Born out of wedlock? Really??
Well, yes. During (or maybe shortly after) the 2008 Republican convention, Brown was on a panel discussion (aired on the now-defunct CN8 cable news channel) about Sarah Palin. He defended her pretty strongly, as you’d expect. But then, in the course of discussing Bristol Palin, Scott comes up with this:
Wow. Just to reiterate, in case you can’t see the video: in response to the statement that Obama’s mother was married when she gave birth, Scott says, “well, I don’t know about that.” Then he chuckles. ”Uh huh huh.”
Here’s hoping that someone who might actually get an answer out of him (I would not include BMG in that category, so I don’t think we’ll bother) will ask Scott what was in his mind when he wondered aloud whether President Obama might have been born out of wedlock. UPDATE: TPM: “When contacted by TPM, Brown spokesperson Felix Browne provided this response: ‘This is a non-issue. Scott’s comments are being distorted by supporters of Martha Coakley who are trying to tear him down.’” No Felix, Scott’s comments are being reported, not distorted. There’s a difference.
I mean, maybe Brown really didn’t know, and was just expressing the fact that he was unsure whether Obama’s mother was married. But why would that possibility even be in his head? I took a little tour of the wingnuttosphere to find out who’d been saying what on that topic. Join me on the flip.
Turns out that a number of fringey folks, including one Andy Martin and prominent wingnut Jerome Corsi (of “Unfit for Command” fame) have been assiduously peddling the theory that Ann Dunham and Barack Obama, Sr. never actually got married. Said Martin, in July of 2008 (not long before Brown taped the interview posted above):
Barack Obama, Senior, and Anne Dunham never married. Obama knows this fact. This is also why he keeps his white grandmother a virtual prisoner; she knows too, and she won’t lie.
Through the past several decades Obama has pretended he ‘didn’t know’ the facts about his illegitimate birth. He thought he could get away with the big lie. And he almost did get away with it….
His mother was promiscuous and had a child out of wedlock, in 1961, when that was still scandalous behavior. Is this Obama’s idea of ‘family values?’ Obviously, he has been deceiving the American people and hoping his advertising lies could overcome the truth. He has failed.
Corsi, for his part, has been keeping the faith even post-election. This post at World Net Daily, “Was Obama’s birth out of wedlock?”, is from September of 2009:
Was President Obama born out of wedlock in 1961? … As WND has previously reported, the only documentation for Ann Dunham’s marriage to Barack Obama, Sr., comes from their divorce documents that list the marriage date as Feb. 2, 1961…. No wedding certificate or photograph of a ceremony for Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr. has ever been found or published.
Etc. etc. Oh, and one more thing about World Net Daily: there, the Brown campaign actually is running advertising. It’s got the “Paid for by the Scott Brown for U.S. Senate Committee” logo on it, and it’s not a Google ad (though those are present on the page as well). If you want WND’s full birther rundown, with Scott’s ad running alongside it, here ya go (screenshot here). I was wrong about the other one; I’m not wrong about this.
In addition, there were some very complicated (and, needless to say, quite peculiar) theories floating around back in 2008 to the effect that, even if Obama’s parents did get married, the marriage might have been invalid. Here’s one of them, from August 11, 2008, just a couple of weeks before Brown taped the above interview:
When he was 18, Barack Obama Sr. married a woman named Kezia and had four children with her. Two of them later returned to Kenya from the United States. He never divorced her. In the US, polygamy is illegal. If you are already married, regardless of where you got married, all subsequent marriages are invalid. This is the case with the marriage of Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr. in February 1961. Barak Obama Jr. was born out of wedlock.
One amusing irony of this particular “out of wedlock” theory is that its creator is actually using it to argue that Obama is eligible to serve as president. In a nutshell, the incredibly convoluted theory is that even if Obama was born in Kenya or somewhere else, the fact that his mother was not legally married when she gave birth to him means that, under U.S. law in effect at the time, Obama nonetheless acquired U.S. citizenship at birth by virtue of his mother’s American citizenship. Whereas, if she had been legally married to Obama Sr. but gave birth out of the country, Obama Jr. wouldn’t have been a “natural born citizen” because a different law would have applied. Whew.
Did Brown know about any of this stuff? Did he take it seriously? Is that why, when someone else says that Obama’s mother was married when she gave birth to him, Brown says “I don’t know about that”? And if not, then what?
Good thing Obama is coming to town tomorrow. Maybe he and Scottie can have a beer summit and clear the whole thing up.