Ugh. Well, I Guess That Answers The Question About Whether Being President Would Make Trump More Civil…


Apparently during a meeting with Democratic Senators, President Trump repeatedly referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” the mocking nickname (which didn’t originate with him) often used by her detractors to refer to Warren’s unsubstantiated claims of Native American heritage. Warren once exploited what she later asserted was oral family lore to benefit from a university’s affirmative action hiring policy.

No, she was not at the meeting. From George Washington’s 11o rules of civility:

Rule 89: Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.

Ugh. To say that Presidents Trump’s mockery was uncivil and unpresidential is insufficient. Using playground name-calling to denigrate any elected official is boorish, juvenile and really, really stupid as well.

I had hopes, I really did, that the President would at least be pragmatic enough to cool his worst asshole jets, recognizing that for him to deal in sophomoric personal insults as he did during the primaries (“Little Marco” being my personal least favorite, though I am certain that if Chris Christie ever laid a glove on him, Trump would have stooped to calling him “Lard-Ass” or “Doughboy”) would diminish him, his office and eventually the whole culture. Nope. “Pocahontas” it is. (One of Warren’ s potential 2018 opponents in Massachusetts, ex-Red Sox Knight of the Bloody Sock, Curt Schilling, calls Warren “Lie-awatha.” )

Not that Warren isn’t a tempting target. It isn’t just her fake Cherokee credential; integrity and Warren are not friends, or even close acquaintances, it seems. The Senator was so hostile to newly-confirmed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that she refused to shake her hand. DeVos repulsed her so much in part because of her support for vouchers and charter schools. In the hearing, Warren attacked DeVos’ “deep record of activism, bankrolling and lobbying for policies that would privatize public education,” and told her,

“Your history of support for policies that would drain valuable taxpayer resources from our public schools and funnel those funds to unaccountable private and for-profit education operators may well disqualify you from such a central role in public education.”

Yet oddly, Warren has  a history of supporting similar policies, or at least was not so far removed from DeVos’s viewpoint that it would justify her extreme hostility today. In her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap, Warren advocated  a voucher system to allow children to enroll at any public school within a large geographic region crossing municipal boundaries, writing,

“At the core of the problem is the time-honored rule that where-you-live dictates where-you go to school…A well-designed voucher program would fit the bill neatly….Tax dollars would follow the children” and “every child would have a valuable ticket to be used in any school in the area…An all-voucher or all-school choice system would be a shock to the educational system, but the shake out might be just what the system needs.”

This only means that a respectable, fair, articulate political opponent has plenty of ammunition to use against this alleged Democratic star, without getting into the gutter and calling her a “poopy-head” or something similar.


40 thoughts on “Ugh. Well, I Guess That Answers The Question About Whether Being President Would Make Trump More Civil…

  1. Warren is the lowest of the low. She is the PED user of pols by appropriating a history for her own advantage. A cheat. A Rachel Dolezal. Who lost out? Which deserving person have been bypassed so that a false resume could take a slot? Thanks, Jack, for getting me started on Warren. Another classic example that progressives have taken to the nth degree – support the messenger – no matter what – if the message is acceptable.

  2. Besides being uncivil and unpresidential, Trump can’t even get the insult right. It is indeed “FAUXcahontas.”

    That pejorative, along with Lie-Awatha and several others, trace their roots to Howie Carr – a Boston Herald newspaper columnist and talk radio host syndicated around New England, He and his listeners came up with the gags; Schilling lifted it (Carr likes Schilling; Schilling fills in for Carr once in a while and Carr is helping him develop his own radio talker presence).

    Carr is a pretty funny guy, but was also an early adopter of Trump, who was a guest on Carr’s show numerous times before he won the nomination. And frankly, Carr’s not as much fun to listen to now that he’s a hard-core Trumpswab (see? It’s pretty easy to do).

  3. Here’s the whole quote from Warren’s book:

    Any policy that loosens the ironclad relationship between location-location-location and school-school-school would eliminate the need for parents to pay an inflated price for a home just because it happens to lie within the boundaries of a desirable school district.

    A well-designed voucher program would fit the bill neatly. A taxpayer-funded voucher that paid the entire cost of educating a child (not just a partial subsidy) would open a range of opportunities to all children. . . . Fully funded vouchers would relieve parents from the terrible choice of leaving their kids in lousy schools or bankrupting themselves to escape those schools.

    We recognize that the term “voucher” has become a dirty word in many educational circles. The reason is straightforward: The current debate over vouchers is framed as a public-versus-private rift, with vouchers denounced for draining off much-needed funds from public schools. The fear is that partial-subsidy vouchers provide a boost so that better-off parents can opt out of a failing public school system, while the other children are left behind.

    But the public-versus-private competition misses the central point. The problem is not vouchers; the problem is parental choice. Under current voucher schemes, children who do not use the vouchers are still assigned to public schools based on their zip codes. This means that in the overwhelming majority of cases, a bureaucrat picks the child’s school, not a parent. The only way for parents to exercise any choice is to buy a different home–which is exactly how the bidding wars started.

