Liddick: The ultraliberal and a senator’s desperate campaign
January 2, 2015
Someone needs to tell Mark Udall that one is known by the company one keeps.
On Sept. 6, the senator was joined for a fundraiser by Elizabeth Warren, a senator from Massachusetts and current darling of the hard-Left base of the Democrat party. Ms. Warren, a member of Ward Churchill's Wannabe tribe, is probably best known for her 2011 comment seconding President Obama's "you didn't build that" slap in the face to small businesses everywhere. According to her, "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody." So take that, Warren Buffet. Take that, Bill Gates. Elizabeth Warren says that since you use public roads and a taxpayer-financed educational system, the government has first call on the fruits of your labor.
The junior senator from Massachusetts is also known for violent rhetoric. A former consumer protection advocate, she told a Senate Banking Committee during a 2010 debate on banking regulations that if a draconian bill didn't pass, her second choice was "plenty of (bankers') blood and teeth left on the floor." Progressives went wild. Imagine the reaction if Mitt Romney had said the same of federal wool inspectors: he would have been branded the Son of Satan in letters one could read from the moon.
A former Harvard professor, Elizabeth Warren embodies the aphorism that you can always tell a Harvard man — you just can't tell him much. Advocating a minimum wage of $22 an hour, she noted that productivity gains since 1960 would support this. "The minimum wage is now $7.25 an hour," she said, asking "where did the other $14.25 go?" If she bothered to look, she might have discovered the answer in Colorado's flourishing technical sector whose hardworking innovators — none of whom she thinks accomplished anything on their own — did much more to raise productivity than legions of burger-flippers receiving the minimum wage. And they received compensation commensurate with their contributions. If all received the same wage, investment and innovation would evaporate like dew on a midsummer day in Grand Junction. Doubtless Ms. Warren would consider this the result of conspiracy, and seek the appropriate classes to guillotine: Progressives crave enemies.
Why would Mark Udall and his minders want to link him with this ultraliberal, self-described "rock-thrower?" Wouldn't she fit the description "Too extreme for Colorado?" Of course not. There's the "good" extreme: Elizabeth Warren, who can whip up the Democrat base while an adulatory media keeps those "blood and teeth" type comments under wraps. And the "bad" extreme, including all Republicans.
To Mark Udall, Elizabeth Warren and others of their ilk, Republican candidates are "bad" because they are not standing on streetcorners randomly handing out coupons for free abortions. This, according to the one-note samba of their negative campaign: a monotonous squeal of "it's my choice." Hilarious coming from a political party that sees no problem with restricting Coloradoans' First and Second Amendment rights while ferociously defending others found skulking in the Constitution's shadows. Elizabeth Warren is just another guest appearance in this increasingly hysterical "war on women" myth.
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The whole affair stinks of desperation. The Udall campaign knows he's in trouble; when the good senator suggested in Grand Junction last week that, despite his record of voting to support the president 99 percent of the time, the White House trembles at his approach, even CNN's Peter Hamby called the statement "hilariously wrong — and not true." When CNN labels a Democrat politician a lying buffoon, it's time to panic.
Fear also explains the senator's public opposition to the president's newfound determination to use force against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Udall bravely opined that "any expanded U.S. military role beyond airstrikes" must be approved by Congress, and that he would "not give this president a blank check … to begin another land war in Iraq." I'm not certain what planet the senator calls home, but back here on Earth the president didn't call for anything beyond airstrikes and was emphatic about not wanting "boots on the ground" in Iraq. The comment was unhinged, and instills doubt about Sen. Udall's ability to separate reality from fantasy.
Then again, his words will serve to stir the unthinking Democrat base: to them, uttering the phrase "war in Iraq" is like throwing a whole salmon into a roomful of starving cats; there's going to be furious action and lots of yowling. Much like knocking out bankers' teeth, expropriating successful entrepreneurs or indiscriminately spewing unfounded accusations of misogyny and racism, it also sacrifices any possibility of national consensus on the altar of political expediency. We know that's Elizabeth Warren's modus operando. Apparently, Mark Udall's as well.
Should this cynical gambit be rewarded? If not, you know what to do on Nov. 4.
Morgan Liddick pens a weekly column for the Summit Daily News.