Hey, why interrupt a good tantrum with the facts?
Senator Elizabeth Warren, furious about President-elect Donald J. Trump’s appointments of finance industry insiders, took to Facebook a little over a week ago to fire off a message to her nearly 2.5 million followers.
She took aim at an individual she described as a “hedge fund billionaire” who is “thrilled by Donald Trump’s economic team of Wall Street insiders.”
The hedge fund manager she condemned was Whitney Tilson, who runs Kase Capital. Ms. Warren — the fiery Massachusetts Democrat who is known for her stern mistrust of Wall Street — called him out by saying, “Tilson knows that, despite all the stunts and rhetoric, Donald Trump isn’t going to change the economic system.” Then she added, “The next four years are going to be a bonanza for the Whitney Tilsons of the world.”
There’s one rather glaring problem with Ms. Warren’s attack: Mr. Tilson happens to be one of the few financial executives who publicly fought Mr. Trump’s election and supported Hillary Clinton. A lifelong Democrat who was involved in helping to start Teach for America, Mr. Tilson also happened to be one of the rare Wall Street executives who had donated to Ms. Warren and actively sought new regulations for the industry. Recently, he gave Mrs. Clinton $1,000 so he could see Ms. Warren speak at a campaign fund-raiser. (He’s also far, far from a billionaire.)
“I’ve donated money to her, attended her events, and did everything in my power to stop Donald Trump,” Mr. Tilson told me, talking about Ms. Warren and expressing dismay that he somehow became the target of her derision. “In addition, I agree with her 100 percent that large swaths of the financial industry have run amok and prey on vulnerable Americans, and thus strong regulation, including a muscular Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is sorely needed,” he said.
Ms. Warren appears to be suffering from the same affliction that Mr. Trump’s critics accuse of him: a knee-jerk, fact-free reaction to something she had read in the news.
In this case, Ms. Warren seems to have come across a Bloomberg News article that includes some quotations from Mr. Tilson. But she didn’t read to the bottom or dismissed it before firing off her zingers.
Embarrassing. If only she was in touch with reality she might be apologetic. But wait, there’s more!
However, her ad hominem attack on Mr. Tilson only serves to undermine her credibility and some of the good work she wants to achieve.
To make matters worse, Mr. Tilson’s wife, Susan Blackman Tilson, was one of the students in the first Harvard Law School bankruptcy class that Ms. Warren taught, in fall 1992. The student has remained loyal to her professor; Mrs. Tilson wrote in a letter to Ms. Warren last week that she had been “cheering from the sidelines as you rose to national attention for your excellent work on behalf of consumers.”
D’oh! Yes, that would be the same Harvard that admitted her based on her fraudulent representation as being part Native America.
Meanwhile, for all the caterwauling from Democrats about Russia allegedly interfering with the election, let’s have a look at this Warren tweet from October:
It's not rigged, @realDonaldTrump. You're losing fair & square. Put on your big-boy pants because this is what accountability looks like.
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) October 19, 2016
Yeah, that hasn’t aged too well.