Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 22, 2009

BIRTHER MADNESS.... Like Adam Serwer, I simply assumed the nuts who questioned President Obama's citizenship would pick some new cause after the inauguration. During the campaign, they had a stronger incentive -- characterize Obama as "the other" and somehow "less American." But after Obama won -- and well after the release of his birth certificate and local newspaper's birth announcement -- the silly little right-wing crusade lost its salience.

Or so I thought.

Limbaugh, of course, is obsessed, but so is CNN's Lou Dobbs, who's not only spouting this nonsense on a nearly daily basis, but started to call the president "undocumented" on the air yesterday, before pulling back slightly. The absurd Birther bill in Congress continues to pick up support from right-wing lawmakers, including Rep. John Campbell (R) of California, who appeared on MSNBC's "Hardball" yesterday to defend the proposal. (Chris Matthews held up the birth certificate on screen before telling Campbell, "What you're doing is appeasing the nutcases.... [Y]ou're verifying the paranoia out there.")

But what really irked me was Liz Cheney who, believe it or not, was on CNN again this week. This time, she told Larry King that the Birthers' efforts are Obama's fault. Asked if she believes this nonsense, Cheney said:

"I think that the Democrats have got more crazies than the Republicans do. But setting that aside, I think that -- you know, one of the reasons I think you see people so concerned about this, I think that, you know, this issue is people are uncomfortable with having, for the first time ever, I think, a president who seems so reluctant to defend the nation overseas. [...]

"I'm saying that people are fundamentally uncomfortable, I think, increasingly uncomfortable with an American president who seems to be afraid to defend America."

Salon's Joan Walsh noted, "I've debated Cheney, so I know she'll do anything from rudely interrupting to lying to make her point, but even I expected her to take King's opportunity to distinguish her brand of Republicanism from the hooligans who run with the Birthers. But she didn't. Wow. The GOP keeps coughing up younger, supposedly more compelling, 'new' leadership, from Sarah Palin to Mark Sanford to, now, Liz Cheney -- and they keep making clear they're not ready for prime time. It's remarkable."

As for the larger issue, whether they realize it or not, Birthers are probably doing themselves far more harm than good. Sure, they're ginning up some excitement among confused activists who don't know better, but they're also making it seem as if the president's most aggressive detractors are stark raving mad.

Michael Medved, a leading far-right voice, recently referred to the Birthers as "the worst enemy of the conservative movement." He added, "It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company."

That, apparently, won't deter them.

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (106)

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Comments

The Cheneys figure that you have to go to war with the army you have, and apparently all they've got are the crazies. They're probably banking on a steady increase in the number of crazies in the American population. And unfortunately that might be a safe bet.

Posted by: Sagacity on July 22, 2009 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Medved doesn't need anybody's help to look like that.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on July 22, 2009 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Can someone please explain the birther argument to me? If, as they claim, Obama was secretly born in Africa, he was still born to a mother who was a U.S. citizen, and thus would have U.S. citizenship. Not that I believe in the conspiracy theory, but even if what they said were true, it still wouldn't make him ineligible to be President. Am I wrong?

Posted by: Jane on July 22, 2009 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

"a president who seems so reluctant to defend the nation overseas. "

Has she looked at the casualty figures from Afghanistan recently?

Dobbs is a graduate of Harvard. What does it augur for our prospects that even our educated elites are becoming infected with this madness?

Posted by: bob h on July 22, 2009 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Birther on, baby. Every badly coiffed woman working herself up into a shrieking frenzy at a Delaware town hall is 1) further eroding the fortunes of the GOP and 2) at least at that moment, too busy to be out trying to shoot the duly elected president.

Posted by: shortstop on July 22, 2009 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

I never would have thought it possible, but I believe Liz Cheney is even more demented than her father.

Posted by: bluestatedon on July 22, 2009 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

There was a time in this country when 'liberal' was a virtue, expected among the educated classes, but even conservative was respectable because it was grounded in a set of principles, even if those principles placed them on the wrong side of history--slavery, women's rights, the right of labor to organize--however, those people who NOW call themselves 'conservative' are just plumb crazy. Their world view is entirely rooted in fantasy, authority is the only thing they respect or trust, no facts can ever persuade them to change their mind--these are deeply disturbing and deeply disturbed people. Does Liz Cheney really believe this nonsense, or does she think she has to say it to compete with Sarah Palin? In other words, is she crazy, or simply Machiavellian? And do they really think they can build a ruling coalition with the crazies?

Posted by: c4logic on July 22, 2009 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

It amazes me that when Liz Cheney, Lou Dobbs, Hannity, Beck and the other nuts are raving on and on about "producing the birth certificate", nobody asks them to show their own birth certificates. I have yet to see proof that any of these people were born in the U.S.

I do not recall any ceremony or confirmation in 2001 where Bush and Cheney "produced" their birth certificates. The only thing more blind than American justice, is American madness.

Then again, if these people really want to put their insanity on parade, who am I to oppose it?

