From Birchers to birthers

Marc Ambinder thinks the birther movement presents a real problem for the GOP:

The most prominent birthers are Alan Keyes, the former presidential candidate and Obama Senate challenger; Orly Tait, a wonderfully named lawyer from California; Phil Berg, a Democrat; and Michael Reagan, son of Ronald Reagan, and a prominent radio talk show host. This is, at once, a fringe movement and something greater. It’s fringe because no important Republicans believe it, and most are offended by it. It’s greater because some fairly prominent local lawmakers are beginning to sign birther petitions.

At least nine members of Congress have cosponsored a birther bill that would require prospective presidents to affirm their U.S. citizenship. What we don’t know is how widespread the belief is among Republicans — and even if the belief is confined to a narrow minority, whether the belief will spread as Republicans begin to pay closer attention to electoral politics in 2010 and 2012. In the same way that Democrats in 2004 always got a stolen election question (which, to be fair, was at least closer to reality than the birther’s claims), Republican presidential candidates need to figure out how to diffuse angry birthers who are bound to show up and demand their attention. …. The buried lede to this post: Rush Limbaugh claimed today that Obama “has yet to prove that he’s a citizen.” Republicans have to be extra careful. If they give credence to the birthers, they’re (not only advancing ignorance but also) betraying the narrowness of their base. If they dismiss this growing movement, they might drive birthers to find more extreme candidates, which will fragment a Republican political coalition.

Who knows if he’s really right or not. But having people like him discuss the possible problem does start to make it a problem.

Let’s remember that once upon a time, William F. Buckley supposedly stood athwart the John Birch Society, yelling “Stop!”, thus creating a conservative movement that was less frightening to the American public. I don’t know to what extent that really happened, but the Republicans did do a reasonable job of keeping the craziest right-wingers quite for a time. Maybe that time is over.

Update. Interesting idea from SGEW:

Prediction: Sarah Palin (who has said that she will no longer be “P.C.” once she leaves office) will dip her toe into the Birther fever swamp within two months. Whether she crosses that Rubicon will be the determinative watershed moment.






187 replies
  1. 1
    SGEW says:

    [T]he Republicans did do a reasonable job of keeping the craziest right-wingers [quiet] for a time. Maybe that time is over.

    They’re all they have left.

  2. 2
    Alan says:

    I’ve yet to find any issue that Rush Limbaugh and Alan Keyes disagree.

  3. 3
    Lev says:

    As I recall, Buckley refused to denounce the JBS but denounced Bob Welch, the head of the movement.

    At least, that’s what I remember from reading “Before The Storm”. Amazing how conservative analysis has progressed not at all since the 1950s, when the JBS was saying that Nelson Rockefeller and Dwight Eisenhower–yes, Ike–were Commies. That’s right, the guy who won World War II was a red, according to those people.

  4. 4
    SGEW says:

    Prediction: Sarah Palin (who has said that she will no longer be “P.C.” once she leaves office) will dip her toe into the Birther fever swamp within two months. Whether she crosses that Rubicon will be the determinative watershed moment.

  5. 5
    amorphous says:

    In the same way that Democrats in 2004 always got a stolen election question (which, to be fair, was at least closer to reality than the birther’s claims)

    Can’t you just smell the strong desire to go full-out false-equivalence on that one?

  6. 6
    Funkhauser says:

    Didn’t WFB also snub Ayn Rand and her ilk? And didn’t he pee out of moving cars?

    We’ve come a long way, baby.

  7. 7
    Alan says:

    @SGEW: I hope she starts a third party.

  8. 8
    SGEW says:

    @Lev:

    That’s right, the guy who won World War II was a red, according to those people.

    In all fairness, Stalin and Zhukov were communists, you know.

  9. 9
    MikeJ says:

    Now, Stuart, if you look at the soil around any large US city, there’s a big underground homosexual population. Des Moines, Iowa, for an example. Look at the soil around Des Moines, Stuart. You can’t build on it; you can’t grow anything in it. The government says it’s due to poor farming. But I know what’s really going on, Stuart.

  10. 10
    smiley says:

    I don’t know about many of the birthers but Limbaugh is just jumping on their bandwagon (rather that the other way around). He’s really gone around the bend with his hate of everything Obama and his administration. It makes his hate about all things Clinton seem almost tame.

  11. 11
    Mike in NC says:

    Michael Reagan, son of Ronald Reagan, and a prominent radio talk show host.

    That maggot hasn’t found a real job yet?

  12. 12
    Lisa says:

    I don’t know to what extent that really happened, but the Republicans did do a reasonable job of keeping the craziest right-wingers quite for a time. Maybe that time is over.

    To be Republican these days by definition is to be right-wing, and to be right wing by definition is to be crazy. It is no wonder the genie is out of the bottle these days.

  13. 13
    SGEW says:

    @MikeJ: Oh, those gay Martians. Why didn’t we listen to those pamphlets from Pueblo, Colorado?

  14. 14
    Alan says:

    In his early years WFB supposedly steered the conservative movement away from crackpot alley. But by embracing Rush Limbaugh he not only steered conservatism into crackpot alley but set up headquarters there.

  15. 15
    gnomedad says:

    Rush Limbaugh has yet to prove he’s a human.

  16. 16
    Jim says:

    This touches on one of my pet theories about modern politics and the political media: The utter contempt that the Beltway GOP has for its base, nicely exemplified by McCain’s pick of Palin and perhaps even moreso by his attempts to use Joe the notPlumber as a campaign prop.

    The poisonous cynicism of it all is too obvious to ignore, but ignored it is, because a) the vast majority of the reporter/analysts would rather be accused of seling crank to middle schoolers than be accused of liberal bias by people like, well, birthers b) Broder and Cokie and Dickie Cohen and their ilk like to believe that real Republicans are just like Ike, like that nice Rockefeller, like that nice Bob Michel, and that’s what John McCain is really like. If he peed in the national pool for six months, well, that’s not the John McCain they’ve known for X years.

  17. 17
    Lev says:

    @SGEW: Touche. Allow me to revise my statement: Ike won WWII on the Western Front. Dude out-thought Rommel. But he certainly did have some contacts with very high-ranking Soviets…

    Ah, come on. Ike was the least radical person in America. It’s the same reason why I know Obama isn’t a radical. Did you see those debates? The guy was reasonable, reserved, almost boring. You get the sense he’d rather stay home at night and watch a ballgame rather than anything else. That’s my radical test–if you sit home and watch TV in your spare time, you’re probably not a radical.

  18. 18
    JGabriel says:

    @SGEW: Two months? You’re far too generous. Palin will tweet her birther allegiance within two weeks of resigning. Possibly two hours.

    .

  19. 19
    robertdsc says:

    That’s my radical test—if you sit home and watch TV in your spare time, you’re probably not a radical.

    But, but, but… ACORN! Ayers! Whitey Tape!?!?!

  20. 20
    ninerdave says:

    Obama’s not a US Citizen.

    ORLY?

    YA RLY!

    No WAI!

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    and that’s what John McCain is really like. If he peed in the national pool for six months, well, that’s not the John McCain they’ve known for X years.

    And of course they’ll forgive McCain a certain amount of playing to the base as long as they don’t think he really believes it.

    Dean’s scream on the other hand was unforgivable.

  22. 22
    JenJen says:

    Isn’t Marc Ambinder just speaking the obvious? B-J commenters have been saying essentially the same thing for a few months now.

    That being said, he’s a conventional wisdom guy so if he’s finally come around to the fact that Birther Nation is spreading and it is actually *not* excellent news for Republicans, then I’d have to say I appreciate all victories, no matter how small. :-)

  23. 23
    Rey says:

    I thought all this birther nonsense would wait until we had the first Hispanic President.

