It's not exactly breaking news that Donald Trump can be petty and needlessly vindictive. Or that he can sound like a kid in fifth grade when he puts down opponents with dopey, demeaning names like Crazy Bernie (Sanders) and Jeff Flakey and Psycho Joe (Scarborough) and Little Rocket Man. But I have to admit to a guilty pleasure: When he calls Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, I laugh out loud.
If Elizabeth Warren, the progressive senator from Massachusetts, is an American Indian as she claims, then I'm Chinese. For the record, I'm not. Though I have eaten at Chinese restaurants a few times and visited Shanghai once.
But of course, I could be wrong about the senator's claim. Maybe she's telling the truth. Politicians don't always make stuff up. So a cheap and easy DNA "spit in a tube" test would settle the matter once and for all. But she won't do it — because Warren has evidence proving her Native American heritage. What evidence? What she calls, her "family's stories."
"As a kid, I never asked my mom for documentation when she talked about our Native American heritage," she has said. "What kid would? But I knew my father's family didn't like that she was part Cherokee and part Delaware, so my parents had to elope."
A DNA test would be a lot more convincing than that "family story."
But her tale does get credence in some quarters. On CNN, Jim Acosta, a White House reporter who prides himself on his toughness and skepticism — at least when it comes to anything related to Trump — asked the senator if the Pocahontas jab annoys her. "Doesn't that bother you because of your family's heritage?"
Huh? What family heritage? The one she claims without any proof beyond "family stories"? Memo to Jim: You're a reporter. Try to act like one.
And then there's Harvard, where she taught at the Law School. Here's an excerpt from a CNN story:
"Harvard Law School in the 1990s touted Warren, then a professor in Cambridge, as being 'Native American.' They singled her out, Warren later acknowledged, because she had listed herself as a minority in an Association of American Law Schools directory. Critics note that she had not done that in her student applications and during her time as a teacher at the University of Texas.
"Warren maintains she never furthered her career by using her heritage to gain advantage."
But wait, it gets better. Some supposedly intelligent people at the most prestigious school in the solar system reportedly said Elizabeth Warren was the Law School's "first woman of color."
Only at an elite progressive institution like Harvard could such nonsense pass as a serious observation. Besides, if she's a woman "of color," what color would that be?
The scholar, Victor Davis Hanson makes an interesting point about the progressive obsession with race and ethnicity. "But what if indeed the pink and blond Warren were found to have 1/32nd or even 1/16th Native American 'blood'?" he writes in National Review. "Why would that artifact magically make her 'Indian,' much less a victim of something or someone, or at least outfitted with a minority cachet?"
Think about it. In the bad old days of the Old South, anyone with a drop of "black blood" was considered not white — and relegated to the second-class citizenship.
Now, one drop of "Indian blood" doesn't get you a seat in the back of the bus, but in progressive circles it just might help you get a seat on the faculty of the Harvard Law School.
Warren has been doing a lot of TV lately, and while that doesn't automatically mean she'll be running for president in 2020, it at least suggests she might be paving the way — even though she claims she's not interested in the job.
Whether the senator is speaking with a forked tongue or not remains to be seen. Stay tuned.
Image courtesy of Tim Pierce