I Miss Elizabeth Warren

wRRENIt’s all Trump, Trump, Trump in American media these days. Occasionally you’ll get a noxious blast of fabricated “scandal” featuring Hillary. But I’m not hearing much about Elizabeth Warren.

And that’s a shame.

She is every bit as colorful as Trump (but in a good way), and she has the wit and guts to match his slings and arrows with even better zingers of her own.

Ms. Warren just resurfaced in the morning news because of a congressman’s strange attack on her.

According to the Huffington Post, GOP congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer advanced the opinion that Ms. Warren needs to be neutered. He described her at a meeting as the “Darth Vader of the financial services world.”Darth_Vader

Here’s how Ms. Warren responded when she was informed of the insult:

My first thought was Really? I’ve always seen myself more as a Princess Leia-type (as a senator and Resistance general who, unlike the guys, is never even remotely tempted by the dark side). Clearly the Force is not strong with Congressman Luetkemeyer (maybe he’s a Trekkie).”

Another politician might be affronted. Another politician might be hurt. But not Elizabeth Warren. She laughed off the congressman’s absurd remark.

Trump himself must be having a good laugh at the outrage he inspires.  Lawrence O’Donnell almost ruptured a gasket on MSNBC last night after the Republican candidate promised to blow Iranian boats out of the water if they harass US warships on his watch.

O’Donnell pointed out in horror that this amounts to a threat to trigger World War III, and he wondered why the political press wasn’t agog over this danger instead of Hillary’s pneumonia and “basket of deplorables” remark.

But I think I know why the press wasn’t shocked. Trump’s rants have lost their shock and awe.

I have to  admit it’s hard to take his nonsense at face value. And it’s hard to cover a campaign as absurd as this one.

There’s so much craziness coming from the far right. And the media risk looking ridiculous if they cover it seriously.

When Congressman Louie Gohmert called Hillary “mentally impaired”  recently, for example, CNN “reached out for comment” from her campaign.

What did they expect Hillary to say? That she is not mentally impaired? Then there would be a next-day headline that Hillary “denies being mentally impaired.” The campaign was wisely silent on the subject.

joker2This election season has descended into farce.  Trump is coming across as a kind of comic book villain, like those professional wrestlers who get rich by making the crowd hate them.

But what if Trump and his “basket of deplorables” mean what they say – implausible as it seems?

O’Donnell, for one, believes they do.

As society’s watchdogs, the political press must not let themselves get caught napping. There might be a sinister echo behind the laughter, after all. And what then?