  24. 24
    Lev says:

    @Alan: It’s also important to realize that Buckley was not a Randroid at all. His whole “stand athwart history yelling stop” thing wasn’t a call to roll back government, but to stop it from expanding. This is a big difference.

    Now, I wouldn’t say I’m a Buckley admirer, but he at least advocated a system that could conceivably work in the real world, rather than merely in the fevered dreams of emotionally stunted man-children with sexual hangups acquired from reading Rand’s rape books.

  25. 25
    linda says:

    i find these people dangerous; they’re obviously unhinged. and with sarah palin to lead them, there’s clearly the likelihood of some violence in the not too distant months ahead.

    tweety had a segment with one of the congressmen sponsoring that legislation and tweety kept pressing him if he thought obama was a citizen and legitimately president. the guy really tried to avoid answering that question. tweety actually called him out for dancing with the crazies in the gop.

  26. 26
    DougJ says:

    I thought all this birther nonsense would wait until we had the first Hispanic President.

    Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are all nonwhite. Why differentiate?

  27. 27
    geg6 says:

    I’m with SGEW. Palin’s going all in with the crackpots the minute she has handed in her governor’s hat. It will be SNL every day of the week!

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Dreggas says:

    @Rey: Nah. It could have been anyone that wasn’t lilly-white.

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    Jim:

    If [McCain] peed in the national pool for six months …

    It’s really not nice to make mock an old man’s incontinence and prostate problems.

    .

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @Dreggas: Look how crazy Clinton made them. Of course playing a saxophone is the sort of thing those people do.

  32. 32
    MattF says:

    I think the national Republican Party is in a precarious position because no one’s in charge. Steele? Gingrich? Palin? Keyes? Limbaugh? The collective will of the Republican Senate Caucus? I don’t think so.

    There’s a whole generation of right-wing politicians who have pretty much disappeared– Allen, Santorum, Frist, DeLay, to name a few. What’s left is an authoritarian party with no authority. Which is a big problem.

  33. 33
    Lev says:

    @linda: Was it the head birther congressman, Bill Posey? Cause I was surprised to discover that he represents a marginal district (R+4). I guess that means 52-48. I mean, do this if you’re representing the Oklahoma panhandle, sure. But a swing district? This guy’s got to be toast.

  34. 34

    I have a challenge for BHO fans:

    A CNN host recently lied. She claimed that HI’s governor had “validated” BHO’s cert. Can anyone provide evidence backing up that claim?

    Note: I’m not talking about hearsay or a distorted AP report. I mean, find the actual original documentation of HI’s gov. “validating” BHO’s cert as CNN claimed. That must be an actual original quote from HI’s gov in which she said anything like that.

    Note: The 10/31 statement from the HI DOH doesn’t qualify, since it’s not from HI’s governor.

    Can anyone help CNN out? They’re on your side, try and find something to show they weren’t lying.

  35. 35
    amorphous says:

    @ninerdave: O RLY T AITZ

  36. 36
    Napoleon says:

    Who let the wack job in?

  37. 37
    Ned R. says:

    @24AheadDotCom: Sorry, 24, I just can’t trust anyone without their showing their proof of birth in this country. Therefore please send me your original birth certificate. Not a copy, mind you.

  38. 38
    JGabriel says:

    @JenJen:

    Isn’t Marc Ambinder just speaking the obvious?

    I think the important takeaway from this, and probably what Doug was getting at, is that Ambinder’s a center-right guy who’s sources are primarily Republican. So if Ambinder is writing about birthers, it means he’s hearing concerns about them from GOP strategists, consultants, and Congressional aides.

    Maybe even some Representatives or Senators, though Ambinder probably would have mentioned them if he had. Or not. Come to think of it, most of them probably wouldn’t want to criticize birthers on the record.

    .

  39. 39
    jenniebee says:

    You know, at least the DFH could blame their completely unrealistic conspiracies on a bad acid trip (with a note bene that you could play conspiracy sniglets with _________ (J Edgar Hoover/Nixon/the CIA) ___________ (ordered/planned/infiltrated/toppled)… and whatever you came up with turns out to have a good chance of having been true all along).

    The only explanation for this is that people in rural areas are doing a lot more crystal meth than was previously suspected. For anyone who is offended by this diagnosis, dude, at least I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t come to this idea sober.

  40. 40
    linda says:

    @Lev:

    i didnt catch who it was, but he didnt look familiar — not one of the usual teevee faces. hardball’s rerunning now, so it will be coming up shortly.

  41. 41
    MikeJ says:

    @Napoleon: He belongs to big media matt, but recently shows up where ever the birthers are discussed. He’s been trolling for hit to his blog for several years now, but only recently took up birtherism.

  42. 42
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @24AheadDotCom:

    Don’t you worry someone with a net will certify you?

  43. 43
    Alan says:

    @Lev: Rape books?! Howard Roark was a great creative genius character… deep down she wanted to be raped by him. Plus he knew his marble.

  44. 44
    Tsulagi says:

    but the Republicans did do a reasonable job of keeping the craziest right-wingers quite for a time. Maybe that time is over.

    Obama could take advantage of that.

    Remember Bush during a Correspondents Dinner running a slide show of him looking for Iraq WMDs under White House furniture? While casualty counts were rising asswipe thought it was really funny.

    Obama could use that venue too. Run a slide show of him looking for his birth certificate checking under WH beds, sofas, in cabinets, etc. Grinning while saying “Nope, not there either.” For his search attire, I’d suggest a Wolverines cap with dangling tea bags.

    The birther and teabagger retards would get so rabid at the mockery foam would start coming out their mouth and ears. More would show up disrupting Pub townhall meetings demanding their reps focus on defending and advancing their looniness, otherwise they splinter off in a third party with a “real” American kindred spirit, Quitter Palin.

  45. 45
    David says:

    The Birther Bill’s only purpose is to inflame the Birthers.

    Some commenters on the nutty rightwing blogs now believe that at some point Obama will whip out a birth certificate just to make them look stupid.

  46. 46
    JGabriel says:

    @Lev:

    Now, I wouldn’t say I’m a Buckley admirer, but he at least advocated a system that could conceivably work in the real world …

    I remember a Buckley column from the late 80’s or early 90’s in which he advocated forcibly tattooing all people who tested positive for HIV. That seems a lot more fascistic than realistic. I didn’t like the guy much anyway, but he entered my permanent shit list for that one.

    On the other hand, credit where credit is due, Buckley did question the wisdom of going into Iraq – which definitely hurt his standing among the wingers.

    .

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @jenniebee:

    The only explanation for this is that people in rural areas are doing a lot more crystal meth than was previously suspected.

    Sorry jenniebee. They don’t need any drugs to get this way. They’re high on Jesus. People who are high on Jesus seem to be willing to forgo medical care in favor of prayer, refuse blood transfusions, roll on the floor speaking in tongues, and handle poisonous snakes. Many of the believe that the end of the world is coming soon, even though people have been incorrectly predicting the same thing on the same basis for close to 2000 years. Drugs aren’t necessary. These people are simply willing to believe any kind of crazy their leaders tell them. It’s as though being a Jesus freak completely disables all critical thinking skills.

  48. 48
    kay says:

    @24AheadDotCom:

    I don’t understand why you would need validation from the governor, rather than from the record’s custodian, who is the director of the department of health.

    The verification from the custodian of the record is what you want, my friend, because that’s the best. It’s also ‘the only”.
    What the governor does or doesn’t think or say or validate is completely beside the point, because the governor isn’t the record-keeper. You need a better lawyer. You’re being poorly advised.

