Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This Is A Test

From the Washington Post:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had said she would not “sit quietly” as President Trump made claims about her ancestry that she called racist. On Monday morning, she released a DNA test that suggested she did have a distant Native American ancestor, and by the evening, she was using the ensuing dust-up to attack Trump.

The release of the test results Monday morning called Trump’s months-long bluff, which arose at a July 5 rally in Montana when the president questioned the senator’s heritage claims.

Even then, Warren was rumored to be a likely Democratic presidential candidate in 2020. Trump, with glee, told the rally crowd he looked forward to making Warren “prove” her Native American heritage on the debate stage if the two were to square off.

“I’m going to get one of those little [DNA testing] kits and in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims she’s of Indian heritage … ‚” Trump said. “And we will say, ‘I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.’ “

The crowd cheered.

“And let’s see what she does,” Trump continued. “I have a feeling she will say no, but we’ll hold that for the debates. Do me a favor. Keep it within this room?”

So the question really isn’t whether or not Sen. Warren has Native American ancestry or whether or not Trump really did say he’d give a million dollars to her favorite charity.  The question is have we gotten to the point in American politics that the future of the country and its leadership comes down to what is literally a spitting contest: Elizabeth Warren spits in a test tube to prove her point, and Trump spits in the eye of the American people who want more than just a schoolyard bully as their president.

We’ve been told over and over again that these are not normal times, and while American politics has always had this kind of freak show quality to it — a glance back at presidential races shows that it’s never really been normal — getting back to questioning the racial heritage of a candidate or even a potential candidate has a nasty, brutish quality that shows we really haven’t gotten past the point where E pluribus unum is just Latin for “Are they one of us?”

It didn’t start with Barack Obama’s birth certificate or John McCain’s adopted daughter, and it won’t end with DNA results for Sen. Warren and her Oklahoma roots.  There will always be fringers who will come up with the wildest claims about someone just to see if it will fly, and there will always be those otherwise serious people who take a moment to say, “Well, what about that?” and waste our time indulging in nutsery.  It’s supposed to reflect their dedication to objectivity, but all it does is give weight to the lunacy.  At some point we have to call it what it is: bullshit and distraction.  But as long as Trump can go full-tilt racist and get a cheer, it’s going to be a part of his shtick.

This isn’t the end of this by any means, and if Sen. Warren is really going to run in 2020, this is just the first ptui.  The true test will come when the American electorate says “Enough!” and demands more from our leaders than “Am Not!” and “Are Too!”

Footnote: FWIW, this video is pretty impressive hitting-back.

3 barks and woofs on “This Is A Test

  1. Saw a report this morning that Kellyanne Goebbels has already been on the air calling Warren’s DNA test “junk science.” And Trump is claiming that the million dollar bet is only good if he does the test himself, because he’s an expert. Or something.

    That’s the other side of the coin — when your opponent refutes your lies, discredit the refutation.

  2. PLEASE Elizabeth, don’t run in 2020. #1 it will be more of this crap; #2 you’re not really that appealing to most of the electorate, no matter how much your pals say “do it”. We Democrats need someone with managerial experience, preferably a current governor or mayor (do you hear me, Michael Bloomberg?), and someone without the sort of issues you’d bring up and have to defend. Your ego may say go for it, but so did Hillary’s and see what we got?

    • I agree that Elizabeth Warren should not run in 2020. And like you I would prefer a person who’s been a mayor or governor with the experience needed to lead this nation. Regardless of who runs the same small and petty crap and name calling will be the order of the day for Trump and the Republicans.

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