Finding Fault Where There is None

The clown chorus begins:

So he had the power to get this into the public eye and yet resisted until the country’s polity was almost paralyzed with distraction. I know this was an ethically legitimate position after releasing the short-form document proving that he was indeed born in the US. I know it was politically savvy because, by the rules of jujitsu, Obama allowed the nutty right (is there any other variety with influence now?) to make fools of themselves.

Nonetheless, I think this should have been done long ago. Because a president has to put his public responsibilities before his pride and his privacy. That’s the price of the job – to defuse or debunk conspiracy theorists or just skeptics with all the relevant information you have.

The reason, Andrew, is because he already did everything he needed to do, and he did it in 2008:

In 2008, in response to media inquiries, the President’s campaign requested his birth certificate from the state of Hawaii. The state sent the campaign the President’s birth certificate, the same legal documentation provided to all Hawaiians as proof of birth in state, and the campaign immediately posted it on the internet. That birth certificate can be seen here (PDF).

When any citizen born in Hawaii requests their birth certificate, they receive exactly what the President received. In fact, the document posted on the campaign website is what Hawaiians use to get a driver’s license from the state and the document recognized by the Federal Government and the courts for all legal purposes. That’s because it is the birth certificate. This is not and should not be an open question.

Only for truly insane people and politicians who find advantage in race-baiting and de-legitimizing the President was this not enough. How evident was it that this was ALL he needed to do to prove he is a citizen? Try this on for size- not one god damned state contested his citizenship in the election. Jan Brewer just vetoed the birther bill in Arizona because it was an exercise in redundancy exercise and ran headlong into the full faith and credit clause. This new release will solve nothing, and the birthers will still continue to spew their nonsense.

President Obama has done nothing wrong, other than being black, which is apparently a sin for much of the country. Stating that he had an obligation to release this form or that he waited too long to do it turns everything upside down. Obama is the wronged party here.

*** Update ***

ATTN: ANDREW

This release today will end nothing, and Sullivan is being played for a fool. Again.

*** Update #2 ***

I know Sullivan’s reaction shouldn’t be pissing me off as much as it is, because he really can’t help himself. He really is just a stooge for whatever bullshit the right spews, either intentionally or accidentally. He doesn’t mean to be, I don’t think, just his self-identity as a conservative is so strong that he simply can not come to grips with the fact that conservatism is dead in the United States, and that those who call themselves conservative are just crazy people. But Andrew so yearns for a “sane conservatism” that he just can’t help himself, and as such, advances bullshit narratives like the Ryan plan being “serious” or it being Obama’s fault that he didn’t release this information earlier. Sully just can’t help himself.

But still, I find it infuriating. Our President spends several years having people question his citizenship, his commitment to this nation, his eligibility to be President, and so on, simply because his dad was black and he himself is black. And this persists even after it has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that he is a citizen. The Supreme Court has laughed it off. The military has court martialed birthers. Orly Taitz is one frivolous lawsuit away from being deported to Ukraine or wherever she was spawned. There simply is no doubt that the President is American, and there has never been any doubt. These claims have been nothing but specious, ugly, racially motivated charges, yet today, after the redundant “long form” is released, Sullivan and Newt Gingrich know who the real villain is- President Obama.

Embarrassing. I bet there is a sigh of relief at the Atlantic HQ today- “Not our problem anymore.”

300 replies
  1. 1
    terry says:

    i really don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  2. 2
    benintn says:

    And it still won’t settle the issue. See Fox News breaking headline.

  3. 3
    WereBear says:

    I swear, these whack jobs have some personal experience with the kind of abuse summed up with “you can’t do anything right.”

    Probably both dishing it out and taking it; they are so conversant with every nuance of the form!

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    Note to Andrew Sullivan: When you agree, word for word, with Newt Gingrich, you are no longer a serious commentator. Assuming, of course, that you ever were such.

  5. 5
    Mark S. says:

    How did this silly man rise to such heights in the media?

  6. 6
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Sully should be happy about this. Now the country can move on from racist birth certificate conspiracies to racist conspiracy theories that Bill Ayers and the Ghost of Barack Sr. did all of Obama’s homework in college and law school, which is in Bell Curve Sully’s wheelhouse.

  7. 7
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    Like I said in past topics, and something that Joan Walsh got into as well, the very fact that he had to do this is beyond ridiculous, and the fact that he did do this, and we still get the fucking peanut gallery casting malicious lights on Obama for it, is pretty much succumbing to bullying. And like bullying, once you play their game, it perpetuates. You’ve legitimized them, by accepting their terms. Even if you fight back, you’ve validated them.

    What a sad fucking state of affairs.

  8. 8
    jesdynf says:

    Y’know…

    I saw a quote from Trump crowing about how powerful and important he was, that he got Obama to release his birf certificate…

    And, well, I mean, make a list of all the scenarios in which Barack Obama could profit from making a show of releasing his birth certificate. Isn’t “giving Donald Trump a small victory” pretty much at the top of the list?

  9. 9
    Campionrules says:

    I weep for this country. I see the right is already claiming that this proves nothing. NOTHING! because Obama’s really not a ‘natural born citizen’ because his father was a kenyan. I forsee the time where I will use this segment of american history to demonstrate a perfect example of ‘moving the goalposts’ argument.

  10. 10
    Davis X. Machina says:

    There is a comfort in all of this. In a world full of whirl and change, and chaos, it’s nice to find a still, small center of the universe, where Kerners are still Go.

  11. 11
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mark S.: Narrative, and ‘character’. (Not actual character.) Cf. Tim Russert.

  12. 12
    tomvox1 says:

    President Obama has done nothing wrong, other than being black, which is apparently a sin for much of the country the Republican rank & file.

    Fixed.

  13. 13
    Dave says:

    I’d like a fuller explanation of how Donald Trump bankrupted a casino. That’s about near-impossible to pull off.

  14. 14
    montana says:

    Attention Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks…the chubby white crybaby meeting has started and you are late.

  15. 15
    DCr says:

    “President Obama has done nothing wrong, other than being a Democrat and black…”

    Fixed it…

    DCr

  16. 16
    c u n d gulag says:

    OK, we’ve seen the short form.

    Now he’s shown us the long form.

    But where’s the longerer form?

    And the longererer form?

    And the longerererer form?

    Enquiring “minds” want to know!

    Trust me, this ends nothing for a lot of people out there.

    Oh, and when do we hear about the Republicans blowing the dust off of Kenneth Starr and having him investigate Obama’s mother’s “AmnioticWater” records?
    To the rescue: Kenneth Starr – “AmnioticWater” Indpendent Council!

    And I bet it was a young Obama who shot Vincent Foster and dumped him in the park per Hillary’s instructions!

    It’s all part of the same plot!
    BWA-HA-HA!!!

  17. 17
    OG says:

    Cole: Well said.

  18. 18
    Marmot says:

    President Obama has done nothing wrong, other than being black, which is apparently a sin for much of the country.

    His sin is not being Republican. I really don’t get the obsession with his Blackness — it’s a convenient cudgel. Was it John Kerry’s Latinoness that caused the same drooling nitwits to question his military service and purple heart? Al Gore’s Inuitness that caused them to question his inability to stop Serial Fabricating?

  19. 19
    Brian R. says:

    The president released the official birth certificate during the presidential campaign. He did what was required by law.

    Why should he jump through hoops for people who weren’t satisfied by that? If some nut demands a urine sample and a stool sample from the president, should he be forced to head to the toilet on live television?

    Jesus Christ, Sullivan is a fucking idiot.

  20. 20
    Superluminar says:

    @John Cole:
    Are you posts worrying about what Sullivan thinks actually some kind of meta-trollery based on m_c/whatevershecallsherselftoday stalking of ED? If so well done, if not seek help/get laid.

  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    President Obama has done nothing wrong, other than being black, which is apparently a sin for much of the country. Stating that he had an obligation to release this form or that he waited too long to do it turns everything upside down. Obama is the wronged party here.

    Very well said. Very well said. Thank you.

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:

    And like bullying, once you play their game, it perpetuates. You’ve legitimized them, by accepting their terms. Even if you fight back, you’ve validated them.

    Yeah. I heard the news about the release of the birth certificate during my commute. I left my radios and other devices at home, so I couldn’t check the news, but immediately began wondering what the birthers and others would now do to continue to nurse their inane anger at Obama for being president.

    And the “victory quote” by Trump is so telling. What happened to all those investigators who were going to reveal all kinds of stuff about the “truth” behind Obama’s birth? How in the hell does Trump get off claiming some kind of vindication for being stupid?

    What a bunch of dopes.

  22. 22
    Blue Neponset says:

    I don’t visit Sully site anymore can someone tell me if he changed his web page background to match the color of the long form birth certificate?

  23. 23
    El Tiburon says:

    Why oh why did you do this Obama? If they demand a semen sample will you provide this as well?

    Look, stop going on Fox. Stop having your people go on Fox. They are only here to destroy you.

    As President, you must ignore this bullshit except to laugh it off as silly and insist those pushing it are silly.

    This does not help you; it only hurts you. Terribly in my estimation.

    Also, they are gearing up for the next smear: How did Stupid Darky get into Smart Schools?

    (Note to Obama: Don’t release your entrance exam or anything else to these assholes)

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    Let’s not forget that President Obama is the only candidate and president to release his birth certificate.
    Since the president had to send someone to Hawaii to get the long form of the birth certificate, how much money did it cost the taxpayers of the United States? Maybe Trump should pay for the cost of this escapade.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Will you now move Sully to the “Monitor and Mock” section?

  26. 26
    Poopyman says:

    until the country’s polity was almost paralyzed with distraction.

    Oh please. Enough with the drama queen and her vapors!

  27. 27
    Church Lady says:

    I see Sullivan’s post as a defense against his own insane obsession with whether or not Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig. Birthers, Truthers, whatever, he’s just asking questions, because he’s a serious journalist.

  28. 28
    Marmot says:

    So he had the power to get this into the public eye and yet resisted until the country’s polity was almost paralyzed with distraction. I know this was an ethically legitimate position after releasing the short-form document proving that he was indeed born in the US. I know it was politically savvy because, by the rules of jujitsu, Obama allowed the nutty right (is there any other variety with influence now?) to make fools of themselves.

    Nonetheless, I think this should have been done long ago. Because a president has to put his public responsibilities before his pride and his privacy. That’s the price of the job – to defuse or debunk conspiracy theorists or just skeptics with all the relevant information you have.

    And once again Sullivan proves that despite readily available evidence, he’ll reflexively side with his team. Well, unless Repubs are being anti-gay, in which case he’ll side with–waaaaaait a minute!

    The man has no honor.

  29. 29
    reader says:

    If he hadn’t already, Andrew Sullivan has jumped the shark and passed well beyond the boundary of those to be taken seriously. Sullivan is a sick and noxious joke on our body politic.

  30. 30
    JITC says:

    BTW, the birthers are whining that this is “yet another ‘certificate of live birth'” which in their mind is NOT the real, actual, official birth certificate. So again, still illegitimate in their eyes, even if not a forgery.

  31. 31
    Surly Duff says:

    Sullivan is being played for a fool. Again.

    In order to be “played for a fool” implies that you are not typically a fool. I have not seen evidence that Sullivan is anything but a fool in the first place. He isn’t being played, he is simply confirming his inherent foolishness.

  32. 32
    BGinCHI says:

    I hope all the old Republicans obsessed with this really enjoy it while their own party is eviscerating their healthcare under their very noses.

    At least on their death beds, under a bridge somewhere, they can be mollified with elaborate fantasies of conspiracy and be comforted that they never let that magic negro fool them.

    My sympathies for these people are coming to an end.