    ‘I do think it’s interesting that you believe CNN is in on the conspiracy.
    That’s really nostalgic for me, because the new world order crowd back in the day thought Clinton and CNN were in cahoots.

  49. 49
    slag says:

    I don’t see any meaningful wedge potential with this particular issue. The Republican coalition is made up of wealthy white men who hate paying taxes, middle-class white men who have no idea that the government is the only thing standing between them and the poverty line, and poor people who think the earth is 6,000 years old. And somebody’s thinking that casting doubt on the citizenship of the first black president is going to break the elephant’s back? I don’t think so. Obama’s citizenship will just fall somewhere between the “War on Xmas” and the “Blood on your Hands” abortionists in the list of grievances that fill an hour of Bill O’Reilly’s teevee show.

  50. 50
    Rey says:

    @24

    Do you honestly believe that the FBI, CIA, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the John McCain campaign, the NAACP, the SEC, FDIC, SPIC, (you get my drift right?) would let a half-African man named Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. run for President and not completely vet him???? Hell- if Hillary could have gotten away with fudging the damn birth certificate to prove he was born in Indonesia- she would have done it.

  51. 51

    The Birthers are dangerous, in that they forward the notion that the President of the USA is not legitimate. This Freeper nonsense will end badly.

  52. 52
    David says:

    There’s nothing that says a presidential candidate has to show anyone a birth certificate (or in this case, an ever-changing, particular kind of birth certificate). The congressional leader certifies their party’s candidate’s eligibility. There is no standard. They could just ask the candidate if they want.

  53. 53
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Lev: It’s my district, and I still haven’t figured out how he won. He’s against all taxes and spending though, so that’s prolly what did it. Shithead of the month-Bill Posey.

  54. 54
    SGEW says:

    Obviously someone’s holding Obama’s real Egyptian birth certificate in a vault and will release it when it will do the most damage to Obama’s political health. They have the “Whitey” tape too. And the actual moon landing footage, also.

    Only the Lizard People can save us now!

  55. 55
    JGabriel says:

    @Alan:

    Rape books?!

    It’s well documented that just about every novel Rand wrote featured a rape scene in which the woman wanted it. It’s pretty fucking offensive, really. On that count alone, I’ve always been kind of shocked by her popularity.

    Of course, from a thematic point of view, it’s an obvious development of, and metaphor for, Rand’s philosophy: people want to be dominated and used by the ubermensch.

    .

  56. 56

    @24 – go back to trolling and spamvertising your blog posts on TalkingPointsMemo…

  57. 57
    Jack T. says:

    Dougj:

    Tweety is on teevee manhandling a birther right now. He just got him to admit that he believes the President was born in the US, “as far as I (the birther) knows.”

  58. 58
    linda says:

    the birther on hardball was campbell from california — a complete moron and tool. and he brought up mccain and panama and said that the issue still would have been brought up by ‘the other side’; iirc, it was friggin republicans who questioned mccain’s birth.

  59. 59
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Tsulagi: This would be an abso-fucking-lutely killer fund-raiser! I’d certainly pay to watch it, I just don’t know if he could do it w/o falling down and laughing out loud after a minute or so.

  60. 60
    MikeJ says:

    And somebody’s thinking that casting doubt on the citizenship of the first black president is going to break the elephant’s back? I don’t think so.

    I agree. I also think the purpose of this isn’t to attack Obama per se, but to further cheapen the political process. You say it’s bad that the governor disappeared for a week where his staff and emergency management people couldn’t reach him. Somebody else says it’s bad that they haven’t seen the sooper sekret holographic certificate of live kenyan-ness. It’s all the same, right? Just screeching politics.

  61. 61
    JenJen says:

    @JGabriel: By the way, looks like it’s a go for Charlize Theron to play Dagny, and now she and her production company are shopping the project as a miniseries.

    This Gawker article that delivered the news is pretty funny. :-)

    http://gawker.com/5319621/atla.....-the-world

    @Tsulagi: Nice work. :-)

  62. 62
    Tsulagi says:

    @24AheadDotCom:

    Even loony wingnuts at RedState call you birthers retards keeping the public from taking Republicans seriously. Might tell you something, maybe not. But hey, you keep that movement alive.

  63. 63
    Max says:

    Tweety birther takedown linky from today’s show:

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.bl.....-down.html

    When Chris is on his game, he’s good. I just can’t figure out what triggers him.

  64. 64
    Leelee for Obama says:

    Hell- if Hillary could have gotten away with fudging the damn birth certificate to prove he was born in Indonesia- she would have done it.

    This, this, this!

  65. 65
    Comrade Kevin says:

    I see that the lonewacko (24ahead) has managed to wander over here from Yglesias’ blog.

  66. 66
    AhabTRuler says:

    @jenniebee: Technically, that would be a Mad Lib, as sniglets were neologisms created by Rich Hall on Not Necessarily the News.

  67. 67

    Speaking of Governor Palin [from her Twitter page]:

    Riding 2 Kenai;writing last Govs speech on way;country music streaming & countryside screaming inspiration 4 pro-developmnt + pro-enviro msg
    about 4 hours ago from TwitterBerry

    She’s actually writing her last speech. I just hope she doesn’t use up all her kids crayons.

  68. 68
    jenniebee says:

    @Rey

    It doesn’t matter. If there was any authority that was trustworthy enough, it wouldn’t be an issue.

    Of course, the birthers are the first to condemn Sully for his Trig Palin theories, and to ridicule him for holding out for production of any birth certificate at all instead of being satisfied with a couple of pictures, because what kind of person would fake a thing like that (and what does it say about Obama that they suspect he would conduct a fraud of such magnificent proportion?)

    They could at least admit that if he did pull off getting every single media organization and whole hosts of politicians in league with him, that would just be proof that he’s the most amazing politician since the first Queen Elizabeth, the original Medici, or possibly Vespasian. If you’re going to speculate, at least give the man the props he’s due.

  69. 69
    MikeJ says:

    When Chris is on his game, he’s good. I just can’t figure out what triggers him.

    Dewar’s.

  70. 70

    Apparently I wasn’t clear, so I’ll type slower.

    CNN claimed that HI’s governor had “validated” BHO’s cert.

    I say that CNN is lying, because HI’s governor never said anything like that.

    Now, instead of posting yet another content-free insult, you can actually do CNN a good turn – and make me look bad – by finding any form of valid documentation – i.e., a clear statement directly from HI’s governor – that matches CNN’s claim.

    See my previous comment for the additional (necessary) rules. So, fire up those search engines – include Nexis if you have it – and see if you can prove me wrong.

  71. 71
    SGEW says:

    @jenniebee: Lord Vetinari walks amongst us, dontchaknow?

    eta: Shorter 24Ahead – Address my blogwhoring, libs!

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @24AheadDotCom:

    She claimed that HI’s governor had “validated” BHO’s cert.

    The governor can’t validate anyone’s birth certificate. Only the Department of Health can. Demanding that the governor of Hawaii validate Obama’s birth certificate is like demanding to know why you can’t meet Ronald McDonald at your local Burger King.

    I realize that you guys just love the idea of a unitary executive who can do anything at any time and make any crazy declaration he wants, but most of us live in the real world where there are boundaries set between government officials to make sure that the governor can’t start messing around with vital records just because she feels like it.

  73. 73
    jenniebee says:

    @AhabTRuler: so they got to you too, have they?

  74. 74
    sacrablue says:

    Excuse me, but wasn’t it just 18 months ago that Republicans wanted to amend the Constitution so that Ahnuld could run for president?

  75. 75
    lee says:

    I think the birfers run pretty deep and wide in the GOP.

