“Another Doctored Image Deepens Obama Mystery,” is today's top headline at WorldNetDaily, online home for the birther remnant. According to inexplicable Harvard graduate Jerome Corsi, the president's mother, Ann Dunham, was Photoshopped into this image from President Obama's Facebook page to mask the true presence of scary black person du-jour Frank Marshall Davis.
The “evidence” is, as you'd imagine, hilarious. “The black hand under Obama's right armpit doesn't match Ann Dunham's right arm... The hand appears to be a remnant from a black male before it was airbrushed.” Black, shadowed, same difference, right? “Ann Dunham looks to be about 25 years old, too young for this 1973 photo. Maya, who was born Aug 15, 1970, looks to be about 3 years old. Ann should look 30 years old.” Were Ann Dunham still alive, she might be inclined to take this as a compliment.
But we haven't reached the kicker yet. Let's stipulate, just for a moment, that the shadowed hand really does belong to a black person and was mistakenly left in by the oafish airbrusher; how do we know that hand belongs to Frank Marshall Davis, and not some other less frightening black person?
ADVANCED PHOTO ANALYSIS, THAT'S HOW!
So yes, this is all very silly, but there's something else going on here. Corsi offers the phantom-hand theory as part of the “compelling case that Davis was Obama's biological father as well as his ideological mentor.” At the core of the birther delusion is the belief that President Obama holds an illegitimate claim to the presidency owing to his lack of U.S. citizenship. Now Corsi, one of the more committed birthers, is arguing that the president is biological child of Ann Dunham and Frank Marshall Davis, both of whom were citizens of the United States. And since both were citizens, any theoretical children they might have had would also be citizens. So Corsi is a birther who's arguing a theory that undermines birtherism.
Last year, as the birther movement was reaching its zenith (such as it was), Adam Serwer put together a handy lexicon to sort out the various subgenres of birtherism that had spun off from the original: post-birtherism, reform birtherism, the birther curious, etc. With Corsi and the Frank Marshall Davis theory, we have to add a new category: the self-hating birthers.