  33. 33
    Loneoak says:

    When will Obama disprove the claim that is one of the Lizard People? Either he is playing rope-a-dope with the anti-Lizard People forces, or he is a Lizard People. I demand that Obama stand naked on television—in prime time—while Greta van Susteren and John Stossel tug on his skin to determine if he is just wearing human skin as a costume. Until he does this, he is wasting our time by not proving the conspiracy theorists wrong.

  34. 34
    zach says:

    No one seems to remember that John McCain was born in the Panama Canal zone and his candidacy presented an actual novel (if extremely trivial) interpretation of the natural-born-citizen clause. The Senate even passed a resolution recognizing his eligibility just to cover their bases. For some reason, no one obsessed over this during the campaign.

  35. 35
    DB says:

    Look, Sully’s just happy that we can start focusing on the real issue: Trig trutherism.

  36. 36
    Marmot says:

    So he … resisted until the country’s polity was almost paralyzed with distraction …
    Nonetheless … a president has to put his public responsibilities before his pride and his privacy.

    So it’s ethical but also not right?

    Once again Sullivan proves that despite readily available evidence, he’ll reflexively side with his team. Well, unless Repubs are being anti-gay, in which case he’ll side with–waaaaaait a minute!

    The man has no honor.
    [Edit: Ooops. First version got out accidentally.]

  37. 37
    Neo says:

    Consider the other side of this … all those court cases costing how many millions of dollars. The man has no sense of the value of a dollar because it’s always somebody else’s dollar that he is spending.

  38. 38
    danimal says:

    Sully is capable of logic and thoughfulness. That is why the inevitable “spewing ridiculous right-wing POV and slowly walking back the stupidity as he realizes he’s been played for a fool” cycle is so maddening.

    He really, really needs to be clubbed with a 2×4 at the start of this cycle. What an hysterical idiot.

  39. 39
    misterbones says:

    This release today will end nothing, and Sullivan is being played for a fool.

    Fixed!

  40. 40
    Poopyman says:

    @JITC: I just noticed that the DMV sent me a “Registration Certificate”, so I guess that means I don’t have Car Registration.

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    All this talk about long form of birth certificates is causing site ads about Hawaii. Nice!

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: Laugh it off and ignore it like Kerry did with the Swift Boat assholes? Great in theory, but we’ve seen how it works in practice.

  43. 43
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Dave: Build a casino that’s too large to be filled; spend too much money for that construction; sell bonds paying 14% interest… voila! You’ve a casino that won’t make money and the company goes bankrupt.

  44. 44
    Marmot says:

    @Poopyman: Ha! Make sure you’ve got the long form.

  45. 45
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Can we pretty please have Sully moved to the blogs that are mocked blogroll?

  46. 46
    Joe Bauers says:

    I have heard that Sullivan is a Martian. Sullivan could prove that he is not a Martian today by simply providing a DNA sample, yet he chooses to not do so. Why? What is he hiding?

  47. 47
    BOSS BITCH says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: \

    No. The media validates them by continually having these clowns on their shows. The media gave in to the bullies. The media can stop this but they choose not to do so. Meanwhile the Republican Path to the Poorhouse gets ignored.

    No one who heard Obama’s press conference should say that he validated them. He called them and the media a bunch of clowns.

  48. 48
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Personally I believe that the timing was to call Trump’s bluff. Trump said he would release his financial disclosures when POTUS released his long form birth certificate. Ball is now in Trump’s court my guess is that he is now sweating bullets trying to figure out how NOT to release his financial disclosure cause he sure as hell doesn’t want to do that.

  49. 49
    les says:

    This release today will end nothing, and Sullivan is being played for a fool. Again.

    Breaking news from the Dept. of Redundancy Dept.

  50. 50
    GregB says:

    Mitt Romney was the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. How can we elect someone who has never even held an elected position in any state in the union?

    As for Trump, we know nothing about him. Time for him to prove he’s a billionaire. Release the tax forms Ferret Head.

  51. 51
    zach says:

    @Mark S.: “How did this silly man rise to such heights in the media?”

    By endorsing The Bell Curve as a legitimate topic for serious conversation and playing a major role in sinking Hillarycare by publishing Betsy McCaughy’s garbage at a serious publication.

  52. 52
    PreservedKillick says:

    Andrew should consider that Obama released, in 2008, an official Hawaiian birth certificate. The one that you get if you were born in Hawaii. It’s not hard to find someone born in Hawaii and ask them. I have, my brother was born there.

    So, now all this stupid birther noise has caused Obama to specially request an original.

    Why might he not want to do that? Because it potentially calls into question (I would say it *damn sure does* call into question) the validity of the short form certificates that the state of Hawaii uses.

    And that is a potential clusterfuck for people born in Hawaii, and one of simply epic proportions.

    So that is maybe why he didn’t want to do it, aside from the fact that he had already, you know, released his legal birth certificate.

  53. 53
    kay says:

    Andrew Sullivan has unclean hands. He is himself a birther. His ridiculous, shameful pursuit of his own personal conspiracy theory regarding the parentage of a child is absolutely disgusting.
    Sullivan had not one fact to back up his claim. Not one. Instead (like birthers) he insisted that it was the duty of the person he attacked to disprove his claim.
    Of course he doesn’t get it. He’s one of them.
    What’s wonderful (and revealing) about all this is how conservatives (including Sullivan) are the people who 1. promote and 2. fall for, this absolute nonsense. There was no mainstream liberal acceptance of Sullivan’s paranoid, nasty ranting on that little kid.
    It must be something in their “souls” :)

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JITC: Mine from Illinois almost exactly three years later is a remarkably similar document. Certificate of Live Birth, the specific information listed, all of that. You might get the impression that all states used more or less the same type of form in the early 60s.

  55. 55
    ChrisNYC says:

    At this point, is there any issue on which Sullivan has not staked out a firm position, flogged that position and then said, “Ooop, I was wrong.” Iraq, UK austerity (their GDP growth was announced at .5% today because of too severe budget cutting), Palin running for Prez, Obama and DADT, Obama v. Ryan plan, etc etc etc).

    That’s the point of that blog, right? It’s his forum to put forward his bad thinking.

  56. 56
    jethro says:

    Yep … this is Sully saying that the media should be demanding more info from the powerful whenever a clown has a nutty conspiracy theory to peddle, rather than simply dismissing nutty conspiracy theories (apparently, it would be irresponsible not to speculate).

    And by the way, Sully is a clown with a nutty conspiracy theory to peddle.

  57. 57
    Loneoak says:

    “I think the media is loving this because they want to make Birthers as they call people who are just curious about the President of the United States and his background, and his associations, and his consistency with what he says today versus what he said in both the memoirs that he wrote, or Bill Ayers or whomever wrote. Uh the media is, is loving the fact that some curious Americans are actually asking the questions, and they’re trying to make those curious Americans sound kind of crazy so the media is loving this issue and they’re perpetuating this issue trying to make it sound really worse than it is,” – Sarah Palin, apparently without irony.

    Sully, apparently without irony.

  58. 58
    El Tiburon says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Great in theory, but we’ve seen how it works in practice.

    That’s a fair point – sort of.

    But I think it would have been a mistake for John Kerry to devote a lot of time and energy to fending off every crazed accusation by the right-wing. I think you fight this crap off by giving a very forceful and straight-to-the-point response.

    So, will Obama now have to fight off accusations about his scholastic career?

    No, you can’t give fuel to the fire. This is what your supporters and team are for. Remember, it wasn’t George W. Bush saying this shit about Kerry, it was some right-wing yahoo. So, Obama can’t be the one necessarily fighting this shit out. Remember: when you begin arguing with the town idiot, no one can tell who is who.

  59. 59
    Trinity says:

    Today is a very sad day in our history.

  60. 60
    gex says:

    He went through a birther, “why won’t he just release the birth certificate phase” a while back, but well after the first time Obama released his birth certificate. He went on and on before finally listening to people who said he’d already done so. So he backed off.

    Apparently that didn’t satisfy him at all, and he’s more than willing to selectively apply completely ridiculous standards to Obama because he’s black.

    Meanwhile, nary a word on McCain who was definitely born outside of the country.

    And now, let’s all reread Bell Curve, because it is an interesting intellectual exercise to be bold enough to consider, as a white man, that maybe blacks are inferior to you.

  61. 61
    Emma says:

    I feel like the original voice in the wilderness. STOP listening/reading/taking that man seriously, for God’s sake. And I’m with Omnes Omnibus on this one: doing the “dignified, proper thing” and ignoring the assholes SUNK Kerry. You can’t ignore them but you can cut them off at the knees in the eyes of sane people. And that’s what Obama has done.

    Not to mention making Trump a hero in the eyes of the mouth-breathers. They will make the Republicans demented by pushing a Trump candidacy to the wall.

  62. 62
    Yutsano says:

    @Neo:

    all those court cases costing how many millions of dollars. The man has no sense of the value of a dollar because it’s always somebody else’s dollar that he is spending.

    Yes because of course Obama initiated all those court cases with the express intent of draining the government teat and then had the gall to actually DEFEND himself in said court cases. Honestly, do you practice at being this idiotic or does it just come naturally?

    @PreservedKillick:

    It’s not hard to find someone born in Hawaii and ask them.

    Yeah. Like me. And when I needed a passport the state of Hawai’i sent me a Certificate of Live Birth. Guess what? I got a passport, no issue. I suppose I’m not really a natural-born citizen then either.

  63. 63
    Tom65 says:

    Haters gonna hate.

  64. 64
    Marmot says:

    @zach: That was Sullivan as Editor of TNR publishing Betsy McCaughy’s healthcare lies?

    I’m not really up on the man’s resume, but for the sake of all that’s Noodly, what does it take to move him to the all-mockery category from the respected-sometime-foe category?

  65. 65
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mark S.:

    How did this silly man rise to such heights in the media?

    Openly gay conservative with a slightly British accent?

    I still remember his appearance on the Bill Maher show a few years ago and he was almost brought to tears on how the mean lefties treated religious people in this country. He is a big fucking cry-baby as far as I am concerned.

  66. 66
    Tom65 says:

    I bet there is a sigh of relief at the Atlantic HQ today- “Not our problem anymore.”

    Well, there’s still the issue with McMegan.

  67. 67
    gex says:

    By the way, they *still* haven’t been able to find any live witnesses of the birth, so…

    This isn’t done because it will never be done. He will always be black.

  68. 68
    Lee Hartmann says:

    Jesus. H. Christ.

  69. 69
    kay says:

    Everybody’s had two years to prove, if they wanted to, that he was not born in Hawaii. They haven’t come up with any of that kind of proof.

    Why does Sullivan find this simple rule so hard to understand?

    If you launch an accusation (like he did regarding that little boy, and like birthers did regarding Obama) you had better be prepared to back it up.

    Or you’re going to look like a goddammned fool, like Andrew Sullivan and the entire media do.

  70. 70
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @gex: wallah why on earth do you morons still obsess over a 16 year old book by a political “scientist”?
    Its like a fucking tribal fetish here.

  71. 71

    I clicked through to Andrew twice on the day his blog moved. Haven’t been back. Like kay wrote above, Andrew Sullivan is a birther of another sort and I have no time for conspiracy theorists.

  72. 72
    kay says:

    How did this silly man rise to such heights in the media

    Because media have shown such high ethical and professional standards on this?

    Please. It’s no accident. They self-select. He fits right in. He’s sort of the lead clown!

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Wow, just wow. That dumb and still able to type. Have we found an idiot savant?

  74. 74
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mark S.: By being an HIV-positive gay conservative catholic with an english accent.

  75. 75
    Snarkworth says:

    Sullivan’s rant isn’t about Obama at all. It’s about Palin, and contains more winks and nudges than a Monty Python sketch.

  76. 76
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Will you now move Sully to the “Monitor and Mock” section?

