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Why did Third Way launch an attack on Senator Elizabeth Warren? According to one of the op-ed writers it was Warren’s support for a plan to expand Social Security that was the “final moment.” Clearly an unforgivable offense against the bondholders that Third Way represents who want general austerity and cuts to Social Security to ensure debt payments.

Jim Kessler, senior vice president for policy and a co-founder of Third Way, said Friday morning that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) backing of a plan to expand Social Security compelled him and the president of the group to hit back with a Wall Street Journal op-ed lambasting the plan and economic populism.

“The impetus was really — we saw after the most recently, this push that okay, it’s time to really move the national Democratic Party to a much more liberal agenda, in this case, Senator Warren was the standard bearer — she’s on the cover of a lot of magazines,” he said in an interview on Sirius XM with Ari Rabin-Havt. “We were a bit alarmed by that.”

How dare the Democratic Party have a “more liberal agenda.” Yes, this is how Third Way actually thinks. It is apparently not enough that America only has two major political parties, they want to reduce it to one.

So why Elizabeth Warren? Other members of Congress have endorsed a more liberal agenda, ones with more experience and formal institutional power.

“That Social Security plan was the final moment for us,” he said. “That Social Security plan had been out there but really languishing — because Senator Warren has such a powerful compelling voice, she started talking about it, and it suddenly it became much more talked about and viable alternative.”

Very instructive. Wall Street’s apparatchiks generally ignore progressive politicians not because they don’t fundamentally disagree with them, but because they consider them irrelevant to the central game of money flows and favor trading. Senator Sanders and Congressman Ellison can issue as many press releases as they want, Third Way doesn’t care. There is no (viable) alternative.

But the minute anyone emerges that can actually threaten their power, the knives come out. Third Way can stop a “more liberal agenda” from breaking out in the Democratic Party if everything remains an insider game, but if a “powerful compelling voice” starts advocating for progressive policies all bets are off.

Photo by JSquish under Creative Commons license.