Posted by: Capt Kirk on July 22, 2009 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

i think the entertainment value of the teevee (entertainment being atechnical term, for the complete degradation of what once was known as 'art')

i think the entertainment value of the teevee has made it that much easier for the politics of social pathology to have a hearing on the cable teevee. people get off on that shit -- to use the venacular.

how many of them get converted into the sociopathological wingnut right wing cadres for a bizzaro-america, i'm not sure...

but those painted freaks like lou dobbs (who must be jr "bob" dobbs' evil older brother there in bizzaro-america) sure put on a good show. "crazy, man, crazy."


Posted by: neill on July 22, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

"It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company." Perhaps, Medved should modify the "makes us look" to something like "reveals us to be."

Posted by: E L on July 22, 2009 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

This is what happens when argument and debate is seen as contest instead of a search for the truth.
Conservatives perceive arguments and claims as moves. Political debate to them is a sport or a game, so the truth of a claim is irrelevant. A screen pass isn't true or false, it's just another play a coach can call. The birthers' point is not to prove Obama is not a citizen, but to undermine his legitimacy. The truth of the claim is beside the point. Some of the street-level birthers are loons, but Rush and Liz know what the real game is.

Posted by: jimbo on July 22, 2009 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

I see a "reality" show in the making!

Posted by: martin on July 22, 2009 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

Jane:

I was reading some of their convoluted arguments. Since only one parent was a citizen and because his mother was only 18 and hadn't lived in the US for five years after the age of 14 and there was a law on the books in 1961 that could be read this way, then it's not clear that a person born over seas under those circumstances would be "natural born". I suspect it also depends on if the mother was residing over seas or just visiting. All nutso and like all conspiracy theories, they've decided on the answer first and then have to find the evidence.

One thing puzzles me about this whole thing. Does the original birth certificate from 1961 not exist anymore? Not actually available even to Obama? Is there a reason they haven't released it other than not wanting to feed the crazies?

Posted by: Vondo on July 22, 2009 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

BIRTHERS -- PLEASE READ!!

There are three relentlessly obvious facts which you either are unable or unwilling to accept/admit/concede:

1. Obama is an Ivy League educated lawyer who used to teach Constitutional law. If there is ANYONE who would know the constitutional/federal legal code around the qualifications to be POTUS, it would unarguably be Obama. Its as if you are arguing that an accountant can't add or subtract. Ludicrous.

2. There are unbiased federal vetting procedures and processes to verify the minimal standards of POTUS verification. I believe the FBI or Secret Service does a very, very thorough highest-national-DEFCON 5-CIA-NSA-security-level background check on candidates. So, you brithers are assuming that these highest trained/well paid agents/authorities were either asleep, duped or in on the scam. Absurd.

3. If we assume the remotest of possibilities, that indeed your claims are correct, then clearly -- given the enormous economic/political stakes for gain inherent with whoever becomes POTUS -- that Obama and the Democrats would have hired the most smartest, most intelligent, most capable folks available (as in much more smarter than you could ever be in your dreams) to thoroughly cover the tracks of this conspiracy? Comical.

BIRTHERS! Deal with these three facts.

Posted by: david g on July 22, 2009 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Jane: there are several competing theories. They relate back to the meaning of the constitutional requirement for President:natural born citizen. Since Obama's father was not an American, and since Obama may have been adopted by an Indonesian step-father, perhaps he lost his American citizenship and failed to reclaim it when he became an adult.
Compounding the problem is that Hawaii law doesn't provide for issuing a certified copy of the original long form birth certificate, but instead issues a document called a certifcation of live birth.

Normallly one would think a government issued document was superior- less likely to be forged, but it doesn't work for the birthers. It doesn't list the hospital, and althogh it lists Obama's birth place as Honolulu, the birthers refuse to pay attention to this piece of information or this document.

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on July 22, 2009 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not even sure if I have my own original birth certificate anymore. When I was applying for my first passport over ten years ago, I think I contacted the Florida Secretary of State office, or another office that handles birth certificates, to obtain copies that I could use. I think I ended up with at least two or three. Has all the info on it, looks official and all, but like with Obama I'm not sure if it would satisfy these crazies. Whatever he provides, they'll just think up more requirements.
I have to agree with what Matthews alluded to--it smacks of racism. It's the same nuts who went to all the Palin rallies.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on July 22, 2009 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

You know you're in serious trouble when Michael Medved is the voice of reason in your party. If they keep it up, the Republican party will be down to just the crazy people...

Posted by: Atlliberal on July 22, 2009 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

I have a younger sister whose Facebook page has come to resemble a mixture of all the worst elements of Rightwingnuttery. Part Goebbels, Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh with a bit of Aryan Nation racism and Fox News thrown in. It truly is a macabre melting pot of hate and venom, all transpiring in the last couple years. She thinks Obama is on a secret personal mission to literally take down the nation and offer it over to Sharia adherents. Listening to her talk or reading her screeds you need only to close your eyes and imagine she's channeling Mike Savage to get my drift. I finally responded "to all" on one of her chain e-mail rants and informed her and all she copied that she's mentally deranged, has a sickness that needs professional help and until she sought treatment she needn't speak with me. OMG, the response from people I didn't even know was thunderous! Why, my sister was prophet and I was trying to crucify her and slander her message! Yes, these people are nuts, they need some sort of help. Failing that some mundane yet time intensive hobby might be called for. Swimming the Atlantic Ocean from Miami to Portugal might work.