    I know of a couple Republicans that seemed reasonable that have bought into that nonsense.

    I think it was a shock to their system that they lost the election. All the propaganda from the earlier 8 years had them brain-washed that true ‘mericans vote Republican. They could not comprehend that people were sick and tired of their shit.

  76. 76
    Demo Woman says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: I actually linked to his site.. I think it is time for him to prove that he’s not an alien.

  77. 77
    Alan says:

    @JGabriel: The rape scene I referred to was from The Fountainhead. To me it seemed completely out of place when I read it. But maybe not to an Objectivist. It’s sad because it detracts from a very interesting character in an otherwise good book.

  78. 78
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @24AheadDotCom:

    Apparently I wasn’t clear, so I’ll type slower.

    Perhaps we weren’t clear also. WE DO NOT FUCKING CARE THAT YOU ARE A CRAZY ASS BIRTHER MOTHERFUCKER’

    There, all better.

  79. 79
    Mike P says:

    @Paul MacDonald:
    This. It’s the kind of stuff that leads to idiots in the military refusing to honor their orders because the president ain’t a real ‘merican.

    I agree with others that Palin will almost certainly say/do something to stoke this crap and then Glen Beck will cry on teevee and Rush will belly ache on air when they’re accused of pushing this crap in the wake of some wingnut actually taking up arms and storming the Hawaii Dept. of Health so they can find “proof” that Obama’s not a citizen.

    Then Matt Welch will remind the DFH’s that people shouldn’t held responsible for saying certain things.

  80. 80
    JGabriel says:

    @JenJen:

    By the way, looks like it’s a go for Charlize Theron to play Dagny …

    You’d think a white woman from South Africa might be a little more sensitive than to push a mini-series based on an ubermensch-glorifying political tract masquerading as a novel.

    It’s just a little … off. You know?

    .

  81. 81
    jenniebee says:

    @24AheadDotCom: see, what you don’t get is that we don’t care what you think you’re going to prove. Basically, what we’re interested in is explaining reality to you, making fun of you, or some combination of the two.

    But type as slowly as you can, by all means, because that certainly isn’t completely bugfuck retarded.

  82. 82
    IndieTarheel says:

    @linda: I caught it on the repeat. Let me say this: when TWEETY calls you out, you have MASSIVELY fu*cked up. I thought this quote (h/t The BBQ Chicken Madness at the GOS):

    What Chris should have brought up was this point: “Why has the issue of a birth certificate never, EVER, been called into question until Barack Obama won the Oval Office? Why would anyone have any doubts, since he’s provided just as much information – more even – than every single President before him. Why have doubts now? Why do you need this bill now? What about President Obama suddenly makes this an ok subject to question him on?” It’s time to call this shit what it is. It’s about people being fed the black-man-muslim-terrorist bullshit by the Republican party during the election. It’s because the Republican party tried their best to subvert his Presidency before he ever took office…and now it’s biting them in the ass, because all that’s left of their party are fucking wack-job crazies.

  83. 83
    Calouste says:

    @Lev:

    “Allow me to revise my statement: Ike won WWII on the Western Front. Dude out-thought Rommel. ”

    You mean after Montgomery already kicked Rommel’s butt at El-Alamein?

  84. 84
    shelley matheis says:

    What I find reprehensible is the insult to Obama’s late mother, i.e. the ludicrous birther speculation on who could be his ‘real father.’
    Cause c’mon, the real viewpoint behind all that is ,’a white woman having sex with a black man=equals=slut.

  85. 85
    JGabriel says:

    @Alan:

    The rape scene I referred to was from The Fountainhead. To me it seemed completely out of place when I read it.

    Yes, I know, I’ve read it. My loathing of all things Rand is informed by the actual experience of reading her sledgehammer-subtle prose. I think that scene was the one that convinced me that Rand wasn’t merely contrarian, but sick.

    .

  86. 86
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @24AheadDotCom: There’s no point seriously engaging or arguing with a conspiracy nut. For idiots like you, there is no actual amount of evidence that will ever convince you. If your current demands were met, you’d suddenly come up with a whole list of other ones.

    In short, Fuck off.

  87. 87
    Napoleon says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    I second that.

  88. 88
    kay says:

    @Mike P:

    The video of the press conference with the GOP House member is spooky. I’ve been to House member forums. They’re dull, and wonky, and polite, if a little cranky.
    The part where the birther demands they all start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and they all follow her shouted order, like good soldiers, is downright creepy.

  89. 89
    disappointedGOPer says:

    @24AheadDotCom:

    Dude, your website sucks. Accept it and move on to something more productive like spread-trading 10 year Treasuries.

  90. 90
    JenJen says:

    Deep Thought: If I were a Democratic political operative, working in the dark arts, this Mike Castle thing opens up all kinds of classic ratfucking opportunities.

    This is by no means an endorsement… just a Deep Thought. Plus, I’m under the influence: I’m 3/4 through “Nixonland” by Rick Perlstein. Which, by the way, is the best and most fascinating, page-turning history/political science book I have ever read.

  91. 91
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @kay: Yes to this thought. It felt almost Nuremburgian, if that’s a word? John Dean is right, they’re authoritarians and reactionaries, not conservatives, and they are clinically insane in many instances.

  92. 92
    Hammy says:

    Did Palin say that Ayers wrote Obama’s book yet? You know that’s coming next.

  93. 93
    Fencedude says:

    ahem.

    Since it hasn’t been said yet.

    SHUT THE FUCK UP LONEWACKO

    That is all.

  94. 94
    MikeJ says:

    There’s no point seriously engaging or arguing with a conspiracy nut.

    Or a blogwhore. His shtick for years has been to say outrageous things to gin up page views.

  95. 95
    amorphous says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Pro-enviro?!?!?!?!?!?

  96. 96
    Tsulagi says:

    @24AheadDotCom:

    Stay the Course. Duty calls. Don’t let un-American RINOs like this dissuade you from your path of righteousness…

    I really have no interest in debating the merits of this particular conspiracy theory in this post. Therefore, I will posit, for the sake of argument, that the basic premise of the birther movement is correct. Obama was born in Kenya and is not a “natural born citizen.” Okay. Now what? What on earth do the birthers think will be done about it?
    ..
    Do you people suppose that the Supreme Court will somehow order President Obama out of office? I will bet you $100, and give you 1000:1 odds that that will never, ever happen. They will decline to even entertain such a case. I don’t think anyone in the country has standing to bring it, and even if they do, the Courts will prudentially decline to hear the case as a political question. Book it, the courts are not getting involved in this; the place where we sort out the citizenship thing is at the ballot box and you already lost that fight.

    If they don’t listen to you, form a third party. That’d show those RINO commie luvin’ Constitution haters.

  97. 97
    JGabriel says:

    @Comrade Kevin, @Napoleon:

    What you guys fail to realize is that $20ForHead is, in fact, a DEMOCRATIC RATFUCKER!

    Don’t you get it? The whole Birther movement was/is run by Democrats to make GOP’ers look bad. $20ForHead is one of our prime operatives. Don’t shoot him/her when he/she is so successfully making the Republicans look … Republican.

    24Ahead is a true American hero, and everyone should agree with him/her. Keep spreading the message, 24Ahead! It’s important to reach AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE!

    .

  98. 98
    The Moar You Know says:

    @24AheadDotCom: I heard you liek mudkips. Do you liek mudkips?

    Will you be my friend?

  99. 99
    DougJ says:

    Deep Thought: If I were a Democratic political operative, working in the dark arts, this Mike Castle thing opens up all kinds of classic ratfucking opportunities.

    Yeah, I had the same thoughts. But this seems pretty real to me.

