his best economic speech yet, calling income inequality “the defining challenge of our time.”

Is something going on here? I’d say yes. Wall Street’s domination of the Democratic Party is facing a genuine and sustained fight, and that’s a good thing for Democrats and the country.

Remember, it was only last year that Third Way made big news warning that ol’ devil economic populism would be a dead-end for Obama. No, it was worse than that: Third Way said its polling showed that Obama’s message of “fairness” was a loser; voters preferred to hear about “opportunity.” Fairness, people. They came out against a “fairness” message as too radical. Liberals debunked the poll, but Third Way got a big endorsement from the New York Times columnist Bill Keller, who used the group’s faulty data to warn Obama that he was turning off independents by being “a plutocrat-bashing firebrand” and pushing “Robin Hood” politics like the Buffett Rule.

In fact, as I argued back then, during Obama’s first term his political fortunes improved when he strengthened his message of economic populism, and plummeted the more he preached about bipartisan deficit-cutting and “shared sacrifice” as defined by plutocrats. If Third Way and Bill Keller were right, we’d be debating President Mitt Romney’s new tax cuts for the wealthy right now.

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