If Elizabeth Warren were no threat to the established order, they wouldn’t get around to any effort to stop her ascension in the Massachusetts Senate race until much later in the cycle, if at all. But her surge over Scott Brown, and the possibility that she would have an even bigger perch from which to articulate her agenda for the middle class, clearly has Wall Street spooked. So much so that they’re already marshaling forces against her, with a year until the general election.

Back in August, before Warren even announced her candidacy, the smear machine was at work. Shortly after her campaign kicked off, the state party wrote a letter to Harvard, asking them to rescind Warren’s salary [...] Later, the Republicans began grasping to link her to – wait for it — communism. Responding to a popular viral video in which Warren defends the place of government in a free society, Brown’s campaign manager suggested that Warren is somehow un-American. The Massachusetts state party then suggested that she was connected to the Communist Party, Ron Paul called her a “socialist,” and a local tea party activist, apparently trying to follow the cues, interrupted an event to call her a “socialist whore.”

Next, the Republicans lambasted her for attending “a glitzy Manhattan fundraiser” and for the fact that one of her tens of thousands of contributions came from a lobbyist. When Warren, self-deprecatingly and trying to make sense of the scattered attacks, joked that the Republicans were making her out to be some sort of “elite hick” because of her Oklahoma background and Harvard job, the GOP pounced, demanding an “explanation” for her use of the word hick.

It’s not just these petty attacks, which mainly amount to glancing blows. The lobbying money, simply put, is flowing to Scott Brown. Lobbyists plan to seed Brown’s campaign with millions of dollars at upcoming fundraisers this month. Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS already spent $600,000 on their lame ad linking Warren with Occupy Wall Street protests. The Chamber of Commerce plans to spend heavily against Warren in Massachusetts.

There’s just no reason to do any of this if Warren wasn’t a) in prime position to beat Brown and b) a credible spokesman for the progressive side of the aisle who would have a major impact on national politics.