There is something delusional in Elizabeth Warren’s reaction to the negative fallout from her DNA test.

It reminds me of the scene in Animal House were Kevin Bacon says: “Remain calm, all is well” as mayhem surrounds him, finally shouting in a frantic voice “ALL IS WELL!!!!”

He then gets run over by the crowd.

Perhaps the main difference between Warren and Bacon’s character, is that Bacon didn’t cause the mayhem. But Warren did.

Warren is being excoriated for her use of DNA to try to justify her misappropriation of Native American identity for employment purposes in the mid-1980s through early 1990s. That claim to be Native American already was causing damage to Warren’s presidential ambitions, and was the butt of many of Trump rally joke.

Warren took the situation, and lit it on fire by rolling out, through the Boston Globe, a DNA test that, at most, showed that Warren might have a native ancestor 6-10 generations ago.

There was no certainty in this, and the DNA database used to reach the conclusion was mostly of non-Native Americans. When the Boston Globe had to correct its math, and state that Warren may be as little as 1/1024th Native American, the rollout went from unpersuasive to a national joke.

John Kass, columnist for The Chicago Tribune, summed up how badly the DNA test has turned Warren into a punch line:

She’s just an old liberal white woman who wanted to be president and became a clown instead.

Most of the mockery of Warren has come from the right. But there has been brutal pushback from other sources.

The Cherokee Nation issued a blistering statement (emphasis added)

“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said. “Sovereign tribal national set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

Similar condemnations of Warren have come from Native American writers and leaders.

More ominously for Warren’s presidential ambitions, people who might otherwise be sympathetic to her policies have concluded she is too damaged to be the Democrat nominee against Trump.

Dana Milbank at The Washington Post wrote, Canned crab? Elizabeth Warren is unfit to lead:

Poor Elizabeth Warren.

She took President Trump’s bait and submitted to a DNA test to demonstrate her Native American genealogy — and, in so doing, may have doomed her presidential campaign before it began. Now the Massachusetts senator is not only enduring Trump’s “Pocahontas” insults (at least when he’s not calling another woman “Horseface”) but also being disparaged by Indian tribes….

Warren is unfit to lead.

Kate Maltby wrote at CNN, Elizabeth Warren’s big mistake:

If Elizabeth Warren wants to point out to the American people that she’s never lied about her Native American ancestry, she is well within her rights to do so. And she has been grievously provoked. But she’s mistaken if she thinks Trump’s America is a place where an emotively scored promo video can change the tenor of a racial debate. If she thinks she’s the best Democratic candidate to take on Donald Trump in 2020, she’s even more mistaken.

Politico noted the flak heading Warren’s way from Democrats, Warren stumbles with ‘Native American’ rollout:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s effort to defuse the Donald Trump-fueled controversy over her past claims of Native American ancestry seems to have done just the opposite.

Twenty-four hours later, outrage on the left and right was still running strong, as questions swirled about the likely 2020 candidate’s timing and political judgment.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s effort to defuse the Donald Trump-fueled controversy over her past claims of Native American ancestry seems to have done just the opposite.

Twenty-four hours later, outrage on the left and right was still running strong, as questions swirled about the likely 2020 candidate’s timing and political judgment.

Several Democrats expressed frustration that Warren (D-Mass.) would choose to create a media sideshow so close to the important 2018 midterms. And some progressives and Native Americans fumed that Warren appeared to be appropriating tribal identity to settle a political controversy.

Far from clearing Warren’s path to a post-midterm presidential campaign launch, as it seemed designed to achieve, Warren’s elaborate rollout on Monday — complete with DNA test results, a slick video and an attempt to go toe-to-toe with the tweeter-in-chief on his own ground — seems to have created as many headaches for her as it alleviated. Some Democrats privately compared the situation to Hillary Clinton’s never-ending email debacle.

Warren’s reaction is to double-down on her political strategy. The Boston Globe, in a report clearly designed to help Warren limit the damage, wrote, Elizabeth Warren defends decision to release DNA test:

Senator Elizabeth Warren defended the timing of her decision to release the results of a DNA test just ahead of the midterm elections, telling the Globe Tuesday that she went public as soon as possible to begin deflecting the constant taunting from the president and her Senate challengers.

“I have an election,” Warren said during an hourlong interview with the editorial board. “Donald Trump goes in front of crowds multiple times a week to attack me. Both of my opponents have made the same attack. I got this analysis back, and I made it public.”

This reminds me of Hillary justifying her decision not to visit Wisconsin. A complete disconnect from political reality.

Ross Douthat, who is by NY Times standards a conservative but really is more of a centrist, summed up how Trump got the better of Warren, The possible Democratic front-runner plays Trump’s game — and loses:

A lot of smart people believe that Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts, is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2020….

When she released a biographical video featuring her Oklahoman roots and answering Donald Trump’s “Pocahontas” gibe with a DNA test proving that she does have Native American ancestry, Jonathan Bernstein of Bloomberg View called the video the “latest in a series of solid moves Warren has been making” to persuade Democratic insiders that she can take on Trump.

But what Warren should have done when the story resurfaced, what she obviously should have done, was to simply express mild regret for letting her enthusiasm for family lore carry her away into identifying as someone who might possibly receive affirmative-action consideration, apologize to Cherokee groups for any offense, and literally never speak of the matter again….

Warren should not have taken the test; having taken it, she should not have publicized it; having publicized it, she should quietly fire anyone who urged this gambit and move on. And liberals generally should regard this whole thing as a cautionary tale. There is an obvious appetite on the activist left for a candidate or candidates willing to take on Trump on his own brawler’s terms. But if you come at him that way, you best not miss — as Michael Avenatti, the would-be Trump of the Resistance, has been missing repeatedly of late, with a Kavanaugh intervention that helped get the judge confirmed and a libel lawsuit that just got his own client ordered to pay Trump’s legal fees.

Now Warren has joined Avenatti in that loser’s gallery, for absolutely no good reason that I can see….

Why should Democrats nominate someone with such problems that go to the core of who she is as a person, who will be so easily mocked and turned into a sad caricature? There are other choices, likely dozens of others without the baggage.

Nathan Robinson, someone who considers himself generally a supporter of Warren, wrote in Current Affairs that how Warren has handled the Native American issue has rendered her an unwinnable challenger to Trump:

… I have liked Elizabeth Warren for a long time, but this is a massive political liability. She is wrong on this, she doesn’t seem to know she is wrong, she refuses to apologize, and she continues to make it worse. I don’t know why, instead of suggesting that this is a baseless smear, she can’t just say clearly and definitively that she shouldn’t have spent years publicly touting her Native ancestry. This stupid issue would dominate any contest with Donald Trump. It would never end. It would prevent us from ever actually discussing any serious issues. It would be like the goddamn email scandal all over again. And Warren has shown that she would handle it badly. At this point, I do not see how she can be a serious presidential contender.

That is the cruelest cut from this episode. Having set out to prove she can take on Trump, Warren proved the opposite.

Democrats want someone who can beat Trump. ANYONE who can beat Trump. Warren showed Democrats she is not The One.


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