“People are mobilizing to protect dreamers,” according to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who warned President Donald J. Trump that the crowd of progressive conference-goers she was talking to were his “worst nightmare.”
Warren was speaking to a crowd of people at a Netroots Nation (NN) event in Atlanta Saturday. According to their website, NN has been working with progressives for more than 10 years, hosting annual conferences for nearly 3,000 attendees. Those in attendance are online organizers, grassroots activists and independent media makers, who NN is teaching to be more effective.
As the keynote speaker at Saturday’s event, Warren started her address talking about so-called ‘dreamers.’ She said they were promised the chance to work and live without fearing deportation.
“And now, President Trump will make a decision on DACA. Dreamers’ future hangs in the balance,” Warren told the crowd. She says that progressives need to work together to save the controversial program.
“President Trump, let dreamers stay,” Warren declared to her enthusiastic audience. “They are our friends, our family, and our future. Give dreamers the chance to build their dreams.”
Warren then assured the crowd, “These fights matter.”
Warren switched topics, and singled out a July op-ed in the New York Times, written by Mark Penn and Andrew Stein. In their story, titled “Back to the Center, Democrats,” the writers say the Democratic Party can take back “power” if they “move to the center and reject the siren calls of the left, whose policies and ideas have weakened the party.”
Warren was no fan of the piece. “It was all about how we have to stop caring about ‘identity politics’ and how we have to stop waging ‘class warfare,'” Warren said in a mocking tone. “I even got a shout out. Apparently, I am the face of the problem.”
“Let’s be really clear here: the real power, the real threat is not me. It’s you, all of you,” Warren told the crowd, who she earlier said represented President Trump’s worst nightmare, and were a big threat to any one who likes the status quo. “It’s your energy, your passion, your commitment to our values that threaten the bland, business as usual establishment.”
Putting on her social justice warrior hat, Warren passionately proclaimed, “We’ve been warned off before. Give up, keep your heads down, be realistic, act like a grown up, keep doing the same old, same old.”
Warren says there’s no way Democrats will go back to the center. She said that the New York Times piece didn’t get much of a reaction from the party, because she believes the party has no intention of returning to the days of welfare reform or being “lukewarm on [abortion] choice.”
According to the Washington Examiner, “Penn and Stein’s op-ed sparked days of debate among Democrats online.”
In fact, there are prominent Democrats calling for a more centered party.
In liberal California, Governor Jerry Brown (D), said the Democratic Party needs to be more inclusive if they want to regain control of the House in 2018, as the Democratic base is “shifting.” Brown said Democrats need to be open to pro-life candidates, and rejected the idea of “ideological purity.”
Democrat Party congressional campaign committee chairman, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM), also said “there is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates” on abortion rights, and that candidates across the country need to “fit the district,” and should support policies that can get them elected.
During her address at the NN event, Warren said that in-fighting is harmful to the party. “We can’t waste energy arguing about whose issue matters more, and who in our alliance should be voted off the island,” she said.
However, instead of looking for a middle ground on the matter, Warren declared, “We are looking ahead and we will not, we shall not, we must not, allow anyone to turn back the clock.”
Warren felt the progressive movement, represented by the thousands of activists at NN, with their all-gender restrooms and panels on intersectionality, isn’t just “a wing” of the party anymore.
“We are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party,” Warren said.
Meanwhile, in California, their state Democratic Party is in turmoil as party leader Eric Bauman is facing allegations of voter fraud in the party chairmanship election between him and the more progressive candidate, activist Kimberly Ellis. Ellis refuses to concede defeat, and even threatened legal action.
Bauman accuses Ellis of harming the unity of the party.
With no agreement on the horizon, the California Democratic party looks to be split irreparably, possibly reflecting the state of the party on a national level.
You can watch Warren’s speech here, beginning at the 47 min mark.
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