I relapsed yesterday, or so I thought, while reading David Leonhardt’s column in the New York Times. So great was my initial reaction of triumph, and so sad was my subsequent sense of tragedy, that I began to cry. From the pinnacle of happiness to the precipice of despair, never has a piece of writing been so overwhelming; never has my screen had such a golden hue and such a hallucinatory effect; never has a post had the power of opium and the odorless quality of poison—all because Leonhardt said Warren will be our next president.
I am, political differences notwithstanding, an admirer of Warren. I am in fact Warren’s brother (more like son) from another mother.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I learned that my Warren is not Leonhardt’s Warren. Mine has played everything from a singer to a senator, while the other is a senator—who plays an Indian. It is this senator for whom Leonhardt sees a path from the tepee to the Treaty Room. It is this senator whose clan is over 200-years-old, whose reservation houses many mansions, including a neoclassical building of white granite and interior grandeur.
I refer, of course, to the tribal nation of Harvard Law School, where Warren was the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law. (Gottlieb was a member of another tribe—the tribe—for which the Indian word is “mensch.”)
Let us not trouble ourselves with such trivialities, because Leonhardt says Warren will not only win the 2020 presidential election, she will carry Georgia, too. Unless Georgia is Warren’s infant goddaughter or a toy poodle, I can no more picture her winning the Peach State than I can envision her coming up with three peaches at the nickel slots at some Indian casino.
What I read was instead Leonhardt’s treatment for a film that will never be made. What it has in terms of creativity, it lacks in verisimilitude.
It does not seem real—it is not real—because it is a pipe dream.
Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images (left)/20th Century Fox/Everett Collection (right)