The year has started off weird. Really weird.
It’s only February, but already the White House wannabes who are running in 2020 are making the rounds, and they’re all doing one thing: Apologizing. Profusely. In unison. It’s as if they all hope to wipe the slate clean before people are really paying attention, intent on pulling a Hillary Clinton next year by saying, “What difference at this point does it make?”
Sen. Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren got on the Atonement Train first, apologizing for claiming for decades that she is American Indian. The Massachusetts Democrat did so again on Monday, saying she had just apologized to Cherokee leaders for sparking “confusion” with her ancestry claims after a DNA test showed she was as little as 1/1,064th Indian American.
“I’m not a tribal citizen and I respect the difference,” she said. “Tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship.” Ms. Warren also said she had talked to Cherokees’ Principal Chief Bill John Baker last week and “told him I’m sorry for adding confusion about tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty and for harm caused to native tribes — and also for not being more mindful of that decades ago.”
For the record, after the DNA results were released, CNN posted a story headlined, “Elizabeth Warren releases DNA test with ‘strong evidence’ of Native American ancestry.” She’s as little as 0.0924 percent American Indian, so she’s as much as 99.9 percent white.
Sen. Bernard Sanders, the socialist from Vermont, is also apologizing a lot for what took place on his campaign last go ‘round. In January, he offered a public apology to the female staffers who say they suffered sexual harassment and demeaning treatment during his 2016 presidential campaign — but, of course, said he had no knowledge of any of that.
“I certainly apologize to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately, and of course if I run, we will do better next time,” Mr. Sanders said. But he fobbed off any responsibility by saying, “I was a little bit busy running around the country.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, has been apologizing for being “callous” in her earlier views on immigration. She actually used to call foreigners who sneaked into the U.S. “illegal aliens,” a huge no-no for Democrats. Please, they’re simply “undocumented immigrants.”
“I was callous to the suffering of families who want to be with their loved ones, people who want to be reunited with their families,” Ms. Gillibrand said on MSNBC. “So looking back, I just, I really regretted that I didn’t look beyond my district and talk about why this is an important part of the United States’ story and why it’s an important part of our strength.”
Then there’s Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Democrat. The 37-year-old is running for president, so of course she’s apologizing, too. In the mid-2000s, Ms. Gabbard said publicly that Democrats “should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists” and she also worked for an anti-gay group led by her father, The Washington Post reported.
In January, she released a four-minute video mea culpa. “In my past, I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, they were hurtful to people in the LGBTQ community and to their loved ones,” she said. “I’m deeply sorry for having said them. My views have changed significantly since then, and my record in Congress over the last six years reflects what is in my heart.”
And there’s Sen. Kamala D. Harris, a California Democrat who last week tossed her hat into the ring. She’s been hit hard by liberals who rip her record as a district attorney in San Francisco and later as California’s attorney general. Activist Blake Simons even accused the senator of “terrorizing black communities” by working to strengthen the state’s prison system (gasp).
“There are cases … where there were folks who made a decision in my office who did not consult with me and I wish they had,” Ms. Harris said. “The bottom line is the buck stops with me, and I take full responsibility for what my office did,” she said after she kinda blamed her “office.”
This is how things work nowadays — at least for Democrats. All you have to do is apologize and the story simply goes away in the mainstream media. Look at Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. When a racist photo purportedly showed him either in blackface or wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe, he said: “That photo and the racist and offensive attitudes it represents does not reflect that person I am today. … I am deeply sorry.”
The next day he said it wasn’t him in the photo — and, poof, the story disappeared.
The 2020 hopefuls are banking on the same light treatment from the mainstream media — and, as always, they’ll likely get it.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.
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