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Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Maxine Waters

As we struggle through the Trump era, there are a few subsidiary aspects of this nightmare that are pleasing. One is the elevation of congresswoman Maxine Waters to folk hero status. Like Sam Ervin during the Watergate hearings, Waters outsize personality has enraged conservatives and warmed the hearts of progressives.

Waters is a thirteen-term veteran of Congress, and some of us had heard of her before. She was in Congress during the Rodney King riots (she serves Los Angeles) and has always been outspoken. But it has only been since Trump was elected that she has become a national figure.

Waters is seventy-nine years old, but seems to have the energy of someone half that age. She is a fighter, and reminds me of a schoolteacher who is a real disciplinarian but cares about her students. She puts up with no bullshit. Her first emergence into national news may have been when she was grilling Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin, who refused to answer her questions. When he went off on ridiculous tangents Waters said to the chair, "Reclaiming my time!" meaning she didn't want his bloviating costing her her questioning time. Almost immediately you could buy coffee mugs with that phrase on the side.

She's upped the ante since then. After Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, Waters stated that Trump officials should be confronted whenever they were in public.As usual, Trump heard what he wanted to hear, and disregarded the rest. He accused Waters of promoting violence, and warned her. Since Trump has openly advocated violence, his minions have sent death threats. She responded, "If you shoot me, you better shoot straight. There's nothing like a wounded animal!"

Waters alienates even some of the Democratic establishment, which I think is great. She's not above criticizing her own party, and let Barack Obama have it when she disagreed with him. She is not a captive of any special interest, only her own conscience.

Of interest this November is that if the Democrats take Congress back, Waters is the ranking member on the Finance Committee, and it would be in her power to subpoena Trump's bank records, which I'm sure would cause steam to come out of her ears. Unfortunately, she is no longer on the Judiciary Committee, so would not get to take part in Trump's impeachment hearings. I'm sure she would have her say, anyway.

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