Posted by: steve duncan on July 22, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

You may or may not remember the small 2000 kerfuffle about where Cheney lived. Cheney actually lived in Texas, and it was arguable that he lived in Wyoming. There was some argument made that the Constitution said the Pres and VP had to be from two different states, and Cheney was ineligible.

The argument didn't get very far because it was a little out there. But it made as much sense as the birther arguments...

Posted by: zmulls on July 22, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

There isn't any document anywhere that would shut these whack jobs up. They'll just insist it's forged. The beauty of conspiracy theories is that any evidence to the contrary is immediately accused of being part of the conspiracy.

Posted by: shortstop on July 22, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

If they keep it up, the Republican party will be down to just the crazy people...

um..which non-crazy people are left in the party?
Even the party chairman can't speak coherently on any substantive issue.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on July 22, 2009 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

it's a mistake to dismiss these nitwits as nitwits; they are unhinged and angry -- a deadly combination made more lethal by the staggeringly irresponsible media and politicians looking to score points.

Posted by: linda on July 22, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Agreed with linda; this is getting dangerous.

Posted by: Disputo on July 22, 2009 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

And why, exactly, would Obama want to stop the Birthers? Obama now sits in the Oval Office, does his job as President,... while his enemies prove to the world that they are bat-shit insane.

Posted by: MattF on July 22, 2009 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Besides forging a birth certificate and finding the right Hawaii civil servant to slip it into a file cabinet, Barack did something even more sinister. He went back in time and inserted birth announcements for a "Barack Obama" in BOTH Honolulu newspapers on the appropriate day.

Posted by: emjayay on July 22, 2009 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Medved has consistently misled people himself, so it's painfully rich for him to now complain about the consequences.

Posted by: David W. on July 22, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

I think it is in the semiotics where a missing key 'splain's all . The idea is that a black man cannot be a natural born human , the key birthers idea that is . This then translates into - Black person = Non human . I forget where in the constitution it is emphasised that the natural born part bit includes being human , but I bet if a tip top scholar and a team of researchers in some dreamy scape tried , they could find the intent that the writers of the Constitution conveyed the meaning of Natural born as in Natural born human .
I am sure this tricky ju jitsu reverse the energy of the strike reasoning works its insidious way into the deep thinkers of the birther juggernaut .
I em sure

Posted by: FRP on July 22, 2009 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

Chris Hodapp's Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies is worth a look in trying to understand these nuts.

Posted by: Mike on July 22, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Watch Fox News and listen to talk radio on a regular basis and you too will become a birther. Wacko is what they do and it is all they have.

A lot of middle aged and older white people are frightened. The economy is in shambles. Their retirements are threatened. Their grandchildren are bringing home black and brown friends. What they always thought was the natural order is being knocked down daily. Don't believe me listen to talk radio and Fox News. When a lot of whites look at Obama they see a black man, but Obama is nothing like a black man is supposed to be. He is smart. He is articulate. He is civilized. He seems to care. He can't be what he seems to be. He has to be alien.

We are at a very dangerous place in America. The old is dying and the new has not yet emerged.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 22, 2009 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Allan, you may have noticed that the biggest current Republican star is also a bit coherence and knowledge challenged. Apparently their many fans are equally challenged. Too bad we can't use Barack's time machine to bring for example Dwight D. Eisenhower into the present for comment.

Posted by: emjayay on July 22, 2009 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Michael Medved, a leading far-right voice, recently referred to the Birthers as "the worst enemy of the conservative movement." He added, "It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company."
------------------------------

That's a mirror, Michael.

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on July 22, 2009 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

The issue is the meaning of the term “natural born U.S citizen.” As far as I know, it has never been legally defined, but is usually interpreted to mean born on U.S. soil or the equivalent. In McCain's case, birth in the Panama Canal zone was considered natural born since the zone was essentially U.S. territory at the time. A more interesting question would be the child of a U.S. military member or diplomat born while the parent was serving overseas but not in a U.S. territory like the zone - just someplace like Germany, Russia, China , etc. I don't think a case like this has ever been tested in the courts, but it is bound to occur at some point. If the parent was in diplomatic status, it would probably be considered the equivalent of a birth on U.S. soil, but not everyone serving at a U.S. Embassy or military facility is in full diplomatic status.

I see the "natural born" phrase as a relic of the 18th century that should be repealed. Any U.S. citizen of age and not a felon should be eligible to seek the Presidency. Why, for example, should Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm be ineligible for the Presidency because she was born in Canada (her parents moved here when she was six)? And yes, I think the Governator should be eligible to run (he's a U.S. citizen but it ineligible since he was born in Austria).

We live in a world now in which not everyone is the product of a marriage between the high school football quarterback and the homecoming queen - Obama’s history is a prime example. If we don’t fix this, we are going to encounter case after case in the future where the birth history is unusual and we will get bogged down in fights over obscure birth documents. Any U.S. citizen should be able to run. That’s the American way.

Posted by: Virginia on July 22, 2009 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Re: "I see the "natural born" phrase as a relic of the 18th century that should be repealed."