    If it doesn’t happen after this, then the section no longer has reason to exist.

  77. 77
    dr. luba says:

    As a Ukrainian, I take umbrage at your isinuation that we are responsible for Orly Taitz. Please. We have produced enough idiots and crooks (the current president comes to mind) without being saddled with her.

    Orly was born in Moldova. Or so she claims. I haven’t seen her long-form birth certificate.

  78. 78
    cincyanon says:

    I think the next talking point will be:
    A “I take the president at his word that this is indeed his long form birth certificate.”
    B But do you believe it is real?
    A I take the president at his word.

  79. 79
    Mike Furlan says:

    Sullivan.

    Bell Curve to Birther.

    Always on the side of white supremacy.

  80. 80
    rickstersherpa says:

    @BOSS BITCH: The media did not “give in” to the bullies. It went out and found the the bullies, it celebrated the bullies (and I am not talking just about Fox), it has been wonderful show biz. So much more fun than doing stories on desperate, out of work, little people. So much more fun (and safer, asn the brave Tim Hetherington prove) then going out coverning the story of America’s, and the world’s, many wars, and so much more fun then explaining to the 55 and over that most of the Government “spending” they complain about is Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and that if we cap Government spending at 20% right now, it means cutting those programs RIGHT NOW and for the forseeable future. No, lets put grifters like Erick Erickson and Glenn Beck on the air (Thanks CNN (Glenn’s original home), lets give attention and wealth to scum like Andrew Breitbart and Tony Perkins. Let’s put Franklin Graham on the air (thanks ABC and MSNBC).

    And yes, the folks who don’t want to believe he is an “American” will keep finding reasons not to and will keep the issue up in the air which will mean we will get more articles like Amy Olsens on the lines of “shape of the world, opinions differ.”

  81. 81
    soonergrunt says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: You need to recalibrate your snark detector. The Bell Curve is one of Andrew’s favorite books from way back.

  82. 82
    stuckinred says:

    Any excuse to write about this twink.

  83. 83
    kay says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur (formerly known as The Grand Panjandrum):

    Like kay wrote above, Andrew Sullivan is a birther of another sort and I have no time for conspiracy theorists.

    The only difference between what Sullivan did to Trig and conservatives and the entire media did to Obama is liberals didn’t promote Sullivan’s theory.

    I’m (justifiably, I think) proud of us for that.

    Sullivan is operating under the noxious, corrosive conservative premise of: “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”

    I don’t accept that.

  84. 84
    kdaug says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Personally I believe that the timing was to call Trump’s bluff.

    I do, too. Other side of the coin is that he didn’t release it for so long to make the birther’s pot come to a boil. He’s already announced, Trump hasn’t (Hell, has any GOPer announced?)

    So let them get themselves worked up to a fever pitch, let their leading maybe-candidate go on for weeks with his spittle-flecked tirades, let the usual suspects in the media hem and haw and wring their hands and make their insinuations.

    Then, nice and calm, say “Oh, is this what you were looking for? Here it is. Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention to you because I was FUCKING BUSY!”

    (OK, leave out the fucking part, that’s just the way I would say it).

  85. 85
    gex says:

    @BGinCHI: Hmm… There is a strange synergy between the hateful old white racists who continue to vote Republican and the policies of Republicans that would help rid the body politic of old racist white people.

  86. 86
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @zach: jaysus….you too.
    A bell curve is a normal or gaussian distribution every other place in the world except for Balloon-juice.
    Cupla weeks ago that stupid old book was mentioned in FP posts by both Tim F and DougJ.
    incroyable

  87. 87
    kgc16 says:

    Obama shouldn’t have had to release this at all. And according to Andrew, it’s the job of the President to debunk and defuse conspiracy theories? That in itself would be a never-ending distraction. I can no longer see this as just the whacky wingnuts and their enablers in the press. If it was ever amusing, it isn’t now. It’s enraging.

  88. 88
    YellowDog says:

    Obama’s only sin is PWB–Presidenting While Black. What’s next? Does he have to release all school transcripts, SAT, and LSAT scores, to satisfy the carnival barkers (nice shot at Trump BTW)? Which of the many conspiracy fantasies does he have to debunk? “No, I was never in a limo snorting cocaine and having gay sex.” “No, I am not a Manchurian candidate planted by the Soviets.” “No, Ayers did not ghost write my books.” “No, Jimi Hendrix and Malcolm X are not my real fathers.” The fantasies will not end, but I hope that this is the last one that the President will acknowledge with anything but a joke.

  89. 89
    patrick II says:

    There is no such thing as a sane conservative anymore. The basic tenants of their ideology just do not add up. The flaws of Milton Friedman’s and Arther Laffer’s economic theories have been exposed by the actual results of no regulation and low taxes. The invisible hand has been shown to be an inadequate response to broader problems such as global warming. There are only two types of conservatives left, rich sociopaths who only care that they got theirs, and dupes unwilling or unable to deal with reality.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: That is ever so right coming from you. Seriously, however, Sullivan made his reputation in large part on two stories, both proven to be crap. It goes to his underlying credibility.

  91. 91
    kd bart says:

    If I ever run for President, I have all my paper work in order. Not only do I have my birth certificate but I have my original certificate of circumcision signed by the moyel himself written in both english and hebrew.

  92. 92
    merrinc says:

    But Andrew so yearns for a “sane conservatism”

    Then let him go the fuck back to England because there’s no such thing in this country.

  93. 93
    Short Bus Bully says:

    So finally Sully is revealing his true colors. All this “I love Obama” stuff was just to appear contrarian and raise his seriousness cred. But when the chips come down it’s just more blame the victim bullshit. We should have seen this coming with the Trig obsession.

    Sully and The Daily Beast deserve each other.

  94. 94
    AkaDad says:

    To prove that those are really his parents, Obama needs to release a DNA sample.

  95. 95
    Scott says:

    @Emma:

    Not to mention making Trump a hero in the eyes of the mouth-breathers. They will make the Republicans demented by pushing a Trump candidacy to the wall.

    Yeah, this is almost 11-dimensional chess stuff. The GOP now has to double-down on birtherism, no matter what, and they’re locked in on supporting Trump as their preferred candidate. And the rest of the non-crazy population of the country is going to get to spend the next six years watching them act deranged and unelectable.

  96. 96
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @soonergrunt: no i dont. like I said, a stupid old book by a political scientist is like a fucking tribal fetish here.
    ITS OVER.

  97. 97
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Matt Yglesias brings The Professional Left and the fever-swamp right together on this momentous issue with a single tweet:

    “It wouldn’t have taken FDR or LBJ two whole years to forge a long-form birth certificate.”

  98. 98
    Valdivia says:

    I stopped reading him after he went insane and came back from his illness just pimping austerity and the phellating the Rep team on that. So so glad I did that, because after reading what he posted today here at BJ I am confirmed that I made the right decision.

    Good riddance to Sully, who lost all the day he joined the NewsBeast.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BOSS BITCH:

    The media validates them by continually having these clowns on their shows. The media gave in to the bullies. The media can stop this but they choose not to do so.

    Exactly. I’m not really getting the people who think this was some kind of cave-in to the birthers. It was done to show the media to be the fools that they are, right from the very first thing the president said at the press conference:

    Hello, everybody. Now let me just comment, first of all, on the fact that I can’t get the networks to break in on all kinds of other discussions. I was just back there listening to Chuck. He was saying, “It’s amazing that he’s not going to be talking about national security.”
    __
    I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about that, Chuck, and you know it. (emphasis mine)

    He didn’t do this to validate the birthers. He did it to shame the media. Unfortunately for him, the media has absolutely no shame and will continue to push their “Shape of Earth — Views Differ” narrative.

  100. 100
    kay says:

    @kgc16:

    And according to Andrew, it’s the job of the President to debunk and defuse conspiracy theories?

    Interestingly, it’s the job of THIS President to defuse conspiracy theories.

    Ross Perot put forth a conspiracy regarding Bush The Elder, and media had a very different reaction.

    It depends on who the President is.

    I’m sorry conservatives and media felt it necessary to put us all through this (although I’m sure it was profitable) but I think it’s going to be examined, and they aren’t going to come out looking real good.

  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, will Obama now have to fight off accusations about his scholastic career?

    Yep. Which is ironic since initially Obama had to fight off accusations about being aristocratic, elitist, an egghead intellectual who was too aloof and exotic to be a man of the people.

    Now he’s clearly an affirmative action baby who’s been hiding his “lack of qualifications,” because Donald Trump says so.

  102. 102
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @Emma:

    My problem here is that Obama already did do all he should have had to do in the first place, when he released the “short form” (god I fucking hate that term now) way way back during the election. Pulling out the long form just seems like giving in to the new ‘standards’ and letting the goalposts be shifted.

    There are ways to fight this shit off, personally and through proxies, without having to give in with the whole ‘long form’ bullshit.

    And one thing that makes me fucking worry is now, in the future, should any vaguely brown candidate run, they very well might have to produce the “long form” as well just to quell any citizenship bullshit for the rubes.

  103. 103
    soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: They kept using the same form into the 70s. Mine from Colorado looks like that.
    So too, incidentally, does my daughter’s from here in Oklahoma in 1998, so it’s been the standard for a while now.

  104. 104
    mk3872 says:

    I quit Sullivan after I could no longer ignore his hardon for Mitch Daniels.

    Sullivan will back & defend the GOP candidate in 2012 unless it is a loon like Gingrich or Trump.

    And I say, good riddance. This was always and uneasy and uncomfortable marriage between the left-leaning centrists here & BJ and the closeted conservafreaks @ Sullivan’s blog.

    Funny, isn’t it, how Sullivan can be so open about his sexuality but still hide his lust for unbridled U.S. conservatism (aka free markets, Christianism, no social safety net, etc.)

  105. 105
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @stuckinred: A twink? Sully doen’t even play WoW.

  106. 106
    gex says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Feel free to pie me or skip my posts then. Why do you talk like a fucking moron?

  107. 107
    Georgia Pig says:

    Sullivan is being played for a fool. Again.

    Enough with the external locus of control. He is and always has been a fool, a silly dilettante who has never done anything of significance and thinks the world revolves around his opinions. Just because he happens to randomly land on the right side of an issue from time to time does not change the fact that he’s an asshole.

  108. 108
    BGinCHI says:

    @gex: And maybe that’s the bright spot here.

    Hoist on their own petards. Can’t happen fast enough.

  109. 109
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @mk3872: Sully’s only concern is with what the questions are on the clipboard that the people putting you in the boxcars are holding, not the existence of the boxcars, or the people, or the clipboard.

    If it’s your 1040, he’s down with that. If it asks whether you’re gay, not so much.

  110. 110
    kdaug says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You might get the impression that all states used more or less the same type of form in the early 60s.

    I believe that most states computerized their records in the late 80s/early 90s and archived the originals. That’s why, when you request a copy, the clerk doesn’t go into a giant warehouse and dig through millions of records but instead just prints one out and stamps it for you.

    It’s also likely they use the same software, which is they all look alike from different states.

  111. 111
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @gex: lol. im not the moron here.
    Like I said, everywhere in academe a bell curve is just a normal or gaussian distribution. Only at balloon juice is Bell Curve an ancient shibboleth for a backwards tribe of liberal bio-luddites.

  112. 112
    bemused says:

    Poor Andrew. He and others who so stubbornly and desperately cling to their self-identities as smartest-people-in-the-room conservatives would be utterly miserable if they allowed even a shred of doubt or criticism to enter their heads.

  113. 113
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    Definitely mixed feelings about this. There are arguments to be made for releasing it now, releasing it at a more opportune time, and never releasing it at all. The calculations to be made include both political expediency and the general welfare. My gut feeling for a while has been that if he did this it would be like giving in to terrorists, or buying a candy bar for a three year old who just threw a tantrum in the grocery store. But he could also be positioning himself as the adult in the room, a pose he’s been striking for a while now, and it may turn out for the better. I don’t know, I guess we’ll see.

