elizabeth Warren is ready to wade right in and impeach the mofo. It’s the first thing I’ve warmed to, about her. Isn’t it generally so — that, given the right circumstances, the right issue, the right moment, any of us shines absolutely? All flash and fire and brilliant resolve. Don’t we all show better under certain conditions, and …less well under others? Maybe the problem is that her ideal conditions are less regularly met.

These events demand a response rooted in principle, and she’s the only one calling us all back to the home fire, demanding that we acknowledge with action crucial First Principles: that ALL are created equal, and NONE is above the law.

In more typical times and occasions — say on campaign events, or spots for the TV — she’s a bit like a harpist at a kitchen tunk. Yes, everybody comes, and everybody brings their instrument. Yes, that’s how it’s done and yes, that’s why it’s fun. But… Elizabeth: really? A harp?

The behavior of the Current Occupant, however, creates and perfects the Elizabeth Warren Moment. Suddenly, her outside voice sounds ardent and justified. These events demand a response that is rooted in principle, not mere policy. So she can’t wonk out, or discomfit everybody by trying to infuse the wonking-out with an ardor or conviction that feels foreign to that discourse. She presents very well in these lights.

Mayor Pete, whom I QUITE like indeed, comes off as just the tiniest bit too genteel. Kamala Harris in prosecutorial mode is superb in these moments: she’s probably my favorite. Joe Biden, who will probably win the nomination, is …not objectionable, but slightly, and perhaps deliberately, off point when it comes to impeachment, And the others — the rest of the B-Boys, and Amy K, and Hinken-whosis and all the rest — they’re a chorus. Nobody particularly distinguishes themself, to my perception. True, they are not craven like the politicians across the aisle. But neither are they particularly bold.

Only Elizabeth shoves aside all the bullshit of the calculated, lab-grown campaigner presence and uncorks on pure principle, ablaze on the Constitution. She’s the only one calling us all back to the home fire, demanding that we acknowledge with action crucial First Principles: that ALL are created equal, and NONE is above the law. I love her when she is like this.

But we can’t live forever on the brink of reckoning. We’ll be exhausted, then inured. She’ll have to ride with the tide. She can’t stay moored in this place, bobbing on a single tether. Otherwise, the only way she can stay out front is by turning her back on the rest of the field. And it’s hard to lead when nobody is following you.

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