Politico writer Lisa Lerer unabashedly characterizes Elizabeth Warren, the gal Congress appointed to oversee trillions in financial rescue funds, as “brilliant.” Lerer therefore appears genuinely perplexed that Warren is “the scourge of conservative Republicans, who question her panel’s exploration of more-liberal approaches such as nationalization and bank liquidation.” At a policy level, I’d almost certainly agree with the Republicans, because I can’t think of anything worse than nationalizing anything, but I have to admit that I don’t have before me any facts about her actual plans, so I’m only guess about that last bit.
I do, however, have some facts about Lerer’s unsubstantiated conclusion regarding Warren’s purported “brilliance.” Many moons ago, Warren was my professor when I took a banking law class. There’s no doubt that, back then, I could have been a better student — I was a third year student by then, had a job lined up, and wasn’t overwhelmingly interested anymore in the academic side of law school. What I’m about to write, therefore, is not meant to defend me. It’s just an observation about Warren.
Warren was one of the worst professors I’ve ever had, and she was one of the worst for a very specific reason: she was a disorganized thinker. Ask her a question, and hundreds of pointless, disconnected words and sentences would spill out of her. Coherence just didn’t happen. You could tell that there was a lot of information resident in her brain, but you really wondered which synapses were firing, and, indeed, if any were firing simultaneously, when she tried to tap into and regurgitate that information.
As you can imagine, the combination of my malaise and her inability to teach coherently resulted in a complete absence of learning on my part. It’s only because she is a genuinely nice lady that I got a decent grade in her class. I didn’t deserve the grade, since my work product was terrible, but I didn’t feel too bad about getting it, since her teaching was terrible too.
All of which is to say that I have my doubts about Elizabeth Warren’s ability to oversee trillions of your and my tax dollars. I’m sure she has all sorts of grandiose ideas — and they seem to be ideas that I disagree with at an ideological level — but I’m more worried about the waste that seems inevitable given her inability to structure ideas, or to respond logically to any demand for information or product.