BOSTON - Deep divisions within the Democratic Party are on display, as Elizabeth Warren's most ardent far-left backers blast her as a "sellout" for "turning her back" on them to back Hillary Clinton. As the Sanders/Warren wing of the Party joins the rest of the country in expressing their distrust of Hillary Clinton, it's become obvious how divided Democrats are heading into the fall.
Special Report: Liz Warren's rhetoric clashes with new role as Hillary Clinton's attack dog
By Chris Cassidy and Hillary Chabot
Jilted progressive Democrats who helped lead Elizabeth Warren to victory in 2012 are now accusing the Bay State senator of selling out and betraying their cause by endorsing Hillary Clinton — casting doubt that a Clinton-Warren alliance could actually unite the fractured party.
“I feel like she’s turned her back on the American people,” said Laurie Cestnick of Lincoln, the organizer of Occupy DNC, which plans protests in Philadelphia later this month in support of a Bernie Sanders nomination. “We’re devastated — totally devastated. This has been really hard, almost like a death, because we believed she was a true progressive. ... I have defended her from day one that she would never go to the Hillary side.”
But progressives told the Herald not even Warren can sell them on a Clinton White House. Some are still fuming over what they believe was Democratic strong-arming to suppress the Sanders vote, while others view Clinton as a corrupt instrument of Wall Street and are heartsick over their one-time progressive darling sharing the same stage.
“She chose to endorse Wall Street,” said Jamie Guerin, another Occupy DNC protester from the Bay State. “It’s not working. It’s not flipping Bernie supporters over to Clinton, it’s just making people distrust and dislike Elizabeth Warren as much as they dislike and distrust Hillary Clinton.”
After Warren endorsed Clinton last month, Guerin organized a protest outside a Warren event in Northampton of progressives and former Occupy Wall Street activists who dressed in black “mourning” her defection, she said. Warren met with the group after the event and took questions, but Guerin said the Cambridge Democrat “played the Trump card on us” by urging them to unite behind Clinton or risk the brash billionaire winning the presidency.
“I don’t care if Jesus Christ were her running mate,” said Guerin of Clinton. “I can’t unsee what I’ve seen.”
Guerin even said she doesn’t think she’d vote for a Warren Senate re-election in 2018 and is hoping instead to support “people with true progressive values that act with integrity.”
John Jackson of Amherst, who helps run Occupy DNC’s social media, accused Warren of waiting to see who’d win the Democratic primary before risking her political reputation.
“I held her in pretty high regard,” Jackson said. “Now that she’s made her big move, that tells me what I need to know about her. She’s out for herself first and us second.”
Warren, who famously took credit for creating the “intellectual foundation,” of Occupy Wall Street, had embraced the group early in her Senate campaign and even visited the Occupy Boston campsite in 2011.
But the liberal icon changed her tune after a Karl Rove-backed attack ad sought to tie her to the organization’s violent protests and radical agenda. Worried about losing blue-collar independent voters, Warren backtracked and stiffly urged the anti-corporate upstarts to follow the law. When Occupy Harvard asked the Harvard law professor to sign their petition, expecting sympathetic support, she turned them down.
Meanwhile, Cestnick said she’s expecting about 20,000 Occupy DNC protesters at the July 25-28convention, but with other Sanders groups, the total could stretch from anywhere between 50,000 and “several hundred thousand” — leaving Warren with plenty of detractors close by.
(Click here to read the full article)