Monday, October 1, 2012

Kinship v. Kin. Who wins?

People keep emailing us more info on Bill John Baker and how he’s made his personal love for “the best President ever” B. Obama into Cherokee Nation’s official stance.  And of course, his defense of not-quite-Cherokee Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.  Someone sent us a link of Baker ‘splainin’ his affection for a woman who, as one blogger put it: …has usurped Indigenous identity, just as her ancestors stole the land and resources. It's a hostile act of genocide and it is not okay.”
Baker’s justification for backing faux-Cherokee Warren: “I wish every Congressman and Senator in the U.S. had a kinship, felt a kinship to the Cherokee Nation.” Check out Baker on camera in his own words:

Well, that sounds good.  But what if there were an actual Cherokee citizen who really had a kinship with the Nation?  Baker would really, really love that person, right? Right??
What if there was a Cherokee citizen from Westville running for Congress, who’s already won his party’s nomination in a district that encompasses almost all of the Cherokee Nation, including Bill John Baker’s house?  Well there is, and his name is Markwayne Mullin.
So how does Baker and the Cherokee Nation support this Cherokee (who happens to be a Republican, rather than Baker’s preferred brand)?  Well, Baker tells the Daily Oklahoman in an article published September 4 that the Cherokee Nation will “stay out of it,”-- "IT" being the race between Mullin and the Democrat Rob Wallace, who is not Cherokee. 
Which is all well and good, except that Wallace, the non-Cherokee candidate, had already cashed a $2500 check from the Cherokee Nation back on July 19th, about six weeks before Baker told the world that we weren’t going to take sides. 
Whoops! Whether that was a lie or a simple mistake, the Nation has officially taken sides AGAINST the Cherokee.  So, a non-Cherokee Democrat gets Baker’s undying support while a card-carrying Cherokee Republican gets thrown under the bus.  By the way, Mullin’s reports show no donation from his own tribe, even though his non-Cherokee opponent has already been to the bank.
Then, in September the Democrat, Wallace, attacked Mullin for taking money from the Cherokee Nation on stimulus projects while Mullin simultaneously denounced the stimulus.  A week later, the Cherokee Nation produced documents that helped Wallace’s cause and slammed the Cherokee citizen, Mullin. 
So, let's go back to that video and take a look at what is really going on here. What it boils down to is that Baker supports Elizabeth Warren not because she has a “kinship” to the Cherokee Nation, like he says, but because she is a Democrat.
And Baker goes out of his way to go against Markwayne Mullin, EVEN THOUGH he is Cherokee, because he is a Republican.
No matter what your political affiliation: if you judge by actions, you might think being Democrat was more important to Baker than being Cherokee.  And it puts the Cherokee Nation in the position that if a tribal citizen gets elected to the U.S. Congress, his own nation will have fought him every step of the way.  
And if Mullin’s elected, every member of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation will be a Republican and the Cherokee Nation will be on the record as having pointedly backed Obama and all the Democrats our congressional delegation ran against.  That's not a great position to be in when most of the Nation’s budget comes from federal funds.