Everything about Elizabeth Warren, meanwhile, is a staged lie in service of her ambition. Her backstory, famously, is fake. During a time when elite universities like Harvard were under incredible pressure to hire non-white faculty to their law schools, Elizabeth Warren registered as a Cherokee. Eventually she concocted an almost-certainly-false story about anti–Native American prejudice from her father’s parents. Warren plagiarized her contribution to a book of Native American home recipes, Pow Wow Chow, from a French cookbook. Harvard bragged about its hiring of Warren and advertised her as an addition to its diversity, though reporting in recent years has attempted to obscure whether this was a help to her.

Warren’s political persona is entirely false. She claims to be a populist, but her form of social democracy is a kind of class warfare for millionaires and affluent liberals against billionaires and the petit bourgeois entrepreneurs who vote Republican. Her student-debt and free-college plans are absolute boons to the doctors, lawyers, and academics — the affluent wage-earners — who are her chief constituency. Meanwhile, her tax reforms go after not only billionaires but the small entrepreneurs: the guys who own a car wash, or a garbage-disposal service, and tend to vote Republican. Her consumer-protection reforms have hampered and destroyed local banks, and rewarded the bad-actor mega-banks she claims daily to oppose.