On Wednesday, during an interview with WBSM, a New Bedford radio station, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) condemned violent behavior from groups like Antifa, but did so in a way that wouldn’t alienate those groups in 2020.
Here’s her exchange with host Tim Dunn:
DUNN: After specifically condemning the KKK, neo-Nazis, and other white supremacist groups following Charlottesville, President Trump drew criticism from some suggesting that both sides were responsible for the violence on Saturday. Absent the presence of white nationalists, left-wing protesters threw bottles of urine and rocks at police officers. The same occurred last night in Phoenix following the president’s rally. Are you prepared to condemn violence on that part of the left-wing agitators, such as Antifa, as you have the right-wing, white nationalist group? “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” are some of the things they’ve chanted. Do you care to comment on that?
WARREN: Violence is not the way to go. Violence is not the way to advance our interests. But let’s be really clear about what Donald Trump did. He said that there were a lot of good people marching with Nazis and white supremacists. Those are not good people when they march with Nazis and white supremacists, period.
DUNN: Is Antifa, those people we saw on the Boston Common, are they good people?
WARREN: I didn’t see them marching. What I saw were people who are Nazis and white supremacists. And Donald Trump said those are good people marching with them. They are not good people.
DUNN: But referring to the Boston Common, I mean, 40,000, the peaceful demonstrators versus the very littl e—
WARREN: People who march with Nazis and white supremacists are not good people.
You can listen to the exchange here (the pertinent portion begins at the 5:38 mark):
Senator Warren did commendable work here posturing for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Rather than answer the questions asked of her, she virtue-signaled by repeating what everyone already knows (white supremacists = bad), and she offered a general condemnation of leftist violence without getting too specific.
Warren can’t condemn Antifa with any degree of specificity because many in the progressive movement have openly praised the violent tactics of the militant reprobates. Following Charlottesville, mainstream media figures compared the actions of Antifa to the Allied Forces storming the beaches of Normandy during WWII.
Further, as Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro wrote at National Review:
In the pages of the Washington Post, historian Mark Bray of Dartmouth University gushed over antifa’s “willingness to physically defend themselves and others from white supremacist violence” Professor N. D. B. Connolly of Johns Hopkins University called for Americans to “start throwing rocks” at white supremacists.
Physical violence in response to disagreeable speech is quickly becoming acceptable in more mainstream progressive circles, and groups like Antifa are being lionized as vigilante protectors.
In order to avoid alienating an increasingly prominent voting block, Warren must virtue-signal, and speak in light generalities when asked to condemn the behavior of Antifa. If she missteps even a little, she can kiss the 2020 crown goodbye.