Mark Warner Equates “Super-left” “MoveOn Crowd” and “Tea Party Crowd”


    According to Mark Warner:

    …there are a lot of folks I think on both sides, but the question will be will the super-left on my party – the MoveOn crowd in my party – and the Tea Party crowd on the other party, you know, they don’t compromise, so you know, I for one am…you know, there were too many times I bit my lip in the first year, or bit my tongue…I’m done…

    I know that Mark Warner likes playing the “radical centrist” (no clue what it means, never defined, but you get the idea) and placing himself in the square middle between the “extremes” on the right and the left, but I’m not sure his equating of MoveOn and the Tea Party will go over too well among the Democratic “base.” It will be very interesting to see the reaction, if any, to these comments.

    UPDATE: Another example of Warner’s anti-liberal rhetoric is on the “flip.”

    UPDATE #2: MoveOn hits back:

    Democrats just lost an election where much of the base didn’t turn out, and voters felt like Democrats weren’t on their side,” responded MoveOn Executive Director Justin Ruben in a statement to The Huffington Post. “Senator Warner’s response is to falsely equate 5 million MoveOn members, including over 102,000 in Virginia — people from all walks of life who worked tirelessly for Democrats in Virginia and all across the country — with the racist and xenophobic far-right wing of the Republican Party. If Mark Warner’s recipe for victory is to attack the core of supporters still willing to back Democrats, and to promise more deals with corporate Republicans, anyone who cares about progress should look elsewhere for leadership.”

    Remember this?

    And third is, I would say to some of our more liberal Democrats in the room, there is an acknowledgment that you can’t have this purist approach. That this is not going to be totally solved by some airy dream of it’s just gonna be all solar and wind, that nuclear has to be a piece of this, that coal has to be a piece of this, that there’s gonna be a portfolio approach. And I think those three factors make the possibilities of some action on this area on a national basis much higher than it was, say, six months ago.

    • Does he have any idea why they are named moveon? It’s because they were founded around the idea of censuring President Clinton and moving, which would have been a pretty big compromise.

    • pontoon
    • Elaine in Roanoke

      My step-son, a quite wealthy sort of Republican/Independent, has a conversation with me following the election last week. He lives in Illinois and told me that he had voted for either Green or Libertarian candidates for all positions in that state. When I pointed out the obvious contradiction in those two positions, he simply said that he could not bring himself to vote for any of the two major party candidates.

      He also told me that he and a group of his fellow investor class friends had recently talked about how the country needed a “business” presidential candidate in 2012. He not only mentioned Mitt Romney (R) but also Mark Warner (D).

      Am I surprised by Warner’s comments? Nope. He is the quintessential “DLC,” “I wish I could be a Rockefeller Republican” kind of guy. I can’t fathom that sort of political philosophy, but it obviously plays really well in Virginia since he is the most popular state politician in my lifetime.

      Another anecdote, if you will indulge me. My husband – back during the time Warner was head of the DPVA – had helped to form a progressive Democratic coalition of labor, minorities, and progressive people in the Roanoke Valley. He was told by Mark Warner that the group was “divisive” and not deserving of regular party support.

      So, am I surprised by Warner’s comments? Nope. He is business first, business second, business last. Yes, he has a “D” after his name and I would vote for him again, but he is not progressive in ant stretch of the imagination.

    • Old Redneck


      I am 66 years old.  Born in SW Mississippi, great-great-grandson of a slave owner.  As a college student in Alabama in the ’60’s I marched with MLK in Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham.  In ’64 I was the only person in Alabama with a “Johnson-Humphrey” bumper sticker on his old VW Beetle.  I’m a retired Army officer and a Vietnam veteran.  I’m a lifelong Democrat and about as far left as you can get.

      And you’re telling me I am the same as the Teahadists?

      Guess how many fingers I’m holding up in your direction.  And guess how many votes and $$ you’ll get from me in your next campaign.


      The Old Redneck

    • Old Redneck

      I got something here he can bite.

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      If a group founded to defend DLC Democrat Bill Clinton from removal from office is too “left” for Mark Warner, if a group which supported Al Gore and Barack Obama (both barely left of center) is, then he is in the wrong party. This is the very kind of despicably, unfair false equivalence I wrote about the other day.  It was a hateful, defamatory thing to say, which was designed to shore him up with Republicans.  And if he is going down the road of base-abuse, which this statement surely is, then he will deserve to lose.  And he will.