  100. 100
    Alan says:

    @JGabriel:

    I think that scene was the one that convinced me that Rand wasn’t merely contrarian, but sick.

    You’ll get no argument from me. Heh.

  101. 101
    Mike P says:

    @JenJen:
    One of my favorite books of all time. I love Reagan, GHWB, and others pop up in there. I’ve never read 800+ pages so quickly.

  102. 102
    Mike P says:

    @kay:

    Not to get all Godwin on it, but that crowd sounded better in the original German. (I know that’s not proper Godwin’s Law usage, but I just really wanted to use it)

  103. 103
    JenJen says:

    @DougJ: Oh, I think it’s real, too. I was thinking more about how it probably wouldn’t be that difficult to get one of these Congressional Birthers to tell a friendly crowd that he doesn’t believe the President was born in the United States, or that he has met the Constitutional requirements of the office…

    @Mike P: I know! When I first got the book, I thought, “Oh, crap. 800 pages!” They flew by, and the only reason I’m waiting a little to get back to it is that I just don’t want it to end yet.

  104. 104
    slag says:

    @MikeJ: Yep. Nothing but poo-flinging. As always. Pretty soon, some white girl will disappear and Obama will be a prime suspect. And the mush heads just multiply until the MSM becomes all “Golly! Is it possible that our president killed that woman just to watch her die? Questions are being raised [passive tense, of course]!”.

  105. 105
    kay says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    I think that video deserves wide play. People should know how nuts this is.
    The birther was the leader in that room, and her voice was breaking with rage. The elected House member completely lost control.

  106. 106
    Allan says:

    @24AheadDotCom: I’m going to copy and paste really slowly so that even you can comprehend this simple fact. This is not the CNN comments line. This is Balloon Juice. No one here is responsible for the content of any CNN reporting.

    You want to click on this link and address your concerns there. When I say “click on this link” I mean take your computer’s mouse and move it so that the cursor hovers over the underlined text, then click firmly on the left mouse button so you will be taken to your destination on the interwebs. Let me know if these directions were not sufficiently clear, and I will personally call Geek Squad and have a technician dispatched to your trailer to assist you.

    http://www.cnn.com/feedback/

  107. 107
    Comrade Mary says:

    Prediction: Sarah Palin (who has said that she will no longer be “P.C.” once she leaves office) will dip her toe into the Birther fever swamp within two months.

    This dog is me.

  108. 108
    HRA says:

    “Prediction: Sarah Palin (who has said that she will no longer be “P.C.” once she leaves office) will dip her toe into the Birther fever swamp within two months. Whether she crosses that Rubicon will be the determinative watershed moment.”

    No problema. Sarah has the hip waders.

  109. 109
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    Yeah, I had the same thoughts. But this seems pretty real to me.

    I think it is real in the sense that psycho-somatic maladies are real. If you watch the Mike Castle event, the crazy woman, after going through the birther claims she obviously believes are valid, then stamps her feet like a child, declaring “she wants her country back”.

    This is her real complaint and she, and others, use the birther mania as a vehicle to voice she doesn’t want the country run by a liberal, and race may also make her pain that much more unbearable. IOW”s , All sorts of Freudian shit going on..

    Dr. Stuck’s diagnoses of wingnut madness.

  110. 110
    JenJen says:

    @Allan: FTW.

    @General Winfield Stuck: Just to clarify (see #103), I think the Birther Mania is absolutely real, and didn’t intend to suggest otherwise. If anything, the Birthers remind me of PUMAs in their behavior and outward display of unbearable frustration, which they try so very hard to express and explain, but always do so poorly.

  111. 111
    kay says:

    @Mike P:

    I went to a House member forum on Great Lakes water issues and NAFTA. Not my House member, a liberal Democrat – Marcy Kaptur.
    A truther stood up, and delivered a rant disguised as a question.
    She shut him down politely mid-rant and the whole room went silent. It was awkward. The older people in the room started buzzing: they didn’t know from truthers. They were baffled.
    What we didn’t do is start taking orders from Mr. Truther, and what she didn’t do is lose control of the forum.

  112. 112
    lee says:

    Palin siding with the birfers would be so full of win. I really hope that she does not pull the trigger on that as soon as people are predicting. It would work so much better if she did it a year from now.

    Every single Republican candidate for office (state or federal) would be asked their standing on that issue. That single issue could cause the Republicans to no longer be a national party.

  113. 113
    freelancer says:

    @Grand Panjandrum:

    She’s actually writing her last speech. I just hope she doesn’t use up all her kids crayons.

    Let’s just hope Vanity Fair gives it a quick once over. Before her speech this time…

    http://www.vanityfair.com/poli.....dit-200907

  114. 114
    Hammy says:

    Birfer segment coming up right now on Countdown

  115. 115
    The Moar You Know says:

    I remember when Kos finally had to bust out the shotgun and start kickbanning the 9/11 truthers – something he’s never done before or since – because, not being a stupid guy, he knew that if left unchecked, that lunatic fringe was going to make the party, not to mention his site, look real bad.

    I’m still waiting for someone on the GOP side of the aisle to do the same thing. So far all I hear is some freaks screaming for “more cowbell”.

  116. 116
    Rey says:

    Just for 24: In October 2012, the Monday before the last debate of President Obama and the Repub nominee for Prez (insert Wingnut); on Sarah Palin’s critically acclaimed and highly viewed Fox talk show, Obama will be a guest. The President will produce his certified birth certificate, with the raised seal. He will also be wearing his brand new skinny-man Levi 666 jeans (which will be all the rage). To validate the authenticity of the birth certificate will be… Judge Judy, Dr. Phil and new kindergartner Trig Palin, special guest on the show will be a hologram by Ronald Reagan’s corpse. Levi Johnston will be in attendance, holding the Palin’s 3rd grandson named Thud, also. Wink!

  117. 117
    slag says:

    @The Moar You Know: Kos had to ban Secret Agent Flowbee as well, I believe. For birther/PUMA-related activities back in the day.

  118. 118
    Catsy says:

    Republican presidential candidates need to figure out how to diffuse angry birthers

    Does nobody know the fucking difference between diffuse and defuse anymore? I swear this mistake is becoming more and more common.

  119. 119
    Catsy says:

    That maggot hasn’t found a real job yet?

    Be fair, his brother Ron is a good progressive and probably one of the better hosts on Air America.

  120. 120
    HRA says:

    It stands to reason to be done with telling these birthers logically about Obama being born in HI and what has been produced to verify it. I even went through the steps taken to have birth announcement in a newspaper with a relative who is a diehard conservative Republican and has a law degree. They have a one track mind. I have no doubt it is racism.

    I escaped from the TV right before Hardball had the birther on. I read above where they were going to question McCain being born to military personnel stationed outside of the US? Their stupidity is boundless.

  121. 121
    SGEW says:

    @Catsy: But diffusing a political movement would also defuse it, would it not? ;)

  122. 122
    slag says:

    @Catsy: I’m feeling rather diffuse myself today, so who am I to judge?

  123. 123
    Wilson Heath says:

    Please, please, please — a special birther tag is called for to lump these threads together.

    White House Department of Law (nee Jim Bob) has shown us the way: any birther thread shall be anointed with an Oily Taint.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?.....nt-1300428

  124. 124
    JGabriel says:

    SGEW:

    But diffusing a political movement would also defuse it, would it not?

    The disinction is critical. A bad case of gas can diffuse a political movement, but could magnify the damage in a situation where defusing is required.

    .

  125. 125
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @slag:

    I’m feeling rather diffuse myself today, so who am I to judge?

