opinion

Opinion columnist

Published 1:01 PM EDT May 15, 2019

Elizabeth Warren has a plan to deal with Fox News.

The senior senator from Massachusetts and Democratic candidate for president will answer the right-wing cable channel’s questions, but she will not do anything that “adds money to the hate-for-profit machine.” 

That means saying no to a Fox-branded town hall.

And just like her plans to fight the opioid crisis and cancel student loan debt and take on the anticompetitive dominance of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, her calls to end the filibuster and — within hours of reading the Mueller report — to begin impeachment proceedings for President Donald Trump, it’s a plan that this unique moment in history demands.

Again and again, Warren has risen to greatest assault on democracy by a somewhat democratically elected president and a party of oleaginous enablers by not only clearly describing the crisis we face, but also laying out a path through it. There has been no candidate for president in my lifetime who has better matched her country’s needs. 

Elizabeth Warren is best leader for unique moment in US history

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Of course, just over a decade ago, we saw another candidate for president who was a remarkable fit for his moment. Barack Obama opposed the Iraq War from the outset and promised a new generational approach to country that seemed to be crumbling and drowning at the same time.

But even before Obama said, “Yes, we can,” Warren was telling “anyone who would listen” about the risks that were systematically tearing the middle class apart and would lead to the financial crisis.

Warren knows GOP obstruction firsthand

The former Harvard professor doesn’t separate Trump from those risks that took trillions out of our economy and cost us millions of jobs, but rather frames him “as both a unique threat and a symptom of so much of what’s gone so horribly wrong,” as The Washington Post's Greg Sargent notes.

There’s no doubt Warren is perfect for this fraught moment, as another overgrown rich kid who lost the electoral vote is nurturing another financial bubble based on massive tax giveaways to the rich as he prepares for another senseless war in the Middle East.

The question is whether she’s right for her party.

Former vice president Joe Biden said Tuesday that if Trump is booted from the White House, “You will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends."

This assumes so many facts that just aren’t in evidence, including the assumption that Trump will peacefully leave the White House if defeated, something even Trump’s former lawyer doubts. 

Warren knows firsthand that the obstructive obstinacy of the GOP predates Trump and will outlast him, if the republic manages to survive this presidency.

Biden is selling voters a fictional kumbaya

The reason she’s in Senate is because Republicans used the filibuster to block her appointment to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that she helped create. And one reason she knows the filibuster needs to go is that Republicans tried to use it to prevent anyone at all from being appointed to lead the CFPB. 

Joe Biden knows this, too, of course. He was in the Senate when the GOP began its ahistorical embrace of the filibuster. He was vice president when Republicans came together before Day One of Barack Obama’s presidency, in the midst of massive financial meltdown and two losing wars, to unite in their goal to make the new president a failure. And Joe Biden has, presumably, heard of Merrick Garland.

But Biden is selling Democratic voters a fictional bipartisan kumbaya worthy of James Joyce because he knows Democratic voters, especially the ones not on Twitter, love this stuff. And not just Democratic voters. It’s the entire basis of Howard Schultz’s proposed third-party run, which has all but disappeared in the last few weeks as Biden has sucked up all the “come together” oxygen in the atmosphere.

Women are the answer in 2020

Many on the left, including myself, imagined that Biden’s middle-of-the-road malarkey might doom his candidacy — much in the way it doomed Jeb Bush in 2016. Instead, the opposite is happening. Biden seems to be soaring on the afterglow of his association with Barack Obama, with numbers that suggest he’s pleasing a Democratic base that is older and apparently starved for promises of a return to normalcy.

But this isn’t a moment for the politics that got us here. Carbon dioxide has hit a level not seen in 3 million years, and that doesn’t even factor in the hot air from Trump’s more than 10,000 lies.

The 2020 election marks the 100th year of women voting. Republicans, who are in the midst of an unprecedented attack on women’s reproductive rights, will re-nominate a known misogynist who personifies the greed at the heart of the tangled crises of inequality and climate change.

Elizabeth Warren also has the right plan for that. It looks like nominating a woman, or two, for the top of the Democratic ticket.

Jason Sattler, a writer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors and host of "The GOTMFV Show" podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @LOLGOP