Oh, Elizabeth! Oh, My!

By Al Perrotta Published on October 16, 2018

Do progressives wake up in the morning and think, “What can I do today to further prove we’ve gone out of our stinkin’ minds?” 

I’m barely done processing last week and already there’s a fresh batch of kooky dough in the oven. Or should I say Pow Wow Chow. 

I give you Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cherokee Wannabe.

See? I’m a Native American!

Sen. Warren inexplicably opened the door to ridicule yesterday. Opened it so wide you could drive a herd of buffalo through it. 

Warren declared triumphantly that a new DNA test provides “strong evidence” she does have Native American in her background. Until now, Warren based her claim of being Cherokee on high cheekbones and family lore. Family lore, while fascinating, is not exactly scientific. (For example, family lore suggests I must have been born in a pig sty.)

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But now Warren has done a test and … and … (drum roll please) … she is at best 1/64th Native American and possibly as low as 1/1,024. In other words, somewhere between .1 percent and 1.56 percent.  Analysis suggested a Native American popped up on her family tree “in the range of 6-10 generations ago.” Or as Ben Shapiro pointed out, so far back, the real Pocahontas was around. 

According to Breitbart, “The minimum requirement to claim membership in most Native American tribes ranges from 1/8 (12.5%) to 1/2 (50 percent). A few tribes have a minimum requirement of 1/16 (six percent).

Also, a New York Times 2014 story noted that “researchers found that European-Americans had genomes that were on average 98.6 European, .19 percent African, and .18 Native American.

Meaning, at best, Warren is two generations removed from qualifying as a Native American. At worse, she’s less Native American than the average white American. And in either case, there’s still no evidence she’s Cherokee. 

And the Cherokee Nation isn’t all too thrilled with what Warren’s doing. Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said “It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven.”

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 What Was She Thinking?

The crazy part isn’t that Warren took the DNA test. It’s not even crazy to want to hang onto the family lore. If 1/64th Native American makes Warren and her kin enjoy Thanksgiving from the other side of the table, fantastic. Just save me some pumpkin pie. 

What’s odd is she would publicize a percentage so small as a grand victory against Trump. And that she would re-ignite her “Pocohontas” controversy so close to the mid-terms. Even Barack Obama’s former campaign manager Jim Messina is wondering what’s in Warren’s peace pipe. 

 

Messina’s wrong. Warren is focused. She’s focused on 2020. 

The Trump Factor

President Trump famously said he’d pay a million dollars if Warren would take a DNA test that proved she was “Indian.” Warren’s first act Monday was to flash the results and tell Trump to pay up. What she did was serve herself up to the President on a plate.

Warren wants Trump’s job. She knows his “Pocahontas” label weighs her down. But trash talking Trump when you (might be) at most 1/64th Native America is like spiking the ball when your team is down 64-0. It may feel good for a second, but to the millions watching on TV it looks rather pathetic. 

And your opponent is none-to-impressed.

Trump grabbed the ball and ran right over her again. When asked by a reporter if he should apologize to Warren, Trump chuckled. “No. She should apologize to America.” Tuesday morning, Trump went at Warren again, calling her decades-long claim of being a Cherokee a “fraud against the American public.” 

Yes. Warren charged into Trump territory with some very weak arrows in her quiver. And Trump was waiting. You’re not going to put the “chief” in “Commander-in-Chief” with that bad a strategic blunder.

Worse for a woman who wants to be president: She’s opened herself up to endless memes and teasing. 

Even Sen. Orrin Hatch mocked her DNA test results.  (By the way, when did Orrin Hatch turn into Johnny Carson?”)

When you’re getting trolled by someone as stately and sober as Utah’s Senator Orrin Hatch, you’re more clown than candidate. Before you’ve even jumped into the race you’ve jumped the shark.  

Elizabeth Warren wanted so bad to be seen as Trump’s foil. Instead, she’s made herself into a folly. 

Can She Turn It Around?

Can Sen. Warren turn it around for 2020? With a willing media offering shelter and a public attention span of 1/64th of a second, sure. But sometimes images do unimaginable damage. Remember Michael Dukakis riding in that tank? Thirty years later and we still remember. Memes of Warren in a headdress, beyond looking silly, will reinforce the message she culturally appropriated the Native American legacy for her personal gain. 

And remember, before she can take real aim at Trump she’ll have to navigate through a field of liberal warriors. We can only imagine the slings and arrows … and one guy yelling “I am Spartacus!”  

 

 

 

Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, and co-author of  The Politically Incorrect Guide to ImmigrationYou can follow him on Twitter at @StreamingAl

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