Politico: Please Stop Investigating Elizabeth Warren’s BS Past

Barbara Lee (different Barbara Lee than the Senator) has penned an op-ed for The Politico entitled Fighting dirty against women. What’s dirty?

The debate swirling around Elizabeth Warren’s heritage is maddening. Not because it is a sideshow to pull focus from real issues in the Massachusetts Senate race and not because negative attacks are just politics as usual. It is maddening because Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign attack on Warren’s “honesty” is not about integrity at all. It’s about strategy.

We’ve researched voters’ attitudes toward female candidates and studied women in politics, so we know this is a well-worn campaign strategy to discredit and knock women off their political pedestals. It’s upsetting not only because it is a cheap shot, but also because it is a tactic that disguises political games as a genuine push for transparency.

The ridiculous attention given to the question of Warren’s bloodline is reminiscent of Alex Sink, Florida’s former chief financial officer, who ran a close race against now-Gov. Rick Scott in 2010. Sink looked at her cellphone during a TV debate, launching a frenzy of negative attention. It far outweighed her opponent’s entire record. Yet Scott had previous experience running a health care company that was charged with the largest Medicare fraud settlement in U.S. history.

The only problem is that it is about integrity. It’s not a cheap shot. From everything that we’ve seen, Warren has no documentation or proof that she has American Indian heritage, yet she has used that family lore to gain prestige amongst liberals and universities. But, Lee doesn’t want this discussed, because it’s mean or something.

Knowing women have an advantage in this, opponents try to knock them off their political pedestals by launching negative attacks early in their campaigns. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley faced allegations of infidelity when she ran in 2010, and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) combated accusations of attending a “secret fundraiser” with a political action committee called the Godless Americans. Cheap shots, indeed.

Yeah, they were cheap shots. And much like Elizabeth Warren’s story about being an American Indian, they were BS stories.

Question for Barbara Lee: where were you when Republican women were being slammed with BS allegations? The “attacks” on Warren pale in comparison to those used against Sarah Palin, for one.

This distraction from the important real issues that voters face is nothing new. It isn’t exclusively relegated to women candidates. They, however, often pay a steep price with voters when they fall off their perch. Because voters, especially women voters, expect a woman candidate to be different from typical politicians.

When a Democrat trots out the “distraction from the important issues line” you know they are losing, a stage 6 defense.

Instead of manufacturing phony drama about Warren’s ethnicity, Brown should stick to the facts and make his case about why voters should rehire him. Let’s break this pattern of hyperscrutiny of female candidates and focus on what matters – who the voters believe can best lead.

Interesting. Perhaps Ms. Lee could give that advice to Obama, who seems to want to avoid making a case about why voters should hire him.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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