    A couple of things to add; this was aimed at the media, not the birthers. The birthers are idiots and will never change their minds about a dark-skinned President. The media are idiots too, but in their better moments some are capable of feeling shame at least. The other thing is that I wish the President had done this at, say 3 PM eastern time so that those of us on the left coast could have a shower, do our morning chores, and have a few moments of leisurely fun on the internet before diving right into the heady stuff.

  114. 114
    Marmot says:

    @YellowDog:

    Obama’s only sin is PWB—Presidenting While Black. What’s next? Does he have to release all school transcripts, SAT, and LSAT scores, to satisfy the carnival barkers[?]

    Yes. It’s on to the next most-convenient cudgel. And when that happens, will it finally be because he’s a Dem, or will that also be because he’s black? Am I the only person who remembers the period from the Clinton administration to the present?

  115. 115
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Dave:

    I

    ’d like a fuller explanation of how Donald Trump bankrupted a casino. That’s about near-impossible to pull off.

    Just as he was placing a really, really big bet at the roulette table, his hair had an avalanche and blinded him… forcing him to put his money down on the wrong number…

  116. 116
    jayjaybear says:

    @Joe Bauers: Sully’s provided thousands of DNA samples…often free-range.

  117. 117
    gizmo says:

    Sullivan and Ross Douhat have found a niche where they can occasionally make a sensible comment, which qualifies them as ‘serious’ pundits. Given that most of the Right is batshit crazy, there is a lot of political terrain up for grabs by those who occasionally display some connection with reality. At heart, they are still rightwing nutjobs, but they are clever enough to legitimize themselves with a smattering of reasonableness.

  118. 118
    ruemara says:

    Gonna have to back away from the intertubes for the day,maybe read some Jim Butcher, work on some 3d, plan an article or sort my beads. Anything to not feel the overwhelming amount of hatred I do right now for the media, the conservatives and the slack-jawed morons of America that should rightly be feeding some sort of predator instead of having voting rights. Or breathing. It’s going to be hard to reset back to a benign humanist with love for all after this morning’s racist nonsense. I just cannot describe how I feel as a black woman in the face of this. I can’t.

  119. 119
    maus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    A bell curve is a normal or gaussian distribution every other place in the world except for Balloon-juice. Cupla weeks ago that stupid old book was mentioned in FP posts by both Tim F and DougJ.

    http://usjamerica.wordpress.co.....ars-later/

    Such a fool you are.

  120. 120
    Emma says:

    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: No matter what, the mouth-breathers will never, ever, EVER, accept a person of color as legitimately president. I can’t wait until Jose Dominguez (generic candidate of Mexican descent) becomes credible. Our only hope is that as they die off, there are fewer replacements.

    This is about Obama taking advantage of the heightened crazy to tie Trump around the Republicans’ necks. This is about his showing independents and other moderates that the crazies are crazies and giving them the ammunition to fight back and call a racist a racist. And this is bitchslapping the press.

    (edited for spelling stupidity)

  121. 121
    kay says:

    @Shoemaker-Levy 9:

    The media are idiots too, but in their better moments some are capable of feeling shame at least.

    I don’t watch anymore but I heard CNN in the car. They’re in full-on denial mode. No shame.
    They were babbling something about how they had to cover it because there’s a legal question on what a citizen is, in terms of the presidency.
    Yeah. Sure they were. They called Donald Trump in to consult on that serious question?
    You remember all those learned legal discussions we had about this, right?
    Me neither.

  122. 122
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kdaug: I’m talking long form here. I have a copy that my mom got from the county recorder in 1976. This form is basically the same as the Obama’s. The COLB complaints are just as silly as the rest. If Obama’s is invalid, I would posit that no one born in the US in the 1960s could show a BC that satisfies these fuckers.

  123. 123
    PreservedKillick says:

    Yeah, this is almost 11-dimensional chess stuff. The GOP now has to double-down on birtherism, no matter what, and they’re locked in on supporting Trump as their preferred candidate.

    That’s the bright side. 27% of the population doesn’t believe he’s legit, 73% is going to walk away from this thinking that this is ridiculous, we have better things to do, etc.

    Unfortunately, ALL of that 27% are needed for the republicans to win at the national level. So their candidates will double down on the birtherism, further alienating the 73%.

    Classic wedge.

    And Trump is the heir apparent? Please, can we have that? I’m not even sure he can hold the 27%.

  124. 124
    fraught says:

    John Cole is one of the very few bloggers who is able to really get under Sully’s skin and make him twitch and get really hissy-fitty. John should run Sully’s take on this into the ground until he has to take one of his little nervous breakdown “sick-leaves” from the Dish. Sully is being proven consistently wrong on everything lately and he just simply cannot stand being wrong. He’s a Tory, y’know.

  125. 125
    Superluminar says:

    @Ghanima Atreides
    So, to be clear here, you’re saying that the “Bell Curve” thesis was wrong, right?

  126. 126
    gex says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: I know I’m wasting my time with this response, but the point of criticizing Sullivan in regards to Bell Curve is not because I fundamentally misunderstand statistics or Bell Curves, seeing as I am a math major.

    The point is that it is not bold or interesting to promote bad science that attempts to prove long held prejudices.

  127. 127
    stuckinred says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Makato, where ya been?

  128. 128
    cleek says:

    i think today might be the day i stop reading Sullivan.

    i can handle him being wrong on issues. i can handle him having a different opinion on things that i care deeply about. i could tolerate his moon-eyed religiosity. but this stance on the Obama BC seems completely transparently crafted to bolster his latest rationalization for his Trig obsession; it feels deeply dishonest. and his apparent honesty had always been the main reason to read him.

  129. 129
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No, it has everything to do with the troll being another one of those ‘self-certified geniuses’.

    EDIT – Cole, I told you more than a year ago, dropkick the little racist to the curb. Unfortunately, you have this bad habit along with your dogs of rolling in shit.

  130. 130
    Ash Can says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He didn’t do this to validate the birthers. He did it to shame the media.

    Blockquoted and bolded because this cannot be emphasized enough. The fact that it ties Donald Trump more tightly around the necks of the Republicans is a nice bonus.

    Oh and hey, here’s a nifty little side note, everyone — the prez and the first lady just flew over my house. They’re on their way to the near west side for a little visit with their pal Oprah Winfrey. I wonder what they’re going to talk about (among many other things)?

  131. 131
    WereBear says:

    @Scott: And the rest of the non-crazy population of the country is going to get to spend the next six years watching them act deranged and unelectable.

    Just noting: it’s not an act.

  132. 132
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: A bell curve is one thing. The Bell Curve is another. You are being overly literal.

  133. 133
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Superluminar: what is “The Bell Curve Thesis”?

  134. 134
    TG Chicago says:

    Sullivan about a year ago:

    [W]e have seen the birth certificate that refutes the Birthers.

    Yet now he’s lambasting the press for not demanding the long-form certificate that he himself felt was unnecessary.

    He’s letting his Palin obsession bleed over into everything else.

  135. 135
    mr. whipple says:

    This story may or may not be true, but legend has it that during one of Lyndon Johnson’s congressional campaigns he decided to spread a rumor that his opponent was a pig-fucker. LBJ’s campaign manager said, “Lyndon, you know he doesn’t do that!” Johnson replied, “I know. I just want to make him deny it.”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....009566.php

  136. 136
    Studly Pantload says:

    @John Cole

    conservatism is dead in the United States

    Actually, no, as I think was discussed here yesterday, its saner components have just moved to the Democratic side of the aisle.

    Sully’s problem isn’t that he can’t release his embrace from a “dead” ideology. It’s tribalism, pure and simple. But amidst his ongoing fealty to the tribe he manages to let escape enough evidence of some semblence of sanity that the resulting cognitive dissonance drives the front pagers here to such distraction.

  137. 137
    JPL says:

    @Marmot: Cool…Now we can see Palin’s transcripts from her six schools.
    IMO, repub presidential candidates will not go there. If you were Palin, would you want your class in underwater basket weaving compared to Obama’s Law Classes?

  138. 138
    soonergrunt says:

    Oily Taint has responded.
    She says it’s not real because it should use the term ‘negro’ instead of ‘African’.

  139. 139
    sy2d says:

    I know Sullivan’s reaction shouldn’t be pissing me off as much as it is …

    F–k him. Piss away.

  140. 140
    kay says:

    Obama allowed the nutty right (is there any other variety with influence now?) to make fools of themselves.

    I just think this is perfect. From Andrew The Trig Birther.

    I wonder what it’s like to walk around with zero self-awareness.

    The nutty Right is…right. As a member, he should know.

  141. 141
    trollhattan says:

    (Repeating myself) The first time Sully “heh, indeedy’d” McMegan from his new Beast perch, my former rationalizations of his oddball excursions into fringe right-wingery crumbled. He really is that guy and gets no more views from me. Considering he once was near the top of my must-read list it was a tough reckoning. The very idea that promoting “an adult conversation” about killing off Medicare and Social Security is a brave stance the equal to confronting the administration and their enablers on torture is not just laughable, it’s depraved and morally bankrupt.

  142. 142
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Marmot:

    It’s not an either/or. If you can point out to us where Bill Clinton’s or Al Gore’s parentage and citizenship were questioned, please do so. If you can’t, don’t you think that maybe possibly the fact that they’re directly questioning President Obama’s citizenship may have something to do with the characteristic he doesn’t share with Clinton and Gore?

    So, yes, he’s being questioned because he’s a Democrat, and automatically an illegitimate president, but he’s being asked different questions than a white president would be asked because he’s black.

    Both/and. Not the either/or you’re trying to set it up as.

  143. 143
    Alex Gurney Halleck-S. says:

    I would have chosen him for Matoko-chan’s mainstream birther list, but didn’t do it in the end because he used to categorically reject it. But now, the question of why Obama waited so long presumes that Andrew thinks that there must be something wrong with it. Andrew just can’t help himself…

    Sullivan is being played for a fool

    Maybe he is a fool? I demand the release of his master thesis!

    Edit: I just read update 2, and I guess that’s really all that is left to say: He just can’t help himself.

  144. 144
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: my hypoth is that “Bell Curve” has become a tribal fetish at BJ.
    it is an empirical observation. For example, when i hear bell curve, i do not immediately think of some old book by a political scientist.
    Its kinda like “obama’s birth certificate” has become a fetish for the hardcore right.
    its just a cognitive anthropolgy observation.
    sometimes i just find you guys interesting in a field lab sense.

  145. 145
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Our “polity was virtually paralyzed”? Only if “our polity” consists of The View, Fox News, and the tail segments of the Today Show and Anderson Cooper, which granted is more coverage than this should have gotten, but Mr Decadent Fifth Columnists needs another sabbatical

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    The Bell Curve thesis is that black people are naturally dumber than white people. You know, the same thesis that you’ve passionately defended here more than once, which I assume is why you’re now trying to pretend you’ve never heard of the book.

  147. 147
    Iowa Housewife says:

    This was just posted a foxnation…..

    “design4u1 Just now

    1preacher 0 minutes ago

    Great…now let’s look at obama’s policies, which all have one thing in common…

    THE DESTRUCTION OF THE USA.

    Congress should give obama a choice:
    1. Leave the USA today and never come back.
    or
    2. Congress uses Marine Snipers to take out the enemy known as obama.
    ——————————————————–
    The one that he just said we all have to get serious about. That one? over two years and he just realized he has no record to run on. Congress is on vacation and the debt ceiling is about to be reached. ”

    …..sounds almost treasonous to me.

