Thursday, May 3, 2012

This Post Isn't Really about Elizabeth Warren

Posted by Desert Crone NM

I am a fan of Elizabeth Warren, and if you're a liberal like I am, why wouldn't you be. She is a warrior for the poor and middle class. She is outspoken, honest, and sincere. Warren, like President Obama, carries a big stick. However, she has a problem now with her claims to be a minority faculty member at Harvard, which can't be easily dismissed by even her most fervent followers.

Ms. Warren, the darling of the Left much like President Obama was, is already being haled as a presidential candidate by many folks on the Left. That overzealousness, as I see it, gives me butterflies--just a slight feeling of nervousness. I frequently caution those who ballyhoo her as a 2016 Presidential contender with "shouldn't we get her elected to the Senate first?" Let's face it, we don't know how she'll perform as a senator. Many believed a Senator Clinton would also be a bulldog, but instead, she was a (gasp) compromiser. And, lest we forget, a hawk.

My caution has proven to be prescient. As you may know by now, Harvard claimed Ms. Warren as a minority faculty member. Sorry folks, you can't claim minority status by virtue of 1/32 of minority ancestry. Ms. Warren has stated (or at least a campaign staffer has) that she didn't know Harvard made such a claim. I'm a bit skeptical about this since as a high school and college instructor, I was always well aware of the contents of my bio. Secondly, how would Harvard have known about Warren's ancestry if she had not mentioned it.

Like Ms. Warren many Americans claim Native American ancestry with much pride and an abundance of ignorance. For example, my great-grandmother was a Kiowa, who was referred to as Kiowa Woman in the small Oklahoma town where she lived. I only discovered the truth when I was working on a graduate project in folklore in the early 70's and conducted extensive interviews with my grandmother. She rarely discussed her heritage although both my grandmother and mother would've qualified for Oklahoma tuition credits based on their Kiowa ancestry. (My mother's parents left Oklahoma for New Mexico during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl.) In spite of my ancestry, I know very little about the Kiowa Nation, other than what I learned in college history classes. I'm not ashamed of my ancestry, but, frankly, I had nothing to do with it. I certainly wouldn't have claimed to be a minority or allowed anyone else to claim it for me.

However, this issue alone should not hurt her and will probably be a blip on the political radar by Nov. if she will just be honest be about it. The question that arises from the incident is, as a political novice, would she even be ready for the presidency in four years. The incident also tells us that Elizabeth Warren is human with the accompanying flaws. Let's be clear--her authenticity is not based on 1/32 of minority ancestry but of her long advocacy for the underdog. She is what she is--a wealthy white woman who is a bulldog for the poor and middle class.

She has earned our respect and admiration, but let's not make her more than she is, which is exactly what many on the Left did to Barack Obama. Liberal critics of the President emerged as little emoprogs, who became, do I dare say it, emofrogs, croaking their disappointments endlessly. I've often commented that the first time Warren makes a political decision rather than a purist one, many of her starry-eyed fans will scream that she betrayed them.

We liberals desperately want to bestow the hero's cape on someone along with all the unstated expectations that accompany that cape. The emoprogs, bewailing the "impurity" of President Obama, obviously didn't listen to the man but only heard what they wanted to hear. In doing so the critics denied his authenticity as a human being. Let's not make the same mistake with Warren because, as we see now, she is very human.

Let's be honest about Elizabeth Warren. We have no idea how she'll perform in the Senate. Will she be a Sen. Sanders, who, too, is a champion of the poor and middle class but rarely gets a bill passed? Or will she be a pragmatist like President Obama, whose objective is to get as much done for us as possible? Frankly, I hope she's a pragmatist rather than a purist.

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