The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Imaginary News

Scott Adams has introduced a new phrase—Imaginary News—that extends and amplifies the term "fake news" that is bandied about by people on both the Left and the Right. He notes, correctly, I think, that everyone has a movie going in their head, and that the movie helps a person comprehend the world. He further contends, for example, that it's the movie that causes most progressives and Democrats to view Donald Trump's press conference as a clear example of a president who is a raving lunatic, characterizing the entire thing as a "meltdown." A different movie causes moderates and conservatives, along with some moderate Democrats to see the news conference as Trump being Trump—sometimes incoherent, often combative, frequently hyperbolic—but otherwise suggesting core beliefs (e.g., jobs, border security, appropriate on Islamic terror) that resonate with millions.

Adams asks whether both views can peacefully co-exist or whether one side or the other is hallucinating—driven by the movie that is in their head. He suggests that during the campaign, the preponderance of main stream media, along with virtually all progressive bloggers, journalists, and commentators dismissed Trump with a derisive laugh. Hillary Clinton would win—period. Adams writes:
Then he won.

When reality violates your ego that rudely, you either have to rewrite the movie in your head to recast yourself as an idiot, or you rewrite the movie to make yourself the hero who could see what others missed. Apparently the Huffington Post [Adams example of progressive media] chose to rewrite their movie so Trump is a deranged monster, just like they warned us. That’s what they see. This isn’t an example of so-called “fake” news as we generally understand it. This is literally imaginary news. I believe the Huffington Post’s description of the press conference is literally what they saw. If you gave them lie detector tests, they would swear they saw a meltdown, and the lie detector would say they were telling the truth.

There are two clues that the Huffington Post is hallucinating and I’m not. The first clue is that they have a trigger and I don’t. Reality violated their egos, whereas I was predicting a Trump win all along. My world has been consistent with my ego. No trigger. All I have is a warm feeling of rightness.

The second clue is that the Huffington Post is seeing something that half the country doesn’t see. As a general rule, the person who sees the elephant in the room is the one hallucinating, not the one who can’t see the elephant. The Huffington Post is literally seeing something that is invisible to me and other observers. We see a President Trump talking the way he normally talks. They see a 77-minute meltdown.
The "deranged monster" movie that most progressives see is an example of confirmation bias. They were convinced that their candidate would win, were sure that the record of the previous president was so exemplary that few voters would reject it and the political party that supported it, were confident that blue collar states were behind the Democrat candidate... and then all that blew up in their faces. The movie in their heads had to be re-edited to conform to a reality they could not dismiss. So the new progressive movies sees armageddon driven by a "deranged monster" that is Trump. Like most movies, this one is fiction, but that matters little. Because the movie keeps playing in a continuous loop, everything Trump is really, really bad and is a harbinger of disaster. Imaginary news driven by a disaster movie. I think I'm beginning to get it.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Rabid Dogs

The mental image of a pack of angry rabid dogs, snarling as saliva dripped from their mouths, seemed appropriate as the Democrats and mainstream media pounced on the resignation of General Michael Flynn as national security advisor. Recall that Flynn has worked within the military and the government tirelessly for 30 years, but left-wing Salon suggests that this decorated veteran and/or Donald Trump himself are traitors with the headline, "None Dare Call it Treason." That. Is. Unhinged. But no surprise.

The talking point from Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media was "What Did the President know and When Did He Know It?" Odd that they didn't ask that question during the Benghazi scandal, where actual people actually died in an election year cover-up, or the IRS scandal, where actual U.S. citizens were actually targeted by a federal agency, but no matter.

I decided to sit back and let the outrageous claims settle a bit before commenting. My sense was that this entire episode was a political assassination, grossly overblown, but it was difficult to be sure.

Now, the entire story and all of its most outrageous accusations are falling apart. Patrick Pool summarizes the current status of this story:
The media narrative that recently ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was involved in nefarious -- nay, sinister and possibly treasonous!!! -- dealings in his December call with the Russian ambassador is quickly collapsing, as CNN reports that the FBI will not be pursuing any criminal investigation involving Flynn's phone call.

