Leave Elizabeth Warren Alone!

Quixote wants the media to leave Ann Romney alone. In that spirit, I say it’s time for the media to get off Elizabeth Warren’s back about her Cherokee ancestry. Good Grief! This is the woman who stood up to Wall Street, Barack Obama, and Tim Geithner. Now she has to prove she’s 1/32 Cherokee?

Guess what? The Chief of Cherokee Nation is only 1/32 Cherokee. That ought to be good enough to satisfy the corporate media, although nothing will ever satisfy the right wing nuts, as we know from their continued demands to see a different birth certificate than Barack Obama has already provided.

Just plug in “Elizabeth Warren” on Google News, and all you’ll see are headlines about Warren’s Native American heritage, as if it mattered one bit as to her qualifications to serve in the Senate. Here are a few examples:

Elizabeth Warren’s Cheekbones

Elizabeth Warren shuts the door on Herald’s inquiry

Who’s an American Indian? Warren Case Stirs Query

And in the midst of the madness, it looks like Warren is going to have to deal with a primary challenger.

At the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky calls it a “witch hunt,” and I agree with him. He calls it “the biggest media-manufactured story since the Lewinsky scandal.”

So now Elizabeth Warren has to prove that she’s 1/32nd Cherokee? The temperature on the story is rising. There was a huge article in the Boston Globe on Friday written to raise a number of questions and suggest that Warren used the minority designation to get her job, or get ahead—exactly at the same time that a poll was released (PDF) showing that 69 percent of Bay State voters don’t consider her heritage to be a “significant” story. It reminds me of nothing so much as Monica Lewinsky, and of the media’s need sometimes to get a grip.

Why Lewinsky? The situations are in fact almost precisely the same. You had then a press pack that had decided that whether Bill Clinton was telling the truth about Monica was a question on which the fate of the republic hinged. The press became self-righteously consumed with its search for The Truth. Meanwhile, outside the Beltway, and outside of Wingnuttia (it existed then, just at about half of its current GDP), nobody cared what the truth was. The media kept producing revelations; surely, now, swore Maureen Dowd and Michael Kelly, America will see this man for the reprobate he is! America looked, yawned, told the press to start acting like grownups, and continued to approve of the job Clinton was doing as president at rates near 70 percent and to oppose impeachment at similar levels.

The appearance Thursday morning of this Suffolk University poll (linked to above) made me think: Well, this story line is about to wrap up. If more than two-thirds of voters don’t care, then that’s that. But no—still going strong! And now it’s not the loopy, right-wing, and pro-Brown Herald, which pushed the story first, but the Globe trying to play catch up. Yes, yes, it’s all in the public interest. What, you say, the public says it isn’t interested? Well, we’ll teach them what’s in their interest!

This is sheer insanity.

30 Comments on “Leave Elizabeth Warren Alone!”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Elizabeth Warren would be a wonderful Senator, but at this rate she might well lose to Scott Brown. The DNC needs to get busy fighting this nonsense!

  2. Rise, Liz, Rise!
    The lunatic fringe hating her this much just for running for Senator, not even president, only convinces me she is every bit as awesome as I thought.

    • Seriously says:

      She should move to Texas, where she would actually have a better chance of being elected than she does here.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Frankly, I think a lot of this is about misogyny too. It’s been a real education over the past several years watching the ways powerful women are attacked and harassed.

  3. BB, I keep hitting like on your post, but wordpress is all goofy on my end and doesn’t look like it’s taking. So just in case it’s not showing, consider this one big huge LIKE!

  4. List of X says:

    Actually, Lewinsky story had merit. Not the actual affair part, that’s between the man and his wife, but the fact that he lied under oath, which is a criminal offense. The affair is a public problem only the offender is one of the preachers of family values.
    I still think Warren would be a better Senator than Brown, but it bothers me that Warren identified herself as Native American even if she is 1/32 Cherokee: a 1/32 truth is pretty much a lie. Scott Brown isn’t so squeaky clean either, though.
    And obviously Warren should not be exempt from a primary just because she is an obvious choice.

    • bostonboomer says:

      So what should the Chief of Cherokee Nation do then? He is also 1/32 Cherokee. The entire thing is nonsense.

      • List of X says:

        This story is 31/32 nonsense. It changes nothing for me in the binary choice “Brown or Warren”, but it makes me about 1/32 less comfortable with my choice.

      • northwestrain says:

        We are all mixed races/blood/heritage anyway. MtDNA — we all came from only 7 Eves.

        There are a whole lot of people who have mixed blood but have no idea.

        Everyone who has a bit of Native American is being insulted and there are millions of us.

