The Curious Case of Elizabeth Warren
When a candidate is running for their first office, they typically don't have any controversies associated with them. Mrs Warren has yet to pass the primary and already has seven controversies associated with her. That number won't endanger her Senate Primary bid as months ago the Massachusetts Democratic Party was able to push out all other candidates and make Mrs Warren the only choice. (HBBCAV83N4MT)
Since that time, the researchers have been busy. They discovered that In 1984, Mrs Warren contributed five recipes to a cook book edited by her cousin. The book was a set of recipes that had been passed down through generations of Oklahoma Cherokee Indians. Researchers discovered that at least three of the five recipes submitted by Mrs Warren appeared to have been taken directly from other sources. Who would have guessed that a recipe involving crabs and mayo was really french and not from Oklahoma Cherokee?
While most people (including me) would shrug this off, accusations of academic misconduct by other professors cannot be dismissed. Breitbart.com has discovered that numerous professors published articles in law publications that not only questoned the conclusions of one of Mrs Warren's most prominent research publications, but flat out accused her and the other researchers of falsifying data.
The accusation concerns a book published by Mrs Warren and two other researchers in 1989 that was the result of a multi-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study people that declare chapter 13 bankruptcy and what happens to them after that process. Mrs Warren and the others found that predatory lending was a large contributor to the chapter 13 bankruptcies, and that for many of these people the bankruptcy was not effective in allowing them to get out from under their debt. The accusations are that the data does not back these conclusions, the data may not have been original to the study, and the researchers altered their data to prevent any future verifications.
This data manipulation was the basis for the accusation of scientific misconduct. Mrs Warren and the researchers altered the raw data to remove the names and replace them with id numbers, making them unverifiable. However, every researcher that critiqued the book also asserted that even if the data was true, it did not back the conclusions. One even noted that many bankruptcy cases were not complete and the results of those proceedings were assumed by the researchers and those assumed results were used to back the conclusions.
This is more than a case of poor research. The conclusions of the research in question have been used to justify a number of policies, including the board created in the Wall Street Reform package that Mrs Warren was intended to head.
As active as Breitbart and other bloggers have been, Mrs Warren herself has also been very helpful to her opponents. Early in her campaign, she told the story of her grandmother crossing the country in a covered wagon in 1889 at the age of 15 and then living long enough to see her granddaughter graduate from college and become a teacher. Neither of those claims is likely given the age and time of death of her grandmother.
Then there are the ever-increasing claims concerning her Native-American heritage. When researchers discovered that Mrs Warren was listed as a minority hire at the colleges she taught, the realized that Mrs Warren was claiming to be 1/32 Cherokee and Dakota. The entire basis for these claims seems to be stories told to her by her Aunt. Native American researchers and bloggers have found a number of items callling these claims into question. The claims were further exagerated by Mrs Warren's claims that her parents had to elope to avoid the grandparents concerns over mother's Native American heritage. This claim has also been challenged.
Finally, there is the umprompted claim Mrs Warren made that she was the first nursing mother to take the bar exam - a statistic that isn't tracked.
So, what exactly is going on here? Why does a woman with a law degree from Rutgers and a history of teaching law school at some of the most prestigious schools in the country seem to feel the need to constantly embellish her own history? The answer to that question tells you everything you need to know about the curious case of Elizabeth Warren.
For Mrs Warren, it isn't enough to be on par with the other law students taking the bar exam. It was more difficult for her than anyone else. Thus she makes the claim of being the first nursing mother to pass the bar exam as a means of proving that although she completed the same tasks as the others around her, she is worthy of greater esteem for those accomplishments. Of course, she never takes into consideration that the man sitting next to her may have been caring for an ill family member, working to pay for his family, or even that there were other women in the room with the same set of circumstances. No one else matters - her accomplishments are greater merely because it was her that accomplished them.
This same mentality can be seen in the claims about her ancestry. While her views on history or law or the economy would be given weight based on their academic pedigree alone, she seeks to give themadditional merit by attaching a persona of struggle and triumph to her history. She cannot be argued with about economic struggles in America because she has lived through them, and not just studied them. She isn't merely some white woman just like everyone else, her mere existence is special, and the stories about her heritage prove that. She is a minority; she is special.
The important thing to understand is that she makes these claims about native american ancestry, tougher law school tests, and a family history of struggle because she believes that it is these things about her past that give weight to her arguments on the economy, fairness, and the law. By doing this, she removes the need to prove the merits of her ideas or feasibility of the path she suggests. The merits of her views cannot be challenged as they come from a woman whose personal history precludes any challenge from those who did not struggle as her family once did.
So why does this matter in her race for the Senate? Aside from shining a light into the mentality of someone being sold as an intellectual heavyweight, these instances provide a picture of how she will behave once in office. If she couldn't be troubled to prove her research despite multiple cases of law review literature calling it absolute dribble, then why would anyone believe that she would take into consideration the people she represents once in office? After all, the one thing we have established is that Mrs Warren is different from regular people. Her struggles are greater than our struggles, her accomplishments greater than our accomplishments, and it reasonable to assume that she views her opinions on how to vote in Congress as greater than that of her constituents.