So too is the hype that the Trump campaign was riddled with contacts with Russian intelligence, as reported yesterday by The New York Times.

I addressed this story yesterday in my post-Flynn resignation roundup, noting that the screaming headline was undercut by the Times' own reporting that no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence had been found.

The trained hamsters of the MSM are being forced to report that most of their outrageous claims (e.g., this is "Trump's Watergate") are nonsense, but then again, since November 8th, the MSM, driven by their overt hostility to Trump, has been all about reporting nonsense as truth and unsubstantiated innuendo as fact. Even NPR is forced to admit this with a headline that reads "Intelligence Official: Transcripts Of Flynn's Calls Don't Show Criminal Wrongdoing."

There is another element to this story that the Democrat's trained hamsters in the media seem far less interested in discussing. Peggy Noonan comments:
Who is listening to, and leaking information to the press about, not only Mr. Flynn’s conversations but the president’s phone calls with foreign leaders? And what is their motive?

Is this, as some suggest, “deep state” revenge for the haughty, dismissive way Donald Trump spoke of the U.S. intelligence community during and after the campaign? Is it driven by sincere and legitimate anxieties that the new White House has an unknown relationship with Vladimir Putin’s government that potentially compromises U.S. security, independence of judgment and freedom of action? Is it driven by the antipathy of the permanent government toward Mr. Putin, and a desire to bring down those, like Mr. Trump, who hope for closer relations with Russia? Is it that they’ve seen—and listened to—enough of Mr. Trump to think he’s a screwball, period, and a threat to the republic?
So it seems that the the media has a new-found interest in ferreting out all of the details of an administration's foreign dealings with an international adversary, Russia, but little interest in investigating potential national security leaks my members of the "deep state" that are opposed to Trump. Franly, the latter is far more dangerous than the former. But at least they're investigating. Maybe they'll now have interest in going back and investigating the secret meetings and agreements between the previous administration and an international enemy, Iran—a country sworn to "Death to America" in the run-up to the disastrous Iran deal.

Nah ... after all, a few telephone calls between an incoming administration and Russia is far more foreboding than an the Iran deal that just might set the stage for nuclear war.

By the way, one has to wonder why the transcripts of the secret meeting between the past president and the Mullahs of Iran were never leaked. Oh, I forgot, the past president was beyond reproach, so there is nothing to learn from his meeting with the Mullahs. Unless there is.

UPDATE-1:
----------------------

The lowly editors of The New York Post take on the left-wing propaganda machine that was once the vaunted New York Times and provide an example of how the NYT is working to discredit Trump:
Take a deep breath and realize how precious little substance there is in all the breathless reporting about supposed skulduggery by President Trump, his team and the Russian government. If the nation’s lucky, the coming congressional probes — and whatever surfaces from the apparent ongoing FBI investigation — may one day provide some clarity.

Hostile, hysterical reporting based on anonymous leaks provide no hard facts — just “narratives” that could come out of a creative-writing class.

Take Wednesday’s breathless New York Times story, “Trump Aides Had Contact With Russian Intelligence” — which was remarkable for containing the same facts the Times reported back in October as “Investigating Donald Trump, FBI Sees No Clear Link to Russia.”

Both reports say various Trumpites talked to figures in Russia’s government — but that US investigators found nothing to show they’d discussed the US election, or that anyone on Team Trump was even aware of any effort by Moscow to influence it.

Oh, and the Times also reported Jan. 19, “Intercepted Russian Communiques Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates.”

How many times can the Times recycle the same stuff and still call it news?
As many times as required to re-enforce a very dubious narrative, I suppose.

