Run, Elizabeth, run. Please run for president.
You may be the only Democrat who could make enough people vote to elect a Republican the next time around — even an alleged Republican like Donald Trump.
Yes, I’m well aware that this may sound counter intuitive. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is a darling of progressives. She gets raves for “standing up” to a “bully” like President Trump. She gets swooning press coverage. She draws crowds and is already a prodigious fundraiser.
She is the populist champion of the “hard-working, less-fortunate,” fearless in the face of the corrupt power of “millionaires and billionaires and their cronies” who are trying to stick it to everybody else. (Warren only has colleagues and friends, while anyone who is rich and conservative only has “cronies.”)
And hey, just about a week ago, she got more adoring media coverage after President Trump, at a ceremony honoring World War II veteran Navajo code talkers, once again called her Pocahontas.
Warren and her followers were delighted — yet another chance to prove that she wouldn’t be intimidated by a racist bully. She got blanket, largely unquestioning coverage of her declaration that what Trump had said was a racial slur.
Which it wasn’t. How is it a racial slur to mock somebody who makes a false claim about her ethnic heritage? Is it a racial slur to mock a white woman like Rachel Dolezal, former president of an NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, for claiming she “identifies” as black, even though she demonstrably isn’t?
Of course Trump’s comment was inappropriate. At an event that was supposed to be all about honoring a group of veterans who had done amazing and courageous work to help the American effort in World War II, the president’s adolescent need for attention kicked in and he had to make it about him.
But for Warren to play the race card could, ultimately, be much more dangerous for her than it is for Trump. While she has claimed that she had Cherokee heritage because of “family stories,” that claim is going to look pathetically thin in the heat of a presidential campaign.
Also false is her continued insistence that she never used her Native American claim to advance her career.
Really? Then why, when she was a professor at Harvard Law School, did she have no problem with the university promoting her as an example of its commitment to diversity, saying she was the first “minority woman” to receive tenure? Why did she list herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools from 1986 to 1995?
Also, recall that at a press conference in 2012, Warren said her family knew that her grandfather was part Cherokee because “he had high cheekbones like all of the Indians.”
Even card-carrying liberals have a problem with that. Indeed, genuine Cherokees take it as a racial slur. Rebecca Nagle, writing on the far-left site ThinkProgress, said Warren’s comment was drawn from “racist stereotypes.”
She also noted that Warren’s “family stories” are “easily refutable” — you know, the kind of thing that a Harvard Law professor should easily be able to research for credibility.
“Cherokee genealogists have pored through her family history to find that, ‘None of her direct line ancestors are ever shown to be anything other than white, dating back to long before the Trail of Tears,’” Nagle wrote.
Beyond that “cultural misappropriation,” Warren shows no inclination to connect with her allegedly beloved people. Nagle said she has “decidedly avoided talking with Native leaders and, in 2012, refused to meet with a group of Cherokee women at the Democratic National Convention.”
Then there is her 1984 “contribution” of several recipes to a cookbook sensitively named “Pow Wow Chow” — a title easily as racist as baseball team names like the Atlanta Brave and Cleveland Indians.
Comedian Trevor Noah, no conservative, spent some time mocking it recently.
Those recipes were obvious plagiarism, as has been reported by several news outlets but so far basically ignored in the mainstream media. But you can expect to see them in campaign ads if she runs for president.
It’s not just fakery about her heritage either.
Warren is a fraud as a populist as well. For somebody who claims to be so concerned about the “crushing” burden of student debt, you’d think she would have refused $350,000 to teach a single course at Harvard Law. You know, to put her money where her mouth is. To walk the talk.
But, she didn’t.
Warren’s biggest claim for credit as a populist is her push for the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — yet another absurdly misnamed agency.
As initially structured (it came into being in 2011 as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform), it was a dictatorship. Accountable neither to Congress, nor the president, it was led by a director who had the power to enforce, unilaterally, 19 federal consumer protection laws, control enforcement of rules and to decide what penalties to impose for violations.
Fortunately it couldn’t override the judicial branch. In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found it unconstitutional for that kind of executive authority to be vested in “a single, unaccountable, unchecked director.”
But Warren was just fine with it the way it was. Which means she isn’t a populist — she wants government to be a dictatorship as long as she, or her team, controls it.
There is plenty not to like about Trump, but with all his many flaws, he is not the danger to the republic that Warren would be.
So, yes, run Elizabeth. Then the whole country can see that being Faux-ahontas is just one of your problems.
Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.