Any constitutional amendment that removes the natural-born citizenship requirement should include a clause saying that it will only become effective on the certification of the death of Henry Kissinger.

Posted by: Dirty Davey on July 22, 2009 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop is right, there's nothing anyone can do to disabuse these fools of their notions. Numerous studies have determined that with a conspiracy theory, producing information to contradict it only strengthens the belief among the conspiracy theorists that it is true. Obama ALREADY released his birth certificate and the birthers reject it. People produce birth announcements from Honolulu newspapers and people reject it. The REPUBLICAN governor of Hawaii has said Obama was born there and they reject it. Strap Obama to a polygraph and have him ace it -- the birthers would reject that, too. There probably is literally nothing one can do to convince these folks Obama is eligible to be president. The only thing that can be done is to double Obama's Secret Service detail.

Posted by: NHCt on July 22, 2009 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company, you say that like it's a bad thing... who do you think is out there PROTECTING AMERICA?

Posted by: under GOD!!!!!!! on July 22, 2009 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

RE: "Original" Birth Certificates

Frankly, I'd be surprised if all of the birther defects among the talking heads class could put their hands on their OWN "original" birth certificate. I certainly couldn't. When I was applying for a passport, my mother couldn't find it and frankly doubted that it still existed (I was 49 when I applied). Ditto with most of my friends who share my approximate age group, and the more often their families moved while they were kids, the less likely they are to be able to produce the original. I simply ordered a certified duplicate from the hospital where I was born, and that was good enough for the Federal Government.

Besides, I'm a little confused. I thought Obama was born in Hawaii, not Africa.

Posted by: auntieslats on July 22, 2009 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

I'm curious: how many of these birthers also wanted to change the law to allow Ah-nuld to run for President?

Posted by: azportsider on July 22, 2009 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Why do legitimate media outlets continue to give Liz Cheney a platform? She has no qualifications whatsoever that would justify giving her a public forum for her opinions--she has no expertise or meaningfuly experience in any substantive area of policy. Her sole agenda appears to be to defend her father's record; her loyalty to her father is admirable, but she's not in the least objective and, in fact, is totally compromised as a pundit by her relationship. Is there anyone out there who is not a blood relation and who is not a member of the prior administration who will actively defend the foreign policy or intelligence gathering policies of the Bush/Cheney administration?

For Liz Cheney to repeatedly state that Obama is afraid to or not interested in defending America is beyond outrageous--it's shameful. Even if you disagree with the approaches that the Obama administration has taken to security and defense issues--and obviously there are those who do disagree--for her to suggest that the Administration's policies are adopted in bad faith and with the intention of weakening the country just puts her in the same camp as the Michael Savages, Mark Levins and the other wingnuts. I find it offensive that the press continues to give her a public forum.

Posted by: drf on July 22, 2009 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

azportsider: Good question; one I was about to ask myself. Always remember: no matter the issue or situation, IOKIYAAR.

Posted by: auntieslats on July 22, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that Liz Cheney, Lou Dobbs, Hannity, Beck and the other nuts make oodles of money spouting their shit. Even if it is an act ...it's a well paid act. Hell for 20 million dollars I might stand up spout all sorts of insane shit. No one there to call me on it is there?

Posted by: John R on July 22, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

The cable news stations have far more in common with reality tv than news. It's all about outrage and shock value and behaving badly in public. The hosts and guests are the focal point, not the news. The audience for that sort of thing is largely conservative, so they're simply giving their audience and advertisers what they want. Larry King would have physically pushed Liz Cheney off of the set if someone had suddenly wheeled in Elizabeth Taylor to sputter and drool over Michael Jackson for the full hour.

No doubt Limabaugh's, cheney's, Dodds', Hannity's, etc. lawyers have told them just how far they, themselves, can push the birther thing. THey dance up to the line and let the crazies take it from there.

Posted by: Saint Zak on July 22, 2009 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

"It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company."

Um, Mike? That's because you are all those things.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on July 22, 2009 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

There isn't any document anywhere that would shut these whack jobs up.

The greater the faith, the greater the merit.
The less evidence, the greater faith needed to believe.
The greatest faith is needed to believe that for which there is no evidence.
So the greatest merit comes from believing in the literally incredible.

Credo quia absurdum, as the (mis)-quotation from Tertullian goes.

Movement conservatism is a religion, not a political faction. You can't refute it in a debate, it's a fait. In the bad old days you didn't even try to refute it, you just collected brushwood, got a stake, and sent out for the medieval equivalent of kitchen matches...

Bertrand Russell quote puts it nicely: "We are now again in an epoch of wars of religion, but a religion is now called an 'ideology'.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 22, 2009 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Aside from the birth certificate and the birth announcements, and the fact that Obama's mother apparently was enrolled in school before and after his birth -- one wonders how Obama's mother would have even managed to travel to Kenya as a heavily pregnant woman, telephone her parents about the birth information, and manage to dupe the state into issuing the certificate of live birth. We are talking 1961 here -- Not only was Kenya a place where giving birth was a lot more dangerous than anywhere in the U.S., but I'll bet the wireless and telephone service in 1961 was, how shall we say, primitive. I suppose we could try to find the mother's travel documents to see if there is any record of her leaving the country -- either her passport or maybe the records of the airlines that had non-stop direct service between Honlulu and Nairobi.