UPDATE-2:
--------------

The Washington Examiner provides a list of media errors over the first month of the Trump presidency. In most cases, these are fueled by bias and hostility toward Trump, rather that the everyday errors that all media organizations make. They write:
The press has a problem, and it seems to be getting worse. Whether through bias, sloppiness, or sheer panic, the mainstream media has dropped its standards since President Trump was sworn in.

Rather then adjusting adeptly to Trump's easy relationship with the truth and his tendency to abuse members of media, by dialing up their standards, a significant number of journalists have tripped over themselves recently to repeat every bit of gossip and half-cocked rumor involving Trump and his administration.

The rush to get these supposed scoops out in the open, whether in print, on television or on social media, has, of course, produced a rash of shoddy reporting.

Now this isn't to say that all coverage of this new administration has been slipshod. Rather, it's to say that there has been a disturbing and unusually large number of stories that have turned out either to be overhyped, inconclusive, half-true or flat-out incorrect. There have also been a number of reports whose sourcing is so thin, that to believe them would be to take a major leap of faith.
Or a major desire to discredit this administration in its first weeks in office.

UPDATE-3
---------------

It is literally insulting to listen to media types express mock outrage over Trump's wholly accurate characterization of them as "the opposition" and "dishonest." Here's a little reference material that compares the media's treatment of Michael Flynn's telephone calls and the death of four Americans at Benghazi along with the near-instant cover-up that ensued. Julie Kelly writes:
Fun fact: While Trump press secretary Sean Spicer fielded 55 questions on February 14 related to the Flynn debacle, Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney received only 13 questions from reporters on September 12, 2012 [the days after the Benghazi attack], three of which were set-ups to blast Mitt Romney’s criticism of the administration after the attack. 55 to 13.

So as we now suffer through yet another patch of media mania, conspiracy theories, and unsubstantiated claims about how Trump hearts Russia, as well as the daily beatings endured by Spicer, let’s reminisce to when the media and Obama’s press flaks spun, deflected—even joked about golf and “Saturday Night Live!”—less than a week after Benghazi.

The day after Hillary Clinton’s deputy had that call with key Capitol Hill staffers, including advisors to senators Durbin, Feinstein, and McGaskill, to dispute the notion the attack was about an anti-Muslim video, here’s what Carney said: “I think it’s important to note with regards to that protest that there are protests taking place in different countries across the world that are responding to the movie that has circulated on the Internet. As Secretary Clinton said today, the United States government had nothing to do with this movie. We reject its message and its contents. We find it disgusting and reprehensible.”
Nah ... what's "disgusting and reprehensible" is a biased media somehow characterizing itself as a victim when criticized by this president.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

In the Name of Peace

For eight years, the previous administration tried to force Israel into a suicidal "peace agreement." It made no demands on the palestinians, avoiding even the suggestion that they stop their eliminationist rhetoric toward Jews and Israel, not to mention their regular terror attacks, corruption, internal violence and a whole list of other sins. Using techniques and policies that had proven ineffective and/or counter-productive, the past administration, along with their crew of incompetent diplomats (think: Clinton and Kerry) tried its best to coerce Israel into national suicide. Thankfully, their best efforts didn't succeed.

Now, Donald Trump has decided to take a fresh approach, abandoning the previous president's overt hostility toward Israel and its prime minister and replacing it with understanding, support, and friendship.

Benny Avni comments:
While [Prime Minister] Bibi [Netanyahu] was routinely called upon to take political risks for the sake of peace, no similar demand was made to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose political weakness made officials nervous about pushing him too far. He couldn’t possibly make bold moves like recognizing Israel as a Jewish state or giving up on the demand to flood it with more than 5 million Arab descendants of refugees.

While not shutting the door on the two-state solution, Netanyahu sidestepped it.

“Rather than labels, I want to look at substance,” he said, adding a question about the proposed Palestinian state: “Will it be Costa Rica, or will it be Iran?”

Trump didn’t force Netanyahu to swear allegiance to the “solution.” Instead, he hinted, “We are going to make a deal that might be even a bigger and better deal than people in this room understand.”

