President Trump, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Mike Konczal discussed on Left, Right & Center
Just have to kind of plot along and Nancy Pelosi is just going to follow away from the spotlight. So on a to to that point about playing defense. A lot of the fights over these rules involved, you know, sort of blue-sky ideas that are, you know, Donald Trump is not going to sign, but it sets it sets a table for how Democrats might legislative they control the entire government in two years. And there was some discontent from the left about some of the things in in the rules package. They brought back these roles called go that basically mean if you're going to expand and entitlement program you need to. To finance that with new revenues. There was some discontent about how powerful this green new deal committee is going to be it's not going to be able to directly proposed legislation and we saw Alexandria Casio Cortez was one of just three members the democratic conference who voted against the rules package because they didn't think it was progressive enough. Do they have valid concerns there. The vast majority of the progressive caucus decided that they were fine with this packaging. They signed off on it. I mean, I think that people like AFC wanted what they wanted for good reasons. And I I agree with positions. But also, I think this is a victory for them ticket. These discussions on the table. I read an interview with her actually where she basically said that that conversation has now widened the green new deal is something that no one had heard of or practically no one had heard of like a few months ago. And now, it's something that people further to the left and people kind of in the center are talking about, you know, she's widened and the Overton window on the left when it's been actually it's been creeping so far right for so long. I think that the pay go rule is an interesting compromise. My recollection in John Kirkman from wrong they passed that. But also said, but we can violate this. When we want to like it. Exactly. So I think that's actually pretty masterful deal making on the part of progressives. If they said, okay, we're gonna vote for this thing that sounds really good, but we cannot comply with it for the things you really really want. So what does what they did in the past? Anyway, they waved it anyway. So, you know, John Bresnahan capital bureau chief for politico. Thank you for joining us. Thanks for having me. It is January twenty nineteen. And that means we're about a month into the two thousand twenty presidential election campaign. Former housing and urban development secretary who Leon Castro who also served as mayor of San Antonio is expected to announce a presidential run imminently, but more notably Senator Elizabeth Warren has formed a committee to explore a presidential run. We're joined now by Mike konczal, Mike is fellow at the Roosevelt institute where he focuses on financial reform and progressive economic policy. Mike, thanks for joining us. Thanks for having me. So Mike on this show a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about these proxy fights over Beto Rorick, which seemed to be an opportunity to relitigate the fight between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and over, you know, the level of progressivism that should be in the democratic presidential. Candidates agenda where does Elizabeth Warren sits in the fight over the future Democratic Party. You know, it's interesting so coming out of two thousand sixteen the the Democrats had three major problems to overcome. They had to reestablish their base with people of color and younger people. They have to consolidate a lot of gains. They made with suburban moderate voters, and they needed to re secure and take back the upper midwest from President Trump, and the largely did this in two thousand eighteen very well now looking at twenty twenty it's still a challenge. But it's now going to be a harder one because it needs to be done within one person leading the party is the nominee and here, I think you'll see worn emphasized her history of fighting for working class people kitchen table issues like healthcare and credit card bills and also dealing with corruption. So I think it allows her to talk a much more aggressively about what's broken with Wall Street. What's broken with people's everyday experiences, but not necessarily in the most aggressive tones? To turn off a lot of more moderate people. But in ways that might connect with a lot of the base. So I think we'll see as as she is a lot of her midwest roots and a lot of this history that she has fighting for kitchen table issues. What that will look like on? I feel like a of all the democratic presidential candidates with the possible exception, Bernie Sanders, and probably not even that exception. Warren has the most clearly defined ideology, she's really associated with a particular view of what government is four and therefore is not sort of molding her ideology to bring out into this campaign based on where the electorate is. I guess my question is to what extent are these primaries really about ideology is there are these candidates going to voters and presenting a policy plan and saying here, this is what I think government is four vote for me is that how this works. Yeah. Historically, I don't think that's the case. I also think what's interesting about Warren is that you described her as having a solid ideological background, which she has a resume what she has as a series of positions that she has. Acted on in her career like that she's worked on in academia that she's worked on in government. And I think that's the strongest argument for her candidacy is that. She doesn't just talk a good game. Right. She's actually been able to make real serious changes in American policy. I it is so early. I mean, at this point, I think is just as good a chance that we're gonna you know, determine our candidate by a sing off than it is by ideology, there's we're going to do a series of Instagram cook offs. Maybe is crazy new world out there all the rules are