My brother is a conspiracy theorist, and it's a form of paranoia and it's virtually impossible to combat. Look at all the people who are still obsessed with JFK's assassination or Princess Diana's death.

Posted by: Barbara on July 22, 2009 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

So why, why, why isn't someone smart enough to point out to Liz Cheney that her dear old Dad was offered the chance to defend his country overseas on many occasions and declined every single time?!

Posted by: ally on July 22, 2009 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

The most glaringly obvious question is how the Obamas managed to deceive the State Department with Barack Jr.'s birth certificate if all the birthers claims are true. I mean, it did issue him a US passport.

Secondly, neither the Obamas nor the grandparents did not put the announcement in the newspaper. The hospital does. Back in the old days, the hospitals would send the newspaper a list of all the births for the week. IIRC, it was even listed by hospital. They never seem to have a response to that one and how this got on microfiche in the Honolulu Advertizer.

Chris Matthews, of all people, totally nailed a Congressman sponsoring that ridiculous birth certificate law. He held up the birth certificate and asked the guy if he believed it was a fake. And cornered him on whether he believes Obama is a natural born US citizen. the Congress critter finally admitted yes, he was. Then Matthews told birthers that they shouldn't vote for him. HA.

Posted by: lou on July 22, 2009 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Barbara--Please don't lump the JFK assassination in with Birthers and Princess Diana's death.

Posted by: maurice_bishop on July 22, 2009 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

I have been trying to understand where they're coming from with claiming that he needs the "original" certificate. Supposedly that's the only valid document, and it would have the name of the hospital, the doctor, all kinds of stuff. They even claim that the birth certificate he released wouldn't even be enough to get a passport.

But I know for a fact that's not true. I've never seen my original certificate. I'm sure my parents lost it a long time ago. When I needed a birth certificate to get my passport, I requested a certified copy from West Virginia, and that's what I used. It doesn't have any more information on it than Obama's does--in fact it has less. It has exactly the information that's required to be on it to get a passport, according to the State Department, which doesn't include anything about hospital or doctor.

Here's what I don't get. There must be any number of people who don't have their original birth certificate, for whatever reason, so have had to use copies issued by their states. Any such person would know immediately that this claim, at least, could not be true. But they still keep making it as if it's obviously true. I don't understand.

I've become a bit fascinated with the birther phenomenon. I don't know, it's just really interesting somehow. But also a little scary.

Posted by: Just Passing By on July 22, 2009 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

The "natural born" requirement should be repealed, and it shouldn't devolve into a fight over individuals who might become eligible (Arnold, Kissinger, etc.). After all, we already have Sarah Palin eligible for the Presidency, so things can't get any worse in that department.

Posted by: Virginia on July 22, 2009 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

There is no controversy about the meaning of natural born--it is the opposite of naturalized. If you are born to citizens of the US, you are natural born, no matter where in the world your birth took place. As opposed to someone who was born with a different citizen and immigrated to the US and became a naturalized citizen. Trust me on this, I work for Customs and Border Protection. We inspect millions of people for admissibility to the US every day.

Posted by: c4logic on July 22, 2009 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Chris Matthews, of all people, totally nailed a Congressman sponsoring that ridiculous birth certificate law. -lou

Of course, he also said he was proud he voted for Michael Steele, so on the whole, Matthews is about half as effective as a broken clock.

Posted by: doubtful on July 22, 2009 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

"It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company."

Well, you morons are weird, you are crazy, you are demented, and you are definitely not suitable for civilized company. The birthers are merely more obvious.

Posted by: TCinLA on July 22, 2009 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a link to the Cheney case from 2000:

http://www.politicsandcurrentaffairs.co.uk/Forum/us-politics-forum/48021-blast-past-cheneys-texas.html

Really, you can make a tenuous case that Cheney was not a Wyoming residency and had no standing to run on a ticket with a fellow Texan, and that case would be stronger than the birther arguments. But in practicality neither of them was going to go anywhere.

Posted by: zmulls on July 22, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

What this comes down to is that there is a group of people for whom the psychological disposition is such that anybody who is different from them can not be a legitimate member of any core group they see themselves as belonging to.

If unavoidable, the presence of these kinds of 'foreign' people may be tolerated in a group, as long as these outsiders assume a subordinate role. But these 'others' can never be constitutive group members and therefore they can not be allowed to occupy a position exerting power over the rightfully affiliated group members.

The Birthers are prototypical for this psychological disposition and for them no document Barack Obama could produce would ever truly legitimize him as the duly elected President of the USA.

Posted by: SRW1 on July 22, 2009 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Trust me on this, I work for Customs and Border Protection.

I can't trust you on anything until I see your original birth certificate, dental records, tax returns, and credit card numbers and related PINs.

Posted by: qwerty on July 22, 2009 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Michael Medved, a leading far-right voice, recently referred to the Birthers as "the worst enemy of the conservative movement." He added, "It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company."

If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck...