    Not me. After listening to the endless birther garbage, I’m feeling rather fused, short fused at that. And I might get epically diffused if it doesn’t stop. BOOM! Just kidding. Today is just another tricky day in a country ass deep with wingnuts.

  126. 126
    MikeJ says:

    Diffuse
    Deproud
    De Maureens.

  127. 127
    maus says:

    “If anything, the Birthers remind me of PUMAs in their behavior and outward display of unbearable frustration, which they try so very hard to express and explain, but always do so poorly.” Oh, absolutely. Both groups and the 9/11 truthers are poorly educated regardless of social class (generally lower) and consider their poor logical skills masquerading as self-education to be preferable to facts, people with actual educations and experience. It’s a classic Dunning-Kruger effect.

  128. 128
    margarita says:

    Obama was born in Kenya and is not a “natural born citizen.” Okay. Now what? What on earth do the birthers think will be done about it?

    They’ll finally achieve their most fervent dream, of course: President Joe Biden!

  129. 129
    Jon H says:

    The irony about Rand and The Fountainhead is that the hero is an architect.

    Architects aren’t exactly strong independent creators. They work for someone else, who puts up the money, takes the risks, handles the long-term maintenance of the building, etc.

    To mix her books up a little, an architect who “goes Galt” would likely starve. “Sorry Mr Roark, I think the carpenters have this log cabin all set. We’ll, uh, call you when we need a rippling 60 foot titanium-sheet curtain wall for the bathroom. Maybe you could cut some lawns to earn a living?”

  130. 130
    iluvsummr says:

    @MikeJ: D-liteful, d-licious, d-lovely.

  131. 131
    Svensker says:

    @MikeJ:

    Win.

  132. 132
    freelancer says:

    Pacing their Rage. Right off a cliff.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa.....#8212;obey

    How many years is this clip going to be so immediatly relevant?

  133. 133
    steve s says:

    We should come up with a list of people who expressed interest and then failed to Go Galt, and ask them why they didn’t do it.

  134. 134
    freelancer says:

    Jesus Fuck Christ Beans!

    Palin supposedly violated Alaska Ethics laws by letting her legal fund use her likeness and titling it “Official Governor Sarah Palin Legal defense fund”.

    Using her office and title to fundraise or utilize her position for personal gain.

    Unethically defending against ethics violations.

    That is some highly concentrated and radioactive FAIL.

  135. 135
    Martin says:

    Using her office and title to fundraise or utilize her position for personal gain.
    Unethically defending against ethics violations.

    If she had a D, it’d be unethical and illegal.
    If she has an R, it’s mavericky.

  136. 136
  137. 137
    Nellcote says:

    @HRA:

    Cambell was saying that of course the Dems would question McCain’s bc if he’d been elected as justification for the goopers.

  138. 138
    Nellcote says:

    I’d like all the birthers currently in the military to declare themselves. They make me very, very nervous.

  139. 139
    Bob says:

    And another, better investigation.

    http://www.factcheck.org/elect.....e_usa.html

    (of course its all a liberal conspiracy)

  140. 140

    @Funkhauser

    Didn’t WFB also snub Ayn Rand and her ilk?

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  141. 141

    Yes 24givesheaddotcom, until you give us your birth certificate, SSN and employment history we have no idea who you are and if you insist on claiming that you’re actually 24aheaddotcom without providing this proof I’m just going to have to find out where you live and waterboard you until you give us the truth.

  142. 142

    You know, I was looking at BHO’s birth certificate courtesy of the link that Bob (who is obviously a member of the conspiracy) provided us and it really doesn’t look all that much different than my birth certificate from the City and County of Dallas, Texas that was issued in 1965, which says when I was born, where I was born and who my parents were. Strangely enough that birth certificate, and not some hypothetical “long form” version was enough to let me enlist in the Army, get a secret clearance and get a US passport. I guess this must be because:

    A) It was issued in Texas

    B) I’m white.

    or
    C) All of the above.

  143. 143
    Brachiator says:

    @JGabriel:

    It’s well documented that just about every novel Rand wrote featured a rape scene in which the woman wanted it. It’s pretty fucking offensive, really. On that count alone, I’ve always been kind of shocked by her popularity.

    You must not read a lot of fiction, especially romance novels, fanfiction, and the ever-surreal Kirk/Spock slash stories. Rape fantasies (having nothing to do with what people want in their real life) all over the place. And I used to get a big kick out of supersensitive comp-lit majors ignoring the obvious depictions of desired degradation in the Marguerite Duras short story, The Man Sitting in the Corridor. And for pity’s sake, stay away from Story of O.

    Of course, from a thematic point of view, it’s an obvious development of, and metaphor for, Rand’s philosophy: people want to be dominated and used by the ubermensch.

    You have it backwards. The idea is that Dominique and Roark, in The Fountainhead, for example, are beyond the conventionality that binds ordinary people, and cannot be harmed by their desire.

    And I don’t even like Rand’s novels.

    You’d think a white woman from South Africa might be a little more sensitive than to push a mini-series based on an ubermensch-glorifying political tract masquerading as a novel.

    After her magnificent work in Monster, Theron can do anything she wants, as far as I’m concerned.

    Paul MacDonald — The Birthers are dangerous, in that they forward the notion that the President of the USA is not legitimate. This Freeper nonsense will end badly.

    I agree with you. Limbaugh, Alan Keyes, and others, have no idea what they may be unleashing as they indulge this nonsense — or worse, they don’t care.

    Even worse than the noxious stuff directed at the Clintons, this stuff never engages any but the lunatic fringe. But that fringe gets more unruly and dangerous as their fears and insecurities are stoked by maggot-brained wingnut pundits.

  144. 144

    @Mnemosyne

    The governor can’t validate anyone’s birth certificate. Only the Department of Health can. Demanding that the governor of Hawaii validate Obama’s birth certificate is like demanding to know why you can’t meet Ronald McDonald at your local exercise the right of droit de seigneur just because you’re dressed up as that creepy Burger King.

    Clarified.

  145. 145
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Brachiator:

    I agree with you. Limbaugh, Alan Keyes, and others, have no idea what they may be unleashing as they indulge this nonsense—or worse, they don’t care.

    I don’t think they care.

  146. 146
    Brachiator says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    I don’t think they care.

    Then they are not just opportunistic clowns playing at politics. They are flirting with evil.

  147. 147
    DougJ says:

    Birfer segment coming up right now on Countdown

    I like Birfer. It’s kind of like Keef or Youf.

    I just like cockney accents.

  148. 148
    Allan says:

    @Brachiator:

    They are flirting with evil.

    Fixed.

    Also, did you catch Liz Cheney on Larry King tonight?

    I’m having trouble composing a comment that doesn’t include the words “cram” “Empire State Building” and “ass.” Perhaps one of you fine people can help me with my writer’s block.

  149. 149

    @DougJ: aw-wite, mate!

    Ah, Neez up Muvva Brahn!!1!!

  150. 150
    Brachiator says:

    @Allan:

    Also, did you catch Liz Cheney on Larry King tonight?

    .

    I don’t get cable. I don’t have time to watch. And if I did, I’m sure my TV would explode, not being able to digest the prince of shallow King onscreen with Lynn Cheney Family Values.

  151. 151
    Mike P says:

    Dave Weigel of the Washington Independent broke down the birthers well on Maddow tonight.

  152. 152

    @Allan

    Also, did you catch Liz Cheney on Larry King tonight?
    I’m having trouble composing a comment that doesn’t include the words “cram” “Empire State Building” and “ass.” Perhaps one of you fine people can help me with my writer’s block.

    You’re doing so much better than I am, all I can do when I see her on TV is incoherently scream obscenities until my throat is horse and I’m dizzy from lack of breath. I wish I was a grown-up like you.

