If the Massachusetts senator was trying to win over middle-of-the-road voters who lean a bit to the right -- or maybe even attract moderate Democrats -- it was a costly miscalculation. As evidenced by the coverage from the right, Warren surely provided her opponents with more arrows in their quivers to attack her. And mainstream media is likely to weigh in as well, although perhaps not as colorfully.
On Monday, Warren released DNA analysis to prove that she has Native American ancestry. The results showed that Warren is -- brace yourselves -- between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American. It wasn’t exactly a bulletproof fact to create a powerful talking point for the left.
“Manna from heaven” was how talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh termed the DNA test. And who could argue with that assessment of the two-ton anvil that fell on a leading Democrat? It was Christmas in October for the GOP.
If you haven’t been following the news cycle closely, Warren’s move was interpreted as her attempt to minimize a controversial subject before the 2020 elections. Warren is seen as a Democratic challenger to Trump and her ancestry is a point of contention. Warren has said she is a descendant of two tribes and is listed as a Native American on federal forms.
Trump has consistently challenged her assertions about her ancestry. Never one for descriptive restraint, he has even gone so far as to call her Fauxcahontas. (The term “Liawatha” began surfacing on Twitter and YouTube this week as well, but as of this writing, the President has not used it….yet.)
After the release of the DNA results on Monday, The Federalist weighed in with the strongest headline of any conservative website I monitored: “Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test Proves She Was Lying.” Senior Editor David Harsanyi termed the test “an assault on reason.” He wrote, “I don’t care much about Warren’s ethnicity, but she is not, in any genuine sense, a racial or ethnic minority. Under her standards, how many Americans would qualify as Native Americans?”
Breitbart termed the release of the information a “DNA disaster” and described her as melting down after a Monday afternoon twitter “rant.”
TheBlaze reported that the Cherokee Nation called Warren’s DNA test “useless.”
NewsBusters criticized the news divisions of the three broadcast networks for ignoring the rebuke from Cherokee Nation and called the networks “disgustingly in the tank for Elizabeth Warren….”
Sen. Orrin Hatch fueled the right-wing media fires by tweeting playfully that he is 1/1032 T-Rex. “The rest: other dinosaurs.” (Irony alert: at 84 years old, Senator Hatch is, in fact, a political dinosaur.) Several conservative outlets picked up Hatch’s tweet, including CNS News, Newsmax and The Daily Caller.
Even The Wall Street Journal got in the act, questioning whether Warren had just killed identity politics. Columnist James Freeman speculated that Warren’s DNA analysis shows she’s very much like the average U.S. white person.If this was the first tentative move by a Democrat to challenge Trump two years from now, at its best it was ungainly and unproductive. It did not resemble one small step forward for an intriguing woman candidate. Instead, it was a huge leap backward for Warren and any Democratic voters who pinned their hopes on her. If you don’t believe me, just read the articles from the right-wing press.