We saw some hilarious reactions yesterday to the Patent Office’s decision to revoke the Washington “Redskins” trademark. (Note to #tcot: private citizens using the legal system to convince the Patent Office to revoke a trademark is not communism by any stretch of even the most fevered imaginations besides yours.) But by far the weirdest and most hilarious came from Wonkette favorite Dana Loesch, who nearly had a coronary ranting on Twitter about the decision. What exactly was the human-shaped puddle of monkey vomit so worked up about? Let’s ragesplore.
We had no idea what scandal Dana was talking about, so being the intellectually curious type, we did a little research. It seems that the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma have a long-standing claim to land that the U.S. government carved out of their reservation in 1883 to create the Fort Lee military base. The land was supposed to revert back to the tribes when the military was done with it, but the government kept finding excuses to not do so once Fort Lee closed down in the 1940s (its final use by the military was as a German POW camp in World War II). The tribes have been trying, with zero success, to reclaim the land for economic development, or at least for the rights to the large oil and natural gas deposits beneath it. In fact, back in 2006 conservative Oklahoma senators Tom Coburn and James Inhofe tried to screw the tribes by writing a bill (never passed) that would have required the Secretary of the Interior to lease the land to the oil and gas industry, which we’re sure would have upset Dana tremendously.
The DNC scandal occurred before that, in June of 1996, when representatives of the Cheyenne and Arapaho donated a total of $107,000 in exchange for a White House luncheon at which they urged President Clinton to have the Department of the Interior look into the validity of the land claim. The following March, after some unflattering media attention indicating that nothing had come of the donations, the DNC returned all the money. A Senate committee investigated and issued a harsh report [pdf] painting Democratic operatives as hucksters who basically swindled the politically naïve Natives out of their cash, which is a grand old American tradition going back to when those Dutch settlers swapped the entire island of Manhattan for a handful of beads.
Yr Wonkette will not defend the Democrats on this episode, though we will note that the Senate in 1997 was controlled by Republicans who were on a hunt for anything at all that could embarrass the Clinton administration, so much so that the tiniest issue got blown up into the greatest threat to the Republic since the British shelled Washington. Remember, these were the same senators who a year later voted to impeach the Big Dog over a blow job.
So a three-judge panel at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revokes a football team’s trademarks, and Dana, desperate to assign nefarious motives to the dastardly leftists who are surely behind this decision, comes up with … an obscure, seventeen-year-old scandal involving less money than the DC NFL Team’s seventh-round draft pick will make this season. To say nothing of the hundreds of millions of dollars the use of the name has made for the team’s various owners over the last 80 years.
If Dana wants to get upset, there is a more recent scandal involving unscrupulous white people swindling Native Americans out of lots more money than $107,000. Funny she didn’t mention that one.
Of course she wasn’t done.
Sure! Let’s also get rid of the $1 bill (George Washington owned slaves), the $5 (Abraham Lincoln killed so many Southerners), and the $50 (Ulysses Grant, the Republican who in 1869 used an executive order to create the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation the tribes were then herded onto in the first place). And don’t get us started on Republican Chester A. Arthur, the president who in 1883 used another executive order to carve out of that reservation the 10,000 acres that became Fort Lee, the land that the Natives were trying to reclaim in the 1990s when some shady Democrats swindled them and got Dana’s fee-fees all in a twist.
Also, should we mention to Dana that the three judges who made up the panel that issued this decision were appointed by the Secretary of Commerce under the last Republican president, in 2005 and 2006? Or would that just be gilding the lily?
History! It’s complicated!
And conservatives don’t care about Native Americans except when they can use them as a cudgel to beat up on the Obama administration. Unless we have missed all of Dana’s past advocacy for Native American causes … nah, we’re pretty sure that hasn’t been a significant part of her career. Funny she hasn’t cared about it before, since she also claims some Native American ancestry.
Good Lord, woman, the entire point of this decision was that the term “Redskins” does nothing of the sort. It’s a derogatory term, akin to naming the team the Washington Niggers or the D.C. Kikes. For fuck’s sake read literally anything at all about this case that wasn’t written by Breitbart or RedState.
Scratch that. Reading isn’t your problem, it’s understanding what you’ve read that seems to trip you up.
You should talk to the five plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who come from four separate Native American tribes. Us white progressive pajama boys are too busy sipping hot chocolate and listening to our Arcade Fire bootlegs.
[Dana Loesch’s historically illiterate Twitter feed / Senate report]