Is Elizabeth Warren Tightening Her Grip on the Democratic Party?
When Vox‘s Jeff Stein reported late last week that Democrats had, at long last, unified around a message for 2018—”A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages”—the immediate reaction was almost universal mockery. “The Democrats’ new message shows they’ve learned nothing from the 2016 campaign,” thundered Mic. The Washington Free Beacon (and seemingly everyone else) noted that the second half of the slogan sounded suspiciously like the Papa John’s motto: “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza, Papa John’s.”
Congressional Democrats have made good punching bags over the last seven months because they’ve been largely powerless to stop President Donald Trump’s bumbling agenda, but slogans are mostly trivia; what matters is what the Democrats plan to do. And on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) unveiled the economic agenda his party aims to run on next year. While much of what he is promising is not exactly new (even the ill-fated Clinton–Kaine expedition ran on a promise of better skills, jobs, and wages), Schumer’s message is strikingly aggressive in one key area: drawing a direct line between the struggles of the working class and the increasingly monopolistic growth of the country largest corporations:
Right now, there is nothing to stop vulture capitalists from egregiously raising the price of lifesaving drugs without justification. We’re going to fight for rules to stop prescription drug price gouging and demand that drug companies justify price increases to the public. And we’re going to push for empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for older Americans.
Right now our antitrust laws are designed to allow huge corporations to merge, padding the pockets of investors but sending costs skyrocketing for everything from cable bills and airline tickets to food and health care. We are going to fight to allow regulators to break up big companies if they’re hurting consumers and to make it harder for companies to merge if it reduces competition.
Did you hear that? That’s the sound of Elizabeth Warren tightening her grip on the Democratic Party.