Monday, June 24, 2019

Oregon Senate GOP walkout


The Oregon GOP message is about process, not goal.


Climate: Future at stake
The hardest things to notice are what isn't being said: They aren't denying climate change.  

It's a victory.



Oregon is in the national news. Oregon House Democrats passed a bill, HB 2020, that would address climate with a cap on carbon use, combined with a market based system for allocating it. Cap, trade, rebate. 

This is consistent with a broader understanding of the best way for government to deal with "negative externalities" of certain behaviors: people pay for the social costs they create. Insofar as carbon use in Oregon creates a social cost (contribution to climate change) then raising the cost would cause people to use less. 

This has the advantage of being non-coercive and market based, but the disadvantage of being complicated.
This blog noted two days ago that Democratic voters nationally think climate change is:
***real,
***human caused, and 
***important. 

Current GOP leadership orthodoxy under Trump is that climate change: 
***probably isn't real, or if real, 
***it isn't human caused, and even if so, 
***the issue isn't a negative, and even if that, 
***then it isn't a big deal.  

As this blog also noted two days ago, nationally the GOP voters agree, with only 25% thinking climate change is important and only 32% thinking government should do anything about it.

The Oregon senators who have left the state are not joining in that message. It may be an underlying premise, but their opposition is frames as a matter of procedural and political fairness. 

Here is how the top GOP senator, Herman Baertschiger, said it. I have added with bold the points of objection. 

     “All we want is for the people of Oregon to vote on this horrible bill. My caucus and I have been threatened by the Governor, Senate President, and Majority Leader with fines and arrests because they do not agree with our stance to protect rural Oregonians from cap and trade. Walking out is part of the conversation because the Governor is not willing to move on her position on the bill, and she is only representing Portland and the environmental community, not rural Oregonians. Oregon is a dictatorship, not by one person, but by one party.

In a second official statement he put it this way, this time adding the charge that GOP communities were being extorted: 


     We have endured threats of arrest, fines, and pulling community project funds from the Governor, Senate President and Majority Leader. We will not stand by and be bullied by the majority party any longer. Oregonians deserve better. Its time for the majority party to consider all Oregonians – not just the ones in Portland.


DeBoer
Former GOP state senator Alan DeBoer did not deny or minimize climate change in a recent op-ed statement. He said that Republicans wanted to "come up with good practical solutions" and he, too, focused on procedure, saying the GOP and the people they represent weren't listened to.  He said the bill should not be rushed, that it shouldn't be termed an emergency, that we could and should implement it in stages so we can see if it works, that the government would have trouble administering it, that the administration would involve employees subject to costly PERS

It was a criticism of politics and government competency, not of the underlying issue.

Meanwhile, Governor Kate Brown is doing media events with teen agers, attempting to make the point that we are dealing with their futures. 

Maybe this is just GOP eyewash and posturing--a calculated talking point toward a future election of more Republicans.  Maybe they don't think CO2 and climate are important, but have chosen what they think is lower hanging political fruit.

But if it is just cynical calculation, it makes the case even more strongly. They are reluctant to be on the side of diminishing climate as an issue, and it is better to try another point of objection. That means the climate constituency has grown stronger.

It is a victory for climate activists.





Sunday, June 23, 2019

Virtue Signalling


Humans Show Off.



So do peacocks. Gorillas. Business executives. Politicians.


It is how natural selection works.


Humans are a social animal and we are conscious of status. Humans are competitive. It is a key element in sexual competition and selection. I cite as evidence the unguarded comment of Donald Trump:

     “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything, grab 'em by the pussy."

Feminine beauty and male power are not the only sources of status. Virtue is another. Within a group, certain behaviors are honored: obedience and valor bring glory to a soldier; intelligence brings it in academia; and adherence to ideological principle brings it in politics and religion.

Previously, GOP "Moral Majority" budget hawks were the supposed sticklers on abortion, homosexuality, sexual license, deficits, and self reliance. Donald Trump changed the Republican brand. Forget deficits, forget sexual license. It is about us versus outsiders. 

But now it is the left's turn to be the Party of stickler principle. The progressive "woke" left is on the lookout for offense, and eager to protect victims.The presidential campaign exacerbated this. No one wants to be behind the moral curve--to be like Biden--old fashioned and clueless about the new orthodoxy.

Each group of victims of prejudice has its leadership vanguard, women saying victims who must be believed, blacks saying victims who must have been assaulted, spokespeople saying homosexual or trans victims who must have been dissed. The leaders are often well ahead of the groups they purport to lead. 

Virginia Gov. Northam, maybe.
*****Black voters in Virginia are far less surprised and appalled by the blackface appearance thirty years ago of Democratic Governor Ralph Northam than are the white politicians and media hosts expressing outrage. Why aren't they more upset, their white defenders wonder? 

*****Women are abused, insulted, and exploited, yet a majority of white women voted for Trump, not Hillary. Women make accusations, yet married white women don't immediately take the woman's side. Could it be because they have sons and husbands, and they care about due process? 

*****Joe Biden was a hands-on hugger. He worked with racist colleagues. Progressive activists are appalled, and yet the polls show the general public cares less about that than the fact that he is old and shopworn. Why aren't they more outraged?

Leading edge Democrats--the point of the spear--look back at the Obama years and think they were too compromised, too accommodating to the status quo. The activist vanguard likes the sound of Bernie and the progressive woke, people calling out error and compromise. Medicare for All--not Medicare for those who want it. Free tuition--not merely affordable tuition. Democratic socialism--not safety-net-capitalism. And no compromise on the Green New Deal.

The left is doing virtue signaling. See how pure and wonderful we are? 

Yesterday this blog observed that the Oregon bill--HB 2020--imposing a carbon cap, trade, and rebate--put the greatest burden on rural people--people who vote Republican--and the test of real political courage and virtue would be if the bill primarily burdened urbanites and college towns. Skilled and empathetic politicians, like Jeff Golden featured yesterday, are aware of the burdens of the bill, but in Democratic districts the voters want to see progress, or at least something. Besides, lumber companies were never going to support Democrats anyway. 

Thad Guyer added a comment to this blog yesterday, and I am repeating it here. Guyer says that Democrats are expressing moral elitism with empty-gestures. It is cheap virtual signaling. Moral elitism is very costly to Democrats. Americans sense it and they don't like being scolded.

Here is Guyer: 


Thad Guyer
"I especially include the timber industry and its workers among those who are very justified in resisting Oregon Democrats' feel good but symbolic solutions to climate change. 

The timber industry has a large carbon footprint ("cap" element) and a low profit margin with middle class wages ("trade" element)in the cap and trade "solution". The late Eugene Piazza and I were part of a national lawyer team suing the timber industry in the 1990s and learned a lot about its operations which include (1) massive fuel and electric consumption in harvest, processing and shipping; (2) CO2 spikes from wide-scale clear cutting, not of old growth but of the planted forests which are managed like crops, and(3) downstream wood product and paper processing (including plywood particle board and flooring). 

Oregon could shut down that whole industry, indeed go completely dark on industrial and consumer energy consumption and have no measurable effect on climate change. Oregon could ban 100% of gun sales in the state and not save a single life. Carbon emissions and guns are ubiquitous and beyond supply side (or cap and trade) solutions unless implemented nationally (if not globally). 

Democratic progressives, however, are politically inclined to moral elitism in the body politic strategically inflicting damage on economic and trade sectors that aren't within our voting and contribution constituencies. We love Nike and Apple in Oregon, but pretend they are green because their carbon foot prints are unleashed on Chinese children who live near the factories. Thus, we opt to target industries and sectors over whom we have legal jurisdiction rather than consumers, where fuel taxes on scale with the EU, banning outright consumer single use plastics, banning paper towels and toilet paper (like much of the world) and requiring carbon offsets on airline tickets would be far more environmentally effective, but politically unpalatable to Democrats in DC, NY, Salem or Sacramento. 

The Oregon GOP should do everything it legally can, including quorum negation, to protect our carbon based industries and workers (aka "deplorables") by stymieing our morally elitist ineffectual green agenda. 

We are Democrats, and like Republicans, we want other people to bear the sacrifice, not us."



Saturday, June 22, 2019

Walkout: Oregon State Senate

Jeff Golden

Climate Change is a partisan issue.


A strong majority of Democrats think climate change is real, urgent, and that we should do something about it. 

So Oregon Democratic legislators acted accordingly.

Most Republicans disagree. They doubt it's a problem and most don't support actions that would cost money or inconvenience citizens. 

So Oregon Republican legislators acted accordingly.

Logjam. Walkout.


