Any way you shake it Elizabeth Warren has become one of the most prominent Democrats of the Trump era.
At first glance, this is hardly surprising. Warren has been a Senator for nearly a decade. She sits on four Senate committees. Outside the realm of formal legislating she’s been a prominent and outspoken figure for radical redistributive change in America; often observed trying desperately to verbally spar with Trump and co. wherever she can be it on the campaign trail, in the news, or upon the digital battlefields of social media like Twitter where she is one of the most followed members of the Democrat party.
Of course, she’s had her share of national controversy too. The most glaring – and somewhat comical – of which is undoubtedly her insistence on being of Native American descent. A descent which Warren ironically disproved on her own when she farcically had allied media outlets spread the results of a DNA test she preemptively took before the campaign. A DNA test that results indicated she had less native ancestry than the average white American. But I digress…
All the same, its undeniable Elizabeth Warren has achieved a substantial degree of both celebrity amongst supporters and notoriety amongst opponents relatively unmatched by her DNC peers; including most of the 20 presidential wannabees running against her in the current Democrat primary.
But what has Senator Warren *actually done* of note to merit such mainstream attention? What substantive policy has she previously implemented to inspire trust in her myriad of proposed massed redistributive plans for America?
Well… to be blunt pretty much nothing. No, really.
Even those keen to defend her record are forced to reconcile with this uninspiring reality throughout her career such as The Atlantic coming to terms with this dearth of accomplishment with a piece aptly titled ‘Is Elizabeth Warren an Effective Senator?’ musing,
“I don’t want to go to Washington to be a cosponsor of some bland, little bill nobody cares about,” Elizabeth Warren said in 2011. “I don’t want to go to Washington to get my name on something that makes small change at the margin.”
In the four years since the then-Senate candidate made those comments in The New York Times Magazine, Warren has cosponsored more than four dozen simple resolutions establishing “National Rare Disease Day” and “honoring the entrepreneurial spirit of small business concerns in the United States.”
During her tenure in office, she’s managed to pass just one bill of any significance through the Senate—the Smart Savings Act, which altered retirement accounts for federal workers to give them more returns on their investments. A companion bill authored by Rep. Darrell Issa passed the House and became law. Her signature student loan legislation was blocked by Senate Republicans, even when her own party held the majority.
Unlike most members of her class, Warren is a staple on the campaign trail, a frequent feature of headlines and talk shows, and the recipient of an avid campaign to draft her into the presidential campaign—regardless of how many of her bills have become law.
And for Warren, that was never the point. She didn’t run for office to sign onto a slew of legislation naming post offices and making insignificant changes to U.S. policy.”
A Lot of Pretty Talk, Accompanying an Empty Resume
Of course, in a twist of irony that can only be described as palpably delicious trying to name a post office is one of the only pieces of legislation Warren has ever submitted. In fairness to The Atlantic, their article predates that attempt.
She didn’t manage to pass it (hey, stop laughing!) but to her credit, she did manage to sneak it into someone else’s bill as needless pork. I suppose one could call that an accomplishment, if they were hard pressed.
In an effort to be as fair to Warren’s lacking record as possible it is easily arguable her ‘Smart Savings Act’ – which as The Atlantic touched on sought to slightly alter retirement accounts for federal workers – and did pass the Senate but didn’t fully survive bicameral review, was substantially present in a companion bill that did become law.
But small semblances of legislative efficacy like that are accompanied by such political faceplants as *four dozen* failed attempts to establish a ‘National Rare Disease Day.’ Insignificant changes indeed…
Perhaps one Warren commentator put it best in arguing,
“She’s both at the same time highly ineffective and influential—and I know that sounds inconsistent but it’s not,” one senior financial services executive, a Warren critic, said. “She has no legislative accomplishment other than to derail a few [nominees], which is easy to do. But to her credit, she is highly influential. Members of the House Democratic Caucus and Senate Democratic Caucus “are really looking over their shoulders.”
The inescapable issue Warren will have to come to terms with sooner or later, however, is that very efficacy – and not her overinflated influence – is what matters when one has obtained the highest peak of influence possible in America, the presidency. The office Elizabeth Warren is currently pursuing.
Warren has done a fantastic job of turning an inconsequential legislative existence into a high profile bid for the highest office in the land. In large part this is thanks to her endless stream of grandiose plans for drastically changing America; plans that include everything from universal public health care to free college for all to taking the ‘illegal’ out of illegal immigrants.
But should Liz Warren manage to succeed in obtaining the DNC nomination – let alone the presidency – she’ll be in the hot seat to make good on the ridiculously massive promises she’s been making. To draft real policy. To actually do something.
And that does not bode well for a lawmaker who struggles to rename a post office…