    • Who is part of, and what does that mean?  Because they have my email address and send me emails, does that make me a part of it?  (I also receive plenty of e-mails from Republicans, including one tea party group.  I do this because I like to be in the know.)

    • martinlomasney

      Prince Mark continues his defense of his corporate overlords.

      If he’s ashamed of the base of the party that elected him, maybe he needs to run as the senator from United Healthcare or the prince from Goldman Sachs. That’s what he really is anyway.

    • kindler

      …is that Repubs usually don’t diss their base (even when they’ve gone miles off the deep end).  As a result, they are masters at pulling together center-right electoral coalitions.

      Meanwhile, among the Dems, the lefties and the centries spend so much time attacking each other that they don’t notice how many elections we’re busy losing.  We could never get to 50%+1 with just the left or the center. We need both.

      If Warner thinks that he can win on a base of centrists while blowing off progressives, he needs to look to history — the center is rarely a stable base. As Jim Hightower used to say, ain’t nothin’ in the middle of the road but dead armadillos…

    • The Question

      Isn’t this site called BLUE Virginia, not PURPLE Virginia?  Did you hear what he said or are you just being reactionary?  So what if he said you don’t compromise?  Do you really want to?  Seriously?  Is it the complete defunding of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education you want to compromise with or is it the study gay people until you can find a cure you want to compromise with?

      Or are you just upset that he was referencing you and the Tea Party in the same (run-on) sentence?

      I’d just assume you’d thank him for the complement.

    • hrprogressive

      If Warner or anyone else thinks that MoveOn is “The Super Left”, then I am real curious as to what they think the actual Socialists and Communists who descended upon One Nation are.

      Seriously, the people of this country by and large have not seen a damn thing that looks anything like “Super Left” except on the fringes.

      I consider myself pretty far to the left compared to, say, wannabe-centrist do-nothings like soon-to-be-ex-Rep Glenn Nye, but I read the Socialist literature and I thought it was stupid.

      So, anyway. I heard rumors that Warner might not even run for re-election in 2014 because he apparently doesn’t like the Senate too much. If this is how he’s going to treat his base, then good riddance to him too.

      It is one thing to not vote or behave quite as far to the left as I want someone to be. It is quite another to actively say and/or do stupid things that make the only people who will always vote for you not want to vote for you anymore.

    • pontoon

      I don’t know anyone at Move On, or other progessive activists who call for “second amendment remedies” if we don’t get our way at the polls.  I don’t see anyone on the left strapping loaded guns to their waists, legs or hips and protesting at Presidential events.  I don’t see anyone on the left knocking someone to the ground and stomping on their head because we don’t agree with their point of view.  I don’t see anyone on the left falsely arresting reporters.  I don’t see anyone on the left giving concession speeches while swinging a baseball bat.  Senator Warner, you owe the Democrats in Virginia who have supported you for many years an apology.

    • Shenandoah Democrat

      Warner is in such a bubble and so arrogant an apology is just not likely, but these posts show how tenuous Warner’s support among the “radical-libs”, who are the spine guts and brain of the Democratic Party, really is.

      Corporate Dems like Warner should be more isolated in the new Senate and I think that’s good! Maybe he and Joe Manchin will become Rethugs?

    • NotJohnSMosby

      have done a great job proving Mark’s point.  To a teabagger, anyone who isn’t a pure conservative is a RINO and should be punished.  To a lot of liberal Dems, anyone who isn’t a pure liberal is a DINO and should be punished.  While I agree with a good amount of the liberal agenda, and while I disagree with about 99.99% of the teabagger agenda, both sides are fairly extreme vis-a-vis your average voter.  That’s my view, and it seems to be Mark’s.  I would say there’s more pragmatism on the part of liberals than conservatives, but so many liberal Dems do sound exactly like they’re teabagger or christian conservative opposites.  

      “He’s unpure, he’s not a real Dem/real Republican, screw him, I won’t vote for him or give him money, he’s not worthy of my adoration”

      Now, I do disagree with his assumption on MoveOn.  They are fairly Democratic mainstream, but again, viewing his comments in context, he was just using that as an example.  Not unlike what the White House said about the liberal left causing issues.  You guys throw a lot more elbows than you think, yet get highly offended whenever a Dem says you need to reign it in a bit – or critiques your critiques.