The Oregon state senate made national news. For the second time this year, GOP senators left the state, thus denying the state senate a quorum, thereby blocking passage by the majority of senators of a bill to create a carbon tax, trade, and rebate program. 

Here is an explanation of the bill: Click Here

We are seeing representative democracy at work. Among Democrats, 78% think climate change is "very" important and 84% think the government needs to do something. Among Republicans, only 25% think it is important and only 32% think the government should do something.  Click: ABC poll

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Democratic-Republican partisanship is aligned with urban-rural geography, and people in urban areas drive fewer miles than do rural residents, and therefore Republican legislators calculate that the burden of the bill falls more directly on rural--i.e. Republican--voters.  Democrats are elected almost entirely from urban districts. This re-ignites the age old resentment of policies pushed onto rural Oregonians by the Portland population juggernaut.

(If the plan to reduce fossil fuel use were a tax on cars idling while stuck in traffic at intersections, then the burden would switch to a different set of voters. Portland legislators might feel differently.)

Jeff Golden is a Democratic State Senator, representing an unusual district for a Democrat, a mixed one that includes forested areas, plus the college town of Ashland. He supports the bill. He also recognizes that his district includes lots of people who, especially in decades past, worked in the lumber industry, a well organized interest group opposing the bill. 

Click: Amazon
He sent a newsletter, expressing his views on the walkout, a newsletter noteworthy for its expression of empathy to people in that industry. He is voting agaienst what they perceive to be their interest, but he appears determined to show that neither he--nor environmental politics generally--are the real villain. "The timber companies who made billions off of Northwest forests could have done much more," he says, but they did not.  

We have an up close look at the Oregon version of the struggle we see in the Midwest "rustbelt" and in Appalachian coal country, the disappearance of one kind of traditional job, with industry--and Trump--
blaming it on environmentalists and out of touch urban liberals, and Democrats objecting to that explanation.

Golden is familiar with this industry/environmental conflict. He wrote a novel about it twenty years ago. The issue persists.



Here is how Jeff Golden is handling this difficult communication issue, verbatim from his newsletter:


