Could we please get real about Elizabeth Warren and the great DNA brouhaha?
The story so far: Warren listed Native ancestry on a questionnaire and on a Texas bar application. It’s already been thoroughly documented that none of this furthered her career.
Every university that hired or promoted her assumed she was a white women—in that era of gender discrimination, this was barrier-breaking all by itself.
And she never claimed tribal identity, only some Native ancestry. Which happens to be true. She has apologized for the confusion.
But the press, abetted by a whispering campaign by Warren’s rivals and of course by the Republicans, won’t let this go. She has been pronounced fatally blemished on several occasions. Yet Warren persists, to coin a phrase.
Gentle readers, Donald Trump has been caught in over 7,600 documented lies by The Washington Post, and that’s only since he became president. His State of the Union address all by itself was a lie-fest. All of Trump’s mendacity includes far worse sins than some confusion about his ancestry.
Can you imagine a debate between Warren and Trump on the subject of truthfulness or on the subject of whose policies help ordinary working Americans?
And if you think that the rest of the Democratic field will not be raked over the coals for similar canards, please think again. Mother Teresa will not be on the ballot (and Republican operatives could probably find something on her).
There is nobody in public life who hasn’t goofed up at some point. The point is their career, values, and leadership taken as a whole.
The press, alas, is superb at blowing up minor flaws into major sins. Warren’s gutsy stances on the issues, making heretofore radical ideas mainstream, remains her most compelling asset, and the dust-up over her ancestry is trivial by comparison.
Would that all Democratic politicians had such minor blemishes—and that the public and the media had a sense of proportion. Warren officially declares for the presidency on Saturday. We can expect that she will continue to persist.