      • Seriously says:

        The President of the England Native American Institute’s response is great. I’m paraphrasing, but she basically said hey white people, how about you fuck right off. With your long history of trying to isolate us and destroy our culture, no you DON’T get to engage in phony judgmental outrage and once again tell us to accept who does or who does not meet YOUR definitions. Oh and you’re aware that Native Americans have some of teh highest out-group marriage rates, right? Love. 🙂

  5. quixote says:

    Leave Liz Warren alone! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. That whole Cherokee thing is beyond stupid. Charles Pierce had his usual brilliant piece pointing out that it was really about dogwhistling affirmative action resentments. I suspect he’s right, and that’s why it keeps rolling, like a wheel that fell off a car on the highway.

    • northwestrain says:


      I think I’m going to follow quixote around and say — me too.

      More importantly Warren is part of another minority in elected office — she is female.

      Look what is happening the patriarchal misogynistic Southern states — dumb ass good ole boys can’t tell the difference between female human beings and a female cow.

    • Seriously says:

      He’s beyond right, and it’s really inspiring to live in a country where a complete fool who’s underqualified for squeegee guy is not so subtly dog-whistling that a brilliant superwonk somehow benefitted from “unjust” advancement. Ah yes, Scott Brown, the poster child of the just, what has he to fear from meritocracy?

    • northwestrain says:

      Scott Brown’s nekkid photo.
      Not some family story —


      One of the comments on Pierce’s column was about Scott Brown’s nude photo — so I googled and found it. As someone else mentioned — it shows almost.

      • northwestrain says:

        There’s an interesting article in Wired.com — having to do with the primal need to show it. Also there is a gender difference about showing the “nasty bits” (as my UK friends say).

        I wasn’t much interested in the Cosmo nudes — but then after several high profile guys posted photos — and reading the article in Wired I was wondering just how Brown “presented” himself. There is mention in the article about the behavior of non human primates — and I have read the research and been to lectures by several field researchers (of non human primates).

        Men expose themselves — one response — and women expose themselves — different response. The article was by a male — now I’d like to hear from a female expert.

        Now what if a woman had a spread in Playboy or whatever . . . . would she be getting a “you go girl” — or would she have a possible Senate career???

        Warren is being held to a different standard and da boyz are making stuff up. Thing is we will never know our exact genealogy — that far back because could be that our ancestors fooled around or adopted without the formality of “adoption:.

        I know a woman who is 1/4 Hawaiian — she doesn’t look like she is. But her granddaughter has several traits found in Native Hawaiians. My friend is blond — and I’ve seen a few hapa (half) Hawaiian/Danish who looked Hawaiian — except some have blue eyes and dark fizzy hair and others have blond hair and dark eyes. I asked a Japanese Hawaiian friend about this family and it turns out that these are her cousins. So many different combinations — in one place!

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s not dogwhistling. It’s a blatant, outright attack on affirmative action, and I suspect it’s intended to be a sideways attack on Barack Obama at the same time.

  6. ecocatwoman says:

    Elizabeth Warren was frequently on Moyers previous show, Moyers & Company. I flipped for her. She is brilliant but comes across as a down to earth, regular person. She communicates with great skill, making her points in a very understandable way, without sounding like she’s talking down to anyone. And it’s obvious that she is concerned about real, live, actual working people. The GOP has been on a witch hunt against her since she took on our mismanaged, corrupt economic system, from Wall Street on down. The GOP knows that once she is elected, she won’t take any of their crap. She is a warrior for the middle class.

  7. Fannie says:

    What do they want to do, beat the Indian out of her? Many moons ago man was forgiven for knowing not what he does. Enough of the poison that lessens – it only diminishes us, not her, and not the tribe.

  8. jackyt says:

    Thanks, yet again, BB. This is another screaming example of the crazy-making MSM distracting us from focusing on issues that actually effect us.

  9. NW Luna says:

    It’s probably pretty common to have lower amounts of American Indian “blood” than one might think, due to all the “inter”marriages, as Seriously brought up. A local tribe is running into problems having enough members to hold office. (Also sounds like some organizational squabbling there, but that’s sure not unique to tribes.)

    The terms of office have expired for most members of the Snoqualmie Tribal Council, and an enrollment audit still in the works has revealed the chairman of the tribe and two members of its council aren’t qualified under the tribe’s constitution to hold office or vote. …

    Once the federal government recognizes a tribe, it is up to the tribe itself to decide who is a member , using factors from degree of Indian blood to decendancy from treaty signers or a combination of characteristics. Tribes may also change those requirements when and however they like. …

    At Snoqualmie, the present constitution requires that anyone who runs for office or votes must possess at least one-eighth degree of Snoqualmie blood. A person may still be a Snoqualmie tribal member with less blood degree.

    So, if a current Snoqualmie tribe member, say Eleanor, marries “out,” and then one of their kids does, then Eleanor is now the grandparent of someone with 1/32nd of the Snoqualmie genetics.

    Warren’s attackers just like throwing crap out there.

    • Seriously says:

      Exactly, and the Cherokee are actually one of the few Indian Nations that don’t have a blood quantum for admittance or for being elected to office.