I just hung up the phone with Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Boston office (617-565-3170) after having to leave a voicemail at her DC office (202-224-4543). I asked the staffer who answered the phone in Boston to help me understand the reasoning behind this decision:
Although I continue to have concerns about Dr. Carson's inexperience in the field and his comments on poverty and government dependency, he has pledged to ‘look for ways to expand affordable housing options for everyone,' to ‘aggressively defend the fair housing rights of all Americans' - including by applying the Fair Housing Act's disparate impact standard - to ‘strongly support' existing initiatives to combat homelessness, to enforce, ‘without hesitation,' equal access rules for LGBTQ Americans, to work with the Banking Committee to ensure that HUD funds are not improperly directed to the President's businesses, to ‘recruit a bipartisan list of strong housing practitioners' to serve with him at HUD, and to work with me to address the unacceptable levels of lead in public housing units. In light of these promises, I support Dr. Carson's nomination, and look forward to working with him to ensure that he follows through on his commitments.
My question to the Senator was, given everything we have seen from Trump, why we have any reason to believe anything that Carson has said or promised. My additional comment was that if this is a throw-them-a-bone tactic, I am highly skeptical that approach will work with Trump, given his addiction to dominance politics.
The answer I got was that while Sen. Warren intends to support Carson's nomination, she intends to hold him to his promises. I asked how she intends to that, but the staffer was unable to answer that question.
My follow-up question was whether the Senator intends to take this same approach with the rest of Trump's nominees. The staffer was also unable to answer that question, but promised to have someone get back to me with an answer.
I will post here with whatever I get back from them.