  153. 153

    @freelancer

    Jesus Fuck Christ Beans!

    Isn’t that the stuff that Cole drinks that he’s always raving about?

  154. 154
    MNPundit says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:Frankly I just wish he’d post something a little different these days. And as for being at Matt’s…. well Petey he ain’t.

  155. 155
    Comrade Darkness says:

    At least nine members of Congress have cosponsored a birther bill that would require prospective presidents to affirm their U.S. citizenship

    What the heck. Obama should pull a Clinton and pwn this issue. Pretend it’s 2004 and this idea is being proposed and act accordingly. Obama can just shrug broadly and point out to his temporary republican allies on this issue that the last two candidates who would have been prohibited from running, if this law had been in place previously, were George Romney and Walnuts McCain. But, heck, if they REALLY want the bill, sure, whatever.

    But of course, “natural born” has never been really well defined, so what the bill will actually say is up for grabs.

    Sure the bill’s genesis is reactionary birther crap, but that just makes it even more damaging to pull this particular angle on the issue out from under them. Clinton pulled this all the time, leaving the republicans floundering for another talking point, and since coming up with those was real work, they really sucked at it. It was Clinton’s most skillful political move, the republicans never managed to adapt to it.

  156. 156
    R-Jud says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Isn’t that the stuff that Cole drinks that he’s always raving about?

    I think that was “Dead Baby Juice with Monkey Kidneys”.

  157. 157
    Michael says:

    Just for 24: In October 2012, the Monday before the last debate of President Obama and the Repub nominee for Prez (insert Wingnut); on Sarah Palin’s critically acclaimed and highly viewed Fox talk show, Obama will be a guest. The President will produce his certified birth certificate, with the raised seal. He will also be wearing his brand new skinny-man Levi 666 jeans (which will be all the rage). To validate the authenticity of the birth certificate will be… Judge Judy, Dr. Phil and new kindergartner Trig Palin, special guest on the show will be a hologram by Ronald Reagan’s corpse. Levi Johnston will be in attendance, holding the Palin’s 3rd grandson named Thud, also. Wink!

    Chock full of internet win.

  158. 158
    Michael says:

    In seriousness, I hope that Hawaii has his document sequestered so nothing can happen to it. I can see these stupid fucks or spooky nuts in uniform slipping in and disappearing it.

    For Jesus and America, you know.

  159. 159
    norristownrules says:

    Oh shit, someone mentioned David Wiegal. 24lonewackowhocantfigureoutthatthisisnotcnn.cm is gonna lose his mind. he haaates that Wiegal.

  160. 160
    Napoleon says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Wile said: “You know, I was looking at BHO’s birth certificate courtesy of the link that Bob (who is obviously a member of the conspiracy) provided us and it really doesn’t look all that much different than my birth certificate from the City and County of Dallas, Texas that was issued in 1965, which says when I was born, where I was born and who my parents were.”

    I was born 6 months before Obama and it looks like what I get when I have needed a birth certificate, and I had to get one for my mom born in 1934 and it too was similar.

  161. 161
    matoko_chan says:

    PZ put it up on the web.
    Mebbe if we all put it up on our blogs it might sink in.

    Blogswarm teh Birfers!

    I am not sure Palin will go official….im sure she is already a closet birfer.
    But she desperately wants Obama to be forced to officially notice her.
    So far Palin doesn’t exist in the Obamaverse.
    She wants to force Barack Obama to acknowledge her. In her first post-election re-roll, Palin reached out to Obama and offered to help him. Crickets.
    In her recent runner’s world puff piece she challenged him to a flat race. Crickets.
    This is not Obama’s style….he invited McCain to the WH and embraced Lierberman. I think……that Michelle Obama won’t allow any Palin interface….because of this.

    The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of “palling around with terrorists”, citing his association with the sixties radical William Ayers. The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling “terrorist” and “kill him” until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.
    But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.
    The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks. Michelle Obama, the future First Lady, was so upset that she turned to her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett and said: “Why would they try to make people hate us?”

    If she has her own party or is the repub nominee she figgers O will be forced to acknowledge her.

  162. 162
    kay says:

    @Michael:

    Hawaii went to electronic records in 2001, according to the state department of health. They scanned the paper. It’s why the director had to write and verify seeing the original, which the morons insist is in a “vault”.
    She’s attesting to seeing the image of an original record, and she’s the custodian of that record.
    It really doesn’t get any more legit than that, unless they insist she personally appear and attest to to seeing the record.

  163. 163
    JGabriel says:

    Politifact via Bob:

    Countless chain e-mails, seeking to paint [Obama] as a secret Muslim, speculated that his full name included Muhammed (or Mohammed).

    I love that sentence. We’re talking about the kind of jackass that looks at the name Hussein and thinks, “I can’t do anything with that. It’s not Muslim enough.”

    Whee!

    .

  164. 164
    kay says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I’m all for them keeping this up. I had never bothered to plow through the really exhaustive verification Obama has provided.
    There’s nothing here. Nothing. They’re going to look like idiots when it’s widely exposed that “serious” members of the Republican Party took part in this lunacy.
    I think more GOP House members should jump on this bandwagon. Hold a press conference. Book more cable shows. The more the merrier.

  165. 165
    JGabriel says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Mebbe if we all put it up on our blogs it might sink in.

    Better yet, we can take out ads on a series of billboards across the country, featuring a picture of a birth certificate, and the ad copy: Oops. Found it. Never mind.

    .

  166. 166

    […] Ambinder makes the case: The birther movement may be premised on a fictional belief, but it is savvy: birthers now wear the […]

  167. 167
    flukebucket says:

    @JenJen: When you finish “Nixonland” do not let a day go by without getting a copy of “Before The Storm” if you have not already read it.

    Perlstein is a master and the title of this thread is dead on.

  168. 168

    Someone commented on the Governor of Hawaii not being able to “validate” Obama’s birth certificate.

    How do I validate my birth certificate? Okay, I can write to the hospital or the county or the state government, but does that really validate my birth certificate? I mean, am I really American? And all of you. How many of are validated? Not just validated but truly validated? And how can you trust the validator? I mean, you can’t trust the Governor of Hawaii. Validators might not be validated either. When you get down to it, the only one who can really really validate you as a true American is Jesus. And Jesus isn’t even American.

  169. 169

    kay:”Hawaii went to electronic records in 2001, according to the state department of health. They scanned the paper. It’s why the director had to write and verify seeing the original…”

    My hospital went to electronic records a few years ago. I guess this means I don’t really have high blood pressure and don’t have to take those pills because my records aren’t on paper.

  170. 170

    @Bob In Pacifica:

    When you get down to it, the only one who can really really validate you as a true American is Jesus.

    Dammit. Jebus told me I was Australian.

  171. 171
    kay says:

    @Bob In Pacifica:

    I finally read the whole mess. The governor doesn’t validate because she’s not the custodian of the record.
    I think Obama went too far with verification, actually. He submitted docs,and in appeasing these lunatics to that extent, just gave the birthers more fodder for theories.
    Every attempt to appease just adds another document for them to challenge. The “verification” is a good example. He had the custodian of record validate, and they then demanded the governor validate.
    This will never end. It can’t.

  172. 172
    Aspasia says:

    Actually, it doesn’t matter whether Obama was born in the US as long as one of his parents is/was an American citizen who had resided in the US for a certain period (such period depending on the requirements of immigration law when the baby was born). Which his mother was. Why doesn’t someone point this out to the birfers? (I know this blog is the wrong place to make this point, but aside from BJ it’s hard to find good discussions of this issue on blogs I can bear to read).

    http://travel.state.gov/law/info/info_609.html

    Aspasia

  173. 173
    Aspasia says:

    And while I’m at it, I will say this at the end of a long thread nobody is any longer reading: not all truthers are poorly educated louts.