Posted by: CWC on July 22, 2009 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Michael Medved, a leading far-right voice, recently referred to the Birthers as "the worst enemy of the conservative movement." I'm guessing he's more concerned about the amount of attention their ranting has drawn to the movement, rather than about their actual insanity. Any conservative who in 2009 can be described as "far right" has to consider nutjobs and conspiracy buffs an important part of his base.

Posted by: Mandy Cat on July 22, 2009 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

One thing puzzles me about this whole thing. Does the original birth certificate from 1961 not exist anymore? Not actually available even to Obama? Is there a reason they haven't released it other than not wanting to feed the crazies?

It may well not exist anymore. Starting in the 1990s, a lot of states scanned documentation into computers and then destroyed the originals because, as far as the state governments are concerned, all they need to do is certify that you were born there. There's absolutely no requirement by any government agency anywhere that you produce the original, signed birth certificate that was created directly after your birth. Every government agency in the United States accepts a certified copy from the state of birth as proof of citizenship. Every. Single. One.

If the state of Hawaii does only have a scanned version, that creates even more problems since it will send the birfers into paroxysms of glee that they've now "proved" that the birth certificate doesn't exist.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on July 22, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

If President Obama's father had been an Irish citizen and his sir name was O'Bama, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Posted by: Mary Diers on July 22, 2009 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

I worked on a case challenging the federally imposed rule that requires Medicaid applicants to prove their citizenship. It's a lot harder than you think -- although a birth certificate usually suffices, a lot of people have great difficulty securing a birth certificate, especially if you are elderly or you were adopted or fostered as a child. There are southern states that did not issue birth certificates for African Americans, so many elderly African Americans can't produce one. Likewise, if the hospital in which you were born closed, or if the courthouse in the community where you were born was moved or burned down -- you get the idea.

maurice -- I'm not classifying JFK with the others, I'm pointing out that there are people who are obsessed with conspiracy theories. My dad had something like 40 books on JFK's assassination, and yes, my dad was paranoid. Some conspiracies might turn out to be true -- but it's often surreal to try to talk to someone who sees a conspiracy behind everything.

Posted by: Barbara on July 22, 2009 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what Liz Cheney really meant:

"I'm saying that people are fundamentally uncomfortable, I think, increasingly uncomfortable with an American president who ISN'T WHITE."

Forget defend America. Forget citizenship. He's not a rich white guy, so he can't possibly qualify to be president. That's the real problem.

Posted by: gifgrrl on July 22, 2009 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Elizabeth Cheney...what a piece of work. But then she grew up with that grimacing monster for a father, so what can we expect? There is certainly something wrong with any gay person with a backbone who supports the GOP. And to have *CHENEY* as her father...well, the fact that she defends those creeps only speaks to how much she must truly hate herself. Pity the poor fool. And then ignore her completely, as her father does.

Posted by: Limbaugh's Diabetes on July 22, 2009 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

There is certainly something wrong with any gay person with a backbone who supports the GOP.

factcheck: Dick Cheney has two daughers. Mary Cheney is the gay daughter. Liz is her older sister. Liz is married to Phillip Perry, a former General Counsel of the USDept of Homeland security, and she's the mother of five children.

Actually, off-thread, interestingly, Michelle Bachmann is also the mother of five children. And Sarah Palin...she has five children, too, if you assume that that Trig is hers (Speaking of birthers, despite the mysteries surrounding his birth, we've never seen a birth certificate for Trig, and the hospital where Palin claims he was born has no public record of his birth. hmmm? I suppose it is a good thing he isn't running for president.)

So apart from being crazy, is above average fecundity a requirement for those who want to get ahead in the Republican Party? On the male side, the Sanfords have four sons. The Romneys have five sons as well.

Posted by: PTate in MN on July 22, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm saying that people are fundamentally uncomfortable, I think, increasingly uncomfortable with an American president who seems to be afraid to defend America."

Yet she is fundamentally comfortable, I think, increasingly comfortable with a father who seemed to be afraid to defend America when the draft board called.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 22, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

How depressing all of this is.

Posted by: grinning cat on July 22, 2009 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Can someone please explain the birther argument to me? If, as they claim, Obama was secretly born in Africa, he was still born to a mother who was a U.S. citizen, and thus would have U.S. citizenship. Not that I believe in the conspiracy theory, but even if what they said were true, it still wouldn't make him ineligible to be President. Am I wrong?"

It's easily explained. Fascist corporate powers lined up against a Democratic President to neuter him at all costs and win back control of congress/senate/white house so they can get back to raping and plundering and pushing us towards an apocalypse. They don't care about truthfullness, it's swiftboating plain and simple. They'll repeat the lie until 2012.

This country sucks.

Posted by: grinning cat on July 22, 2009 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I simply ordered a certified duplicate from the hospital where I was born, and that was good enough for the Federal Government.
Posted by: auntieslats

I was told a hospital BC wasn't good enough. I have mine, signed by the hospital administrator and the surgeon who delivered me. It even has my cute li'l baby footprints on it. I was told I needed a copy of the state-certified certificate of live birth, which they do not give your parents at the time of your birth in the state of Washington.

