TWO WAYS OF LOOKING AT A SENATOR
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s essay is a very thinly veiled plug for her book, which, in turn, is a poorly disguised boost for her next career steppingstone (Perspective, April 27). Behind her calculated “aw, shucks” humility is just another ambitious politician — one who is ill-serving voters with her myopic focus on and visceral hatred of big banks. In laying everything at the feet of the banks, Warren ignores the messiness of reality. Her shock and horror at the thought that then Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner might be doing something to actually support the banks at the height of the financial crisis lays bare her bias and naivete about how our economic system works. Certainly homeowners were hurting, but if some measure wasn’t taken to protect the financial system, then all homeowners and the country would have suffered from a far greater economic collapse. The Globe Magazine should ask for her “Perspective” on the other issues facing voters, such as how to reignite job growth, reform entitlement programs, and promote long-term fiscal solvency. Challenge her to serve her full constituency, not just her pet causes.
It is refreshing to see someone in Washington who knows what she believes in. Ted Kennedy did. Now Elizabeth Warren does. Attorney General Eric Holder has had years to get JPMorgan before a jury, but there is always a deal. The public is never represented at the table. There are few leaders, liberal or conservative, in Washington. The change
I thought was coming from the federal government never arrived. But maybe, just maybe, Warren is the real deal. She is keeping her campaign promises and sounds exactly like the candidate she was.
THE NOT-SO-GREAT UNWASHED
A letter writer in the April 27 Miss Conduct asked whether it was proper to “say something” to someone who does not wash her hands in a public bathroom. Miss Conduct’s response that we are too concerned about germs in our society was ill-considered. Basic hygiene is not the same as overusing antibiotic soaps. Basic hygiene, including hand washing, can prevent transmission of intestinal diseases and, for women, more serious blood-borne diseases like hepatitis C. A student sharing a bathroom with someone not only has the right but also the responsibility to ask the other person to wash her hands. This is not an occasion to be shy. The discussion should be private and polite. Shared facilities require consideration for the welfare of others.
The hand-washing dilemma reminded me of the time a dozen years ago when our local Democratic City Committee set up its fall campaign headquarters in rental space. We stocked both the women’s and men’s bathrooms with toilet paper, paper towels, and a bar of soap. Several weeks into the campaign, one of the female members checked to see if the men’s room needed to be restocked and found the bar of soap resting on the sink, still in its paper wrapper.