Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent a lot of time yesterday for past actions when she had applied for a job and put down that she had American Indian heritage. Now, to be clear, we now know from tests that she did have very distant Indian ancestors. And apparently it was told in her family for generations that there were distant Indian ancestors. But as Warren explained in her Apology Tour, she understands that it is up to Tribal Councils to determine Indian citizenry and therefore she was wrong to claim otherwise and apologized.
What she was subsequently asked -- and what analysts discussed afterwards -- is whether this will impact her campaign for the Democratic nomination to be President of the United States.
I understand the concern about the issue. I understand the reason for her apology. I understand the importance of the press to look into such things. And it's all good that these things took place.
Now the press and public has developed moral outrage over slips someone made decades earlier? Now the press and public is ready to discuss disqualifying a candidate for what is today decades-past insensitivity?
How they looked in the Oval Office lately???!!
We have a man the public elected president who has been sued repeatedly for fraud and settled out of court each time. A man who was sued by the federal government for racial discrimination and settled out of court. A man who took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for the death penalty of five black men who were later determined to be innocent. A man who has been accused by 16 women willing to go public about him sexually abusing them. A man who was recorded on tape talking about sexually abusing women by grabbing their p*ssies. A man who is being investigated for illegally money laundering for the Russians. A man who is being investigated by the federal government for illegally conspiring with the Russians in manipulating the presidential election. A man who is being investigated by the federal government for acting as a witting or unwitting asset of the Russians. A man who the Washington Post has determined has lied over 8,000 times to the American public during the past two years since becoming president. A man who has said that some neo-Nazis and members of the KKK are "very fine people." A man who has disparaged the physically disabled, called Mexicans rapists, said that Third World countries are "shitholes," demeaned Gold Star families. A man who...oh, okay, you know the list and get the point. It goes on and on and on and includes even worse and likely suggestion of mob ties, defaulting on loans, six bankruptcies, lawsuits for not paying employees, knowingly hiring undocumented aliens while railing against undocumented aliens and creating policies to separate foreign children from their parents, and more and more and more.
And we're asking is Elizabeth Warren's campaign for the presidency has been dealt a problematic blow because decades earlier she put down on job applications that she had Indian heritage -- which she did, just not much -- and didn't benefit from it, and has now apologized that she should have known better????
I don't excuse Elizabeth Warren from not acting thoughtfully decades ago. And for not handling the story more smoothly and sensitively. But in a world where right now we have two Virginia top officials in trouble for going around in blackface decades ago and a third Virginia official accused of sexual assault, and world where right now and for the past two years we have Trump in the White House -- if people want to be outraged by Elizabeth Warren putting on her job applications many decades ago that she had Indian heritage (which she did, but not much) and handling the situation today poorly...fair enough, but then they MUST apply the same standards to Trump. Every analyst, every Republican, every person questioning whether Elizabeth Warren is too damaged to be president MUST demand that Trump be held to the exact same scale.
The problem is that if they did -- if analysts, Republicans, journalists challenging Elizabeth Warren for her job applications made that their barometer for morality and qualification to higher office then by comparison Trump would not only be out of office, in prison and sued to inescapable oblivion by the end of the day on Friday, but he would probably also self-combust while being teleported through a Black Hole out of our galaxy and ending up in an unknown, uninhabited, barren universe somewhere in a void near the outer reaches of hell.
I'm all for high standards. And if that means holding Elizabeth Warren to them, great.
But I'm also for perspective and applying those high standards equitably.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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