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.