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This is likely the biggest non-issue to come up in a Senate campaign this cycle. Massachusetts Democrat and Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has Native American heritage. She identified this heritage in a directory of law schools, and was listed as a member of a minority group.

In the 1990s, Harvard listed her as a minority faculty member "to counteract criticism that its faculty was too white and too male." The Scott Brown campaign has seized upon all this with a bizarre set of criticisms: first, doubting that she really does have Native American heritage, and then blasting her for using it to take advantage of affirmative action programs.

There's a problem with that, though, because:

[O]fficials involved in her hiring at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas and the University of Houston Law Center all said that she was hired because she was an outstanding teacher, and that her lineage was either not discussed or not a factor.

“To suggest that she needed some special advantage to be hired here or anywhere is just silly,” said Jay Westbrook, chairman of business law at the University of Texas.

Desperate much, Scott Brown? He's going to have to settle on a narrative here. He's trying to claim both that Warren is an elitist egghead and that she's not enough of an egghead to get a job on the merits, but had to rely on affirmative action. And is he really concerned that she's somehow exploiting Native Americans, claiming heritage she isn't entitled to, or is he damning the programs that could benefit them?

Or is he just flailing wildly to try to find an issue that distracts from the myriad of problems Brown is going to have trying to sell himself as the people's candidate instead of Wall Street's candidate?

Don't let this kind of bullshit go unanswered. Please, contribute $5 to Elizabeth Warren on Orange to Blue.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue May 01, 2012 at 10:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans and Daily Kos.

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