Elizabeth Warren, Native American

Okay, tongue a little in cheek on that.  It’s pretty simple, like millions of Americans with some vague Native American ancestry in her lineage, Elizabeth Warren has long claimed to be part Cherokee.  She never used it for any affirmative action benefit nor claimed any formal link to the Cherokee tribe.  It’s like the official response denouncing her from the Cherokee Nation did not even read what she had to say at all.  Via Vox:

As Vox’s Dylan Matthews explained in February, Warren has consistently said that her mother is part Cherokee, even though Warren herself isn’t an enrolled member of the three federally registered Cherokee tribes. Her ancestors don’t appear on the Dawes Rolls, an official list of members of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole tribes put together in the early 20th century. Having a direct ancestor on the rolls is a requirement for enrollment in the Cherokee Nation.

“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong,” the statement from Cherokee Nation secretary of state Chuck Hoskin Jr. read. “Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

And, yet, here’s what Warren tweeted:

Personally, I’m a pretty big Warren fan and think given the reality that she received nor attempted to receive any benefit from her claimed ancestry this is really a pretty absurd tempest in a teapot.  So, who to blame?  Well, Trump, of course, but Chait makes the case for blaming the media, too.  Of course, not everybody is at bad as Axios, but they do represent the worst of political journalism:

One of the innumerable ways in which Donald Trump has degraded American politics is his habit of relentlessly using belittling nicknames for his political opponents. Seizing on a superficial or imagined characteristic — “Liddle Marco,” “Low-Energy” Jeb Bush, etc. — he repeats it, like a middle-school bully, recruiting his sycophants to circulate the meme.

Axios reports that Trump is especially pleased with his insulting of Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, a contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Axios brings us word that behind the scenes the bully-in-chief and his lackeys are chortling about their success. “Trump’s nicknames slyly capitalize on and exacerbate a real or perceived weakness: A former aide said: ‘You hear them and laugh, and then they say: ‘You know what? He’s kinda right!’,’” it reports, adding in the news outlet’s signature “Be Smart” coda: “Be smart … Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ nickname, as offensive as it may be, has been wickedly effective from his point of view.”

One of the preconditions for the success of Trump’s method is a news media that will devote far more attention to grading the effectiveness of Trump’s bullying than its truth. Even on those amoral terms, this story is especially credulous. It gives Trump credit for inventing a nickname that he did not actually devise. In fact, the theme and the term were used against Warren when she ran for Senate in 2012. “The term Pocahontas” was “near ubiquitous in conservative media,” complained one critic…

Perhaps because this report [Boston Globe story] came out on Labor Day, or perhaps because the news media is too shallow to care, its findings have failed to make much impact. Instead we are left with lots of admiring commentary about Trump’s bullying game being on point. “It clearly got in Warren’s head: The fact that she got a DNA test, let alone is doing a massive rollout of the results, shows how much it’s on her mind,” reports Axios. “It now becomes a symbol of whether she’s honest. Did she lie to advance her academic career?”

Well, she didn’t — a fact the story declines to mention. But who cares about the truth when we can describe the effectiveness of the lie?

Anyway, I hope Warren runs.  And I sure as hell hope we are not talking about her ancestry in 2019 and 2020.  But, if we are, it is because the mainstream media has decided to play along with Trump.

What’s your problem‽

Well, depending upon whether you are a Democrat or Republican the answer will be very different.  Pretty interesting chart from Pew looking at what percentage of Democrats and Republicans respond that various political issues represent a “very big” problem.  It’s almost like we are living in two different countries.

With few exceptions, wide partisan differences over the seriousness of problems facing the United States

Now, yes, I am “biased” on this, but empirically and logically speaking I would argue that it is absolutely nuts to suggest that illegal immigration (75% of Republicans) is more of a problem than climate change (11% of Republicans).  Also, somebody might want to tell those 61% of Republicans who thing the budget deficit is a very big problem to, you know, vote for Democrats.

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