“Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it.”

W. W. Jacobs

Surprisingly, I find myself in agreement with the Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen whose “Warren’s surge is good news for Republicans” piece appeared in today’s paper.  His premise that while Warren is claiming the economy is not working for ”working people”, employment and the stock market are at record levels and unemployment near all-time lows, polls suggest many voters in battleground states feel they are better off than four years ago.

He goes on to cite the Manhattan Institute’s estimates suggesting Warren’s proposals could cost a staggering $38 to $48 trillion over ten years!  At the last debate, when Peter Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar pressed her on the issue, she did little more than wave her arms and make vague references to increased taxes on the top 1% and corporations as well as a wealth tax.  The Senator who boasts she has a plan for everything, has yet to lay out any plan detailing of how to pay for the massive structural changes she advocates.

While throngs of Progressives Democrats have been elated at Senator Elizabeth Warren’s recent surge in the polls, the far-too-large field of candidates has realistically narrowed to four or five contenders; two progressives (Warren and Sanders) and three more moderate hopefuls (Biden Buttigieg and possibly Harris).   

In addition to running on the economy and employment figures, Republicans, and Trump in particular, must be giddy about the prospect of a Democratic presidential candidate who backs a Medicare-for-All  program that would mandate elimination of private health insurance, proposes to break up major tech companies, supports the radical Green New Deal and embraces  reparations … issues unlikely to attract crucial swing voters, particularly in battleground states, who voted for Trump or a third-party candidate or simply stayed home in 2016 … and without whose support will guarantee the president’s reelection.

In their enthusiasm for Senator Warren, progressive activists in her party need to be wary of what they wish for.  While many would clearly like a woman to head the ticket and seek the types of radical societal and economic changes she is preaching, they run a real risk of helping to nominate an unelectable candidate.

Their votes in next year’s early caucuses and primaries will be critical.  Will idealistic purity or selecting a more moderate candidate give them the best chance of making Donald Trump a one-term president?  America as we know it may hang in the balance.