That’s not to say any administration wouldn’t benefit from bringing in some outsiders who could offer new and different perspectives, but that can’t be a qualifying measure. The next time you need heart surgery, do you want to go to a heart surgeon or a psychologist?
In fairness, Ms. Warren’s ambitious efforts to overhaul financial regulation are not without merit: There are large parts of the Dodd-Frank Act that have done a ton of good to protect the American public. She played a hugely important role recently in grilling the chief executive of Wells Fargo about his bank’s sham-accounts scandal, and her questioning appears to have helped bring about his resignation. And at a time when one party is in power — in this case, the Republicans — Ms. Warren’s position is even more important to help hold our leaders accountable.
However, her ad hominem attack on Mr. Tilson only serves to undermine her credibility and some of the good work she wants to achieve.
To make matters worse, Mr. Tilson’s wife, Susan Blackman Tilson, was one of the students in the first Harvard Law School bankruptcy class that Ms. Warren taught, in fall 1992. The student has remained loyal to her professor; Mrs. Tilson wrote in a letter to Ms. Warren last week that she had been “cheering from the sidelines as you rose to national attention for your excellent work on behalf of consumers.”
Both of the Tilsons sent letters to Ms. Warren last week, which they shared with me, seeking to set the record straight and asking her to remove her Facebook post.
The response? An aide emailed them: “She asked me to relay to you that she is removing the word ‘billionaire’ from the post, as you have indicated that is factually inaccurate. The senator has decided, however, not to remove the overall post.”
A spokesman for Ms. Warren declined to comment on the exchange.
When I spoke to Mr. Tilson on Monday, he said he felt that the senator had let him down in two ways: “Personally, I feel betrayed,” he said. “In recent years, I’ve really stuck my neck out by very publicly supporting her, the C.F.P.B., and a tough regulatory approach to banks — none of which wins me many friends — and this is how she repays me.”
Mr. Tilson added: “By engaging in factually incorrect, ad hominem attacks, she’s getting down into the gutter with Trump. This is misguided and counterproductive.”
Despite all of that, he said, “I still support her because I share her belief that banking should be boring.”
Naturally enough, he added, her Facebook post, coupled with her response, “certainly reduces my enthusiasm for her.