Elizabeth Warren has as much commanding power as my school librarian

Some online commenter compared Liz Warren to his high school librarian when he was a kid.  That sure rang a bell with me.

The late Ms. Thatcher (name changed) was that librarian in my small-town high school back in the sixties. The poor old gal did her best to project competence and control, but all that ever came of it was ridicule.  It was just impossible to take her seriously.  Even I, as a relatively serious student, could only shake my head and sometimes laugh out loud at the old bat.

I think she was mentally stuck in some ancient model of a school library, maybe from the thirties, where by virtue of position and age she commanded respect and wielded a modicum of authority.  She carried herself in a way reminiscent of a bantam rooster, but being so small in stature did not lend itself to that image.  What came across was a little girl decked out in mommy's heels and lipstick, playing grown-up.

Some of us couldn't help but pity the old broad.  In those days, study hall was a legitimate subject.  It convened in the library.  Ms. Thatcher would ask for help to move something.  At first no one would volunteer, then suddenly everyone.  She went from no help to too much help in the blink of an eye and had no idea what to do with all these kids (purposely) milling around and getting in one another's way.

A bust of Teddy Roosevelt sat proudly at one of the entrances to the library.  Many days in last period, as I came through the door, Teddy had a lit Pall Mall between his lips.  A straight pin in the cigarette ensured that by the time I got there, only a long ash and the lingering smell of tobacco smoke gave away the crime.  Rather than watch or lay a trap for the guilty party, Ms. Thatcher would come unglued.  The rules!  The disrespect!  How could anybody dishonor a great man like that?  Who did this?  Everybody sat, all glum and guilty-looking, at their tables.

Then the wiseacres started in.  "HE did it!"  "Did not!"  "Did, too!"  "He's lying, Ms Thatcher!  I don't even smoke Pall Mall!  It was HIM!"  "Huh uh!  I wasn't even here, I was ditching class and got caught!"  "Huh uh!"  "Uh huh!"  Then feigned contrition.  "I cannot tell a lie, Ms T.  It was me, and I'm so ashamed."  "He didn't do it, Ms T!  It was me, and my conscience is killing me."

The poor gal would be running from here to there, thinking she was establishing order as things just spiraled ever farther from that halcyon state.  Soon she would be sending whole squads of guys to the principal, who would exasperatedly tell them to knock it off before she had a heart attack.  He'd send them back, and, game over for that day, they'd settle into their usual state of somnambulance.  You felt pity, but you also rolled your eyes.

Some people just don't command respect.  They don't look commanding, they don't project authority, and they come across as phony and fake and...small.  This is precisely how Liz Warren comes across.  I look at that face, those glasses, the gestures and pomposity, and I see Ms. Thatcher, striving to be something she just doesn't have it in her to be.

Image: Edward Kimmel via Flickr.

Some online commenter compared Liz Warren to his high school librarian when he was a kid.  That sure rang a bell with me.

The late Ms. Thatcher (name changed) was that librarian in my small-town high school back in the sixties. The poor old gal did her best to project competence and control, but all that ever came of it was ridicule.  It was just impossible to take her seriously.  Even I, as a relatively serious student, could only shake my head and sometimes laugh out loud at the old bat.

I think she was mentally stuck in some ancient model of a school library, maybe from the thirties, where by virtue of position and age she commanded respect and wielded a modicum of authority.  She carried herself in a way reminiscent of a bantam rooster, but being so small in stature did not lend itself to that image.  What came across was a little girl decked out in mommy's heels and lipstick, playing grown-up.

Some of us couldn't help but pity the old broad.  In those days, study hall was a legitimate subject.  It convened in the library.  Ms. Thatcher would ask for help to move something.  At first no one would volunteer, then suddenly everyone.  She went from no help to too much help in the blink of an eye and had no idea what to do with all these kids (purposely) milling around and getting in one another's way.

A bust of Teddy Roosevelt sat proudly at one of the entrances to the library.  Many days in last period, as I came through the door, Teddy had a lit Pall Mall between his lips.  A straight pin in the cigarette ensured that by the time I got there, only a long ash and the lingering smell of tobacco smoke gave away the crime.  Rather than watch or lay a trap for the guilty party, Ms. Thatcher would come unglued.  The rules!  The disrespect!  How could anybody dishonor a great man like that?  Who did this?  Everybody sat, all glum and guilty-looking, at their tables.

Then the wiseacres started in.  "HE did it!"  "Did not!"  "Did, too!"  "He's lying, Ms Thatcher!  I don't even smoke Pall Mall!  It was HIM!"  "Huh uh!  I wasn't even here, I was ditching class and got caught!"  "Huh uh!"  "Uh huh!"  Then feigned contrition.  "I cannot tell a lie, Ms T.  It was me, and I'm so ashamed."  "He didn't do it, Ms T!  It was me, and my conscience is killing me."

The poor gal would be running from here to there, thinking she was establishing order as things just spiraled ever farther from that halcyon state.  Soon she would be sending whole squads of guys to the principal, who would exasperatedly tell them to knock it off before she had a heart attack.  He'd send them back, and, game over for that day, they'd settle into their usual state of somnambulance.  You felt pity, but you also rolled your eyes.

Some people just don't command respect.  They don't look commanding, they don't project authority, and they come across as phony and fake and...small.  This is precisely how Liz Warren comes across.  I look at that face, those glasses, the gestures and pomposity, and I see Ms. Thatcher, striving to be something she just doesn't have it in her to be.

Image: Edward Kimmel via Flickr.