Unabashed Radicals: The mission of Demos, Elizabeth Warren’s favorite left-wing group
By Barbara Joanna Lucas, Organization Trends, July 2014 (PDF here)
Summary: Demos, a New York City think tank and advocacy shop, is not a place for the timid. It pines for “global governance,” major redistribution of wealth, significant restrictions on political speech, and a Democratic presidential candidate to the left of Hillary Clinton.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the freshman Massachusetts senator who pioneered the “you didn’t build that” philosophy, is using her new book, Fighting Chance, to throw red meat to the Left and position herself to the left of Democrats like Hillary Clinton, who are more comfortable with Wall Street donors. Warren’s book tour was well received among fawning liberal supporters across the country, many of whom are looking for an un-Hillary in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
“I’d spent nearly twenty years fighting to level the playing field for the middle class, and I’d seen millions of working families go over the economic cliff—and it was getting worse,” Warren writes in her book, explaining why she decided to run for Senate in 2012. “What kind of country would my grandchildren grow up in? What if the conservatives and the big banks and the big-time CEOs got their way and Washington kept helping the rich and powerful to get richer and more powerful? Could I really stand on the sidelines and stay out of this fight?”
The New Republic has called Warren “Hillary Clinton’s Worst Nightmare,” and much reporting since has followed similar themes, even as Warren feigns uninterest in presidential politics (just as she claims public clamor forced her to run for the Senate).
Still, many political observers claim former Secretary of State Clinton is invincible. Of course, similar claims were made in 2008. That year, in addition to her official campaign organization, Hillary had close allies in the nonprofit sector propping her up, such as the Center for American Progress (founded by a former Clinton White House chief of staff, John Podesta) and targeting her enemies, as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) did.
How can Warren compete with that?
Should Warren run, she will likely have her own infrastructure in place with Demos, the research and advocacy group whose slogan is “An Equal Say and Equal Chance for All.” Notice the similarity to the title of Warren’s book.