Barbara--Please don't lump the JFK assassination in with Birthers
Posted by: maurice_bishop

Then I will. Read Case Closed by Gerald Posner. There's no credible evidence Kennedy was killed by anyone other than Lee Harvey Oswald. If you want to believe there is, hey, go to town. The beauty of living in America is that you are free to believe in any damn fool fucking nonsense you want to despite no evidence to the contrary. JFK conspiracy nuts sound like Birfer nuts to me. A kook is a kook is a kook.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on July 22, 2009 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding "original" birth certificates. I actually have mine. When I tried to use it to get a Maryland driver's license, MVA said that that document is not legal. It is only a "Hospital Certificate" and is only good for a souvenir. I need to get the REAL birth certificate from the state (PA). Which I did, no prob.

Regarding conspiracy theories. I subscribed to the notion that Bush Was Wired during the Bush-Kerry presidential debates. I still to this day believe that Karl Rove (or somebody) was coaching W on the answers through a wireless earphone in his head. The evidence was flimsy, yet tantalizing. At the end of the day though, there was nothing we could do but pound sand. Enjoy!

Posted by: Marko on July 22, 2009 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Come on. We're talking about the same group of folks who believe with all their hearts that it's possible for a lowly reserve company grade naval officer to outwit his bosses and the entire US Navy brass by manufacturing deadly jungle firefights so that he can be awarded Bronze and Silver Stars and Purple Hearts and be sent home from Nam. Yet those same people think it's impossible for a couple of high ranking good 'ol boys from the Texas Air Guard to gen up an honorable discharge to get rid of a wayward grounded pilot who also happens to be the son of a powerful Texas congressman. These folks don't need facts - they can make up their own.

Posted by: Mainframe on July 22, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

c4logic said: "There is no controversy about the meaning of natural born--it is the opposite of naturalized. If you are born to citizens of the US, you are natural born, no matter where in the world your birth took place."

Even if that is the definition used by Customs, that doesn't mean it will necessarily satisfy the constitutional "natural born" requirement for the Presidency. Read the Wikipedia article on this - it's more complicated than a lot of people think and it has never been definitively decided.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_born

I stand by my view that the clause should be repealed and that any U.S. citizen should be eligible for the Presidency.

Posted by: virginia on July 22, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it helps to know that this clause of the Constitution is sometimes reputed to have been included in order to make sure Alexander Hamilton, who was born in the West Indies, could not become president. At a minimum, I suspect it spoke to the fear at the time that a president who had been born in England (as many people in America at the time had been) might be more likely to offer some kind of ongoing fealty to England out of family or financial interests.

Posted by: Barbara on July 22, 2009 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Posner's book is a piece of misleading garbage, like all the lone-nutter books. Some conspiracies really have happened. Hitler was not almost blown up by a lone nut. Julius Caesar was not knifed to death by a lone nut. And John Wilkes Booth did not act alone, though he is frequently portrayed as a "lone nut."

Posted by: Speed on July 22, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I've written about this before. I'm a lawyer whose practice includes adoption law and have dealt with "birth certificate" issues for many years. I'm also a boomer. When we were born somebody (usually the hospital prepared an old style birth certificate with lots of fancy stuff on it like the doctors signature and sometimes a footprint for example) A copy was forwarded to the state bureau of vital records. If you needed one you could get a certified copy. Sometime in the 60's or 70's most of these documents were put on microfiche, (remember that) If you needed a copy they burned one from the fiche. Later still when computers came in vogue all the data was tranfered to the computer data bases and when you ask for a birth certificate today what you get is a certified printout just like Obama produced. This is your Birth Cerificate. No matter when you were born thats what you get.

Today, when a child is born the parents and or hospital staff prepare a form that is forwarded to the state bureau of vital records and the state issues a computer generated Birth Certificate. The only people that have "orginal" birth certificates are people that are old enough to pre-date the computer era and who (or whose parents) managed to get one of the old style certificates back then and hang on to it.

Posted by: beardman77 on July 22, 2009 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

They claim he was born in Kenya, wont it be easier for these nut jobs to go after his kenyan birth certificate?

Posted by: yESmAN on July 22, 2009 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

It also makes them appear as bitter blatering bigots.

Posted by: Jilli on July 22, 2009 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

I see plenty of ad hominem attacks and bullshit here but why doesn't Obama unseal his records currently locked up at the Hawaii Records Archive.

Referring to people asking questions of a politician as "nuts", "demented", "birthers", . "crazy" "bigot" etc is similar to the Soviet tactic of putting dissidents into mental hospitals.

I remember the story about Kennedy's Addison's disease. It was denied vehemently for years by Kennedy partisans. People who inquired about it were similarly ridiculed. Kennedy himself lied about it repeatedly. Of course it turned out to be true.

Obama can end the whole speculation by unsealing his Hawaii records. He has contributed to the fracas himself by citing Kapi'olani Children's Hospital as his place of birth. Kapi'olani Hospital even posted Obama's letter on their website. Then it was pulled and now Queen's Medical Center is officially cited as his birth hospital. How many public officials would confuse that? Release of his sealed Hawaii records would dampen the controversy, embarrass the likes of Lou Dobbs and Limbaugh and focus attention on important issues.

Posted by: La Fong on July 22, 2009 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Went to get a passport for the first time with a copy of what I thought was my birth certificate...the document my parents received from the State of Maryland when I was born 45 years ago.