Rather than leaving it at that, Netanyahu spelled out the new strategy — a regional approach that involves, he said, “our newfound Arab partners in the pursuit of a broader peace, and peace with the Palestinians.”
It's pretty obvious that a "palestinian state" will not be Costa Rica and might very well become a mini-me of Iran. The palestinians have taught generations of children to be anti-Semites, corruption will strangle any attempt at an effective economy, the culture of victimization encouraged by the international Left will make any palestinian state a permanent welfare state supported by the international community.

Although the Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media would never, ever give Trump any credit, his "whatever" approach for the Israeli-palestinian conflict just might offer some possibilities. Avni writes:
Trump insisted that this so-called outside-in strategy — making peace between Israel and existing Arab states before creating a new Arab state — “hasn’t been discussed before.” But in 1991, Bush 41 gathered leaders of Arab states in Madrid, Spain, for a conference that tried just that.

It didn’t succeed then. Can it now?

Leaders from the Maghreb to Arabia — including most prominently Saudi Arabia and the Gulfies, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan — have tightened cooperation with Israel recently. They’ve realized that Israel threatens them much less than ISIS or Iran.

Hence, as Trump said, “We have some pretty good cooperation from people that in the past would never have even thought about it.” But while those leaders cooperate with Israel on arms, intel and other ways to fight common enemies, they only do so — so far, at least — behind the scenes.
A "solution" will only evolve out of regional action—no one, not the United States or the EU or Russia or anyone outside the region—can impose a settlement to this issue. Although it's a long shot, "Saudi Arabia and the Gulfies, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan" along with the Israelis are the only parties that can get this done. And the Palestinians? Maybe they're the party that should be asked to make serious compromises—all in the name of peace, of course.

Monday, February 13, 2017

No Trump Clause

For just a moment, think of yourself as a 20-something who is looking for roommates in a major urban area. You use your favorite app or jump on Craig's List and read:
ROOMMATE WANTED: Two open-minded women looking for a roommate to share expenses and adventures. Nice neighborhood, nicer apartment. If you're tolerant and fun, please let us know. No Trump supporters need apply.
What the NYT calls the "NO Trump clause" has become increasingly common over recent months. It certainly isn't wrong for roommates to pick those they want to live with, but it seems pretty intolerant to assume that someone's political preference would preclude even a conversation to see if interests outside politics might coincide.

For the Left in the Trump era, it seems that there is no life outside politics. Kevin Williamson writes:
Earlier this week, I expressed what seemed to me an unobjectionable opinion: that politics has a place, that politics should be kept in its place, and that happy and healthy people and societies have lives that are separate from politics. The response was dispiriting but also illuminating ...

[An] objection came from a correspondent who demanded: “What if politics greatly impacts every facet of your life?” That would be an excellent question if it came from some poor serf living in one of the states our American progressives so admire, such as Cuba or Venezuela, where almost every aspect of life is under political discipline, where government controls whether you eat — and, indeed, whether you breathe. But if you live in the United States and politics greatly impacts every facet of your life, you have mental problems, or you are a politician. (But I repeat myself.)
In the big intrusive government (B.I.G.) world of the Left, politics does in fact control every aspect of one's life. That's because BIG is intended to control every aspect of your life and politicians (progressive, of course) control politics. That is the problem.

As the Left continues its seemingly never-ending hysteria over Trump, the people around him, the nominees he proposes, the policies he suggests and the words he uses, you'd think that all of these things "impact every facet of one's life." But everyday life goes on—job, family, friends ... even your search for a roommate.

The anti-Trumpers are the first to tell you that tolerance, love, open-mindedness, and acceptance of others are dominant aspects of their lives. Yet none of those things seem to matter when they encounter someone with a differing political view. As Williamson noted, to many on the Left, everything is political, and when the politics bends out of their immediate control, there is a level on anger that is astonishing. He continues:
But, as Robin Hanson put it, politics isn’t about policy.

