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Is Scott Brown A Birther?

This article is more than 11 years old.

Rats! Foiled Again!

The birther nuts dogging Barack Obama thought they had at long last nailed him as being born in Kenya. The right-wing waste dump of gotcha reporting, Breitbart, last week announced that a biography in a promotional booklet from Obama’s former literary agency said that he was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”

Only it wasn’t true and the woman who had written Obama’s biography admitted that she had misidentified Obama’s birthplace. She called it “nothing more than a fact-checking error.” You accuse the president of the United States of lying about where he was born and you call it a “fact-checking error?”

Somebody should check her sanity.

Birther Revisited

Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry has come under attack from the campaign of Scott Brown and, in close coordination, by the Boston Herald. Like the birther nonsense that Obama has had to deal with, Warren is being criticized by Brown’s allies for claiming to be a member of a minority. Let’s not assume the genealogy was done by the Boston Herald, which broke the story. They have barely enough money to deliver the paper, much less do an in-depth analysis of Warren’s history. No, this surely came from opposition research provided by Brown or his supporters.

The Herald’s Man

Eric Fehrnstrom, Brown’s chief strategist (and Romney’s Etch a Sketch shake-up artist), is a former political reporter for the Boston Herald. The paper has breathlessly headlined all the stories on Warren’s heritage; surely someone in the Brown campaign has helped the story along.

Birther Control

In the same way Obama’s birthers tried to deny him his victory by claiming he wasn’t a “real” citizen, Brown’s people are trying to make it seem that Warren has been cheating by saying she has Native American blood. What this really is about isn’t her heritage, it’s about affirmative action. In other words, it’s about race. Warren’s attackers — mainly in the Boston Herald — believe that she got special treatment by Harvard Law School when they hired her as a professor. There are zero facts to support this; if anyone did anything untoward, it may have been Harvard for wanting to claim diversity in faculty hiring.

Warren didn’t claim her heritage when she applied to Rutgers Law School or University of Texas, but she did at University of Pennsylvania. The Ivy League schools seemed eager to display their sensitivity to minorities. By not refusing to discuss the matter, Warren has lost any control over the story. It is now in its third week.

(Flickr/ beneneuman)
(Flickr/ beneneuman)

Good Company

Johnny Depp and Kevin Costner claim Native American heritage, as do Chuck Norris, James Earl Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, Cameron Diaz, and of course Cher. Those who have researched it say Elvis Presley definitely had Cherokee blood. Looks, it appears, can be deceiving.

Bad Company

Holier-than-thou Brown has never owned up to his open and ongoing support for Jeff Perry, a Congressional candidate in 2010. While he was a police officer, Perry watched or did nothing to stop an officer he was supposed to be supervising who strip-searched two underaged teenaged girls. Perry lost but landed a $110,000 job in law enforcement on Cape Cod. Mitt Romney also vouched for Perry, which could come back to haunt him.

Is It Relevant?

Warren’s ancestry is not germane to her candidacy or the election. This foolishness has robbed the Senate race of a discussion of legitimate differences between Warren and Brown, such as how to regulate Wall Street abuses, what is the best way to reduce the federal deficit, should the Obama health care overhaul remain in place, how much should the Pentagon budget be reduced?

Despite attempts by Brown and his handlers to change the subject and keep him away from reporters by issuing email statements or yukking it up on jock radio, ultimately a Senate race this big will be decided on more weighty matters than bloodlines.

This program aired on May 22, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Dan Payne Democratic Political Analyst
Dan Payne is a Democratic political analyst for WBUR.



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