September 29 2012

The Many Twists and Turns of Elizabeth Warren

Vicki E. Alger

What has all the contortionists’ feats of a Cirque du Soleil performance minus the cool wardrobe? Elizabeth Warren’s ravings against the very free-market system that helped make her the wealthy woman she is today.

The Wall Street Journal’s Review and Outlook section has a very clever piece, aptly titled “Handmaid to the Plutocrats,” which says:

'People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: They're right. The system is rigged," declared Elizabeth Warren in prime time at the Democratic convention—and she should know. By her own logic, she was one of the riggers.

One pleasure of the Massachusetts Senate race is that we are all learning about the remunerative outside legal work on behalf of corporate defendants done by Harvard Law School's resident bankruptcy law expert. Let's just say she doesn't do this work pro bono. Everyone has to make a living, but Ms. Warren's legal moonlighting does raise a question or two about her posture as the tribune of the powerless little guy. …

We don't begrudge Ms. Warren's handsome earnings or her stands on legal principle, even if those principles do happen to underscore the complex nature of both the law and modern economy. But when she talks about "the millionaires and billionaires" who supposedly "wrecked our economy" and "still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them"—as she put it at the Charlotte convention—perhaps she ought to recall her own legal strutting.

By the way, Harvard requires its professors to report any extracurricular consulting activities, but Ms. Warren is refusing to disclose this list so voters can decide for themselves if she's really a handmaid to the plutocrats disguised as Robin Hood through November 6. It would be instructive to learn what other corporations, and maybe even a billionaire, have had her on their payrolls.

As my colleague Charlotte Hayes noted a few weeks back, you never know which Elizabeth Warren you’re going to get: the Savior of Wall Street Warren or the Occupy Wall Street Warren. While I wouldn’t call it the greatest show on earth, at least watching Warren’s twists and turns is never dull.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus