The Boston Globe, which can make the New York Times look reasonable and moderate, pushed back ferociously against President Trump’s mockery of local hero Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a potential Democratic rival to Trump in 2020, accusing the president in an online headline of woman-hating and racism.
The front page of Saturday’s paper featured reporter Annie Linskey’s attack: “With attack on Warren, Trump pushes more buttons: Talk of DNA test, swipe at #MeToo push more buttons.”
The online headline was much sharper: “Critics say Trump’s insults of Warren were a double scoop of misogyny, racism.”
President Trump has shown delight in talking about women's bodies, whether it's their blood, their reproductive organs, or their figures. And he often communicates racial dog whistles to his base of loyal white supporters.
In his latest eruption, at a rally in Montana Thursday night, Trump delivered one highly charged remark from each category, mocking the #MeToo movement while simultaneously demanding that Senator Elizabeth Warren undergo a DNA test to prove her claims to Native American heritage.
It was a double scoop of misogyny and racism in the eyes of his critics, who were once again nauseated, but also convinced that he won't back off his attacks.
“For those of us who already thought Trump is a crass, unpresidential, morally unfit, infantile, disgusting jerk, it's hard to muster much more of a reaction," said Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and frequent Trump critic. “It just becomes reason 1,583 to affirm that belief."
Warren could be a formidable threat should she seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump's expected reelection bid. Her message of combating income inequality tends to appeal to the same working class voters in places like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin who helped elect Trump in 2016.
At Thursday's rally Trump escalated his assault on the Massachusetts Democrat by again calling her “Pocahontas" and reminding the crowd of her claims of Native American ancestry, which Warren says are based on family lore but remain unproven.
“We will take that little kit and say -- but we have to do it gently, because we're in the #MeToo generation, so have to be very gentle," Trump said. “And we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn't hit her and injure her arm, even though it only weighs probably 2 ounces. We will say, 'I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you're an Indian.' "
The words, particularly “do it gently," conjured the kinds of images of male domination that have sunk other male candidates going up against women.
These attacks, however, offer a double-edged sword for Trump because they also rile up the Democratic base and turn off voters who aren't affiliated with either party.
Linskey went back to her favorite “Republican” source, Navarro, for some fiery attacks on Trump and his voters.
“As far as turning off GOP women, come on, now," said Navarro, the Republican strategist. “His base gave him a pass on sleeping with a stripper and a Playboy bunny while married to and thereby cheating on and humiliating Melania -- a woman most GOP women actually like," referring to allegations made by Stormy Daniels, a porn star, and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy playmate.
In September 2017 the Globe did a Sunday front-page story spiritualizing their hometown candidate Warren under the headline “For Warren, faith is (quietly) critical to her public life: Tells Atlanta church ‘there's Jesus in every one of us.’”