    Short of buying a new home, parents currently have only one way to escape a failing public school: Send the kids to private school. But there is another alternative, one that would keep much-needed tax dollars inside the public school system while still reaping the advantages offered by a voucher program. Local governments could enact meaningful reform by enabling parents to choose from among all the public schools in a locale, with no presumptive assignment based on neighborhood. Under a public school voucher program, parents, not bureaucrats, would have the power to pick schools for their children–and to choose which schools would get their children’s vouchers.

    • I’m genuinely confused. Warren was critiquing Devos for “support for policies that would drain valuable taxpayer resources from our public schools and funnel those funds to unaccountable private and for-profit education operators.”

      How is it hypocritical for her to support a “public school voucher program?” These vouchers would be for public schools, not private schools, right?

      • Correct. Which is why I wrote, “Warren has a history of supporting similar policies, or at least was not so far removed from DeVos’s viewpoint that it would justify her extreme hostility today.” They both advocate voucher systems, or did. Vouchers are anathema to the NEA, so Warren didn’t query DeVos at all regarding their differences, which would normally be the basis for discussion, civil debate, compromise, collaboration. You saw nothing but apparent hostility to vouchers of any kind from the Senator.

  4. Would be super nice if all name calling on both sides stopped. I look to our leaders to do exactly that but I am sadly disappointed with them. Although I am Republican, I believe the President should be the leader in changing the tone, no matter if his assessment is right, then everyone should follow suit. I believe it has to start with the Republicans to stop this tit for tat and the Democrats need to stop the excuse of “you fought us during Obama’s presidency now we are going to block your every move.” They hate Trump and that is their only reason for acting as they are. Childish behavior on both sides that does no one, especially the counrptry they claim to love, any good.

      • We got sick of losing debates, and decided to start playing by the other side’s rules. THEY make the rules!!!!

        RD, love ya like a brother, but…

        THIS is where conservatives become something else, something ALTernative to our values.. ALT Right.

        I don’t blame RD for his emotions. They are his right and his expression is protected.

        Until civil debate is again welcome (on both sides), until fair, honest play with integrity is respected, until this slippery slope no longer yields results for the unethical: the path to violent confrontation (on an ever larger scale) is inevitable.

        How do we change this? No idea. My part to to educate myself (mostly in this forum) as to what the ‘high road’ looks like.

        Because I feel the temptation to ‘fight fire with fire’ EVERY SINGLE DAY

        • It’s easy. Just remember that we will never be excused for stooping to their level. Not among ourselves, and sure as Hell not by them.

  5. I hate myself for feeling the satisfaction I felt when Trump did that. It’s so obviously un-presidential, unworthy of the office, and unworthy of a serious leader. It’s assholery on the Galactic Overlord level, demeans the office of the presidency and makes all of us worse for it.

    Having said that, Warren frankly deserves it. Her lack of ethics knows only Harry Reid for a lower boundary, if that.

    But your judgment is correct, and I feel filthy. Thanks a lot. :-/

  6. Please. Is that the best idiotic thing anyone in politics has said you can attack? Why not point out some stupidity actually DONE by the politicians who’ve been in power for years? Oh no, you have to attack the POTUS for a term he used. A word he spoke. Pelosi is nuts, Maxine Waters said Putin is invading Korea (a non existant nation) and Trump supplied the bombs to kill children.
    Wasted article.

    • Tell you what, Jim, why don’t you spend a day or two, bone up on basic ethics with the resources here, and try again. Start with the Rationalizations List, so you don’t invalidate your comment from the get-go by using the worst one on the list, #22.

      Because this is an embarrassing comment. Trust me.

  7. She deserves to be treated like a person with no scruples. Untrusted and without the power to make any decisions. She earned that. But, the president of the United States should be able to speak civilly about her and still convey the message that she is not to be trusted with any degree of power. Sadly, the president is also untrustworthy and has no scruples. The biggest difference is that Warren is predictable and President Trump is not.

  8. Okay, I know full well this is “it’s not the worst thing” rationalizing, but would any of us want to have heard all of Lyndon Johnson’s or Richard Nixon’s or Bill Clinton’s meetings transcribed word for word?

    • Johnson (who is revered in much of South Texas despite the facts surrounding his politics) supposedly addressed visitors while sitting on the toilet through the open bathroom door (smells and all) as a dominance tactic, according to local sources.

      So glad cameras were not in every pocket at that time!

      He was a first class jerk (but he was our jerk, locals say) who became POTUS. Jack’s assertion that ALL great leaders have this streak in them may have some validity.

      Not excusing Trump at all: his smells come from his words.

      • That’s interesting, Slick, because 1) you’re dead right, especially down around Floresville and Pleasanton, and 2) Johnson was actually from Central Texas (Johnson City, for everybody else, is just about on a line with Austin, which is VERY Central Texas)

  9. Well, given that in Trump’s case, Kurt Schlichter is probably right. The PPP poll only confirms it.

    Thus, Trump has nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so, IF he actually did so. Since the source cited is CNN, I’m not sure that actually happened.

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