"I write this at my desk on the Senate floor, surrounded by all of my 17 Democratic colleagues and none of my 11 Republican colleagues. We’ve been here for five hours nowchit-chatting, filling each other in on the bills we’re still working on, catching up on constituent e-mail, talking or Face-timing with local media outlets. What we’re not doing is the public’s business we were sent here to do. 
That’s because the Republican Senators, if this afternoon’s reports from CNN are right, are in Missoula, Montana. They apparently flew there early this morning in order to leave the jurisdiction of the Oregon State Police. A couple hours later, at the Senate President’s request, Governor Kate Brown ordered OSP to do everything possible to bring these folks back to the Capitol. 
For the second time this session, the Republicans have walked. The 
purpose is to deny the Senate a quorum; the state Constitution allows us 
to do business only when 2/3 of us, 20 out of 30, are present. In May they 
left for four days to keep us from passing the Student Success Act, which included a $1 billion/year Corporate Activities Tax. They came back after a closed-door deal (and the Student Success package has since been passed and signed into law) that killed a couple of unrelated bills they didn’t like. At the time more than a few of us wondered what the Republicans would take away from that experience. “I have a three-year-old,” one of my colleagues said then. “And the last thing in the world I’d do if he pitched a tantrum is give him a piece of candy.” Today it’s especially easy to see what she meant. 
Part of that regrettable deal was the Republican’s promise that they wouldn’t walk out again for the rest of the session…wouldn’t do, that is, exactly what they did todayThis time the triggering issue is HB 2020, the big climate bill that’s grabbed so much energy and attention all session.  This bill is so grotesquely horrible, they keep sayingthey had no choice but to flee Salem. “Senate Republicans,” Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) wrote today from his out-of-state perch, “have chosen to use the last option available to protect our constituents by denying the Senate a quorum to pass HB 2020. This follows on the heels of a big rally in the Capitol this week of loggers and log-truck drivers; one had the logs he was hauling spray-painted with the message "No more. This is my life. 
This tone of desperation has been a steady thread of the HB 2020 debate for months. Some of it has been manufactured. Sen. Herman Baertschiger (R-Grants Pass), passing the time somewhere in Montana as I write, is the 
leader of Senate Republicans. This afternoon's TV news quotes him saying that HB 2020 will devastate anybody in the natural resource industry. “They’re afraid,” he said of rural Southern Oregonians. “They’re afraid that their livelihood is gonna go away. 
Yes, many of them are afraid. I’ve received my share of mail from people fearing that HB 2020 will trash their way of lifeLast March, when we held a public hearing on the bill at Central High in Medford, something like 60 people spoke for the bill and some 50 against it; of the second group, about 25 said the program would “crush”—always that same word—the economy and their lives. 
Why Are People This Scared?  
I think there are three reasons. One is that people who’ve made their living with their hands, in the forests, on farms, on fishing boats or in mines, in factories and shops, have found themselves on the short end of a very short stick for years now. They used to be valued workers; now they’re replaceable production inputs in a world very different from the promising one they grew up in. Hundreds of professions across the country that used to promise a decently secure future and retirement just don’t anymore. The truth is that most blue-collar workers everywhere are scared for good reasons. 
The second reason is a case study of the first. Thirty years ago workers in our valley took a huge and sudden hit when the rules of federal forest management changed almost overnight. Whatever you think and whoever you want to blame for those hard times, thousands of Southern Oregonians were knocked out of middle-class security into economically rugged lives. It’s not hard to scare people who’ve gone through that kind of change. 
The third reason is simple. A lot of people are scared out of their wits about this bill because high-profile voices are working hard to scare them out of 
their wits. Take the claim that HB 2020 “will devastate anybody in the natural resource industry.” Seriously?  If you’ve followed this debate since January, you can’t possibly count the number of times you’ve heard how this Cap and Trade program will devastate, destroy, decimate, ruin, demolish ocrushOregon and Oregonians or both. 
I want to say this clearly. The politicians preaching fire-and-brimstone about HB 2020 either haven’t read the billdon’t understand its provisions, haven’t bothered to look at the economy-boosting impacts of carbon pricing wherever it’s been tried**, or are cynically exploiting the natural anxiety about change to for political purposes. With the worried hopes of so many working people on the line, that’s a deeply cruel thing to doAnd it’s cruel to imply to the people they say they’re fighting for that things will be fine if we don’t act boldly on climate. The evidence, up to and including last summer’s hellacious fires and unbearable smoke, loudly says that’s not true.  
I’m angry about thatMixed with that feeling is real sadness about that logtruck driver—“This is my life”—thscared comments (some tinged with rage, some not)  I’ve read on email and heard in public hearingsWhenever there’s a major social/economic shift—again, the Timber Wars come to mind—the ones who profited the most from the existing order seem to be held harmless while their workers take the biggest hits. That’s not the way it has to be. The timber corporations who made billions off Northwest forests could have done much more during the transition to help the workers that labored to create their wealth. The immensely lucrative fossil-fuel industry, which year after year raked in the largest profits ever recorded by any industry, could be helping workers through the transition now.   
But that’s not how things work. Pick a major economic transition from any historical moment and you’ll find the heaviest load landing on the shouldersthe least privileged, however hard they may have worked creating wealth for others We’re trying to do it differently with HB 2020. 
The intensity of today’s fight is fueled by forces even bigger than this big issue.  One of them is the emotional clash of cultures I described earlier in the battle over coyote-killing contestsIt lays bare the core belief of many working people, so evident in the last presidential election, that they’ve been dismissed and ignored 
That has fostered another major force: a challenge to government’s basic legitimacy that would have been hard to imagine ten or even five years ago. We saw it in the 2016 armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Some say it’s playing out on the national level as the Executive Branch refuses to comply with lawful subpoenas and other orders from the Legislative Branch. And we’re seeing it right now as I sit amidst of cluster of Democratic Senators, without a Republican in sight, wanting to finish our constitutionally-required work. When Republicans essentially say “never mind that policies like HB 2020 resulted from which legislators the voters chose; the only way we have to protect Oregonians is to shut down the Legislature,” they are starkly challenging the legitimacy of government. I think the Mail Tribune editorial got it right." 


Friday, June 21, 2019

Cory Booker: The Other Rhodes Scholar



He picked a fight.
Booker is positioning himself: 


***He is more black than Biden. 

***More woke than Biden. 

***More critical of the swamp than Biden.



Joe Biden must have thought he was well within the safe harbor of things to say. He said he was an effective legislator on behalf of justice in part because he appreciated civility and could get along with others, even people he disagreed with, even southern segregationist senators. 

Surely this was OK to say. No. 

Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Booker criticized Biden, with Booker the most prominent, saying Biden should apologize. He shouldn't have used getting along with segregationist senators to make his point. It was hurtful to black Americans, Booker said.

