10 Times Elizabeth Warren Proved She Was The Ultimate Badass
One of the most outspoken leaders of the resistance is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was questioning the status quo as a Harvard professor before the resistance was even a hashtag. Thursday marks Elizabeth Warren's birthday, so let's take a moment to explore some of the highlights of her career.
Just Monday, Warren was in full form when she wrote a biting letter to the Federal Reserve demanding that the Wells Fargo board be "removed" for the bank's "risk-management failures." "The Federal Reserve has done nothing to date, despite its ample statutory authority," Warren wrote in the letter. "It is time for the Federal Reserve to act as well."
Warren shows everyday Americans that they too can make a difference like she does, that they can work their way up from a working-class background to become a Harvard professor and senator of the United States.
You already know to expect Warren, her office, and her no-holds-barred Twitter account to keep the pressure up on the current administration. These examples that we're bringing up for her birthday celebration are some of her greatest hits of badass-ness. Here's hoping it helps her ride to victory in 2018.
1) You Didn't Build That!
Watch out, corporate greed and proponents of tax cuts for the rich! Thanks to Warren's perfect explanation from her 2011 campaign for Senate, the country's elite were informed that their success wouldn't be possible without what we all contribute:
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.
2) Sorry, CNBC, You're Dealing With An Expert
After the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Warren has been one of the toughest critics of the banking system. She fought for putting a limit on the big banks in a conversation with CNBC:
Look at the history. From 1797 to 1933, the American banking system crashed about every 15 years. In 1933, we put good reforms in place, for which Glass-Steagall was the centerpiece. And from 1933 to the early 1980s — that's a 50-year period — we didn't have any of that.
She sums it up: "You are not going to defend the proposition that regulation can never work. It did work."
CNBC's presenters were put in their place to the point that the channel removed the clip from YouTube.
3) GOP, Bring On The Shutdown Threats
Back in 2013, when the Republicans threatened shutting down the government, Warren basically called out the GOP game plan they've been running with ever since:
In a democracy, hostage tactics are the last resort for those who can’t otherwise win their fights through elections, can’t win their fights in Congress, can’t win their fights for the presidency, and can’t win their fights in Courts. For this right-wing minority, hostage-taking is all they have left – a last gasp of those who cannot cope with the realities of our democracy.
4) Why Investing In The USA Matters
It's so Elizabeth Warren that one of her biggest badass takedowns of the status quo came at a Re/Code conference. How do you take what resonates with coding geeks to the general public? She explains in her typical way:
The only way we get change is when enough people in this country say, 'I’m mad as hell and I’m fed up and I’m not going to do this anymore. You are not going to represent me in Washington, D.C., if you are not willing to pass a meaningful infrastructure bill, if you are not willing to refinance student loan interest rates and stop dragging in billions of dollars in profits off the backs of kids who otherwise can’t afford to go to college, if you don’t say you’re going to fund the NIH and the NISF, because that is our future.' We have to make these issues salient and not just wonky.
Interestingly, Trump's election may have just woken up enough of the country to finally make a difference.
5) Winning Twitter Fights With Trump
Of course Warren's Twitter fight with Trump didn't keep him out of the White House, but it was some of her best stuff.
6) Her Democratic National Convention Speech
After staying out of the primaries, Warren dived in 100 percent to support Hillary Clinton and her party at the DNC. And in doing so, she explained the need for identity politics and policies that help workers of all types:
Donald Trump's America. An America of fear and hate. An America where we all break apart. Whites against blacks and Latinos. Christians against Muslims and Jews. Straight against gay. Everyone against immigrants. Race, religion, heritage, gender, the more factions the better.But ask yourself this. When white workers in Ohio are pitted against black workers in North Carolina, or Latino workers in Florida, who really benefits?
These are arguments that Dems will have to keep making to win races across the country.
7) Grilling Wells Fargo
The letter to the Federal Reserve was not the first time that Warren has gone after Wells Fargo. Check out the video and see how she just leans into the questioning of CEO John Stumpf:
Since the massive years long scam came to light you have said you are accountable. What have you done to hold yourself accountable? Have you resigned as CEO or Chairman of Wells Fargo? Have you returned one nickel of the millions of dollars that you were paid while this scam was going on. I will take that as a no.
8) Speaking Well On Democrats' Debating
Warren went on Stephen Colbert and totally skewered Trump — "Donald Trump is looking out for exactly one guy, and that guy's name is Donald Trump" — but she also made a really good point about the Democrats and how the right conversations are happening within the party, and the GOP is just totally out of touch:
Democrats are out there fighting over the things that affect America's families. For example, 70 percent of young people today have got to borrow money in order to go to college. So between Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders, they're talking about whether it should be free college or should it be debt-free college. God bless! That's the right place to have the discussion.
9) Teaming Up With Hillary Clinton
Just like her tweets didn't keep Trump out of the White House, her campaign stops with Hillary Clinton didn't elect the first woman president. But they were really, really great. Seeing these two Democratic women work together was a sight, and Warren's message was perfect:
Get this, Donald. Nasty women are tough. Nasty women are smart. And nasty women vote, And, on Nov. 8, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever.
Hopefully that works in 2020.
10) Nevertheless, She Persisted
Sen. Warren's speech on then potential Attorney General Jeff Sessions was cut short by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He explained why. "Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech,” he said. “She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."
Those three words became the slogan of the entire resistance movement, and likely motivated thousands of women to run for office. That's no small thing. Happy birthday, Sen. Warren!