The Radical 1%

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I've never understood this line of attack:


Elizabeth Warren may have embraced the Occupy Wall Street movement and the "99 percent" crowd, but public records reveal the liberal firebrand belongs to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Her financial well-being will likely hand conservatives a new line of attack against the consumer advocate and Democratic Senate hopeful in Massachusetts who has fired up the left and was labeled by one columnist as "the first candidate of the Occupy Wall Street movement." 

"I don't begrudge her own personal wealth. I begrudge her hypocrisy of trying to play the demagogue against those who have achieved and who have created wealth," said Rick Manning of the conservative group Americans for Limited Government.

Added National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh: "Her poll-tested campaign rhetoric simply doesn't match reality as voters learn more about who Elizabeth Warren really is..." 

Warren earned nearly $535,000 in 2009, including $310,000 for teaching law at Harvard University, according to financial disclosure reports she had to file as a political appointee of President Barack Obama. She took home $507,000 in 2010. Neither of those figures included the salary of her husband, fellow Harvard law professor Bruce Mann, or the $192,722 Warren earned between 2009 and 2010 for chairing the congressional panel tasked with overseeing the bank bailouts. 

The totals also did not include the roughly $138,000 she earned between September 2010 and July 2011 while launching the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to separate salary records obtained by POLITICO. The Cambridge couple reported at least $4.6 million in financial investments and property.

It's one thing to deploy the socialist charge as a rallying cry. It's quite another to actually believe it. I'm not clear on why it's hypocritical for a wealthy person to be concerned about concentrated wealth and concentrated poverty. Is Warren Buffet really a hypocrite?

Logic aside, I don't think anyone who would vote for Elizabeth Warren cares that she's wealthy. A lot of rich white folks gave money to the Black Panthers. And the Panthers were actual socialists.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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