So, as you may have heard, Elizabeth Warren managed to fall flat on her genetic face trying to prove she’s really Pocahontas and not Fauxcahontas.
In what the Boston Globe described as a “slickly produced video (Warren’s Senate campaign) planned to distribute Monday morning,” Warren is shown eagerly anticipating the results of a study of her DNA done by Stanford University geneticist Carlos D. Bustamante.
“The president likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?” Warren says in the video.
“The facts suggest that you absolutely have Native American ancestry in your pedigree,” Bustamante is shown saying.
And she did! Somewhere between … 1/64th and 1/1024th Cherokee blood. If you want to take the mean value, that would be 1/512th. (Yes, I know it’s technically 1/544th, but since you can’t be 1/544th Native American, it’s 1/512th.) If you want to be charitable and take the median, it’s a mere 1/256th Native American. As problematic big reveals go, I think we now have a rival for the Segway and the Edsel.
But that’s not all. This minuscule amount of Cherokee blood was still apparently enough that Warren’s mother’s heritage angered her father’s parents to the point that Warren’s mother and father were forced into an elopement.
During her first run for the Senate back in 2012, Warren was dogged by the fact that she had listed herself as a minority during the 1980s and 1990s. During an interview with NECN’s Jim Braude, she contended the issue was serious enough it almost stopped her parents from getting married.
“My mom and dad were very much in love with each other and they wanted to get married and my father’s parents said absolutely not,” she told Braude. “You can’t marry her because she’s part Cherokee and she’s part Delaware. And um, after fighting it as long as they could, my parents went off, they eloped.
“It was an issue in our family the whole time I grew up about these two families. It was an issue still raised at my mother’s funeral,” she continued.
“So what I know about my parents is I know that in that little town they grew up in that my father’s parents knew enough about my mother and her family to say I have no doubts.”
That kind of small-minded oppression? All over an insanely small amount of allegedly Cherokee blood? Even a Cherokee genealogist doesn’t buy it.
Twila Barnes researched Warren’s lineage and called into question the Massachusetts senator’s account of the wedding, saying that her parents — Donald Herring and Pauline Reed — wouldn’t have needed to elope.
“The problem with Warren’s story is that none of the evidence supports it,” Barnes wrote on her blog back in 2016. “Her genealogy shows no indication of Cherokee ancestry. Her parents’ wedding doesn’t resemble an elopement. And additional evidence doesn’t show any indication of her Herring grandparents being Indian haters.”
The sad fact is that Warren really hoped this was what was going to vindicate her. You can see it in her eyes in the video — “See! I told you so, I told you so!” — and yet anyone with eyes to read and to see the extent of the evidence would realize the whole thing looked so false.
What Warren doesn’t seem to realize is that voters would care a lot less if she just gave this all up. If she said the story was hackneyed and just shrugged it off, sure, conservatives would still give her hell for it but the rest of America would probably move on. Her parents weren’t “oppressed,” they probably didn’t elope and neither was appreciably Cherokee.
Instead, the one thing Elizabeth Warren seems determined to prove before she runs in 2020 (and let’s face it, if you don’t think she’s made up her mind about declaring yet, you probably buy this story too) is that she has Native American blood. At what point does she think this is a winning issue for her?
It had become painfully clear before this test had even been done that if Warren had some Native American ancestry, it was arguably about the same amount you would find in a 1993 Jeep Cherokee.
Against all prevailing wisdom, she put herself through this mainly so that she could be mocked yet again by conservatives — particularly the president.
Most importantly, Warren reminded voters yet again how her appeal is strictly limited to those who care intensely about grievance politics. Nice work, I guess.
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