Skip to main content

Elizabeth Warren campaign rally
Elizabeth Warren is not a professional politician. That's one of the things that we like most about her as a candidate. She's not running for Senate for her own self-aggrandizement, but to make a difference for the 99 percent in Massachusetts and in the country.

The downside, however, of being a novice politician has shown this week in her continuing flat-footed responses to the character attacks coming at her from the Right, over whether or not she truly has Native American blood (by all accounts she does) and whether she used that heritage to further her career (by all accounts she didn't).

This is as clear a case of the politics of personal destruction as we've seen in a while, and if you don't believe that, you need to read this column in the Boston Herald, the original source for the story. You're not going to find a more sexist and racist potrayal of Warren, one that exposes precisely what the Right is trying to do to her here. It's a smear job, straight out of the Lee Atwater-Karl Rove playbook, not-so-subtly telling a key segment of voters that this uppity woman (who may or may not also be a minority) took a job away from a white man.

Yes, it's bullshit. Yes it's a blatant character attack without substance. But it's dominated the news cycle this week, and it's time it went away. Warren has to make that happen. The voters of Massachusetts don't care about her grandfather's high cheekbones or her family oral history or her Oklahoman pride in her heritage. She's not running for governor of Oklahoma, she's running for the Senate in Massachusetts, a job for which she is eminently qualified, just as every university who has hired her has attested. It's indisputable that she's where she is today because of her glowing qualifications and hard work, not because of her bloodline or gender.
Goal Thermometer
So it's time for Warren to pivot and stop getting sucked into letting her personal story become fodder for the Right. In retrospect, it was a mistake to check an innocuous box on a questionnaire for a law school faculty directory in 1985, and she should say so. Likewise, if Warren was aware that Harvard touted her as a Native American hire in 1996, she should acknowledge that it was a mistake on her part not to object at the time. She needs to simply own those mistakes, and move on to the real story: what's at stake in this election.

That's whether Massachusetts will continue to be represented by a senator who is nothing but a standard-issue, George W. Bush Republican, backed by Karl Rove. Massachusetts voters need to know that Scott Brown has committed to endless obstruction of President Obama's efforts and that he wants to take the country back to the disastrous policies of Bush.

They're using the Rove attack playbook because they're scared of Elizabeth Warren and the success she has had a consumer advocate. Scott Brown is a reliable lackey for the Republicans and for Wall Street, and they don't want to lose him. That's what this story is about. And that's what Warren and her campaign need to talk about, every day.

Help her tell that story. Chip in $5 to help Elizabeth Warren get the message out about what's important to Massachusetts.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu May 03, 2012 at 02:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site