The story was Too Woke To Check for most of the media, it appears. But the Free Beacon did check.
Who knew that Elizabeth Warren might be capable of shading a basic fact about her own biography to try to make herself more appealing to liberals?
I assume the Beacon’s scoop will shortly be shoveled by Warren apologists into the “Larger Truth” memory hole, which is essentially the opposite of “fake but accurate.” Yes, fine, it turns out that Warren herself didn’t lose a job due to sexist policies, but many other women did. The Beacon story isn’t fake but accurate, it’s true but irrelevant!
The Riverdale Board of Education approved a second-year teaching contract for a young Elizabeth Warren, documents show, contradicting the Democratic presidential candidate’s repeated claims that she was asked not to return to teaching after a single year because she was “visibly pregnant.”
Minutes of an April 21, 1971, Riverdale Board of Education meeting obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show that the board voted unanimously on a motion to extend Warren a “2nd year” contract for a two-days-per-week teaching job. That job is similar to the one she held the previous year, her first year of teaching. Minutes from a board meeting held two months later, on June 16, 1971, indicate that Warren’s resignation was “accepted with regret.”
Warren’s claim that she was dismissed after her first year of teaching because she was pregnant has become a cornerstone of her stump speeches. She has used it to both explain her jump from teaching into the legal world as well as to showcase the difficulties that women face in the workplace.
If you’re coming to this story late, stop now and read Ed’s post from last Thursday which has all the proverbial receipts about the lies Warren has told in public over the last few years about how she came to lose her job in 1971. Ed’s post built on work by conservative Jeryl Bier, who’s been compiling instances on Twitter and elsewhere of Warren giving different versions over the years of how she ended up unemployed. My favorite detail, though, is that the first person to call her out wasn’t a right-winger — it was a far-leftist at Bernie-friendly “Jacobin” magazine who noticed the shifting Warren narrative. Here was the story Warren was telling about her employment history as recently as 2007:
I was married at nineteen and graduated from college after I’d married, and my first year post-graduation I worked in a public school system with the children with disabilities. I did that for a year, and then that summer I didn’t have the education courses, so I was on an “emergency certificate,” it was called. I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, “I don’t think this is going to work out for me.” I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years, and I was really casting about, thinking, “What am I going to do?” My husband’s view of it was, “Stay home. We have children, we’ll have more children, you’ll love this.” And I was very restless about it.
Fast-forward to the most recent Democratic debate and this was her version of how she lost her job:
And I made it as a special needs teacher. I still remember that first year as a special needs teacher. I could tell you what those babies looked like. I had 4- to 6-year-olds. But at the end of that first year, I was visibly pregnant. And back in the day, that meant that the principal said to me — wished me luck and hired someone else for the job.
The one thing neither Bier nor anyone else could nail down was corroboration. Was Warren 2007 telling the truth when she said she chose to stop teaching or was Warren 2019 telling the truth when she claimed that the chauvinist principal sent her packing after finding out she was pregnant? The Beacon’s scoop provides that corroboration. They offered her a contract. She quit. At some point between 2007 and 2019, which is coincidentally also the period when she became a politician, a senator, and a leading presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren’s “memory” of her employment history not only faded but faded in a way that enabled her to tell a too-perfect relatable story about her tribulations as a working woman in a less enlightened age.
To put all of this another way: Joe Biden’s ridiculous story of confronting the dreaded gangster “Corn Pop” at the local swimming pool in the early 1960s appears to be substantially more accurate than Elizabeth Warren’s story about how she lost her teaching job. When do we start seeing some stories about Warren’s creeping dementia?
A fib about her background normally wouldn’t be a huge deal but this is at least the second wholly gratuitous biographical lie she’s been caught in. Wait, scratch that. I mean at least the third:
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) October 7, 2019
It’s part of a pattern. And it defies belief that Warren’s memory somehow got hazy when she’s on camera as recently as 2007 telling the true story of how she left her job. It’s clearly a deliberate lie to enhance her appeal to women. I wonder if she’s going to end up trying to manage this the way she tried to manage the Cherokee DNA fiasco, by insisting that she’s telling the truth no matter how bad the evidence looks for her. Maybe she’ll claim that, yes, it’s true that the school board offered her a new contract, but she was fired two months later once the principal realized she was pregnant and the school board played it off as a “resignation” for the record to save face. Although, even if she makes that move, we’ll still be left with the conundrum of why Elizabeth Warren 2007 was telling people otherwise.
It’ll be fascinating to see how much grief she gets for this. The media is reluctant to attack her, partly because she’s the ideal of what a well-educated left-leaning journalist wants in a president (a woman, wonky, from academia) and partly because attacking her on a biographical point risks buttressing Trump’s “Fauxcahontas” attack line that she’s a phony. The other Democratic candidates haven’t come after her yet either. Bernie seems disinclined even though his fanatic fans aren’t. Biden logically will want to focus on policy disputes, emphasizing that she’s too radical. Maybe Kamala Harris will come after her at the next debate to try to claw back some votes she’s lost to Warren? Or maybe the wild card, Tulsi Gabbard, will do it. She’s dinged Warren before on other grounds. She has nothing to lose.