What it is about is tribe, which is what makes all that conflation of racism and bigotry with political difference so amusing. Political prejudice is not the moral equivalent of racial prejudice, but they operate in very similar ways, as anybody who ever has spent much time around a genuine racist or anti-Semite knows. Taxes too high? Blame the blacks. Not making enough money? Blame the Mexicans. Foreign policy seem overwhelmingly complex? Blame the Jews. Whataburger gave you a full-on corn-syrup Coke instead of a Diet Coke? Blame the blacks, Mexicans, Jews, subcontinental immigrants . . . somebody. Racism and anti-Semitism are metaphysical creeds, and those who adhere to these creeds see the work of the agents of evil everywhere. For them, there is no world outside race and racism.
If the last sentence of this paragraph sounds vaguely analogous to the rantings of some Democrats over the past few months; if everyone who has a different political view is a racist or a bigot or a white supremacist, if every appointee is vaguely evil, if every tweet or side comment is one small step towards a authoritarian future, then you just might begin to understand that prejudice cuts both ways—and although some don't realize it, it's prejudice that drives many of the actions of the so-called "#resistance."


UPDATE:
-----------------------

Even some Democrats are beginning to push back against the outrage machine that spawns things like the No Trump Clause. Allan Richarz comments:
With so much outrage and so little time, what is a socially conscious progressive to do? If the reactions post-election are any indication, the answer is to adopt a preening, self-righteous sense of moral outrage — an extremely counterproductive approach for those opposing the likes of Donald Trump et al.

If Democrats and progressives wish to serve as credible opposition over the next four to eight years, it is necessary to drop the self-promoting outrage theater popular among activists and develop a more mature, fact-driven approach.

The histrionics in response to President Trump’s election have been, in a word, unseemly. I’m not talking about the laudable Women’s Marches or demonstrations against Trump’s immigration executive order, but the angst-ridden thought-pieces on mothers “paralyzed” at the thought of raising a son in Trump’s America. The help lines for college students unable to deal with Trump-voting relatives at family gatherings. All against a backdrop of perma-apoplexy on social media in which privileged, upper-middle-class white college students unironically take on the affectations of one living in Nazi Germany ...

In the rush to become the most ideologically pure progressive in the room, all sense of perspective is lost. There is a tendency to see Trump as a crude caricature — an intemperate, thin-skinned, incompetent neo-Nazi bully. Much how Democrats “misunderestimated” George W. Bush as a Texas rube, there is similar peril in this myopic view of Trump. This is particularly true considering Trump’s penchant for tweaking critics, ability to carefully curate controversy and his often deft manipulation of the media.
Many Democrats are becoming the boy who cried wolf—tiresome ideologues who tell us the apocalypse has come or is coming. And when it doesn't, people simply stop listening.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Reform

The Ninth Federal Circuit surprised no one by allowing the injunction against the administration's travel moratorium to remain in place. The progressive judges on the court asked government lawyers whether they could point to a terrorist attack by a first generation Muslim immigrant, while Congressional Democrats asked the same question of the new DHS secretary. It's the wrong question.

Progressives also contend that any travel moratorium that would preclude travel by mostly Muslim immigrants is religious discrimination. It's the wrong contention, and here's why.

There is no question that Islam has a significant religious component, but when practiced by a significant percentage of Muslims (not a majority, but polling indicates between 15 and 25 percent), Islam also has a significant political component that is virulently anti-Western and intolerant of other religions or systems of belief. It's called Sharia and it is—flat out—antithetical to American values. It is intolerant of free speech, homophobic, religiously intolerant, misogynist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, violent and cruel—not to mention wholly totalitarian.