    Aspasia

  174. 174
    kay says:

    @Aspasia:

    Because the actual facts of what occurred, or the law, don’t matter, or they would have been satisfied with the documentation/verification that Obama has provided, which would be accepted at any court or agency in the country. He’s given them everything. There isn’t anything else he can provide. There isn’t a better document, or a better record, or a better verification.
    Because this isn’t about Obama’s status as a citizen. It’s about continuing a smear campaign to discredit him as the President.
    Once you read the actual record, you understand that.
    We should take pity on the birthers. Cynical and nasty people with a political agenda are playing them for fools.

  175. 175
    JGabriel says:

    Aspasia:

    Actually, it doesn’t matter whether Obama was born in the US as long as one of his parents is/was an American citizen who had resided in the US for a certain period … Which his mother was. Why doesn’t someone point this out to the birfers?

    They have. The birfers respond that she wasn’t old enough, that Obama has allegiance to Kenya, and shut up! that’s why.

    .

  176. 176
    RememberNovember says:

    I’m for a bill that requires every single Postmaster General who issues a passport to testify before Congress before a candidate runs for President….

    This is rampant abuse of taxpayer time and money something we can ill afford right now.

    /facepalm.

  177. 177
    Ken says:

    Mebbe if we all put it up on our blogs it might sink in.

    It will never sink in. Nothing will ever convince them. Jonathan Swift described them perfectly – It is impossible to reason someone out of something that he did not reason himself into in the first place.

    You could give them the original birth certificate, along with a film of Obama’s mother giving birth with a live broadcast from Aug 4, 1961 playing on a tv next to her bed, all presented to CNN live on camera by two nurses, a midwife, a doctor and a priest who all swore under oath that they were there when it happened, both stored in a canister sealed with wax bearing Obama’s baby footprint overlapped by a Notary seal signed by Earl Warren and Mother Teresa…

    And even then the eyes-closed, mouth-open knuckledragging kooks and mindless racist teabagging birfer morons would start shouting about how that doesn’t prove anything because Earl Warren and Mother Teresa are dead, and CNN is just one of the leftist drive-by media and the this barely comprehensible paragraph from the timecube website proves conclusively that those witnesses are ACORN shills working for George Soros blah blah blah blah blah ad infinitum.

    Birthers are no different from 9/11 troofers, anti-vaxers, creationists, global warming pseudo-skeptics, and holocaust deniers, and their views deserve deserve exactly the same amount of respect – none.

  178. 178
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Bob In Pacifica: Funny but there is a special document called an apostille that we needed to get to open a swiss bank account. Even as streamlined as they have made it (you can skip the local swiss consulate, as they have decided to trust the top seal of the state of NY) it’s still quite a hoot to verify each verifier until you reach a verifier trusted by the recipient of the document.

  179. 179
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Aspasia: It’s even simpler than that; per 8 USC sec 1405:

    A person born in Hawaii on or after August 12, 1898, and before April 30, 1900, is declared to be a citizen of the United States as of April 30, 1900. A person born in Hawaii on or after April 30, 1900, is a citizen of the United States at birth. A person who was a citizen of the Republic of Hawaii on August 12, 1898, is declared to be a citizen of the United States as of April 30, 1900.

    Of course, the birthers don’t accept this, because it’s not in The Constitution. The fact that the Constitution doesn’t define “natural born citizen” is irrelevant to them.

  180. 180
    Kilkee says:

    @Paul MacDonald: What he said. I am scared shtless that these kooks, led by Limpdick and The Sarah, will whip up their members into such a frenzy that one of them will feel he has to do the necessary to restore legitimacy to the presidency. My only consolation is I think that the odds are good that none of these morans could actually pull off something so complex.

  181. 181
    Llelldorin says:

    The problem is that arguing with birfers is like arguing with creationists, or with Holocaust denialists. That is, it’s not an argument based on facts and evidence; in fact, they’ll treat the fact of you providing evidence as a sign that you “fear” them, and make increasingly absurd demands for additional evidence. I mean, so far they’re not convinced by contemporary birth announcements in newspapers, an official copy of the birth certificate, and the Hawaii Department of Heath declaring it genuine. It’s perfectly legitimate at this point to switch from providing evidence to laughing and pointing.

    Edited to add: Ken said it better, above, while I was posting.

  182. 182
    lou says:

    @Wiley Coyote:

    Ditto. The birth certificate I got from the state of Kentucky when I applied for a passport looked exactly like the one Obama had from Hawaii, only mine was blue paper instead of green. it also was a certificate of live birth.

    And I guess the State Dept. must be in on the conspiracy since they issued Obama a US passport.

    And the hospital that sent the Honolulu Advertiser the birth announcement along with the 40 other birth announcements above and below the Obama listing. And the paper for running it.

    Why, this conspiracy could include almost as many people as the one that faked the moon landing! What was it, 400,000 people?

  183. 183
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @24AheadDotCom:

    CNN fucked up. It happens (distressingly often). In the end it doesn’t matter, because of this sentence:

    This document serves as prima facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding.

    It serves as proof that documentation of President Obama’s birth in the state of Hawaii is on file. From a legal standpoint, it is his birth certificate. Your only valid approach is to attack the document as not being genuine, which is possible, but unlikely. Anyone this side of a retarded wombat can see that it is a scan of a paper document, complete with a raised seal (the artifacts above the [bled-through, no less!] date stamp). Not to mention the other photographs of the document.

    President Obama’s status as a natural-born citizen is not in question by the sane. You’re being insulted and mocked because the entire birther movement is mock-worthy; you rate up there with the flat-earthers. The only difference between President Obama and the men who preceded him is that he’s half-black and has a non-Christian name.

  184. 184
    SGEW says:

    Bush: It was only the world’s most intricate and flawlessly-executed plan ever, ever.

    Kyle: …Really??

  185. 185
    Mike P says:

    I like the tone of exasperation at Politifact. And it’s deserved…these people honestly believe that somehow, a biracial couple, who had a child together in the 1960s, had the foresight (along with the requisite influence) to:

    a) get the state of Hawaii to falsify their son’s birth record
    b) have that son, upon his growing up, continue to, in essence, falsify every other government document he ever filled out
    c) which in turn means that he was able to pass his fraudulent documents past…what…the states of Hawaii, Illinois, California, New York, the admissions boards of three colleges, the state bar of Illinois, the American Bar Association and the federal government all because
    d) they knew he was going to grow up and become president

    His parents must have been seers. Either that, or Obama’s powers as a Lightworker preceded his birth.

    The Light is strong with this one.

    God, birthers are dumb.

  186. 186
    Mike G says:

    Shorter birthers:
    “That n****r will never be a real MURKAN, I don’t care what the facts are.”

    That’s what it really comes down to.

  187. 187

    @flukebucket

    @JenJen: When you finish “Nixonland” do not let a day go by without getting a copy of “Before The Storm” if you have not already read it.
    Perlstein is a master and the title of this thread is dead on.

    Yes, and if you ever have a chance to go to one of his readings please do so. He’s a very engaging speaker and just a really good guy who does a good job answering questions about his books and enjoys the topic. I’ve been to a reading of Nixonland and a Q&A session that he did and it was an incredibly enjoyable, entertaining and informative evening.

    I can’t wait for the third volume in what he refers to as “the backlash trilogy” which will cover conservatism in the 1970s and 80s and the election of Ronald Reagan.

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