I will never stop being amazed by the “Bernie Sanders singlehandedly invented left politics” crowd:
If you sense some tension between “politics must be grounded in a mass movement” and “major social change can only come from having one specific 78-year-old white guy in White House,” well you’re putting it politely, and indeed this “top-down bottom-up” theory of social change is completely incoherent. Nor is true that Warren sees politics are nothing more that technocrats issuing regulations; she is perfectly well aware the an effective administration requires active mass and labor support and says it all the time.
But what I really want to focus on here is the repeated claim that Warren is simply a product of Sanders (“see: Bernie”; “emulated”), who made her what she is (or, in Day’s fevered imagination, is pretending to be.) This is some serious sexist bullshit. The values Warren has expressed throughout this campaign were all evident when started her path to public office by taking a major public role in opposing the bankruptcy bill. They were evident in Warren’s first campaign for Senate. They were evident in all points in between and after. Warren didn’t become something new after 2016.
Indeed, this formulation erases the very substantial role that Warren herself played in moving the party to the left. This is not to deny the impact of Bernie’s 2016 campaign, which was also important. But it was as much effect as cause, and Warren was a very important part of this movement as well. Day’s attempt to turn Warren into an Obama clone because they both value administrative competence (?) ignores the fact that Warren fought with the Obama administration on many occasions, indeed more than Bernie did at the time. And none of this was controversial until Warren ran in 2020! Bernie’s 2016 campaign was built in part from the infrastructure of the draft Warren movement. Bernie himself argued that Warren could be the progressive torch-bearer in 2016, and probably wouldn’t have run if Warren did.
The larger problem here is that attempts to claim that Bernie’s New Deal left-liberalism are categorically different than Warren’s New Deal left-liberalism are transparently false, and hence attempts to defend the premise are doomed to make arguments that are erroneous or dishonest. But the idea that Warren is just a Bernie cover band is not just ignorant but offensive.