Why is Elizabeth Warren warring with Trump on Twitter?

    In this Nov. 18

    In this Nov. 18

    What a hoot it has been, in recent days, to track Elizabeth Warren’s Twitter war with Donald Trump. I count at least two dozen tweets, capped by this gem last night: “(Trump) can’t talk about Wall St, college costs or min wage, so he spent all day belching insults. Pathetic. Really pathetic.”

    Anyone with a Twitter account can read her missives here. For instance, from yesterday: “Your policies are dangerous. Your words are reckless. Your record is embarrassing. And your free ride is over.” And this, from yesterday, “You feel so much for people with college debt…that you raked in millions scamming students with Trump University?” And this, from yesterday: “Do you think you’re going to shut us up? Think again. It’s time to answer for your dangerous ideas.”

    Warren isn’t just doing this for the sheer pleasure of venting. She’s hitting Trump where he lives, on his favorite platform, because it’s smart politics:

    1. She’s basically telling the Democrats that they can’t cede that platform to Trump. He uses it to drive the news cycle and overwhelm the opposition with his noxious noise. She’s signaling that counter-noise can be just as effective in making news and catching the public eye. The other day, Warren put all her Trump tweets in a Facebook post that has reportedly drawn 45 million views.

    2. As a progressive icon who has remained neutral during the primaries, she’s potentially the best bridge between the Clinton and Sanders camps. Her brawl with Trump, which has all the makings of a marathon endeavor, is clearly her way of reminding all Democrats that they need to prioritize the common enemy. (This tweet, for instance: Trump “lied his way through the primaries without being held accountable. That’s over.”)

    3. Just as importantly, she’s using these tweets to rally women voters. When Trump retaliates by calling her “Goofy Elizabeth,” she frames that as a sexist insult: “We get it. When a woman stands up to you, you’re going to call her a basket case. Hormonal. Ugly.”

    The polls show that a landslide majority of women dislike Trump, and it just so happens that women typically comprise 53 percent of the presidential electorate. But Warren isn’t just thinking about the presidential race. Her tweetstorm is also designed to boost Democratic prospects for taking back the Senate – with female candidates toppling Republican incumbents in blue states.

    So her goal is to rally women voters not just to renounce Trump, but to go down ballot and hire, for instance, Tammy Duckworth in Illinois (to replace Republican Mark Kirk), Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania (to replace Republican Pat Toomey), and Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire (to replace Republican Kelly Ayotte). Wisconsin Republican incumbent Ron Johnson is also deemed beatable, and the Florida seat being vacated by Marco Rubio is winnable. A net switch of four seats, combined with a Clinton victory, would hand the Senate to the Democrats – and boost Warren’s clout.

    But we’ll have to see whether she can continue to keep pace with Trump’s flying fingers. Nobody else has shown the requisite moxie for slugging it out 21st century style – but so far, so good. When Trump boasted via Twitter on Tuesday that he was driving her “nuts,” Warren shot back yesterday: “No…your racism, sexism & xenophobia doesn’t drive me nuts. It makes me sick. And I’m not alone.”

    But of all the weaponry Warren has fired, this one is easily the most exquisite: “There’s more enthusiasm for (Trump) among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls.” Given Paul Ryan’s low energy for the demagogue, that tweet could not be more apt.

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    In other news, quick-draw security specialist George Zimmerman is auctioning off the gun that he used to kill Trayvon Martin. You’ve gotta love his advertising pitch: “I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon.”

    He also said that “the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.” is interested in acquiring his gun. Only problem is, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. says he’s lying, that it has no interest in acquiring his gun.

    You know how Newt Gingrich has been slobbering to join Trump’s ticket? Forget it, Newt. I think George Zimmerman just jumped the line.

    Follow me on Twitter, @dickpolman1, and on Facebook.

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