10/06/2011 06:29 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2011

Late Returns: The Two Ways To Attack Elizabeth Warren

ThinkProgress' Alyssa Rosenberg thinks that it may have been unwise for Massachusetts' Senate candidate to make her "I left my clothes on" remark, but nonetheless feels that Senator Scott Brown's response was "a superficial, inappropriate, and degrading judgment on Warren’s appearance."


This is an ancient script, and a sadly typical way to try to take the focus away from the relevant qualities of smart, strong women, like when Don Imus calls Hillary Clinton “that buck-toothed witch, Satan.” And men aren’t entirely immune either: Brown’s comments come after several weeks of fierce national debates over whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s weight disqualified him from the presidency. But as ugly as the conversation about Christie has been, I can’t even imagine the vitriol that would be aimed at a woman of Christie’s age and equivalent body weight if she were poised to be a national political figure.

Of course, this is probably where Brown would like the debate to be.

When Warren jumped into the race, my thinking was that the superficial criticism would come in two forms, both of which were despicably demonstrated by Bloomberg Businessweek in their recent Warren cover story. The first line of attack was likely to be that she was a "Harvard elitist." The second was likely to be pure, mountain-grown sexism. I suppose that the "good news" here is that if the conversation moves into some sort of base, misogynist terrain, it indicates that the "elitist" charges aren't working. And, indeed, the fact that Warren comes from a hardscrabble background makes it hard to attack her in that way.

I think it's time, however, for everyone to consult the "Catbus’ Three Point Plan On How to Deal With Michele Bachmann Without Being a Sexist A**hole," and start applying it more liberally.

[Alyssa Rosenberg]


President Barack Obama says that he's not running a "Truman campaign" against a "do-nothing Congress." That's pretty wise, considering that Obama doesn't enjoy the economic fundmentals that helped Truman win. [Brendan Nyhan]

Politico's picks for their own "Politico Primary" are a murderer's row of figures who feature prominently in the fever-dreams of the bourgeois and Beltway-obsessed. Hillary Clinton's there to rescratch the itchy 2008 scab. Condi Rice and Erskine Bowles (?!) are definitively past their sell-by dates. General David Petraeus? Politico could fill a row of zero books with his domestic policy acumen. And Cisco CEO John Chambers is in there to satisfy everyone who still thinks that Michael Bloomberg's appointment of Cathie Black to run the New York City school system was a political masterstroke. And yet I still say it's fifty-fifty whether Politico's readers manage to do any better when their picks come in! [Politico]

Jon Huntsman squeezes what little sap remains from the act of criticizing Sarah Palin. [Politico]

If Mitt Romney can win favorable coverage from Sean Hannity, there's frankly no reason to believe that he can't win the favor of every GOP establishment hack in Christendom. [Steve Kornacki @ Salon]

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