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6/10/16

US Politics: Elizabeth Warren's speech attacking Donald Trump made a bigger argument about Republicans - by Jeff Stein

Highlighting Warren’s rapid succession of fusillades against Trump makes sense. After all, outside of this election, you don’t often get sitting US senators publicly calling the other party's presidential nominee a "racist bully" who has "never risked anything for anyone and who serves no one but himself."

But Warren’s speech did much more than go after Trump. In her high-profile address, she pivoted from attacking the likely GOP nominee to attacking Republicans more generally, accusing the party’s leaders of orchestrating a prolonged "assault" on the independence of the federal judiciary in order to serve the wealthiest Americans
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For instance, when Warren highlighted Trump’s racist attacks against Judge Gonzalo Curiel, she said they were born from the same essential motivation as other mainstream Republican initiatives like the blockade of Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination and the Citizens United decision on campaign finance: to help the richest of the rich.

"Donald Trump chose racism as his weapon," Warren said. "But his aim is exactly the same as the rest of the Republicans: to pound the courts into submission for the rich and the powerful."

Now, it should be noted that many leading Republicans, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, have condemned Trump's remarks about Curiel. So it doesn’t seem entirely fair to blame them for what Trump’s said there.

But the line does give us insight into how one of the leading progressives sees Trump, and it suggests how a Warren-led Democratic Party might respond in 2016 and beyond.

Read more: Elizabeth Warren's speech attacking Donald Trump made a bigger argument about Republicans - Vox

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