I love Dave Weigel and enjoyed all his posts in my absence and was delighted he took on the Trig question. The aim of the Dish has been to air this debate on all sides in order to get as close as we can to the readily available evidence Sarah Palin insists on keeping from us. Sadly, Dave's posts seemed to me to add nothing empirical to the debate - except an insight into those whose minds are simply closed. I was hoping, for example, that he would have some backing for this claim:
All of the evidence indicates that Trig Palin is Sarah's son, and none of it suggests otherwise.
And I waited to see "all the evidence" for Palin's narrative presented and all the evidence against it debunked. But pfffttt. It came down to "I believe Sarah Palin" (really, Dave? really?) and this:
Too many people watched Palin announce the pregnancy and saw her come along until she went into labor, prematurely, while attending a National Governors Association event in Texas.
Actually, there were three reporters who "watched Palin announce the pregnancy" in a late afternoon session before she went off to a reception. Here's the official NYT version of the announcement:
“We’re expanding,” the governor said brightly, said the deputy press secretary, Sharon Leighow. “You’re expanding state government?” one of the reporters asked. “No, my family’s expanding,” she said. “I’m pregnant.” The trio fell silent, dropping their eyes from the governor’s face to her belly.
“You’re kidding,” one finally mustered...
People just couldn't believe the news. "Really? No!" said Bethel state Rep. Mary Nelson, who is close to giving birth herself. "It's wonderful. She's very well-disguised," said Senate President Lyda Green, a mother of three who has sometimes sparred with Palin politically. "When I was five months pregnant, there was absolutely no question that I was with child."
Have you ever heard of a public pregnancy announced at seven months that failed the sniff test straight off the bat? Have you ever heard of other female leaders in the same state actually openly disbelieving such a statement? And all the evidence is on Palin's side?
Remember, though -- birtherism didn't really take off until the campaign did so, and conspiracy theorists began to argue that the document was flawed and lacking.
But doubts about Palin's bizarre account of her pregnancy were instantaneous with the announcement of her candidacy. The weird two-page fax from her doctor only emerged more than two months later - a mere few hours before polling began - so it's simply impossible that "conspiracy theorists" turned to it in the middle of the campaign for political reasons.