up in the air. I am hopeful that the discussion is about ideology, but you know, it's going to also be about race and also be about gender. I don't see how the metoo movement can't play a significant role in in what will be happening, especially if Biden enters the race. So you know, ideology and personal background. Those are always maybe the top two things that people think about and there's going to be a whole cast of characters to jet to judge by those things Ryan you actually were praising at least a portion of Elizabeth Warren agenda in your column this week saying that she had some good ideas about how the military spends money inefficiently. Even though I believe you were critical of her overall vision of how the military. We should work. I it seems in theory like she ought to be one of the best position candidates to attack Trump on a number of issues on personal corruption on closeness to industries on letting industries take advantage of the government, including defense contractors. It seems like, you know, she in many ways would be very well matched up to Trump's weaknesses. I think that symbolism and cultural stereotypes wind up counting for a lot. So I've got to say bit bearish about her chances in the primary, but I also think that it doesn't really matter all that much in so far as Warren really is an intellectual leader and the bigger picture. That's happened. Among the Democrats since their defeat in two thousand sixteen is that the Sanders lights and the Clinton nights at the elite level are totally totally aligned policy. Exactly personal. Well, that's an open question. I get a grassroots level. That's certainly true. But I've got to say Mike konczal would've played a very senior role in a Clinton White House or in a Sanders White House that is absolutely true. If you look at the advisers working. Behind these guys behind Biden or beta or what have you the truth is that there's a lot of very tight convergence. You have a strong network of former staffers who are very aware that hey, we don't know. Which of these thirty candidates will become the next president. But the folks we're gonna actually staff that administration. They're very very aligned. Now, the difficulty is that the coalition itself the electoral coalition is going to be a lot less allied. If you see a big democratic victory in twenty twenty it's going to be because you have upper middle class folks and working class folks who do not have the same core material interests, but at the elite level this party is super United in a way that ought to be intimidating for people like myself on the right, Mike. Do you agree with that assessment has Elizabeth Warren, basically already won the policy fight within the party? Even if she doesn't win the nomination. Yeah. I think so both both her and Bernie Sanders, I think it kind of closed up the space in the following twenty sixteen you now see it see particularly with healthcare where even the most moderate members are proposing a pretty expansive Medicare expansion rather than. To go back into the exchanges and bring back the individual mandate and try to increase subsidies. You know, you see it with a broad focus on things like antitrust in corporate governance, the fight for a fifteen dollars minimum wage right now is the standard policy. It's just a matter of what year you implemented where before President Obama introduced a ten dollars and ten cents minimum wage that was seen as very progressive back in twenty twelve. So there's definitely been a movement left on the economic space. I think both because of Trump's victory. I think both because of the sense that the economy is not working in a lot of core key ways, the general sense of unease, and you see it both on immigration and on globalization and on corporate profits a monopoly in platforms. So I do. Yeah. It's definitely the case that that has gone now. The question is how far and how aggressive people will push it. And I think what will matter for twenty twenty s how much it is centered in the kind of rhetoric pitch to voters on whether or not we just need some tweaking around the edges, which you'll probably hear from more centrist candidates or whether or not we need more structural reforms. And I think you'll see it particularly. Play out in the in President Trump because some people will say President Trump is going to be unique to our government. Some people will see him much more of a general symptom of the corruption that happens within government, and he'll in a weird way kind of a proxy for how that works out. I I wanna push back, and I want to hear from both on and Mike about this on the messaging about how the the economy is not working for ordinary people isn't this difficult time to be making that pitch. I mean, the the economy's certainly could be better. But I mean, the, for example, just on Friday, we got a jobs report that that far beat expectations wage growth finally kicking up over three percent isn't isn't it difficult to run on a, you know, rather than you know, Trump is corrupt. Trump is misusing our resources to run specifically on a, you know, the the economy's not working for you message at a time when the economy really feels feels good to a lot of ordinary people on I think it may feel good right now. But I think that what worries a lot of the democratic base is this. Ability of the economy and stability of the government. And I think we talked about this after the midterms, which is that the Democrats are not going to win the White House by talking about impeaching Trump as much as I personally think that would be a great idea, and they're not gonna win it talking about his charity. They're not gonna win at time him personally, they are going to have to talk about policy, but there is a certain amount of policy ties into Trump being so unstable Trump being so mercurial, I think that they can deliver a message that like we're here to take care of you like you're not gonna suffer from the winds of someone who thinks that, you know, who who answer to a stock slightest a call for the firing of the, you know, chairman at the fed like.