Of course Elizabeth Warren is correct that Donald Trump is a “loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud.” But is Senator Cherokee Cheekbones really the Democrats’ best ambassador for personal authenticity?
Warren isn’t actually after Trump here. Not really. Her real interest is in Merrick Garland and other Obama nominees to judgeships held up by Mitch McConnell in the Senate. Barack Obama has attempted to undermine Congress with his maximalist interpretation of executive powers, and McConnell is responding with a very broad application of senatorial prerogative, in this case running out the clock on Obama’s Supreme Court pick. McConnell is right to do so.
Warren’s argument, which isn’t very intelligent but may prove nonetheless politically effective, is that Senate Republicans’ resistance to Obama’s judicial nominees is of a piece with Trump’s absurd attacks on Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, who is overseeing Trump’s fraud trial and whom Trump has denounced as unable to provide impartial administration of justice because he is of Mexican background, “Eek a Mexican!” being the first plank in the Trump platform. It isn’t the sort of argument that deserves to be taken seriously, but voters haven’t shown themselves to be in a particularly serious mood of late.
Republicans know in the abstract that Trump’s buffoonery isn’t just going to be a problem for Trump, but the reality of that probably hasn’t set in yet, and may not until Chuck Schumer is sworn in as Senate majority leader. The Trump movement is sustained in no small part by people who wish to destroy the Republican party, and they may succeed.