Ed Driscoll

The Ghost of Liberalism Future

At Commentary, Seth Mandel explores how Elizabeth Warren, running against Scott Brown in Massachusetts, is “playing an important role in our political discourse: she is the ghost of liberalism future.” As Mandel writes, “Warren’s alleged use of affirmative action, if true, would have to be the most egregious abuse of the system at the expense of minorities we’ve seen yet. Elizabeth Warren is, as a white woman, statistically speaking very much a member of this country’s majority. The only category in which she is a true minority is wealth: Elizabeth Warren is very, very rich:”

The sad part about all this is that Warren is clearly intelligent and dedicated to her (redistributionist) cause. Back in August, Christopher Caldwell wrote a piece on her in the Weekly Standard in which he praised her earlier writing as “brilliant and counterintuitive work.” Though many on the right object to Warren’s politics, no one thought she was ill-equipped intellectually for the important debate on economic policy now sweeping the public sphere.

Yet in the age of Obama, this is how campaigns are run. Warren may have interesting things to say, but she, too, has become something of a liberal cliché. Despite her obvious smarts, she has reflexively fallen back on charges of sexism, even when they are so ridiculous as to make you cringe. If Warren, a rich, white, Harvard professor, is a victim, everyone is.

Why does this matter? Because it reveals that the left thinks affirmative action is a joke, another cudgel with which to attack political opponents at the expense of minorities who might, thanks to liberalism’s insistence on keeping students in failed school districts, actually put the policy to some good use. And because if Elizabeth Warren is unable to advance coherent liberal policy arguments, then there may be none to advance.

John Fund dubs Warren the Check-the-Box Lady:

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate running against Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, claimed for a decade in law-school directories that she was Native American even though her only evidence for her status was family “lore.”

After days of stonewalling, she now says she claimed minority status only in order to find others with tribal roots. “I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it, and so I stopped checking it off,” she told reporters this week.

“Being Native American has been part of my story I guess since the day I was born,” Warren said, who has never mentioned her Native American heritage while she has been a Senate candidate. Yesterday, however, the candidate informed a Boston news station that her “high cheekbones” were testimony to her Native American background.

After a week of digging, helpful scholars at the New England Historic Genealogical Society say they have a hint that Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother may have been Cherokee. An electronic transcript of an 1894 marriage application back in Warren’s Oklahoma lists her ancestor as Cherokee. That would make Warren 1/32nd Native American. But the genealogists say the actual marriage certificate doesn’t list any Cherokee ancestry.

Noting that Warren suddenly dropped any claim to Native American ancestry as soon as she was hired at Harvard, Howie Carr of the Boston Herald concludes: “Once she’d reached the pinnacle of her trade, she ditched the fake-Indian routine. Maybe White Eyes Warren saw the smoke signals and figured out that someone was going to call her out on her ancestry. She was right.”

Actually, this is one time where a couple of pictures really is worth a thousand words. With a little help from her fellow “liberals” in the MSM, she’s also doing a wonderful job making a hash of racism in 2012 as well:

 Update: At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey writes, “Democrats worried about Warren in Massachusetts,” quoting Larry Sabato:

“This takes her biography into a bizarre dimension,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “It has derailed the effort to define Warren in a voter-friendly way.”

Sabato also said that Warren’s claim that she didn’t list herself as a minority to gain an employment advantage is not believable.

“This is what happens when candidates don’t tell the truth,” he said. “It’s pretty obvious she was using (the minority listing) for career advancement.”

“This is what happens when candidates don’t tell the truth” — as opposed to say fellow Massachusetts liberals such as John Kerry and the late Ted Kennedy? But then, as Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe once wrote, “That which is permitted to Massachusetts congressmen is not permitted to congressmen from other states” — apparently that applies to would-be liberal senators there, as well.

More: Oh, and speaking of Kerry, our one-time proponent of radical chic, and champion of the Great Recession’s ability to “reduce” “global warming” has somehow transformed himself along the way into quite the “prescient” investor