Testing the waters for a 2020 presidential bid, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in Iowa, was asked why she gave Donald Trump more fodder by undergoing DNA testing. Claiming she was glad the question was asked, she explained as follows. In recent years, she was victimized by “a lot of racial slurs” and derision from Republicans, so she took a test to determine her real ancestry.
Warren will never admit the real truth about her own bad judgment: she selfishly used claims of Native American heritage to open doors for her in academia and politics others fought to open honestly. It makes no sense, if in fact Republicans used racial slurs against her, they would stop once she proved her Native American ancestry. Their attacks were not racially oriented but motivated to “out” her for falsely riding the identity-politics horse into the Senate.
Warren says she never sought Native American status – others simply perceived her as such. This fails credibility by her own actions, such as contributing to “Pow Wow Chow” – a 1984 cookbook of Cherokee recipes supposedly “passed down through her family” – identifying herself as “Elizabeth Warren – Cherokee.” (Just like her fake Cherokee heritage, exercising bad judgment, she simply copied recipes from newspapers.)
What Warren called “racial slurs” were false identity quips pundits made, suggesting she was “whiter than Ivory Soap (99.9 to 99.44 percent)”; or “Jeep Cherokee … Still more Native American than Liz Warren”; or, like a wayward duck, she was claiming to be “1/1024th Bald Eagle.”
One positive result of Warren’s DNA testing is history now can accurately recognize, with the seating of the 116th Congress, the first two real Native American women to take office – neither of whom has suffered racial slurs for their heritage.
The more Warren endeavors to claim she is not an identity-politics horse thief or demonstrate she is just your average “Joe Sixpack” – much like your beer-drinking neighbor next door – the more one continues questioning her judgment.
Even her fellow Democrats criticized the timing of her DNA test announcement, coming just before midterm elections as numerous other party-related issues demanded focus.
While testing only 1/1024th (less than 1 percent) Mexican/Colombian/Peruvian blood – an amount less than most North Americans can claim – receiving no attention were the conditions under which Warren’s testing was done. They are most telling about her confidence level and true character.
Anyone making a valid claim possesses confidence in doing so. We often hear athletes make boastful claims prior to sporting events.
In 1964, brash, young professional boxer Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali), claiming to be “The Greatest,” said he would defeat world heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. He did so.
Similarly, in 1969, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed victory over the highly favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. The Jets won 16-7 in one of the greatest upsets in professional football history.
Both Clay and Namath recognized they had some control in making good on their boasts. In 1986, reporter Geraldo Rivera did not. Discovering a sealed secret vault under a Chicago hotel used by gangster Al Capone, Rivera promoted a live television special during which its secrets would be exposed. For two hours, in the most-watched syndicated television special in history, with 30 million viewers, excitement mounted before Rivera broke through a concrete wall to make the “great reveal” – an empty vault! Embarrassingly, he bid his audience goodnight.
But, in promoting the program beforehand, a confident Rivera publicly put his career on the line, not knowing how events would play out.
What is telling about Warren’s character is her failure to announce beforehand she was taking the test. She claims she took it to restore government confidence through transparency, “because I am an open book,” (perhaps an open “cookbook”). Why not then announce taking it ahead of time? A Warren, confident of her heritage, would have; a Warren lacking such confidence would treat it like a private pregnancy test, leaving her to decide whether to go public with the results.
Of note too is Warren engaged two genealogical experts who, coincidentally, were campaign donors, to evaluate the results. One can only wonder whether they were sworn to secrecy should results show no Indian heritage or to serve as hired guns to argue a 1/1024th share is an “ancestral” mountain rather than a molehill.
Warren’s self-serving acts for DNA testing reflect a character lacking the confidence of one honestly making such a claim. Yet, in another exercise of bad judgment, armed with 1/1024th test results, Warren initially believed it close enough for government work – even though the Cherokees require a 1/16th percentage to so qualify.
What raises further questions about Warren’s judgment is her recently released “cringe-worthy livestream,” broadcast from home, in which she embarrassingly attempted to portray a Mr. Rogers-like authenticity. (Hey, kids, “I’m going to grab a beer.”) Then she awkwardly pulled her husband into view. If this were an audition tape for a beer commercial, marketers would have tossed it for failing convincingly to convey what sells products – character and/or humor. Warren showed neither.
Further evident of Warren’s bad judgment is her recent effort to jump onboard the #MeToo bandwagon. She cites an incident today she suggested in 1997 was harmless fun when she originally told the story during the eulogy for the alleged aggressor. Today, she also forgets to mention that he was wheelchair-bound, having been severely handicapped by polio. Warren has a history of riding whatever horse will take her to wherever she needs to go.
Even a liberal CNN political expert ridicules a Warren candidacy, labeling her the “Titanic of Democrats, destined to sink.”
While “Al Capone’s Vault” has become slang for a heavily hyped event having disappointing results, Rivera’s reveal actually launched him on a new career path. With her own “Al Capone Vault” DNA moment, Warren may not be so lucky in 2020. As true Native Indians fail to claim her as one of their own, anyone still believing Warren is an “Honest Injun” ignores late 19th century con-man George Parker’s scam of repeatedly selling the Brooklyn Bridge to naive buyers.
Just like her claimed Native American ancestry, Warren now tries building a bridge of authenticity to sell voters during her presidential bid. It, too, is a scam.