Brother Charlie Pierce writing in Esquire tells us today about Clinton and Warren in The Antifreeze Chronicles (“Things in Politico That Make Me Want to Drink Antifreeze”), and while he makes a good point about the horse-race nature of Politico’s writing, I think he missed out on the larger story.
Anyway, as I said, this entire piece is based on the fanciful notion that SPW’s [Senator Professor Warren] ferocious campaign against the plutocrats is putting her crossways with Clinton.
And Brother Pierce goes on to correct much of the record, which is good.
But when I go to the news accounts, wherein Hillz rallies for Martha Coakley (who is running for governor of Massachusetts), I find things I both like and hate. It is not a secret that most progressives find themselves yearning for Senator Professor Warren to run against Hillz in the 2016 Goat Rodeo, and of course the press would love to have a battle royale, or as Charlie puts it, a cat fight.
Anyway, Clinton asks the Coakley audience:
“Why, after women have contributed so much to our economy, some people still act like it’s 1955. Isn’t it amazing that we’re still debating that women deserve equal pay for equal work?”
Which is a good point, and one that belies the notion that Clinton is Remora-like, sucked onto the belly of Wall Street.
And then Clinton said what everyone is now saying is the proof that she is striking a populist note:
“Don’t let anybody tell you,” she said at the time, “that, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” She was speaking at a rally in Boston with Senator Elizabeth Warren on behalf of Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate for governor in Massachusetts.
The comment was quickly criticized by Republicans who likened the remark to President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” line during the 2012 campaign.
The pushback from the right was such that Clinton felt the need to explain it days later, lest Y’all Qaeda’s 2016 Convention is a repeat of the willingly stupid You Didn’t Build That theme of 2012. That sucking sound you hear? It is the Remora attaching itself to the belly of Wall Street:
“I short-handed this point the other day, so let me be absolutely clear about what I’ve been saying for a couple decades,” she said.
“Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in an America where workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out,” she said, “not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.”
And this is where I have to put on the brakes, and pull the car over to the side of the road and tell Hillary to get out.
Jobs are not created by plutocrats sprinkling magical dust because they feel beneficent today. Jobs are made from demand from consumers who want and need things. Entrepreneurs are made when the little guy opens a bakery down the street, scraping together a loan from his parents and hopefully a bank.
When Wingnuttia talks about businesses and entrepreneurs they mean Walmart and the Koch Brothers and their ilk sprinkling magical Ayn Rand ashes on everything.
So when Hillz said that job creation is a the result of businesses and entrepreneurs (Walmart and the Kochs), she is essentially agreeing with the Wingnuts.
It’s freaking infuriating watching Clinton triangulate away from one of the most populist arguments—that the economy is built by everyone, not just the Galts of Wingnuttia’s fever dreams.
Starting next week, Clinton has two years to explain this idea (elegantly, to use her words). She need to do it without apologizing, and if Fox News comes at her (as they surely will) calling her remarks Class Warfare, she need to embrace it and not run away from it. We are in a class war, and the 1% are waging and winning it. And if Hillz cannot make the case of class warfare, and if she cannot/will not promise to do something about it, she’s not going to win liberal voters.