I guess I just never really considered how hard Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has had it. Raised a white, middle-class woman, she has been forced to endure a pile of advanced degrees, a long career as an academic and attorney, access to the highest corridors of power in the nation and a nearly eight-figure fortune. At one point she even suffered the indignity of having to accept less than $500,000 for an entire year of teaching at Harvard University, a gig she might well have been forced to miss out on were it not for her brilliant ploy of falsely claiming to be a Native American.
And then this week the poor girl was victimized by the system all over again. During the lead up to the vote on the nomination of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the ever-courageous Warren launched into a diatribe in which she apparently confused her erstwhile Senate colleague with the late Senator Robert Byrd. After a few moments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a white man, cited the Senate’s “Rule 19,” which notes “no Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” Ignoring McConnell and his patriarchal rules, Warren pressed on. McConnell lowered the man-boom, silencing the brave, incredibly wealthy, fake Cherokee. Once again, the phallocracy had run down Warren like white settlers plowing over (not her) forebears.
Warren took her plight to the people, working social media to slam Sessions, McConnell and all the other white males who strong-armed her into silence. Liberals answered her call by comparing the stalwart Senator to civil rights hero Rosa Parks. Media flacks shrieked how McConnell had “silenced” Warren. Most treated the idea that Warren’s gender was a factor in McConnell’s action as if it was a foregone conclusion.
It’s good story, and like most good stories in which Democrats are the heroes, it’s as close to the truth as Warren is to being the next Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Warren deliberately violated Senate rules and was treated like any other member of the body whose regulations she flouted. Then she went on the warpath because her colleagues didn’t give her a special exemption because she has different plumbing than some of them. A woman who has enjoyed a lifetime of exceptional privilege — some of which she stole from others — threw a tantrum because that exceptional privilege didn’t exempt her from equal treatment. Not only did she lower the tone of the Senate discourse, she lowered the tone of public discourse, as well as vomiting partisan bile on a man’s good name. There was nothing particularly brave about her behavior; unless you define “bravery” as “demanding special privileges based on your gender and then diving into stereotypical hysterics when you don’t get your way.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren is a lot of things; lawyer, legislator, liberal, liar and possessor of distinctive cheekbones. But just like she’s not a Native American, she’s not a victim.
— Ben Crystal