When we conduct "extreme vetting" of immigrants from Muslim countries, the key question should focus not on support of Islamic terror, but on whether the immigrant supports Sharia law. If he or she does, then that Muslim's world view is antithetic to our own and entry should be denied. Not on religious grounds, but on the grounds that Sharia, a totalitarian political ideology that is virulently resistant to any attempts at assimilation, represents a clear and present threat to our many freedoms. Proponents on Sharia have no right whatsoever to immigrate, and the privilege of entry should be denied.*

Andrew McCarthy comments:
Islam must reform so that this totalitarian political ideology, sharia supremacism (or, if you prefer, “radical Islam”), is expressly severable from Islam’s truly religious tenets. To fashion an immigration policy that serves our vital national-security interests without violating our commitment to religious liberty, we must be able to exclude sharia supremacists while admitting Muslims who reject sharia supremacism and would be loyal to the Constitution.

Second, sharia supremacists are acting on a “voluntary apartheid” strategy of gradual conquest. You needn’t take my word for it. Influential sharia supremacists encourage Muslims of the Middle East and North Africa to integrate into Western societies without assimilating Western culture. The renowned Muslim Brotherhood jurist Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who vows that “Islam will conquer Europe, conquer America,” urges Muslim migrants to demand the right to live in accordance with sharia. Turkey’s sharia-supremacist president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, admonishes that pressuring Muslims to assimilate is “a crime against humanity.” The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim governments that purports to speak as a quasi-caliphate, promulgated its “Declaration of Human Rights in Islam” in 1990 — precisely because what the United Nations in 1948 presumptuously called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is neither “universal” nor suitable to a sharia culture.

Voluntary apartheid does not require insinuating terrorists into migrant populations. It requires insinuating assimilation-resistant migrant populations into Western countries.

When Democrats try to demonize the Trump administration for correctly recognizing the threat of Sharia (although Trump has not enunciated that threat well), their question about Islamic terrorism perpetrated by immigrants should be flipped with a question to them. As McCarthy puts it:
The government must vet aliens for sharia-supremacist ideology. ‘Do you think Islam needs reform?” Wouldn’t it be interesting, wouldn’t it get us to the crux of the immigration debate, if our best news anchors — I’m looking at you, Chris Wallace and Bret Baier — would put that question to every major politician in Washington?
It would be interesting to hear the response of a Chuck Schumer, or an Elizabeth Warren or even the past president. If they answer in the negative, that will tell us more about their concern for our "values" that any other thing they profess to believe.

Footnote:
---------------

* Before those social justice warriors who might read this column get the vapors, a quick thought experiment: A virulent adherent to right-wing neo-Nazi ideology from, say, England wants to immigrate to the United States. When asked about his views at the American Embassy, it quickly becomes apparent that he is intolerant of free speech, homophobic, religiously intolerant, misogynist, anti-Semitic, violent and cruel. He also denies that the Holocaust happened. He also suggests that Mein Kampf should replace the Constitution as our guiding document. Should the neo-Nazi be granted a visa?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

CFPB

Following up on my previous post on Elizabeth Warren, I think it's fair to state that the "silenced" Senator is violently against the exorbitant salaries paid to corporate big wigs and is a very strong in her concern about income inequality. It surprising then, to learn that an agency she and the previous president created in 2011—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—pays its many employees exorbitant salaries. Conveniently, Warren worked to place the CFPB within the Federal Reserve Bank, so that normal limits on government (read: taxpayer-funded) salaries don't apply. How convenient.

Consider the following, researched by Richard Pollock:
The Senate majority and minority leaders are paid $193,000 annually. Two hundred and one CFPB employees outdo Sens. Mitch McConnell and Charles Schumer in pay.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin receives $223,000 per year, but that’s less than what 54 CFPB employees are paid.

Another 170 CFPB employees earn more than the secretaries of defense and state, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence. All cabinet salaries are capped at $199,700, but not at the bureau. Thirty-nine CFPB employees earn more than the $230,000 paid to Vice President Mike Pence.

A total of 198 CFPB employees also earn more than their ultimate boss, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellin, who is paid $201,700.