  148. 148
    fasteddie9318 says:

    You know, when I reach the age where I’ll be eligible for the BOGO coupon they’re replacing Medicare with, I was planning on self-immolating outside of Paul Ryan’s house, wherever that might be. But, I think, instead, I’ll do it outside of Sullivan’s house, assuming he’s still around.

  149. 149
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    @kay:

    What I’m talking about is that some months or years down the line somebody of the Joe Klein or Thomas Friedman ilk will write a column about how this was an inglorious episode for the media, blah blah blah. Those are the types Obama likes to have on his side anyway. No, I don’t expect the majority of them to feel shame.

  150. 150
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:
    In other words, a watered down version of “The only real racism, is anti-racism.”

  151. 151
    El Cid says:

    __

    … [Sullivan] so yearns for a “sane conservatism” that he just can’t help himself, and as such, advances bullshit narratives like the Ryan plan being “serious” or it being Obama’s fault that he didn’t release this information earlier. Sully just can’t help himself.

    Has it occurred to you that he ‘falls’ for this argument because he believes this shit, and only changes his mind when these stupid asshole beliefs appear to be too unpopular?

    What a despicable moron he would be if your thesis were correct.

    It would suggest that he was a dishonest hack or at best a brainless fool who waited to decide on some matter until the modern ‘conservative’ radical right establishes their line.

    I guess that this still wouldn’t bring into question his reputation as a sharp thinker.

    (Yeah, I’m not going to quote references of him as “Andrew” if I notice it.)

  152. 152
    grandpajohn says:

    @BOSS BITCH: Exactly, this whole farce is a construction by the main stream media to muddy the reality of republican attempts to destroy democracy.There is no so called controversy about the birth certificate, except that created by the media by constantly giving idiots face time on air to babble their insane ideas.

  153. 153
    kindness says:

    Sully’s sanity: All you need to do is drop the name Trig.

    WaLa! Sanity removed!

  154. 154
    metricpenny says:

    I must take issue with this statement in your post -“President Obama has done nothing wrong, other than being black, which is apparently a sin for much of the country.”

    I’m hopeful this was simply a case of a badly constructed sentence. There is nothing wrong with being black.

    Other than that, a most righteous post.

    Your anger with Sully may stem from the same place that mine use to originate. That he spouts a lot of these opinions because it keeps him popular and makes him money, instead of using the platform to educate. The same with traditional media. They don’t continue to repeat these stories because of any import. They need viewers/readers in order to make money. And nothing draws a crowd like a challenging a person’s legitimacy.

    I’ve learned to read Sully and laugh. He’s a decent writer and I loves me some comedy.

  155. 155
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Alex Gurney Halleck-S.: Sully is conforming to pressure from the looming Wingularity. He is being pulled to the right by the increasing wingnut specific gravity in the run up to the 2012 election..
    That is why the move to the Beast (a more populist venue), and why he is increasingly disenchanted with Obama.
    Eventually the Wingularity will engulf all three legs of the conservative stool; libertarians, liberal-tarians, classic liberals and crypto-conservatives (like Sully ) included.

  156. 156
    cleek says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    my hypoth is that “Bell Curve” has become a tribal fetish at BJ.
    it is an empirical observation. For example, when i hear bell curve, i do not immediately think of some old book by a political scientist.

    then you are not aware of all internet traditions. in the context of talking about Sullivan – not just here, but anywhere you find people who know Sullivan’s history – “The Bell Curve” has specific connotations having to do with his defense of the book.

    this is easy to prove.

  157. 157
    gex says:

    @soonergrunt: Heh. That reminds me of my own Certificate of Live Birth which lists the race of my father as “yellow”.

  158. 158
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    What is the cut off period?

    16 years?

    15 years?

    5 years?

    At what point are we probibited from mentioning a book?

    And on what basis?

  159. 159
    liberal says:

    @Marmot:

    Yes. It’s on to the next most-convenient cudgel. And when that happens, will it finally be because he’s a Dem, or will that also be because he’s black? Am I the only person who remembers the period from the Clinton administration to the present?

    I agree—it’s the Democrat-ness not the black-ness, though perhaps the latter makes it simpler to appeal to unintelligent scum.

  160. 160
    Poopyman says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    @Superluminar: what is “The Bell Curve Thesis”?

    Did you not pay your Google bill this month? Insert those very three words and you’ll have your answer.

  161. 161
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Pretty much the only time it is discussed here is in connection with Sullivan. It would not make a lot of sense to discuss ordinary gaussian distributions in connection with someone as innumerate as he is. As result, it is logical to assume, if you see mention of it in connection with Sully, that it is the book and his promotion of it that is at issue. If you want to continue playing silly buggers on this topic, you can but I am done with it.

  162. 162
    maus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    wallah why on earth do you morons still obsess over a 16 year old book by a political “scientist”?

    Because it’s still being supported by Sullivan. I’m glad we’ve all got that answered! Do you have any more ideas buzzing around your head that you’re too dim to suss out on your own?

  163. 163
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I have to admit birfer nonsense tends to get my hackles up. Obama and I were born in the same city in the same state (not the same hospital though, my coolness points don’t stretch that far!) so every birfer pretty much questions my legitimacy as am American as well. Even if I am the grandson of an anchor baby.

  164. 164
    beergoggles says:

    If ever there was an example of what’s wrong with affirmative action in the media, Sully would be it.

  165. 165
    West of the Cascades says:

    Count another vote for Sullivan having jumped the shark and being long overdue for the move to the “Monitor and Mock” category in the links.

  166. 166
    liberal says:

    @gex:

    Why do you talk like a fucking moron?

    It’s probably Matako-Chan, evading her ban. The Bell Curve stuff makes this highly likely, as does the reference to “WoW”.

  167. 167
    Marmot says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m trying to rail against an either/or — Yellow Dog and several others constantly repeat the short-sighted interpretation that the only reason this is happening is that he’s black.

    I’m not saying there aren’t racists out there among Repubs–Ha!–I’m saying they’re hitting him on the BC issue because what they do is delegitimize Dems. That’s all they do. FSM knows they can’t govern.

    I’d suggest they’d pull a similar stunt with any Dem president with a foreign parent. The fact that Obama’s black just makes it stick that much more with some of the base.

  168. 168
    danimal says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Good God, stop when you’re behind. Has it occurred to you that some folks have a historical understanding of really major events in the intellectual history of late 20th century conservatism?

    The Bell Curve was a pretty important book back in the day. And Sully’s promotion of the book in a liberal publication was very, very influential. Ignorance of history does not mitigate the importance of history. You can not understand current-day right-wing racism or current-day Andrew Sullivan without understanding the events surrounding the publication of The Bell Curve.

    BTW, I’ve never commented on this subject before and probably never will again, so don’t claim that I’m part of a tribal fetish.

  169. 169
    cleek says:

    @liberal:

    It’s probably Matako-Chan, evading her ban.

    that’s what i assume, based on this

  170. 170
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mnemosyne: WTF are you are talking about? The book “The Bell Curve” is a collection of statistics as I understand it.
    Where is there any thesis in the book? You could use data from that book to advance some hypothesis, but I was unaware that there were any theses promoted in the book itself.
    Can you link one?

    the same thesis that you’ve passionately defended here more than once

    the only thesis i defend here is that there is a biological basis for all behavior.

  171. 171
    different church-lady says:

    @PreservedKillick: You seem to be conflating a trivial political matter of the POTUS with the doctrine of precedent in the Supreme Court.

  172. 172
    freelancer says:

    @liberal:

    It’s probably Matako-Chan, evading her ban. The Bell Curve stuff makes this highly likely, as does the reference to “WoW”.

    She had me at “Bio-Luddite”. Not too much vocab in her. Need to send her some flash cards, maybe.

  173. 173
    catclub says:

    @fasteddie9318: “eligible for the BOGO coupon ”

    Buy one get NONE

  174. 174
    maus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    WTF are you are talking about? The book “The Bell Curve” is a collection of statistics as I understand it. Where is there any thesis in the book? You could use data from that book to advance some hypothesis, but I was unaware that there were any theses promoted in the book itself. Can you link one?

    Of course, you’re not responding to me because I posted a link that described this. You sure are going to obtuse lengths to defend just a “book”. What’s your emotional investment in the superiority of whites?

  175. 175
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @catclub: You’re right, it’s really more of a BOGFY coupon.

  176. 176
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @danimal: ok. that is a good explanation. what you just told me is that the book “The Bell Curve” is a tribal fetish here and i cannot understand the symbolism of the shibboleth without researching the history.
    Thank you for answering my question.
    end of discussion then.

  177. 177
    gex says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Wow. So you thought we were suddenly talking statistics in the middle of a Sullivan thread without being able to put 2 and 2 together?

  178. 178
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Read the fucking book. If you are going to talk crap about it, maybe you should know something first. if you are unaware of the controversy, you are not qualified to dismiss it.

  179. 179
    Superluminar says:

    @Ghanima Atreides
    Either you really are dense (don’t believe this myself), or you are deliberately pretending not to know about a book/theory you (as mentioned above) have pimped here on more than one occasion. Is it because you’re embarassed that you were wrong? I find that the most likely explanation, as it also fits the hysterical attacks on EDK after he changed his mind on politics. Most of us are not very good at admitting when we’re wrong about something/someone, especially if we’re generally quite smart (I’m no exception), but you are trying to take all this to some new level of obtuseness, and like I’ve said before, it’s losing you potential allies for legitimate causes.

  180. 180
    Brachiator says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    the only thesis i defend here is that there is a biological basis for all behavior.

    You mean, then, there’s a biological basis to your posting of gibberish?

  181. 181
    liberal says:

    @freelancer:

    Not too much vocab in her.

    Au contraire. She coined the verb “to basegank” and as such has a special place in my heart.

  182. 182
    gex says:

    @cleek: Yeah, but GA didn’t need to know anything about what I was talking about before going after me.

  183. 183
    Nemesis says:

    Discussing the relative merits of the presidents COLB and his school records deflects focus away from the Paul Ryan Plan to Destroy America.

    How are gop’ers sooo good at doing this?

  184. 184
    gwangung says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: More proof of mc’s bigotry and racism. Girl doesn’t even understand moderately involved stats and, like Sully, clings to her racism.

  185. 185
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @gex: i guess so. sorry, but i didnt understand. srsly …when i hear bell curve i think normal, gauss…i dont have the background to think anything else.
    im sorry i called names.
    i was wrong.
    Thank you for explaining it.

  186. 186
    David in NY says:

    Wow. Cole’s penultimate paragraph singed my eyebrows.

  187. 187
    maus says:

    @Brachiator: Eh, I do feel bad if she’s not just horribly stupid but actually mentally ill, though. On the bright side, meds can help a lot.

    Also,

    http://usjamerica.wordpress.co.....ars-later/ because she may have missed it the first time.

  188. 188
    Some Guy says:

    I think the poverty of arguments around the whole mess is telling for just about every aspect of the political spectrum. This moment is a referendum on the structure of mediate politics today. Unlike the Swift Boat Truthers or the Lewinsky scandal, here we have an obviously bullshit conspiracy theory running on nothing more than race and loathing (edit: I don’t mean SBT or Lewinsky had a a real basis, only that they were harder to knock down – this is a much simpler “scandal” to skewer). And it is empirically slammed shut.

    On the left: no matter what you do, the crazies will do their crazy. And yet, people kibitz over Obama’s strategy. Think about it. If the former is true, there is no strategy other than work around them. If there is a strategy, then it does matter to delegitimize an illegitimate political tactic.

    On the right: All we need is proof that is he American. No matter what Obama says, he is un-American. Rinse and repeat with above mutual exclusivity.

    The entire conversation is based on playing whack-a-mole with lunatics and blaming non-lunatics for not managing to make the crazy go away. Any part of that is the wrong thing to be talking about.

  189. 189
    Clark says:

    Remember, conservatism is formless like water, right Andrew?

  190. 190
    liberal says:

    @cleek:
    Does that mean “Hermione Granger-Weasley” was Matako-Chan or whatever she’s calling herself these days?

  191. 191
    stuckinred says:

    @liberal: maybe yes, maybe no

  192. 192
    Alex Gurney Halleck-S. says:

    @stuckinred:

    He’s a bear!

  193. 193
    Joel says:

    @Brachiator: Schizophrenia.

  194. 194
    Holly McLachlan says:

    @El Tiburon:
    1) good post John.
    2) General question: is anyone else amused by how the halls of the American Punditocracy are thronged with the foreign-born, all opining about “American-ness”? Sullivan, Taitz, Hitchens, Frum, Steyn, and others………. there are so many naturalized bullshit artists writing about this “issue” in major print media outlets.
    It’s not like they don’t have a right to an opinion. But…….

  195. 195
    MBunge says:

    “I know Sullivan’s reaction shouldn’t be pissing me off as much as it is, because he really can’t help himself. He really is just a stooge for whatever bullshit the right spews, either intentionally or accidentally.”

    I don’t know if Sully’s political views have anything to do with it. He’s a man of, at best, slightly above average intelligence whose education may be extensive in some areas but is clearly lacking in others and has a weakness for hysterical overreaction. Give a man like that a platform where he’s constantly babbling on about whatever comes to mind and the results are not going to be pretty, no matter what his politics views may be.

    Mike

  196. 196
    liberal says:

    @stuckinred:
    I don’t recall that many tells in HGW’s posts, but Ghanima Atreides’ is rancid with ’em. srsly. ;-)

  197. 197
  198. 198
    HyperIon says:

    @Marmot wrote:

    what does it take to move him to the all-mockery category from the respected-sometime-foe category?

    Yes, Cole must answer for this.

    (Note: My above stmt is a variant quote of some idiot who stated that Josh Marshall must answer for having Kaus on his list of approved sites. Remember that moronic post?)

  199. 199
    Nemesis says:

    @grandpajohn: Winner of the twattertoobz for today.

  200. 200
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Superluminar: i view the book “The Bell Curve” as a collection of statistics. It is my understanding that someone could BASE a hypoth on the contents, but like Omnes said, I have never read it. It is too out of date to contribute to contempory research. I was apparently ignorant of the history of how it has been used.
    It is actually a tribal shibboleth, because for juicers the book is symbolic of how you have seen it used.
    I am sorry if I offended people…i dont have the shared history that informs the book for you.

  201. 201
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Studly Pantload:

    Sully’s problem isn’t that he can’t release his embrace from a “dead” ideology party identification.

    Fix’d. That’s really what the issue is — he can’t separate himself from his beloved Republican Party, the party that spawned the sainted Ronald Reagan. If it was just a matter of ideology, he would be able to do what many Blue Dogs did and switch their party ID without changing their ideology.

  202. 202
    kay says:

    @Shoemaker-Levy 9:

    What I’m talking about is that some months or years down the line somebody of the Joe Klein or Thomas Friedman ilk will write a column about how this was an inglorious episode for the media, blah blah blah. Those are the types Obama likes to have on his side anyway. No, I don’t expect the majority of them to feel shame.

    I actually think the history of this whole period is going ot be much, much better than that. I hope so. It’s absolutely perfect as a story. I hope someone talented and smart writes it, and I think they will because Obama is. in fact, “historical” simply because he’s a first.

    I have to live long enough to read that book. We also need someone to compile a record of the images.

    I want Tea Party signs to live on. 50 years from now, they’ll be iconic, like those images of snarling bigots when schools were integrated.

    People will forget. We need reminders of who said what. It’s going to have so many (formerly) “serious” people in it! There should be a whole chapter on “US media response to the election of Obama”. Birtherism alone is so revealing.

  203. 203
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @liberal: Yes, it’s all the same peculiar person: matoko, Hermione, “Ghanima.”

    I must spend altogether too much time around here.

  204. 204
    liberal says:

    @Some Guy:

    On the left: no matter what you do, the crazies will do their crazy. And yet, people kibitz over Obama’s strategy.

    Hmm…I’m definitely a critic of Obama’s “on the left”, but I don’t see anything wrong with what he’s done. One could argue pro/con on releasing more info both ways, but “what should Obama do?” doesn’t enter my mind at all. Rather, it’s “what a bunch of scumbags, and their enablers in the press.”

  205. 205
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @gwangung: /sigh
    show me where i revealed myself as a racist.
    unless christian, libertarian, conservative and stupid are races now, i am not a racist.
    i dont give a shit about skin color.
    you can call me a bigot on some things. that might even be true.
    when someone says “iq” here it seems that juicers hear “race”.
    Is that because of the bell curve book?
    ;)

  206. 206
    chopper says:

    @Brachiator:

    eh, giving trump a victory lap is fine, it just legitimizes the crazier side of the GOP and puts the spotlight on a guy who has no chance of actually winning.

    the birthers may have to double down on the crazy now, but they probably feel really powerful now as a faction in the GOP. which is win-win for obama.

    trump and his ilk can move on to even crazier shit like claiming that obama somehow faked his grades at harvard, which may end up being a bridge too far for the 75% of people in this country who aren’t completely insane.

  207. 207
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @FlipYrWhig: im evolving.

  208. 208
    Sasha says:

    My e-mail to Andrew:

    You ask, “Why did Obama wait so long?”
    ..
    Obama had absolutely nothing more to prove. He established his American citizenship (and thus his eligibility for the presidency) *years* ago via the usual legal protocols. The MSM scrutinized the issue with “every fact and document” and “all the relevant information” at hand, and with this “clear and available evidence” they rebutted the ludicrous claim of Obama’s noncitizenship multiple times — only for the president to continue to be hounded by what can most charitably be described as vocal purveyors of utter nonsense.
    ..
    Yet, you suggest that *Obama* is the one to blame for the polity being “almost paralyzed with distraction” because he did not earlier accede to the wishes of ridiculous people. If you should be dismayed with Obama about anything regarding this silliness, it’s that he eventually caved in to the demands of a bunch of lunatic and radical extremists.
    ..
    You ask, “Why did Obama wait so long?” But that’s the wrong question.
    ..
    The question should be, “Why would a significant portion of the American populace cling to a ridiculous and easily disproven conspiracy theory for so long, and why would the GOP and the media humor such people by giving it the veneer of legitimacy, especially since the claim was already debunked over and over again?”

  209. 209
    grandpajohn says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I was born in 1937 and the official embossed copy I received in 1991 looks like that
    All certificates issued in the state look exactly the same , they are computerized, and any health dept in the state can print out an official copy in the office. No writing or having to make a trip to the state capitol to get a copy.

  210. 210
    TheStone says:

    Who the hell ends a post on a blog that doesn’t accept comments with “Do you know what I am saying?” I would like to tell Andy that I have no fucking clue what he is saying, but he and his dominatrix Tina won’t let me.

  211. 211
    Tim in SF says:

    It’s a fake. I’ve seen it. It looks shopped.

    Also, if it’s from Hawaii, it would have been in one of these fonts.

  212. 212
    liberal says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:
    Well, keep up the hard work. You just might pass the Turing test one of these days.

  213. 213
    Steve says:

    At what point will Andrew insist that Obama’s mother be exhumed for forensic study, because you know it’s only a matter of weeks before Peak Wingnut:

    From the BBC today:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13212230

    It remains unclear whether the release of the birth certificate will satisfy the most hard-core birthers.

    Joseph Farah, chief executive of birther-orientated website WorldNetDaily.com, said on the site the document “raises as many questions as it answers”.

    “It is important to remember there are still dozens of other questions concerning this question of eligibility… concerning Barack Obama’s parentage, his adoption, his citizenship status throughout his life and why he continues to cultivate a culture of secrecy around his life,” he said.

  214. 214
    Yutsano says:

    @chopper:

    trump and his ilk can move on to even crazier shit like claiming that obama somehow faked his grades at harvard

    IIRC Teh Donald has gone there already. The headline I saw was that Trump said Obama isn’t that smart. I bet he and Michelle had a great time with that one.

    On a side note: I just realized this must be killing his daughters. Can you imagine having to hear all this shit about your dad day in and day out?

  215. 215
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Superluminar:

    the hysterical attacks on EDK after he changed his mind on politics.

    ? i have known EDK way longer than you guyz and he has never changed his mind on politics. Hes always been a libertarian. WTF are you talking about?

  216. 216
    different church-lady says:

    @danimal: “Well, these books are all scientific,” insisted Tom…”

    Some things never change, eh?

  217. 217

    I think it’s pretty clear that releasing more proof that he is an American citizen is just the sort of ploy a Socialist, Muslim Kenyan operative would do to try and throw us off the track.

    If he really wants to prove he’s a good American, he should admit that he’s not. Because no undercover spy would ever admit they an undercover spy.

    Unless he knows that we know that no spy would admit that, in which case, to prove he’s American, he should just resign now.

  218. 218
    sixers says:

    everyone who pointed out that Sullivans reaction to Obama’s certificate being released is a hidden defense for his trig palin obsession are 100% correct. You know he’s desperate for that kid to not be Sarah Palins and its seeping into every story he covers.

  219. 219
    Corner Stone says:

    Damn, Andrea Mitchell of all people just flat out said this whole nonsense was racism.
    “Shouldn’t we call racism, racism?”

  220. 220
    Benjamin Cisco says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: My brother’s from NY – almost the exact same form. In fact, except for the fact that it is from NY and therefore has a different seal on it, pretty much identical.

  221. 221
    roshan says:

    The day of reckoning has arrived for these racist and bigoted assholes. How many blog posts and news articles are going to “accidentally” vanish in the wake of today’s revelations?

  222. 222
    different church-lady says:

    @Some Guy: Classic symbiotic relationship.

  223. 223
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @cleek: hah. ok. like i said, when someone says Bell Curve, like people do here all the time, i think gauss. its all i can think, i dont have the background to make any other association. it is a shibboleth, because the book “the Bell Curve” is invested with historical use of the contents.
    can this be my last apolo?
    i understand the encoded meaning of Bell Curve now.
    i wont bring it up again.

  224. 224
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    So much pie in this thread.

    Look, I think we need a little refresher about trolls: The only way to get them to STFU is DON’T FEED THEM. Don’t. Don’t respond to anything they write, no matter how much it pushes your buttons or how well it’s designed to provoke a response. (Isn’t that the definition of trolling?) And the best way to achieve that, in turn, is simply not to read them. I wish we had an “Ignore” feature, but since we don’t, let’s use the edit features in our brains.

    Sorry to get all basic and Internets 101 lectur-y here, but damn, I’m tired of reading the complaining. If the critter bugs you, denying it food (the attention it craves) is the only way to get rid of it, and that way really does work.

    As a bonus, if the troll of the moment is actually DougJ spoofing, this method works equally well for getting him to cut that lame shit out and come up with better-quality spoofage.

  225. 225
    liberal says:

    @different church-lady:
    LOL! Great link.

    Of course it’s easier for me to laugh at this stuff cuz I’m a middle aged white guy.

  226. 226
    Brian R. says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    im evolving.

    No, you’re not. If anything, you’re devolving.

  227. 227
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Mine from Illinois almost exactly three years later is a remarkably similar document. Certificate of Live Birth, the specific information listed, all of that. You might get the impression that all states used more or less the same type of form in the early 60s.

    Isn’t the much more likely answer that you and the Manchurian President had the same COLB forger!
    Damn you, you Wisconsin usurper!

  228. 228
    Brachiator says:

    @chopper:

    trump and his ilk can move on to even crazier shit like claiming that obama somehow faked his grades at harvard, which may end up being a bridge too far for the 75% of people in this country who aren’t completely insane.

