Guy Benson

If it seems like I've been enjoying Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren's slow motion train wreck just a little bit, it's probably because I am.  For a refresher on the basic facts, review my primer from last week.  In one of my subsequent posts on the matter, I noted with some bemusement the coincidence that Harvard continues to list just one of its law professors as a Native American -- but refuses to say who it is.  I bet you can guess why.  This is all a big non-issue, though, the Warren campaign informs us, because the professor-turned-candidate received no academic or hiring advantage from her dubious ethnic status.  How do we know this?  Because one of Warren's esteemed colleagues says so.  Except...we now know that said colleague isn't exactly a disinterested party:
 

A Harvard Law School professor who defended Elizabeth Warren against charges she unfairly obtained her teaching position by falsely claiming a Native American minority heritage is a donor to her U.S. Senate campaign. Professor Charles Fried gave $250 to Warren’s campaign in November 2011, according to a review by The Daily Caller of donor records published by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Fried, a former solicitor general under President Reagan who voted for President Obama in 2008, said the notion that Warren “attained her position and maintains her reputation on anything other than her evident merit is complete nonsense.” The Warren campaign is likely hoping Fried’s defense will put questions about her claims of Native American ancestry to rest. But the revelation that he is not an impartial observer of the race — and donated money to her campaign — could spark more questions.


Indeed.  But Warren doesn't really like answering questions on this subject, for two reasons.  First, the true answers are likely embarrassing and/or incriminating, and second, when she has endeavored to respond, she's made her predicament a lot worse.  Meanwhile, the Massachusetts GOP chairman is turning up the heat, openly suggesing that Warren may be guilty of academic fraud:
 

MassGOP Chairman Bob Maginn slammed Warren’s claim as baseless and mocked her statements in response to the controversy over the past week.  Maginn said Warren’s actions “appear to constitute academic fraud” and suggested Harvard consider disciplinary action.  “The problem is that Ms. Warren is not a Native American,” wrote Maginn, a Harvard alum.She is Caucasian. Despite her insistence that she is an American Indian based upon ‘family lore’ and her observation that some in her family had ‘high cheekbones like all the Indians do,’ she has failed to produce a single shred of evidence to substantiate her claim.”  Maginn said Warren’s actions “potentially violate” Harvard’s academic standards and the university is obligated to probe the Democrat’s actions.


Crimson on crimson political violence!  Good times, although I dare say their school color isn't the only hue Maginn and Warren share.  In any case, this explicit allegation may be a stretch -- but maybe not.  The fact is that we just don't know.  There's certainly significant circumstantial evidence that Warren could have used her (unconfirmed) 1/32nd Native American heritage to climb academia's career ladder.  It's the strong appearance of race-based impropriety that has Michael Barone patiently explaining to intentionally obtuse liberals like Jonathan Capehart why this whole flap matters:
 

The important thing is the Warren story illustrates the rottenness of our system of racial quotas and preferences. Although the people in charge of administering them deny this, just about everyone with eyes to see knows that you're more likely to be hired and promoted if you have checked one of the non-Asian minority boxes: black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander ... People who classify themselves as approved minorities get into schools and get jobs that they wouldn't if they classified themselves as white. Not surprisingly, some people, perhaps including Warren, game this system.

The original justification was that this would overcome the disadvantages that American blacks endured during decades of slavery and segregation. That made sense to many people at the time. Those disadvantages were real, and most Americans wanted to be fair ... In the meantime, what may undermine racial quotas and preferences most effectively is ridicule. For isn't the idea that the blond, blue-eyed Elizabeth Warren suffered some terrible disadvantage and is in need of special preference because she is one-thirty-second Cherokee just laugh-out-loud funny?


Funny, yes -- to some extent.  But also at least a little bit infuriating.  Alas, there is good news at last for Warren backers.  The Boston Globe has blown the lid off of a huge scandal involving Republican Scott Brown:
 

Sinking a half-court shot is the latest testament to “Downtown Scotty Brown’s’’ basketball prowess, but it turns out it wasn’t quite the lucky basket it appeared to be.  An aide confirmed for the Globe Thursday that Brown sunk the shot, but on the fifth attempt. Video of the senator’s bucket last Friday at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center was immediately scooped up by his reelection committee, titled “Scott Brown’s Amazing Half-Court Shot,’’ and posted to YouTube.


ZOMG, impeach!!!  Let's review the optics comparison:  Scott Brown getting mobbed by screaming children after nailing a half-court shot on his -- gasp -- fifth try, versus Elizabeth Warren explaining why she really, truly is a Native American, but never benefitted from it because she was trying to make friends, or something.  Yeah.  I'll take it.



UPDATE - We've already had one "surprise" in this post.  Are you ready for another?
 

Shelly Lowe, executive director of Harvard University's Native American Program (HUNAP), told Breitbart News today that U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren had not, to her knowledge, participated in the program's events while Warren was a professor at Harvard. Last week, Warren explained that she had listed herself as Native American "in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am." However, she had not been involved in HUNAP, the most obvious avenue for meeting fellow Native American faculty and students.


Rasmussen shows this race tied at 45.


UPDATE II - Aaaaaaaand, scene:
 

The most stunning discovery about the life of O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is that her husband, Ms. Warren's great-great-great grandfather, was apparently a member of the Tennessee Militia who rounded up Cherokees from their family homes in the Southeastern United States and herded them into government-built stockades in what was then called Ross’s Landing (now Chattanooga), Tennessee—the point of origin for the horrific Trail of Tears, which began in January, 1837.


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography