October 08, 2012

Brown is "Bay State birther"

Gov. Patrick: Sen. Brown ‘Bay State Birther’ For Warren Native American AdsMassachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is calling Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown “a Bay State birther” for running television campaign ads that focus on Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American heritage.

Patrick made the apparent reference to so-called birthers during an interview on WCVB-TV. Birthers maintain President Barack Obama was born in Kenya despite the fact that Hawaii officials have repeatedly verified Obama’s U.S. citizenship.
Black clergy in Boston endorse Warren

Brown’s heritage attacks seen as divisive

By Michael Levenson
Some of Boston’s most prominent African-American ministers put their support behind Elizabeth Warren Thursday and denounced Senator Scott Brown’s attacks on her purported Native American heritage, saying the issue has become a divisive distraction from more pressing concerns about poverty and violence.

Some of the ministers had strong words for Brown, part of what ­appeared to be a growing backlash among Warren supporters to Brown’s strategy of driving the charged issue in the campaign.

“It’s a dead issue,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Brown, executive director of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, a group of ministers that seeks to ­reduce youth violence. “I know that, as the commercials continue to roll, I cringe. It’s an issue that has no relevance to things that I care about.”

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who also attended the event at Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, accused Brown of trying to divide the electorate, while Governor Deval ­Patrick, in a television interview, called Brown a “Bay State birther,” an allusion to the conspiracy theory about President Obama’s birthplace.

Menino and Patrick previously endorsed Warren, but their more heated rhetoric seemed to reflect an emotional boiling point in the bitterly fought race.

“Scott Brown, throughout this campaign, has taken on an issue that I think is very derogatory to” Warren and her claims to Native American heritage, said Menino, who stood with Warren and about a half-dozen ministers. “Elected officials take on those issues because they’ve got nothing else to say. It’s about dividing people.”
But a columnist suggests why the issue hasn't gone away:

'Minority' claim still dogs Warren thanks to her own mishandling

By Peter LucasThe fact of the matter is that Warren, the Harvard law professor, has contributed greatly to the controversy over her highly dubious Native American ancestry, first by failing to concisely address the issue head-on when it initially was raised by the Boston Herald seven months ago, and then by keeping the matter alive with her frequently run television ad that repeats previous explanations attributing her belief in her Native American background to unsubstantiated family lore.

Granted, Warren had to answer Brown's critical ads, but the big television buy not only has kept the issue in the forefront of the campaign, it has taken time, money and energy away from other, more important issues. Still, the fact that her campaign decided to spend so much money on television advertising to deal with the issues shows how deeply it has cut into her campaign and how much it has hurt.

What has amazed political watchers is how her highly paid team of political consultants has let the issue of her alleged American Indian ancestry get so out of hand. It is the type of issue that should have been addressed and dealt with in a press conference when the Herald first broke the story. Instead, Warren has been all over the place on the issue, and it has been allowed to fester for weeks.

In between, Warren has often made the matter worse by declining to meet with representatives from the Cherokee community, headed by Twila Barnes, a Cherokee genealogist, when they came to Boston to meet with her in June, and also when she also refused to meet with a Native American delegation to the national Democratic Party Convention last month in Charlotte, N.C., where she was a featured speaker.
Comment:  For more on Elizabeth Warren, see Is Warren a Racist? and My Thoughts on Brown vs. Warren.

Below:  "Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 4, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C." (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


Anonymous said...

I wish they'd just quit talking about it. I can't feel sorry for Warren, but this is getting old.

dmarks said...

That would be apprippriate if the birther analogy were apt.

That is, if President Obama had falsely claimed to be born Kenyan for special advantage, and than continued lying about it to this day.

Warren did the equivalent on all of this, but Obama has done none of it.

Rob said...

The analogy is about criticizing someone's origin when it's irrelevant to the political issues at hand. Brown is doing it to Warren and the birthers are doing it to Obama.

In other words, Brown is using the same type of argument the birthers are using. So yes, the analogy is apt.