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A defense of Warren, maybe?

Posted by Garrett Quinn, Less is More  May 22, 2012 03:27 PM

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The Elizabeth Warren American Indian scandal can get weirder.

Take, for example, this piece of punditry in The Hill by Bernie Qugiley:

Elizabeth Warren might be excused for wanting to be Native American. She can claim an old American soul, going back generations in Oklahoma. In the heartland it is almost universal for those who have been there for a few generations to claim Indian blood; that is, to wish it were there even if it isn't. It is not so much a lie as it is the acculturation of personal and regional American myth; the fabric of old-soul American consciousness. "Our spirit will walk among you," said Chief Joseph. Indeed it does.

Right. I hear ya, it's like the Irish in Boston. Everyone in Boston claims Irish blood even if it isn't true. Sure.

Indians come to us as dream guides, spirit guides and, like Sacagawea, actual guides to our most important journeys at once physical and metaphysical. Those who have made these journeys tend to honor them. C.G. Jung, when watching Americans leave their factories, said we the paleface had come to walk "like Indians."

Go on.

One early commentator said we, like the Indians and unlike the Europeans, live without fences. We play Indian as children to call up the intuitive feminine. We name our cars after the noble and brave “Grand Cherokee.” We call to the spirit of Geronimo going into battle. When we want our heroine true, like Katniss, we put a bow and arrow in her hand. "We are all Americans here," said Ely Samuel Parker, the Seneca Indian, aide to Grant at Appomattox, suggesting that with the bloodshed at Bull Run, Chickamauga, Chancellorsville and Cemetery Ridge, we sanctioned our place and belonged here with the Indians.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee? Wait, Katniss from The Hunger Games? Huh?

Read the whole thing here.

I was a bit dumbfounded by the piece as his previous writings indicated that he has a populist, if rightward, lean. I reached out to Quigley and asked him to elaborate further on his column. He replied that he was only interested in Warren from a cultural standpoint and would probably not vote for her if given the option. He said his essay was, "An observation on what it means to be an American."

The conversation over Warren's status as an American Indian has generated a tremendous volume of serious and silly commentary since the Herald's Hillary Chabot broke the story almost a month ago. At first it seemed like this story would just go away after a few days but it quickly got legs. Tomorrow night, when Suffolk University releases their latest poll of the Senate race, we'll have a much better idea as to how much of an impact this story has had on Warren's reputation with voters. Suffolk's poll will be the second to survey the race in the aftermath of the story. Rasmussen polled the race in the immediate aftermath of the story and found the candidates tied.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Garrett Quinn began writing for newspapers at age 17 with CNC in his native South Shore. He has been published in BlueMassGroup, RedMassGroup, Pioneer Investigates, and Wonkette. He is a More »

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