    I see what you’re saying, and I agree that it will be too much for non-crazies, but I can see the GOP letting the birthers continue to rant because it will continue to distract the media and the public from dealing with other issues.

  229. 229
    different church-lady says:

    @MBunge:

    [Sullivan] has a weakness for hysterical overreaction.

    Are you saying he’s a drama queen?

    (I’m sorry, sometimes I just can’t stop myself…)

  230. 230
    Superluminar says:

    @Ghanima Atreides
    look when you first turned up here you were certainly pushing TBC pretty hard, so forgive us for not giving you the benefit of the doubt on this one. If you really have given up that thesis, then you can repeat after me ” differences in IQ have nothing to do with skin color”. It’s not so hard, right?

  231. 231
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @liberal:

    Well, keep up the hard work. You just might pass the Turing test one of these days.

    merci mille fois, je m’enforcerai I am a believer in Friendly AI you know.
    ;)

  232. 232
    different church-lady says:

    @liberal: Think about Tom Buchanan. Then think about Newt Gingrich. Then try to not let your head explode.

  233. 233
    Yutsano says:

    @Superluminar:

    then you can repeat after me ” differences in IQ have nothing to do with skin color”

    I think if she says that she gets banished back to her own dimension. Or maybe she has to say it backwards. I forget which.

  234. 234
    chopper says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    make sure to also read gould’s epic takedown of it, m_c. then maybe you can join the big people discussion.

  235. 235
    jeff says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    The Book of that Name, dude. We know what a bell curve is, dude. The book entitled Teh Bell Curve is what is being referenced.

  236. 236
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Superluminar: no…i was talking about Murray’s paper on educational romanticism. That is a valid paper. What he said about NCLB in that paper has been proven.
    But everyone here associates Murray with the Bell Curve book. So that was the association to the shibboleth.
    Like I said, if i see Bell Curve I think gaussian distribution. Not about the book. It is my understanding that the book itself is just a collection of stats.
    I apolo for my misperception.
    I wont bring it up again.

  237. 237
    Cat says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Actually “twink” is being used by stuckinred here as a derogatory slur against a Sullivan since nobody could mistake him for an actual twink since he’s a middle aged, balding, gay man with a beard which is the exact opposite of what a twink is.

  238. 238
    JM says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: WTF are you are talking about? The book “The Bell Curve” is a collection of statistics as I understand it.

    I think I see your problem.

  239. 239
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    If you were going to sock puppet yourself and pretend to be a completely different person than the one who was here passionately defending the thesis of The Bell Curve, you probably should have changed your writing style.

  240. 240
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @chopper: no thank you. I dislike Gould and disagree with him on punctuated equilibrium.
    @jeff: i get that now. like i said, the book is a shibboleth in this tribe. the words “bell curve” have an iceberg sized associated history here, meaning a whole lot more than just a gaussian distribution or a 16-year old book.
    ;)

    Can i stop apologizing yet?

  241. 241
    JM says:

    This release today will end nothing, and Sullivan is being played for a fool. Again.

    Sullivan is a fucking moron. The only reason anyone knows who he is is because, ten years ago, he was an obedient token.

  242. 242
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mnemosyne: what thesis? it is my understanding that the book is just a collection of stats.
    What thesis does the TEXT of the book advance?

  243. 243
    soonergrunt says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: NO. It is not just a collection of statistics.
    It is a very thinly veiled excuse for the proposition that intelligence varies with skin color, and specifically that black people are less intelligent than are Arabs, who are in turn less intelligent than persons of European stock.
    It addresses the disparity in scores on standardized IQ tests only in as much as it dismisses the prospect that cultural differences affect test scores and attributes those deficits in minorities (and African-Americans in particular) strictly to structural deficiencies in the brains of those people.

    In short, it is a book-length excuse and rationalization for institutionalized racism.

  244. 244
    Elie says:

    @Iowa Housewife:

    With all due respect, Iowa — why requote that crazy shit here? We don’t see/hear enough crazy? That kind of shit just should not be replicated — its toxic to your brain and ours.

  245. 245
    chopper says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    PE has fuck-all to do with The Bell Curve, or The Mismeasure of Man.

  246. 246
    chopper says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    the bit about how the authors believed that genetics are a basis of alleged ‘racial differences in intelligence’?

  247. 247
    liberal says:

    @chopper:
    His take down was really good. Though there are lots of other good ones, and many of the technically-oriented ones are informative about statistics. E.g. Intelligence, Genes, and Success: Scientists Respond to THE BELL CURVE.

  248. 248
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @chopper: yes. what is your point? I dislike Gould, I disagree with him on PE, and I have no wish to read anything he says.
    kk?

  249. 249
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Damn, Andrea Mitchell of all people just flat out said this whole nonsense was racism.

    Where was this?

  250. 250
    Bret says:

    John, Doug, and all other posters. I’d humbly like to make a suggestion. Any time, from now going forward, you see a story of a person questioning the birthright citizenship of President Obama, you simply link to that story with one word: “Racist.”

  251. 251
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @soonergrunt: well if that is true why would i want to read it, and why would Mnem think im defending that when i haven’t read it?

    look, im sorry i misunderstood. i am unfamiliar with the history of how the contents of the book were used. I did defend Murray’s paper attacking NCLB, and he has been proven correct on NCLB, but there is nothing about race in that paper.
    i understand what “bell curve” means here.
    can i stop apologizing yet?

  252. 252
    chopper says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    you’re a buffoon.

    shit, i disagree with gould’s belief that dimaggio’s 56-game hitting streak is the single greatest achievement in the history of baseball, i guess i should also ignore any of his arguments against biological determinism.

    anything to avoid dealing with information critical of your own personal dogma, i guess.

  253. 253
    rikryah says:

    Mr. Cole,

    come here.

    closer.
    closer.

    BIGGEST POSSIBLE WETTEST SMOOCH I CAN POSSIBLY GIVE.

    you don’t know how much I appreciate the excellent Sully bitchslap.

  254. 254
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    WTF are you are talking about? The book “The Bell Curve” is a collection of statistics as I understand it.
    Where is there any thesis in the book?

    Come on, son. This is tomfoolery to the highest degree.

    Even for you.

  255. 255
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    it is my understanding that the book is just a collection of stats.

    Your understanding is wrong. Disastrously so.

    What thesis does the TEXT of the book advance?

    That white people are genetically smarter than black people. Murray then goes on to postulate that improving “urban” schools is completely useless because, hey, those people are all idiots anyway, so education is wasted on them.

    You can play dumb all you want, but you know all of this.

    ETA:

    well if that is true why would i want to read it, and why would Mnem think im defending that when i haven’t read it?

    Do you mean that this particular identity that you’re using at the moment has not read it even though your previous identity as m_c was quoting from it? Can we talk to Sybil now?

  256. 256
    Iowa Housewife says:

    @Elie: I just thought it was incredible. Sorry.

  257. 257
    maus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    shibboleth

    Why do you keep misusing this word? “The Bell Curve” is a reference to a book, and our disappointment with a particular pundit. It is not a shibboleth, not a catchphrase, not unique to Balloon Juice, and something that has been discusses by numerous other blogs. Ten cent words are only impressive if you know how to use them in a context in which they make sense.

    Can i stop apologizing yet?

    Better than apologies would be you actually researching unfamiliar concepts in the future.

  258. 258
    kgc16 says:

    @kay: I hope you’re right. I’m afraid the media and the Republicans are just going to keep on with the crazy. Like you, I live in Ohio. My husband was laid off early in the recession from his job as a construction superintendent, and we’ve had our ups and downs in this economy since then. Presently we are down. I’m worn out by the emphasis on fake controversies, from birtherism to “Obamacare” to the idea that teachers and other members of the middle-class (who happen to be taxpayers, btw) are the real problem with America. I want to see jobs and health care as big topics of (truly) serious discussion, but it appears we aren’t there yet. Pseudo-controversies are so much more exciting. But again, perhaps you are right and the nonsense will finally be exposed for what it is. One can hope.

  259. 259
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    @kay:

    I think the book you describe will undoubtedly be written, the only question is what lessons if any will the so-called MSM internalize. I have read a few mild mea culpas coming out of the Clinton and Iraq fiascoes, and that is what I was trying to describe. Will there be widespread recognition that a fringe of racists and opportunists played them for complete fools on the birther thing? Not holding my breath, but time will tell.

  260. 260
    Elie says:

    @Bret:

    I guess at some level, I ask, why link to this shit at all? Y’all want to hunt down these lies and get yourselves in a twist about it over and over? Great! Do it!

    This is a predictable means to keep distraction stirred up and when we amplify and repeat it, aren’t we also becoming part of the problem?

    Its beyond silly and everyone — EVERYONE knows its bull, including probably 99% of the Village and the MSM. But they gotta get those hits and generate revenue so they will trot out whatever they need to get that. That could include, but not be limited to, pictures of Obama with horns coming out his head and signed affadavits from bona fide Martians that they know he has green blood and that his mother was from Saturn.

    At some point, it just feels like cutting ourselves for entertainment. We see these stupid stories/situations, then have to pull out that little razor blade and then we have to make it hurt on ourselves and then we can righteously scream about our scars.

    We just have to do it, I guess, but Lordy, it just seems so OBVIOUS. All this energy looking for something to do and the answer is this.

  261. 261
    maus says:

    @Midnight Marauder: I really don’t remember, was s/he that South Park Conservative “i can’t be a racist because I hate everyone equally” in the past? There was some weirdness, but aside from the arguments that went nowhere, I don’t recall this much intellectual incuriosity.

  262. 262
    Corner Stone says:

    @Brachiator: On her show at noon CT on MSNBC. She had Chris Matthews and Chuckles Todd and she just flat asked them why shouldn’t they call “racism, racism” ?
    She does shit like once in a while. This was stark, and no hiding from it. Matthews said something oblique like, “Trump bet on black and it came up red.”

  263. 263
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    m_c was quoting from it

    link please.

  264. 264
    Benjamin Cisco says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    unless christian, libertarian, conservative and stupid are races now, i am not a racist.

    Wow. Not sure you meant it the way you said it, but…

  265. 265
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @maus:

    Better than apologies would be you actually researching unfamiliar concepts in the future.

    ok. can i go now?

  266. 266
    JonF says:

    FWIU, they didn’t fight to keep Sully at the Atlantic. Shocker.

  267. 267
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mnemosyne: you can’t find a link, because i have never quoted from the book. I haven’t read it.
    I have quoted Murray’s paper attacking NCLB, but there is no mention of race in that paper.
    I’m sorry if i upset people. I did not understand why a 16 yearold book was so important. i dont have the same associations.
    to me a bell curve is a normal distribution.
    /shrug

  268. 268
    YellowDog says:

    @Marmot:

    Go back further than Clinton. FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and Carter were vilified by the right. Johnson is a special case because Vietnam and Civil Rights canceled each other out, to some extent. Any Democrat in the White House would have been a target, and everything is amplified now by talk radio, the internet, and Fox. But the racist dog whistles are everywhere–he’s not one of “us.” Instead of the usual stuff about Democrats–captive of special interests, anti-business, tax and spend liberal–we hear about his birth certificate, his school records, and his religion. It’s not the quantity or the volume of the ranting that’s necessarily differnt, it’s the content.

  269. 269
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @chopper: You are correct that i am uninterested in Goulds arguments against biological determinism.
    Most scientists are.

  270. 270
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Just stop it.

  271. 271
    Triassic Sands says:

    and Sullivan is being played for a fool.

    Sullivan isn’t being “played for a fool.” He is a fool. Period.

    Trig. Trig. Trig. Trig. Trig. Trig.

