To change the topic a bit, I just read a column on Five Thirty Eight, which attempted to explain why Elizabeth Warren is doing so poorly in the Democratic primary race, with two of her likelier state contests now past. It tries to explain the problem of trying to position oneself as a lot of peoples' second choice: to the right of Bernie, to the left of the pack. I disagree. I hate to say this, because she was the potential candidate I most wanted to run in 2016 and possibly my top choice going into this election cycle. I saw her as highly intelligent, a reasoned/realistic advocate for those who have fallen behind in our society and need some help from government, and a capable technocrat who was willing to control the excesses of some very loosely regulated corporate interests and protect consumers and ordinary investors from being cheated.
She has turned herself into a totally unserious candidate. The woman who launched her campaign strategy under the premise that she had, or would shortly have, a reasoned plan to address each of our woes (obviously too big a task), lacked a healthcare plan and doomed herself with the "I'm with Bernie" response to an obvious healthcare question at the very first debate. She stuck to that, sort of, adopting the fairy tale that all Bernie suggested Medicare For All would achieve, would be accomplished with no increase in middle-class taxes. Bernie was direct about that: the net cost to middle class families (actually, middle class families as an average, because some union workers with gold-plated medical insurance will surely be losers) would go down, but some of that decrease would be made up in higher tax payments. That's plausible, at least in the longer term. Warren's position was not plausible.
That brought her to release her specific plan with the questionable assumptions and math.
But... what has made her a totally non-serious candidate in my mind is the list of things she is going to pay for with her 2%/6% wealth tax.-- a tax which is surely unconstitutional and which the present Supreme Court would not hesitate to reject as such, after a long battle through the courts, which would prevent a Warren administration from accomplishing much of anything prior to the midterm election of doom, even if a Democratic House and Senate took office with her. It is hard enough to accomplish major change, as Obama did with the Affordable Care Act, to tie your plans to a new type of tax of highly questionable legality is the kiss of death. Bernie, even with his acknowledgement that what he wants to accomplish will require a 'political revolution' is more grounded in reality than Warren, whom I previously viewed as the reasonable one.
Truthful acknowledgment: after dithering for months to find a candidate we could support, my wife and I -- two former campaigners for McGovern -- made our first political contribution of the cycle to Amy Klobuchar and have since sent a second contribution.
I find Bernie and the current incarnation of Warren to be to unpragmatically left for me. I still find it sad that Warren has chosen to cast herself the way she has.