Saturday, July 07, 2018

How to play Chicken with a Blowhard Bully

The modern Democratic Party is a lot like the lovable high school doofus nerd who gets pantsed by the school bully in Back to the Future. Wanting desperately to respond, the doofus can only clench his fist in frustration, as Crispin Glover does in the role of Michael J. Fox's dad when faced with Biff the overbearing (and orange haired!) bully.

So as a public service, I am here to help. The other night, the inimitable and utterly predictable bully Donald Trump attempted to Mock Elizabeth Warren. Incapable of self consciousness or irony, Trump challenged a potential lie by Warren, who had allegedly claimed Native American heritage in a Harvard faculty application years earlier. Trump, a fabulist (that means serial liar) like no one before in the history of American politics, is incapable of going a day- or even 5 minutes- without telling a whopper. Whether it was claiming that he had the largest crowds in history at his inauguration (pictures showed the lie) or contending that millions of illegals voted in the 2016 election, explaining Hillary Clinton's popular vote margin, he just can't help himself. So when he appears at a Montana Senate campaign rally and goes off script like this:

"In a freewheeling speech in Montana, Trump cycled through many of his favorite themes but repeatedly returned to vigorous campaign-year attacks on Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

He again referred to Warren of Massachusetts as “Pocahontas” to ridicule her claims of Native American ancestry. Warren is among the Democrats considered a potential 2020 candidate.

Trump said Thursday that he would give her a DNA test in the middle of a debate and say: “I’ll give you a million dollars for your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.”

“We will take that little kit and say – but we have to do it gently. Because we’re in the #MeToo generation so we have to be very gentle – and we will very gently take that kit, and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm,” Trump said.

Here was Warren's actual response, on Twitter:

"Elizabeth Warren

Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you're destroying."

But she missed a great opportunity, although it's still there for the taking if she wants it. Here is how she should have responded:

"Mr. Trump, you are challenging me to take a DNA test to prove that I have Native American ancestry. I accept your challenge..... but only if you will agree to take a polygraph (lie detector) on live television to prove your claim that you never sexually harassed or attacked any of the 19 women who have accused you so far, and your claim that you never had sex with a porn star, Stormy Daniels, or a Playboy Playmate, Karen McDougal, while your wife Melania was home taking care of your infant son. We'll have each woman appear, tell her story, while you are hooked up to a lie detector. After each one tells her story, you will be asked a few yes or no questions, such as "did you ever attempt to have sex with this woman," and "is she telling the truth." If I fail the DNA test, I will resign my Senate seat.... if, and only if, you fail any one of the lie detector exams for any of the women's accusations, you will resign the presidency. Deal? Oh yeah, and just for good measure, we'll throw in a question or two about whether your presidential campaign committed a felony by receiving stolen e-mails that you used to attack Hillary Clinton."

The beauty of this response is that it attacks the serial liar where it hurts the most: with his base. By challenging the bully straight up, Warren can show that he is all hot air, and that he'll collapse and retreat when challenged on his own turf. To really spice it up, Warren should deliver this speech in Montana at a campaign rally for incumbent Democratic Senator Jon Tester. Imagine the ratings for the rally- and imagine the ratings for a live television appearance by Trump hooked up to a lie detector.


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