Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crossing the (Party) Line

Yesterday we talked about the quick response of Chief Baker to a disgusting stereotypical sports chant some Republican campaign staffers used to mock Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
What wasn’t clear is Baker’s involvement in the Democratic Party and what it means to the Cherokee Nation.  Thankfully, the Cherokee Phoenix, just 20 days after the closing of the Democratic National convention, has given us this update on what Baker was up to in North Carolina.  
Chief Baker at DNC
Baker was a delegate and got to speak on TV and to the entire convention.  Besides saying that Obama was the best president ever, Baker got to show off his awesome ribbon shirt and ability to read, in halting English, what was written on the card in front of him.  He said, “To stand on a national stage as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and cast my delegate vote for President Obama on behalf of the state of Oklahoma helped shine the national spotlight on the Cherokee Nation.”

Reading between the lines, what really happened here is that the national spotlight showed the Cherokee Nation endorsing Obama.  Who happens to be the least popular politician in Oklahoma right now.  In a state where our state house of representatives is overwhelmingly Republican, our state Senate is overwhelmingly Republican, our Governor is Republican, both our U.S. Senators are Republican and every Congressman is Republican except for the one who is retiring and who might be replaced by a Republican Cherokee Nation citizen who calls Obama a socialist. 

Well, Obama's BIA and Department of Interior leaders definitely respect the UKB’s sovereignty, letting them take land into trust inside Cherokee Nation's jurisdiction when every other president (Democrat & Republican) has preserved the Cherokee Nation’s territory.  And Obama definitely supports the Freedmen’s sovereignty, when every other president has agreed that the Cherokee Nation has the right to determine their own citizenship. 
So what is it that makes Mr. Baker say Obama is the best president ever?  Could it be that they gave Baker a microphone and a spotlight?  Because it doesn’t seem like the Cherokee Nation as a whole is getting much out of this deal.
So the Cherokee Nation is now officially taking sides in U.S. partisan politics, and Baker is actively and publicly choosing the side that has exactly zero power with our state or possibly ANY of our federal representatives.  But hey, it makes our Chief feel good. And it only cost us $10,000 worth of dentures and eyeglass money for him to go, so that’s a good thing.