Hurtful.

Booker is making his move. Booker did not have a natural base of Democratic voters who would pick his name first. Now he is getting one, the identity conscious black vote, a significant sleeve of the Democratic electorate.

Cory Booker has every reason to think that he, not Pete Buttigieg, should be the number three or four person on the Democratic leader board. Booker has the edge in credentials.

Booker is a Rhodes Scholar, just like Buttigieg. Booker went on and got a law degree from Harvard, and Buttigieg didn't. Booker was mayor of Newark, a city three times the size of South Bend. Booker got elected statewide as a US Senator, and Buttigieg hasn't. Booker is the right age (50), the right color (light skinned black), and is heterosexual.

But Buttigieg had a natural base of young people, gay-friendly people, and people who wanted someone completely new, and from that ember, got noticed. It wasn't happening for Booker. Booker was perceived as slick, as close to Wall Street, as corporate friendly. But not as the spokesman for black Democrats.

Booker is fixing that. 

Booker's criticism of Biden for being hurtful comes on top of Booker testifying to the Senate on behalf of reparations to repay black Americans for the wealth confiscated by their black ancestors. Advocates of reparations don't rest their case on slavery's theft of labor. They note the hundred years of Jim Crow, the segregated civil service and military, federal policies that red-lined housing, the overt policies of government that disadvantaged blacks and kept them from accumulating the wealth that whites, living across the tracks on the good part of town, were gaining.


The issue of reparations is deeply divisive. 


Poll: "Overwhelming opposition to reparations."

White Americans are overwhelmingly opposed. They don't feel guilty for the sins of their great, great grandparents, and they don't think the great, great grandchildren of slaves deserve payment. Blacks feel differently.

Republicans love the issue. It energizes their voters and allows racial talk, and to do it about money give-aways, not prejudice itself, a perfect dog whistle. Plus, it pushes Democrats into overt or implied criticism of white Americans. 

Trump says that America is great; Democrats say that Americans are guilty. Of course, Republicans love the issue.

So it may seem crazy of Booker to bring up reparations, a loser issue. Why is Booker bringing it up? He needs a base, a toe-hold. 

I attach a guest comment from Tony Farrell, who has written here before. Farrell is a prosperous, Bay Area man, a college classmate, and a nationally recognized expert on branding and product positioning. Click: Linkedin bio.

Facebook critics about his earlier observations on this blog noted, correctly, that he appears to be a country club liberal, one of those who did well in the current economic system. That is true. He could be "profiled" as part of the comfortable liberal donor class. (As, I suppose, can I.) 

He is put off by Booker. Booker is encouraging tribalism, Farrell says. Yes, indeed. That is the point. Booker needs his tribe, and the dissatisfaction of the Ferrell-type voters may prove Booker's sincerity to his tribe because Booker is paying a price for his position. Booker loses the support of voters who have season tickets to Stanford games, in exchange for the bigger block of voters up for grabs, black Democrats looking for a champion.



Guest Comment by Tony Farrell
Farrell

            Because I’ve held Stanford football season tickets for 40 years, I must have seen Cory Booker play. 

But I’ve no memory of him commanding any sort of bullying presence on the gridiron; as a candidate, he seems to be trying to make up for it. 

Cory “Bring It On!” Booker has that “in-your-face, who-you-lookin’-at?” quality that belies claims he otherwise might make about being able to listen to those who disagree with him, or to work “across the aisle” (current parlance) to realize goals.

His enthusiastic arguments favoring “reparations” for slavery is, to me, the bale-of-straw that flattened the poor camel. Perhaps Booker’s invested in Ancestry.com and 23andMe—anticipating reparations as a windfall for claimants of African heritage? (If I discover such ancestry, even at Warren’s “Pocahontas” level, I’m also applying for a 50 percent “Irish bump,” because in the 1850s, Irish and blacks were cast by the Anglo tribe into the same sub-human species.) 

Our Constitution and Civil Rights laws; anti-discrimination; affirmative action; voting rights; so many other remedies are aimed at the legacy of slavery and the current impact of racism. More laws and remedies are needed, I’m sure. But “reparations,” as any English-speaker understands, are a toxic concept that would profoundly divide Americans in a misguided scramble to prove entitlement, or to fight against entitlement.

