Good medicine

Take your Pocahontas woo-woo and stuff it, rightwing assholes

(c) 2015 Senate Democrats under a Creative Commons license


Usually I think the Democrats are wimps, and who could blame me? Chuck Schumer has been useless as tits on a bull, evading his more impassioned constituents while cheerfully waving through Republican judicial appointees (in exchange for what, one wonders? Some Beanie Babies that were missing from his collection?). But I gotta say Nancy Pelosi's been pretty cool, talking softly about Kavanaugh while FOIAing his withheld records ("Who’s Attacking Political Norms Now?" sputters The Wall Street Journal) and promising if the Democrats take the House she’ll demand Trump's tax records.

And God bless Elizabeth Warren, who drove right up the middle by having a genetic test that reveals she has some Native American blood after all.

I'll tell you why that's brilliant. For years the right has been obsessed with Warren's casual claim that her family told her she had some Indian blood. Here are some passages from my 2012 Village Voice article on that phenomenon, written when she was running for the Senate:

This promising line of attack [i.e. bitching about CFPB] was obviated in late April, when the Boston Herald revealed that Warren had claimed to Harvard, her employer in the 1990s, that she was 1/32nd Cherokee; that the Harvard Crimson had presented this as Warren’s “minority background”; and that Warren had no proof of her Native American roots other than stories her family members had told her.

No overt financial or hiring advantages appear to have accrued to Warren for this perhaps fanciful family account of her background, and normal people may be expected to think little of it. But rightbloggers made it the centerpiece of their complaints against her...

“What have I always told you about liberals?” reacted [Rush] Limbaugh. “They categorize people. They make moral judgments on people on the basis of surface matters… And here’s proof of it. She is an Indian, one-thirty-second of an Indian, because her papaw had high cheekbones. And all Indians have high cheekbones… I’d love to ask her: ‘What characteristics do ‘all’ white people have? Name one, just one characteristic"...

At Twitchy, Michelle Malkin’s alternate Twitterverse for rightbloggers, the brethren came up with a set of “Elizabeth Warren Indian Names,” including “Sackatheeconomy,” “Chief Full-of-Lies,” and “Woman-Who-Loved-Dog-Eater.”

“Let’s cut Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Crockagawea Warren some slack here,” said National Review‘s Mark Steyn. “She couldn’t be black. She would if she could, but she couldn’t… She is a testament to America’s melting pot, composite pot, composting pot, whatever.”

Yes, it was the usual stupid conservative shit, except worse, because it involved a minority group — and one whose complaints usually went unnoticed, which made it possible for wingnuts to not only to use racial slurs out loud but also pretend they were friends to the Red Man and that Warren, by exploiting her bogus heritage, was the Real Racist™ — which just happened to be what Trump called her in 2016 ("She made up her heritage, which I think is racist. I think she’s a racist, actually, because what she did was very racist"), a shtick he made even more repulsive when he had Native American code talkers to the White House and cracked a Pocahontas joke about her.

Trump uses insults like this to neutralize his enemies, but by showing she had some Native American blood — not 1/32nd or three generations back, as her family had told her, but between 1/64th to 1/1,024th, or six to ten generations — Warren showed her good-faith claim was based on reality, and good faith and reality are to Trump as garlic and crucifixes to a vampire, as shown by his even more petulant than usual response: claiming "who cares" — a weird response to something he normally goes out of his way to make a big deal of — and that he never made a promise to pay a million dollars if Warren's Indian heritage were proven even though his promise is on tape. ("It was in the context of a future hypothetical debate and wasn’t actually a promise to give one million to her charity if she actually did a DNA test," homina-homina'd the ball-washers at The Right Scoop.)

In other words, Trump couldn't even act like he was on top in this situation —he just blustered, something he's actually always doing but, in this instance, was so clearly doing it that even the redhat dummies might notice.

Of course, conservatives on the ground did even worse, adjudicating Warren's blood test results as if it were a non-canonical incident in a Star Wars novel. "POCAHONTAS WARREN PROUDLY CLAIMS 1/1,024th LEGITIMACY," hollered YouTube Asshole "Fire Breathing Christian." The cheap trick of only acknowledging the ten-generation end of the possible spectrum was one a lot of the dimmer bulbs used: "I really don't care if she is or is not part Am. Indian (other than if she used her 1/1024th sliver of heritage to qualify for affirm action programs)," tweeted former Bush White House press secretary/very-definition-of-a-professional liar Ari Fleischer. "But the bigger point is how good President Trump is at getting Ds to do dumb things - like take a DNA test." The last sentence doesn't make any sense, but Fleischer had already started with the "I don't care, I just" construction and, as anyone who watched him bullshit his way through the Iraq War knows, he's all about committing to the bit.

Speaking of professional liars, Dinesh D'Souza claimed that since Warren's admixture was less than a tribal council would accept for membership, "the DNA test actually proves Warren faked her claim to Indian identity for professional advancement." Except no professional advancement based on her family Indian stories has even been shown — but then this is D'Souza we're talking about; we can’t really expect honesty.

But what's David French's excuse? The National Review writer has always been terrible, but until recently he held himself above this sort of Trumpy nonsense -- in fact he was briefly held out to respectable conservatives in 2016 as an anti-Trump candidate. But since Trump has been giving him everything he wants (i.e. the makings of a theocracy) French has been moulting bits of fig leaf, culminating in his recent astonishing claim that "there is no comparison between a 'lock her up' chant at a controlled-entry rally and the kinds of direct, in-your-face actions we’ve seen from #Resistance protesters..." That's right, a president calling for his opponents to be thrown in prison doesn't compare to some liberals being mean to Ted Cruz. This was so loony even Jonathan Chait had to protest.

But that wasn't French's nadir. His latest column suggests Warren's blood test has blown his mind. First, he tries to convince his (admittedly weak-minded) readers that everyone knows the real story is that Warren's test, though she revealed and celebrated it, was actually proof of her criminality — and then the madness begins:

Earlier today, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren released DNA results that confirmed that she misled employers, students, and the public about her Native American heritage for years. Bizarrely, all too many members of the media treated the results as *vindicating* her. Down is up. Black is white. The imperatives of the resistance apparently dictate propping up a liar — as long as she might be able to beat President Trump in 2020.

If you're wondering how Warren’s self-incrimination ends up being her unfair advantage in a presidential election, I can only tell you that French is under a lot of stress. Like the wingnut shitheels on the lower rungs of conservative press, French leans on “1/1024” without ever mentioning 1/64, says that the decent thing for Warren to do would be to "apologize, attribute it to family lore, and move on" — c’mon, act like you’ve already lost! It’s the decent thing for my opponents to do! — and that her choice to own her scientific test result instead is — are you ready for this? — "positively Trumpian." That fake Injun lady disgraced herself by behaving like my hero!

All told I'd say Pocahontas kicked some cracker ass yesterday. About time somebody did! [Breaks into war dance.]