Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren knows that she doesn’t stand a chance in the Democrat primary, unless she comes to grips with her “Pocahontas” label. With fresh polls indicating she may have moved up into second place behind Joe Biden, she’s trying to convince Native American voters to forget all about it.
In 2012 the public learned for the first time that lily white Warren was listed as a minority in the Harvard Law School faculty directory, and the school was praising her as one of their brightest minority stars. Then it came out that she was listed as Native American with the University of Pennsylvania. She ducked and bobbed and weaved and managed to escape most of the controversy.
Then, in February of this year, the Washington post found her 1986 Texas bar registration card. In her own handwriting, it listed American Indian as her race. She infamously did a DNA test to back her claim, and it showed she is 1/1024th Cherokee. That’s nowhere near enough to claim membership in a tribe. At the time, she told the Post, “I can’t go back, but I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted. Now she’s apologizing again.
First, as an offer of good faith, she released a series of policy plans on Friday. That was followed up with a speech Monday to a Native American advocate group in Iowa. She knows that she is never going to convince deplorable Trump supporters to cut her some slack, but she can make some headway by softening the blow with liberals. Sources relate that Warren has been negotiating behind the scenes with tribal leaders. She already has the endorsement of Rep. Deb Haaland. The New Mexico lawmaker is a member of the Laguna Pueblo.
Warren is tackling the problem sideways, first making it a policy issue. This way the spotlight will be focused on the issues, not her lies. On Monday, she stood at the podium and begged forgiveness. “Like anyone who’s being honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for the harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for the many conversations that we’ve had together.”
After she outlined her plans, she got a standing ovation. “It is a great honor to be able to partner with Indian Country, and that’s what I’ve tried to do as a senator, and that’s what I promise I will do as president of the United States of America.” She promised them “predictable, guaranteed funding,” to cover health-care, education, and infrastructure. She also promised to revoke the pipeline permits granted by President Trump and give tribes more authority over crimes committed on the reservations by outsiders.
What Warren isn’t letting on, is that the legislation needed will need the approval of both Republicans and Democrats, in both houses of Congress. There is little chance of any of it actually passing. Most of the pipeline uproar was over hyped-up concerns, but now that they are up and running, those concerns are moot. Shutting down the supply lines will only cut everyone’s throat. As far as the expanded police authority, there is an existing Supreme Court decision that flatly prohibits the proposed change.
Another hot button issue for Native Americans is the huge number of women who go missing each year, and the lack of concern with finding out where they went.
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Warren is backing a proposal to address that. As one analyst writes for Rewire news, “Savanna’s Act as introduced by former Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and co-sponsored by Warren, has little accountability or detailed action items for the federal government, nor does it contain a funding allocation plan. Until a congressional bill funds actual solutions to the issue, nothing will change.”
Once again, Warren is exploiting Native Americans by promising things she can’t deliver.
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