OKC Native Elizabeth Warren Earns National Spotlight
“Now, there's something I've noticed lately. You probably have, too. And it's this. Maybe just because I grew up in a different time, but though I often disagree with Republicans, I actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate our president and a lot of other Democrats.”—Bill Clinton in his speech at the Democratic National Convention
Oklahoma City native Elizabeth Warren delivered a well-received speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, but don’t expect the conservative corporate media here to praise it.
Warren, a former Harvard Law School professor now running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, chaired a Congressional panel beginning in 2008 that oversaw the federal Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, and she later helped create the U.S. Consumer Protection Bureau.
In essence, she served as a major watchdog for American citizens during one of the country’s worst economic downturns in history, a daunting task she completed with great skill.
Warren, pictured right, grew up with modest means and was raised by working class parents in Oklahoma City. She attended Northwest Classen High School before leaving the state at a young age. She’s a role model—or should be a role model—for thousands of Oklahoma City area students, who also may come from low-income homes.
In one of her speech’s most powerful moments, Warren directly challenged GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s statement on the campaign trail that corporations are people when he offhandedly referred to the legal concept of corporate personhood. “No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people,” Warren said. “People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die, and that matters. That matters.”
Warren’s personal story and her success are compelling. Her speech was remarkable. But the local corporate media here, led by The Oklahoman, have pretty much normalized what former President Bill Clinton referred to Wednesday night as the “hate” of the “far right that now controls” the Republican Party. In other words, don’t expect good reviews for Warren’s speech in the local corporate press.
Under the prevailing Oklahoma GOP rubric and its propaganda machines, someone like Warren is an enemy and a left-wing radical because she’s a Democrat and she supports President Barack Obama. It doesn’t matter if she’s a hometown girl or not.
An editorial in The Oklahoman this convention week makes it clear. The downward slide of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is because of President Obama, according to the editorial. What Democrats here need to do, and I guess by extension all Democrats, including Warren, is reject the president of their own political party, it argues. If they do that, then everything will be okay with Democrats.
Of course, the newspaper itself, one of the most conservative in the nation, isn’t to be held accountable for its one-sided, inane and consistent criticism of Obama or, for that matter, Clinton either when he was president. All the hatred for these presidents was generated independently of the right-wing noise machine, right?
Meanwhile, Gov. Mary Fallin is serving as an attack dog for Mitt Romney’s campaign this week in Charlotte as Oklahoma taxpayers pick up some of the tab. Now there’s a hometown girl The Oklahoman can recognize for doing a good job.
The larger picture is this: Even if the GOP does win the presidency this year using the politics of hate and lies, it remains an endangered species in its current form in the long-term because of the growing diversity and cultural tolerance of this country. It will have to move left to survive as a viable political party, even in Oklahoma eventually. But there’s much damage it can do to the country’s social, medical and educational infrastructure in a few short years.