    People who treat Sullivan as a thoughtful commentator do much to degrade the public discussion.

  272. 272
    maus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    ok. can i go now?

    And yet, as evidenced in your next post, you’d still rather blather on than inform yourself. What on earth is wrong with you? Why is it better to ramble on for fifteen posts than read one lousy article?

    I mean, I’m assuming that you’re at some point sincere in your interest to not come off like a goober.

  273. 273
    Kane says:

    Never has someone been given the benefit of the doubt more often than Andrew Sullivan. And it’s all so undeserving. At some point one must come to the realization that Sullivan is simply a self-important pompous ass in constant need of an ego stroke. Whenever the shit hits the fan, Sullivan is always there to echo the republican line.

  274. 274
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Something quick and recent related to the topic. And no it doesn’t reference the the Bell Curve specifically, but it certainly speaks to your IQ and race commentary on this blog.

  275. 275
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Mnem cant find a place where i quoted from the book because i havent.
    @maus: sorry, but what i said is true. Mnem cant find a link because there isnt one. i havent read the Bell Curve.
    what did you want me to read?
    the definition of shibboleth?

  276. 276
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Link

    But, yes, I’m sure that Charles Murray did a complete new study for his article on NCLB for the American Enterprise Institute and didn’t rely on the racist statistics in The Bell Curve.

    By the way, you do realize that you’re endorsing Murray’s stance that trying to improve urban schools is useless because black people are stupid, right? It’s right in that same article that you’re using to try and prove Murray’s not a racist.

  277. 277
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: I looked. I found a number of examples of you quoting or citing approvingly to Murray. Since these took place in the context of discussions of either The Bell Curve or Murray’s positions on race and intelligence, one would be excused for thinking you were referring to his magnum opus on the topic. You are, at best, being disingenuous here.

  278. 278
    soonergrunt says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: I figured you hadn’t read it, and that you were mistaken as to it’s contents. That’s why I was telling you what it was, and trying to give you a window into it’s significance for this population.
    You don’t need to apologize to me on this because I perceived no wrong, only a mistake as to relevant fact.

  279. 279
    Brachiator says:

    @Corner Stone:

    On her show at noon CT on MSNBC. She had Chris Matthews and Chuckles Todd and she just flat asked them why shouldn’t they call “racism, racism” ?

    Good for her.

  280. 280
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: oh, but that is about the Bell Curve you see. I was referring to the way people freak out at BJ whenever IQ is mentioned, and DougJ mentioned the Bell Curve in the posts.

    What I dislike is how often amateur conservative forays into science drift towards theories about “improving” the human race. I’ve covered the conservative obsession with racial IQ differences before.

    from the linked post.

    Racial supremacy is a fairly taboo topic in the media. That’s why William Saletan thought it was exciting to tell liberals that they were no better than creationists if they failed to accept the “studies” done by white supremacist J. Philippe Rushton. It’s also why Andrew Sullivan and George Will thought it was exciting to promote The Bell Curve.

    People at BJ freak out when IQ is mentioned. That is empirically true.
    I understand now, though. Murray’s book is more than a book, its a shared experience for you guyz, and it symbolically represents a whole lot of other things.
    Of course i dont get it because I wasn’t there.
    I agree with Dr. Watson though.

    Its almost impossible to study the genetics of intelligence either in the US or the UK because it is socially contentious. You can say the net effect is to help perpetuate a system where people are dumb. —Dr. James Watson

    I understand now why people here saying “the Bell Curve” evokes a whole bunch of emotion. I wont ask again.
    But i havent ever quoted from it because i havent read it. Im not that interested in it and i didnt understand why people here are seemingly obsessed with it.
    I do now.
    ;)

  281. 281
    JR in WV says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    Just go to Amazon and look up “The Bell Curve”; waste $20 and a couple of days reading it, then come back prepared to have this discussion. You don’t know what is being discussed, nor have you figured out that it isn’t the bell curve, a mathematical model; this is partly why you are being disrespected. The other reason is, of course, that you are stupid and not respectable.

    The book is a vile and huge compendium of erroneous statistics dedicated to “scientifically proving” that po’ brown folk are too dumb to participate in society. You will probably enjoy it, esp. the vileness. Like racists haven’t been scribbling this vileness for generations! Argh!

    The stupid, it burns!!!!

  282. 282
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: i only quoted from his paper on NCLB. You all assumed I was supporting whatever position you think he has on race. I’ve only read that education paper and like one blog post by the dude…that Pauline Kael thing.
    like i said, i understand that now. i dont have the shared experience basis that creeps you out about Murray.
    to me hes just an old poly sci guy that isnt relevent to me.

  283. 283
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Disingenuous. FWIW someone the other day pointed out that your Asperger’s could lead to some of your mannerisms and apparent obsessions. As a result, I have sought to ignore some of those things and to try to read what you are trying to actually say. Asperger’s does not excuse the BS you are trying to pull here.

  284. 284
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @JR in WV: that all might be true. But i dont need to spend 20$. I just wondered why the phrase “Bell Curve” meant different things to me than to the rest of the juicers, and i wondered why juicers uniformly freak out when IQ is mentioned.
    I understand now.
    Im sorry if i was untactful but that is SOP, isnt it?

  285. 285
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Asperger’s does not excuse the BS you are trying to pull here.

    let me try this then.
    Murray is Pol Pot, Hilter and Satan rolled into one for you guys.
    To me hes an old conservative political “scientist” guy that once wrote a fairly decent attack paper on the horror of NCLB.
    i wont mention it again, kk?

  286. 286
    Svensker says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    MC, the problem isn’t that you don’t know about Murray and The Bell Curve (and the fact that Sully supported and still supports the conclusions in the book). The problem is that you started yelling at folks and making judgments, without knowing what you were talking about. You should have said, “I don’t understand what The Bell Curve is or why you think it’s important”. Not “you guys are idiots and don’t understand bell curves.”

    If something gets you excited and mad, try to ask first why people are saying things about it, before you start being critical. That’s why everyone got mad at you.

    And, yes, you’ve apologized enough.

  287. 287
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: No, Murray is not those people rolled into one. He is simply a racist hack. The fact that he is a political scientist does not enter into it either. Like it or not, the social sciences exist, as do the humanities. Have a little bit of respect for people whose backgrounds, educations, and experiences are different from your own. You might learn something.

  288. 288
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s right in that same article that you’re using to try and prove Murray’s not a racist.

    WTF? i am not endorsing any race-based education theory, and i did not quote from the book like you said i did. and that is the reason you can’t FIND A QUOTE. i dont care if Murray is a racist so why would you think im trying to prove hes not?
    Murray does not mention race in the paper i read.
    I have read a lot of papers by a lot of people.
    Your point is?
    Why don’t you find a quote in that paper where Murray mentions race?
    Because you can’t.
    You expect me to despise Murray and his book like you do.
    I CAN’T. I don’t have that shared experience.

  289. 289
    maus says:

    @286:

    MC, the problem isn’t that you don’t know about Murray and The Bell Curve (and the fact that Sully supported and still supports the conclusions in the book). The problem is that you started yelling at folks and making judgments, without knowing what you were talking about. You should have said, “I don’t understand what The Bell Curve is or why you think it’s important”. Not “you guys are idiots and don’t understand bell curves.”

    That alone isn’t enough, though. If you’re going to yell at people, “I don’t understand and i don’t care to” is a non-apology. People wanted her to actually read and understand, and the continued willful ignorance is what ticked people off after the fact.

    I could give a damn if someone’s polite or not, but passively aggressively refusing to educate onesself and shrugging as if the very concept is beneath her, that’s what’s coming off so negatively.

    Ungh, I can’t believe i’m bothering to respond to this any further, but i’m taking the stretch to assume there’s some Aspergers-related sincerity lurking somewhere.

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    You expect me to despise Murray and his book like you do. I CAN’T. I don’t have that shared experience.

    If you spent a single minute educating yourself rather than proudly shitting your ignorance all over this thread, we’d all be better off. “I don’t understand the topic at hand” is not a persuasive argument.

  290. 290
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @Svensker:

    You should have said, “I don’t understand what The Bell Curve is or why you think it’s important”. Not “you guys are idiots and don’t understand bell curves.”

    this is absolutely true. i think i will try to make a sufi teaching story out of this experience.
    shukran jazeelyan.

  291. 291
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    @maus:

    some Aspergers-related sincerity lurking somewhere.

    uh….aspies are always sincere….but in general they have no tact, diplomacy, and very little of what most humans describe as empathy.

  292. 292
    maus says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    uh….aspies are always sincere….but in general they have no tact, diplomacy, and very little of what most humans describe as empathy.

    Yeah, but that I generally *expect* online :p

  293. 293
    Marmot says:

    @YellowDog: Agreed.

    But the racist dog whistles are everywhere—he’s not one of “us.”

    Mmmm, well, except for that. That’s tribalism, of which racism is a subtype. But yeah, it’s all they’ve got, and they’ve been using it forever.

    I get so mad about this because railing exclusively against the Right’s racism blocks discussing larger problems, like its insane Us-versus-Them mindset, and its subservience to the rich at the expense of everyone else. (Well, we talk about the latter one here at BJ — during the ’90s I was pulling out my hair listening to Dems avoid talking about class.)

  294. 294
    Jesse says:

    @Ghanima Atreides: Read “The Mismeasure of Man”. Then we can discuss Charles Murray.

    Despite your claims of intelligence, I have never seen you demonstrate the ability to read. Learn to read.

  295. 295
    Mandramas says:

    @liberal: So, are you implying that m_c aka Hermione aka Ghanima is some kind of internet’s emerging AI?
    Or maybe, don’t you know what a Turing’s test is, right? Human pases Turing test by default.

  296. 296
    Svensker says:

    @Ghanima Atreides:

    You’re welcome. ;)

  297. 297
    Phoebe says:

    I don’t know what is up his tree. Up until this, he was separating his birth certificate obsession (Trig) from the birthers’, by saying that Obama’s actually provided his already, and anyone who isn’t satisfied with that is a maroon, basically. Now this. I do not get it.

    Me? I think Palin faked her pregnancy and that the lil’ nubbin is Bristol’s, born prematurely. Because I believe that Palin is just that crazy. And I’ve known people who did similar stunts because they thought they could get away with it and they feared humiliation.

    But I’m not demanding a birth certificate because I DON’T CARE. If it were proven that she did or didn’t fake it, none of it would affect my opinion of her. And the people who pretend to care about Obama’s country of birth obviously don’t give a rat’s ass where he was born. Who really would?

    What if we found out that Ronald Reagan for sure for sure was actually born in Mexico? Would we run out into the street screaming “WE WERE HOSED!” No, we wouldn’t, because whether you hate or love Ronald Reagan you absolutely do not care about the country of birth. Nobody cares. I wish people would make THAT point more. And by people I mean “the people the people the people the people”, to whom (Sally Field’s portrayal of) Sybil referred. Pundits like Andrew, I guess.

  298. 298
    Chuck says:

    Um what difference dose it make where Obama was born? The Constitution doesn’t apply anymore, just ask PFC Manning. What’s the fuss about?

  299. 299
    Chuck says:

    It really doesn’t matter where the President was born. If he was born somewhere other than the U.S., which there is no evidence of, that would just be another of many illegalities we have no choice but to accept, along with: torture, Wall Street fraud, wars of choice…what’s the fuss about?

  300. 300
    giantslor says:

    I think what the President has done was politically brilliant. He let this birther thing fester and ooze, and half of the Republican party believes it. Releasing the “long form” B.C. will only make the true believers double down on their delusional fantasies, while Republican politicians will be further torn between the birther rank and file, and independents who now view the right wing as increasingly extremist. Meanwhile, anyone to the left of Olympia Snowe now realizes that these people, birthers, probably really do play with their poop.

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