“Bring It On!” Booker has zero chance to lead America away from Trump tribalism; quite the contrary, “Bring It On!” Booker promises a continuation of identity warfare, with the inane reparations idea its centerpiece. 

The big question is whether Trump is an aberration, after whom America will return to a more conventional civility; or if Trump has opened the gates to a more coarse and divisive America. 

“Bring It On!” Booker promises a dismal outcome—a leftist Trump.







Thursday, June 20, 2019

In Orlando Trump defined what the election is about.

Trump, still running against Hillary


Not so fast.



Now it is the Democrats' turn.


Donald Trump spoke in Orlando and he defined who he is, who he is against, and what the stakes are in the 2020 election.  Trump: those rich, entitled, powerful know-it-all’s on the left rig the system to steal our wealth, undermine our victory of 2016, and they sneer at us and our values while they do it, all with the connivance of the dishonest news media and other elites. 

Trump is the hero, and he set the frame for the fight. In doing so, he described the role he wants his opponent to play, a defender of system rigging elite snobs. He cited Hillary's e-mails and her use of the word "deplorable." He got the crowd to chant "Lock Her Up." He wants a re-match of Populist Trump versus Sneering Snobs.

Democrats do not need to fall into that trap. Indeed, only one Democrat does: Joe Biden. 

Joe Biden has a long history. He represented Delaware, the home state for corporations. He has been part of the system, and the system put people into "the swamp" as Trump defined it. If the system is rigged--and now Democrats agree that it most certainly is--then Biden has no credibility as a reformer or game changer.

I like Biden.  He is a nice guy, and has been a liberal reformer for decades, but my sympathies are of no matter. He is toast, and the sooner voters realize it the better for Democrats. He confirms the Trump frame. He would lead Democrats to a loss.

Sanders: the rumpled truth teller hero
Politics is a street fight and a simple story of asymmetric heroes, and two alternative frames of good guys and bad guys.  General elections are won or lost because of moderately engaged voters, and for them the election comes down to a simple story, like David vs. Goliath. Tortoise vs. the hare. Bonnie and Clyde vs. the Feds. 

I have likened the 2016 election to a simple story of a high school student body election, between the goody-goody valedictorian girl (who maybe wasn’t so good) who got along great with the principal, versus a rich, handsome guy, a star athlete who drove a Corvette, who dated and broke up with multiple cheerleaders, and who thought school rules were too strict, and told students he wouldn’t be a toady to the school principal. 

When Hillary-Trump is framed that way, I can see why many of my high school classmates would have voted for Trump. They would have admired the jock, resented and heard rumors about the teacher’s pet valedictorian. The frame also reveals why Hillary’s emails and her paid speeches were an issue (she may be a cheater and venal and isn’t such a nice girl) and why Trump’s multiple sins didn’t hurt him (his being a saucy rule-breaker confirmed his brand.)

It is the Democrats' turn. They are doing their own casting, and in so doing write an alternative matchup and script.  

Bernie Sanders messes with Trump’s Orlando script. Bernie looks like a rumpled Socialist out of working class Brooklyn, not a sneering fat cat defender of the system. Quite the opposite. Sanders makes it the frame one of the working people versus the system rigging rich people like Trump. 

Trump would have to change directions, and become the defender of the status quo vs. Bernie, the wealth confiscating socialist tax-loving atheist tyrant.

Warren: fighter for the struggling working person
Elizabeth Warren still has the Harvard scent but she has repositioned herself into the story of an Oklahoma poor kid who aspired to be a schoolteacher, who struggled with child care and tuition, and got famous by fighting banks on behalf of consumers. She has turned up the Oklahoma setting in her accent. She, too, defies Trump’s narrative. She is the relentless opponent of Wall Street, not its defender, and she, too, would force Trump to defend the status quo versus this smart woman reformer.  

He will try to turn her into another Hillary, another cheater, someone you cannot trust. It will be harder than in 2016. Warren exudes sincerity. And she sounds like Oklahoma, not Wellesley. And Wall Street fears her. The opposition of Bernie's supporters gives her some general election credibility. She isn't Bernie, the wealth confiscating tyrant. She only wants 2% of great wealth, not all of it.

As Democratic candidates become better known the alternative stories and matchups will emerge. At this point, Biden, Sanders, and Warren's are the most known and predictable. New story lines will emerge for a few more Democrats. They will be simple. They will define good guy and bad guy.

It will not be the valedictorian versus the jock. That was last cycle.