So if Warren’s mother told her there was Cherokee blood, and if one little rivulet of Cherokee blood going back generations makes one a Cherokee, which legally it does, then she’s Cherokee, at least as far she knows. Now she has to prove this? You have to go back five generations to get to 1/32nd. It’s entirely possible that such a thing can’t even be proven.
We have reached the point where, with genetic testing, it can be proven. The problem is that Elizabeth Warren doesn’t want the downside risk of failure, as noted here. It’s that simple.
Tomsky is correct about the rules of engagement: any Cherokee (or any other Native American tribe) ancestry makes one Native American. Whether that’s good is another debate; I don’t think our obsession with identity politics is moving us forward. But I am amused at this:
As you may have read when this story broke, the current head of the Cherokee nation, Bill John Baker, is also just 1/32nd Cherokee. He is also, by appearance, completely white. You could mistake him for a Tea-Party Congressman.
Back in Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia, many of the people who have Cherokee ancestry are also deeply politically and religiously conservative, so at a Tea Party gathering in any of these places. the tribe may be well represented, depending upon what part of the state you’re in.
But that brings up another hilarious point:
She has simultaneously fended off Tim Geithner, who hated her diligence on the TARP question, and Republicans, who went banshee about her precisely because she was effective and unassailable. They never laid a glove on her (and boy, they tried). If doing all that after growing up poor in the Dust Bowl doesn’t convey character about someone, then nothing does.
The reason Elizabeth Warren is the way she is stems from where she came from, not in spite of it. It’s tempting to say that she’s in the wrong political party, as she’s switched. Right at the moment, she’s in the wrong political system to be a populist. If you look at things from the perspective of “back home” the Tea Party and other conservatives have little use for the moneyed elites. The reasons why they have not careened into socialism as a result of this is twofold. First, socialism involves centralising the economy, and the root problem from the perspective of the provinces is that our economy and money system is too centralised as it is. The second is that embracing socialism involves embracing a class-stratified view of life, which Republicans up to now have avoided (although it did become an issue during the primary). There are also complex religious and ethnic issues involved, but they’re best dealt with elsewhere.
But Elizabeth Warren has attempted to take “Dust Bowl” populism and export it to Ivy League levels. That, in my opinion, is a recipe for failure, akin to serving God and Mammon at the same time. That’s why the people of Massachusetts should stick with Scott Brown and let Warren rediscover her roots in a more meaningful way.