Elizabeth Warren throws another bone to American Indians

Fake Indian Elizabeth Warren, campaigning in her home state of Oklahoma, threw out a new pander to real American Indians, promising to create a cabinet post for them, presumably through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  She couched the whole thing in the well worn whitey language of contrition, not for her own sneaky cadging of Ivy League teaching posts via affirmative action Indian slots, but to atone for all the evil of America. It was all tears and flapdoodle, and Mark Twain would have had a ball writing about her on this one.

Speaking in response to question from a Native American woman who wanted to know what she will do to support Native American tribes if she becomes president, here's what she had to say from my transcript of the non-shareable KOCO 5 report, starting at about minute 39:57 — you can watch the whole thing here:

You bet!  Let's talk about it.  Thank you, Mary Helen.  So the answer is yes, I got a plan for that.  And it starts here.  The United States has failed to meet its trust and treaty obligations, generation after generation.  That stops in a Warren administration.

Now, we're here on just about the one-year anniversary of a report that came out from the Civil Rights Commission.  The title of it is "Broken Promises."  And that's what it's about.  It's about how the United States made promise after promise after promise that it has failed to keep.  So we can read a report like that and then say, "Gee, that's too bad."  Or we can read a report like that and say, "Let's build a plan and make change."  And that's what I want to do.  So Congresswoman Deb Haaland and I, she's fabulous (cheers), who's also co-chair of my campaign — go, Deb!  Deb and I after this report came out said it's time to make change.  So we are — actually, we've gone through this report promise after promise and said, "What do we have to do here, what do we have to do here, what do we have to do here, to make right, to make this better?"  Let me tell you something else I want to do, and I love saying this because I want to do what a president can do all by herself.

I'm going to create a Cabinet-level post for the native tribes, the tribal nations, to be a part of what we do from the beginning.  This is important (cheers).  This is important.  This is important.  Cabinet-level (applause), yep (applause), yep (applause).  The United States government has a nation-to-nation relationship with our tribal nations; we need to acknowledge that.  And we need representatives of the tribal nations, not only in the White House, in Cabinet meetings, we need them in every single agency throughout this country (cheers).  Yep.

And then part three is just to say, "Let's be respectful."  Umm, we have failed so many times to show respect.  And, umm, this is an opportunity for us as a country, to reset our relationship with the tribal nations, and to be the kind of America going forward that we want to be.  Frank, Frank would want this.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I want to say one more thing: would you stand up, please?  This is Frank (inaudible)'s daughter.  Uh, Frank was a tribal leader and uh, an influence on my life.  And he passed away, it's been...Father's Day, that's right, he passed away Father's Day.  I just want all of us to honor all our tribal leaders who are gone.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I'm so glad you came. 

My transcript is a bit harsh with its inclusion of her tics of speech — actually, Warren is a pretty smooth and polished speaker, and she was speaking off the cuff, so no need to consider her delivery terrible.  It really wasn't.

The actual problem was in the substance of what she was saying.  First, it was pretty devoid of substance — she said she and her campaign manager picked through a negative government report about Native Americans and brainstormed about doing this and that, with no specifics, which sounds as though she actually hasn't read the thing. 

But more important, her applause line, about creating a Cabinet-level post for Native Americans, presumably under the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is an unusually wretched offering, another sorry bone thrown to the beggars rather than a solution to the persistent poverty and corruption that trash Native Americans' reservation life.

Native Americans need More Government?  That's what she's saying.  And it's not as though this hasn't been tried before, by well-meaning whites in the past.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an overweening government agency as it is that pretty much runs every tribal reservation and micromanages Native American affairs, leaving the locals pretty powerless. The poverty, alcoholism and crime seen on reservations is pretty well the by-product of BIA rule. All those good intentions, see, under a giant government run by Democrats, is where that leads, and such problems have been known for decades. The BIA is pretty much the VA for Indians, leaving them very poorly served. All that government effectively amounts to socialism, so instead of promising to abolish the BIA which is the source of the problem and let the Indians run their own affairs with solid property rights, Warren wants to shove more government onto the Indians, for their own good.

Economics Professor Steve Hanke at Johns Hopkins University has been watching Warren for awhile in her Indian panderings and he views the whole thing pretty balefully. He has an excellent backdrop about the root of the problem and views Warren's proposals as more of the same-old, same-old that created the problems in the first place. It's a must-read item from Forbes last September:

The Senator begins by correctly observing that the federal government has not lived up to its promises to American Indians. Indeed, when it comes to treaties and obligations, there has been a massive failure of the federal government to deliver—a classic case of government failure.

Senator Warren moves from that correct and obvious observation about government failure to a non sequitur. Yes. She proposes more of the same, arguing that it’s all a matter of more money. Her proposals do nothing more than rearrange the chairs on the Titanic. They fail to correct the problem. That problem is communal ownership of Indian lands and businesses and the massive government meddling in the lives of American Indians, who are currently deemed little more than wards of the State.

If all this isn’t bad enough, it’s clear that Senator Warren not only wants to keep the Indians as wards, but she wants the rest of us to become wards of the State, too. Indeed, that’s where her costly “Medicare for All” and social security proposals would leave us.

That's toxic pandering. And sure enough, it takes a fake-Indian to do it. A real Indian would want the feds to get the heck out, given their record.

Image credit: Twitter screen shot from KOCO-5 Oklahoma City.

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