Farewell, Mayor Pete. Hello, Elizabeth Warren.

I’m sorry, Mayor Pete. It’s all over between us. I’ve fallen for an older woman. 

Just two weeks ago, you were my guy. I sent you money. I sent you my heart. I even learned how to pronounce your name.

You won me with your youth, intelligence, and temperament. You were cool and rational, you were thoughtful and compassionate. You were the perfect anti-Trump, and you even spoke Norwegian.

But love is, indeed, fickle. Now I’m smitten by Elizabeth Warren.

For longer than you’ve been alive, she’s been honing a coherent worldview. It boils down to this: Fight for the little guy, and stick it to the man. 

As a law school professor, author and senator, she’s worked long and hard to implement common-sense policies that benefit the poor and middle class. She was the prime mover behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was established after the G.W. Bush-inspired financial crash to prevent greedy bankers, payday lenders and other financial predators from lining their pockets at the expense of everyone else. Establishing the bureau required waging an epic battle against intransigent Republicans, who never met a common-sense proposal that they didn’t incoherently rail against.

Nevertheless, she persisted. And Barack Obama — the great president we had before electing our worst ever — signed the agency into law. (Of course, Donald Trump is systematically dismantling the bureau so that he and fellow financial vultures can continue to dupe and exploit the vulnerable and feed off the wreckage of their lives.)

Senator Warren has a host of detailed plans for reining in these bastards and reducing the grotesque income inequality that makes America more fucked up with every passing day. And she has a simple plan to pay for them: Tax the rich.

Yes, yes, tax the rich! Yes, yes, tax the mother-fucking billionaires!

Her wealth tax — just 2 percent on incomes over $50 million and 3 percent on those over a billion — could generate enough cash to provide health care and child care to everyone who needs it, while eliminating the crushing burden of college tuition and student loan debt. (You centrist eggheads who think the plan won’t work can read a cogent rebuttal here.)

She’s Bernie without the socialist label and the scowl. She’s not that much younger than he is, but she has the energy and passion of someone half her age. I saw her work a small room one year ago, and she bowled over everyone who had the good fortune to be there. Contrary to the   schoolmarm caricature perpetuated by bloviating pundits and sexists, Warren has a dynamism and charisma that our last female nominee was sorely lacking.

Unlike Hillary, she doesn’t calibrate her every utterance to suit the political moment while stuffing her campaign coffers with Wall Street cash. She simply says what she thinks. Just yesterday, in fact, Warren referred to Fox News as “a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”

I like that.

Mayor Pete, I’m sure you share Senator Warren’s values, but I don’t think you’re going to get past the small-town mayor thing — not when you look like you could still be hanging out in the basement with my 20-something kids and their pals. And I don’t think you have the fire to take on Donald Trump. You’re just too damned polite. Liz will grab him by his orange-haired scrotum and rip the damned thing off.

Some say the Democrats shouldn’t nominate a woman. I say we should. The Great Blue Wave of 2018 was powered in large part by an army of women who wanted to restrain a president who likes to “grab ’em by the pussy.” That army will only grow stronger when given the chance to send America’s Worst President Ever into oblivion. And it will only grow more impassioned if it’s a woman leading the charge.

To hell with Biden and Bernie. Their time has come and gone. (I’ll bet anyone who’d like to lose some money that neither of them gets the nomination.) Beto’s a lightweight, and Klobuchar’s a bore. I know some people love Kamala Harris, but she and I just don’t have chemistry. And in politics as in love, chemistry is everything. 

One of these days, Mayor Pete, you will become America’s first gay president. I’m looking forward to the day you do — in 2028.

1 Comment

  1. Gwen says:

    Brilliant piece, Ben. Despite Elizabeth’s somewhat wonky ways, I like her too. And she is the next best thing to Bernie.

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