Elizabeth Warren is the Harvard law professor running for Senate in Massachusetts as a Democratic populist-progressive champion. But don't call her "Elizabeth Warren." Call her "Pinocchio-hontas," "Chief Full-of-Lies," "Running Joke" or "Sacaja-whiner."
Warren has claimed questionable Native American minority status for years to reap career "diversity" benefits. Now, Cherokee leaders, campaign rival GOP Sen. Scott Brown and an army of Twitter detractors have called her out for gaming the racial-preference system. Live by identity politics, die by identity politics.
The Boston Herald reported last Friday that Harvard administrators "prominently touted Warren's Native American background ... in an effort to bolster their diversity hiring record in the '90s as the school came under heavy fire for a faculty that was then predominantly white and male." When asked for proof of her tribal heritage, Warren's campaign first denied that she had ever bragged about it. But from 1986 to 1995, Warren listed herself as a minority professor in a professional law school directory.
While the Democrat's team scrounged for evidence over the weekend, Warren stalled for time by asserting that she didn't need to provide documentation because family "lore" backed her up. Someone told her a story, you see, and magically conferred native status upon her. Through narrative, all things are possible! (Notorious "fake Indian" Ward Churchill is wondering why he didn't think of this alibi first before the University of Colorado at Boulder fired him for academic fraud.)
On Tuesday, Warren finally discovered a great-great-great-grandmother supposedly "certified as Cherokee" and a random cousin somehow involved with a museum that preserves Native American art. There's also a great-great-grandfather somewhere in Warren's dusty genealogical records who spent time on a Cherokee reservation. Because walking a mile in someone else's moccasins is now just as good as being born in them.
Native American officials aren't buying Warren's 1/10,000th Cherokee claim. Suzan Shown Harjo, a former executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, told the Herald: "If you believe you are these things then that's fine and dandy, but that doesn't give you the right to claim yourself as Native American."
When Brown raised the issue, Warren and her progressive strategists traded in the candidate's Native American blanket for a War on Women victim's mask — because asking a privileged Harvard prof to verify her minority claims is sexist, of course.
"If Scott Brown has questions about Elizabeth Warren's well-known qualifications," her campaign manager railed, "he ought to ask them directly instead of hiding behind the nasty insinuations of his campaign and trying to score political points. Once again, the qualifications and ability of a woman are being called into question by Scott Brown, who did the same thing with the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan. It's outrageous."
Once again, the left's incurable love affair with oppression chic is on naked display. It's an Olympic competition of the haves to show their have-not cred. Just a few weeks ago, it was the White House tokenizing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor — the "wise Latina" — as "disabled" in an official graph promoting the administration's minority hiring practices. What's her disability? She has diabetes. No, it's not debilitating, nor does it fall anywhere near the definition of disability under federal law.
But like their friend Elizabeth Warren, the Ivy League social engineers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. just couldn't help embellishing their "diversity" record to score political correctness points. Birds of a manufactured feather flock together.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is email@example.com.