Overall, 449 CFPB employees get at least $100,000 per year and 228 CFPB are paid more than $200,000, according to publicly available 2016 data.
This is a classic example of why zip codes in the Washington, DC suburbs exhibit some of the highest per capita income in the country. Oh ... by the way ... 100 percent of the political donations made by employees of the CFPB went to Democrats. No surprise there.

But there's a larger question. Exactly what real benefit does the average taxpayer derive from the CFPB? Even more important, does the work performed by CFPB employees justify salaries in the $100,000 to over $200,000 range? Funny that Senator Warren is oddly quiet on these questions. I suppose she's far too busy "persisting." My view is that we should all #LetLizSpeak on this issue. It would be illuminating for sure.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

#LetLizSpeak

Senator Elizabeth Warren views herself as a left-wing champion of the people—a lioness who has the courage to criticize special interests, evil corporations, big banks, "Wall Street," big oil, and any other entity that doesn't fit nicely within her socialist ideology. Anyone who disagrees with her stridency is a racist or a misogynist or a bigot or an Islmophobe.

Yesterday, Warren initiated a planned stunt to gain attention for herself. Knowingly violating an arcane Senate rule, she introduced 30-year old criticism against Jeff Session, now confirmed as Attorney General. When warned that she was in violation, the lioness persisted and was asked to sit down. Oh ... my. Liz was "silenced."

Here's Chris Stirewalt's comment on the stunt:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave her underwhelming re-election bid a shot in the arm with a high-profile attack on her colleague from Alabama, Jeff Sessions.

The Massachusetts senator was booted from the marathon debate over Sessions’ appointment to be attorney general for quoting a 1986 letter from Martin Luther King’s widow, Coretta. The letter calls Sessions “reprehensible” for his prosecution of a civil rights activist on voter fraud charges.

Do not waste your time on the question of whether Senate rules permitted Warren’s silencing. After all, she got exactly what she wanted. Spend your sympathy elsewhere.

Warren was ready to go with a social media livestream and a hashtag, #LetLizSpeak, to make the most of the moment. But, press coverage of the event still must have surpassed even her wildest expectations, including doozies like this one. Not since Wendy Davis’ trod the aisles of the Texas state Senate in pink Mizuno tennis shoes has the political press been so agog about legislative maneuvering.

In the end, this will matter about as much as Davis’ 2013 filibuster or her fellow Texan Ted Cruz’s “Green Eggs and Ham” moment of the same year.

Democrats who already hated Sessions and thought him racist will feel virtuous and develop new depths of admiration for a woman they already adored. Republicans will despise her more fully, and most people just won’t care.

But if this is the direction Warren and her party are heading, President Trump can remain in his bathrobe, or whatever loungewear the White House claims he prefers, content in the knowledge that 2020 will be a shoo-in for him.
Warren represents the worst in a politician—an opportunist who acts obnoxiously, is then gently spanked, and then characterizes herself as a victim for acting obnoxiously. The Wall Street Journal comments:
HRH Warren isn’t a victim, even if she enjoys feeling she is, and Republicans aren’t trying to get her to “shut up,” as if that’s possible. She knowingly broke protocol and said Mr. Sessions was “racist” and prosecuting “a campaign of bigotry,” among other gross, false and personal insults that Democrats now feel entitled to hurl. Our guess is that Ms. Warren wanted to be punished so she could play out this political theater.

A question for Republicans is whether Mr. McConnell enhanced the Warren brand by responding to her provocations in this way. She already has a formidable platform but the story dominated Wednesday’s news. Then again, sooner or later Mr. McConnell had to send a signal that Senate rules can’t be violated with impunity.
Warren is a true social justice warrior—making a lot of noise, energized her rabid supporters, but accomplishing almost nothing in the end. Her convenient hastag—#LetLizSpeak—is, as Stirewalt suggests, something that the GOP should do. She might energize her band of supporters, but I suspect, her strident (and sometimes unhinged) language causes the majority of people who will be voting in 2018 and 2020 to just shake their heads in dismay.