I Have a Problem with This

[Content Note: Coercion; hostility to consent.]

Despite the fact that Senator Elizabeth Warren has now repeatedly said she does not want to run for president in 2016, there are a bunch of people who want her to run so badly that they quite literally won't take no for an answer:
The Massachusetts Senator says she'll sit out 2016. But some Democratic diehards won't take no for an answer, and are already building a campaign for her.

She is, she insists, not interested, telling The Boston Globe, "There is no wiggle room. I am not running for president. No means no."

But for the organizers behind Ready for Warren, the SuperPAC trying to draft the Massachusetts senator into the 2016 presidential race, the door remains open for a potential run. So the group is staffing up in key early primary states and raising money in what they say will be an all-out blitz after the midterm elections designed to show Warren that there is a groundswell of support behind her.

...[Democratic campaign operative Audrey Blondin] held a house party for Ready for Warren over the summer, and said she was unswayed by the senator's denials.

"I understand that she says she is not interested in running. I have been in politics 35 years. I know what happens. You think she is not watching what we are doing? Of course she is. And that is going to make a difference. It's all about timing and she is in the right place at the right time with the right message. In a few months it is going to take off. She won't be willing to buck the tide that is carrying her forward."
Senator Elizabeth Warren: "No means no." People who want her to run: "Your mouth is saying no, but your eyes are saying maybe!"

This is totally fucking gross.

And, let me be clear: I'm not saying that anyone is wrong for wanting Senator Warren to run. (I'd love it if she ran!) Nor am I saying that anyone is incorrect about the fact that there have been politicians who have been persuaded to run if shown a compelling path to potential victory. But just because that has happened doesn't make it right.

(And I'm not convinced that it hasn't typically been more like someone saying, "I'm a big no unless and until you can prove I have a chance," which is different from, "I'm a big no and I'm not even interested in being convinced.")

As I have noted a dozen or so times now, there is also a particular context to ignoring a female politician's "no" that makes this sort of public coercion super problematic.

I don't think it's a coincidence that Senator Warren used the very specific language of: "No means no."

I would like it very much if we could all listen to that.

I realize that's not "how politics works." But, you know, part of the reason that freshman Senator Elizabeth Warren is such an attractive candidate to so many people is because politics is disgusting and broken. So maybe we could try aspiring to something better.

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