Imgine my surprise when I was told that it was a 'certificate of live birth' and did not establish anything as far as the US State Department was concerned.

It was then that I understood the issue...the President has produced a "COLB" - a document that he cannot use to obtain a passport - to prove that he is eligible to be President.

I'm not saying that he isn't eligible, I am saying he hasn't proven he is. EVERY candidate for President should be required to provide such documentation before being placed on a ballot in any State.

Every media personality that waives the "COLB" around is demonstrating two things. 1 - They have no idea what they are talking about, and 2 - they haven't done any investigative journalism on the issue.

I saw Dobbs live...all he said was the President can put the entire issue to rest by producing the actual birth certificate.

And Dobbs is correct.

Posted by: Mark on July 22, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Just show the BC Lingle has locked away in Hawaii for God's sake. If it's real and says he was born at one of the two hospitals we will know. BTW, which hospital is that today?

Posted by: Frank on July 22, 2009 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I've come to actually enjoy this. This is true Too-Cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs territory where the Republicans now find themselved enmeshed, and we shouldn't fail to rightfully acknowledge the sweet moment of Schadenfreunde with raised glasses and a hearty toast.

It seems that we are pretty much all pathological liars on Oahu, and are simply not to be trusted by those God-fearing Americans of the white-wing who probably don't even know that Hawaii has been a state for exactly 50 years now (officially, as of August 21, 1959), let alone are able to find the islands on a map of the world.

To the Birthers, it's as though practically all of Honolulu is in on this Omen-esque conspiracy, from:

* Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie, who was actually friends with Obama's parents while all were at the University of Hawaii, and remembers when the president was born;

* Gov. Linda Lingle , who has repeatedly vouched for the birth certificate's authenticity, to no apparent avail - and besides, she's Jewish, knowhutahmean?;

* That unknown clerk at Kapiolani Hospital who back in 1961 planted the birth announcement in the local newspapers; and even

8 My longtime neighbors down the street who've lived here in Kuliouou Valley for years, and have publicly recalled the day the Obamas brought baby Barack home to his grandparents' house.

And that's one good thing that's arisen from the Birther Movement: I've since come to learn that I actually live one block down from President Barack Obama's first home. The Obamas lived in a one-bedroom cottage behind the grandparents' house in Kuliouou Valley, and both are still standing and occupied. The current owner didn't know that either, and was rather surprised to learn about it from local media after numerous curiosity-seekers began peaking over the rock wall into the yard.

So let this be a lesson to us all: Two can be merely a conversation, but three or more is looking awfully suspicious when at least one of them isn't white.

Aloha.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on July 22, 2009 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Birther lunacy deleted --Mod]


Posted by: David Farrar on July 22, 2009 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Mahalo nui loa, Donald!

Posted by: Marko on July 22, 2009 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Uh huh its true
the BC accrues
a grand mythology
Uh huh , oh yeah
that makes it awfully hot
(even when your cool)
Patiently explaining it , through , and through , and through
Obama cannot be prez because
when you look at his colour
it makes you lose your cool
Uh huh

Posted by: FRP on July 22, 2009 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

And if he produces the birth certificate, they will claim its a fake. Or find someone who will say the doctor wasn't practicing or something. This has nothing to do with citzenship. It has everything to do with race and legitimacy and hard boiled politics. They are playing the race card and deliberately trying to undermine Obama by saying he isn't an American hes a Kenyan. If he'd only produce his birth certificate the problem will go away. Just like the Clintons if only they would turn over their Whitewater documents we'd stop asking questions. You shouldn't be surprised by the Cheney's. He is a Nixonian, and learned the Southern strategy from a master.

Posted by: aline on July 22, 2009 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK
Mark: "I saw Dobbs live...all he said was the President can put the entire issue to rest by producing the actual birth certificate. And Dobbs is correct."

Lou Dobbs is a fool. Why would President Obama do anything more than smile and roll his eyes mockingly, when right-wing Republicans are so publicly falling over each other to make fools of themselves with this nonsense? As Napoleon himself once advised, never interfere when your opponent is in the midst of making a major strategic error.

Frankly, it's now up to the Birthers to prove that Obama was born in Kenya. And if I was a sane and rational Republican, I'd not want to be anywhere within eyesight of that particular vicinity.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on July 22, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

In order to put this issue to rest, all he has to do is hold a news conference, after allowing three forensic document experts to examine his "birth certificate", and have them declare their findings.

No, he doesn't have to do this at all.

At the very least, Obama should allow some independent forensic document experts to examine his "Certification of Live Birth" document and make their reports public.

No, he shouldn't give any credibility to this ridiculous issue, any more than he gave to the kooky claims that he was really a secret Muslim, or a socialist/fascist/marxist/communist.

I would suggest that one of the independent forensic document experts to be appointed by WND.

Or better yet, the Flat Earth society.

You said it yourself; there is nothing he can do that will prove to people who can't stomach (an allegedly) liberal black president. Nothing will ever be "enough." The "birther" issue was laid to rest long ago with the production of his birth certificate for the public. Hell, Chris Matthews put the fucking thing on tv last night! The next placement of the goal posts is scheduled to be the fact that he is an anti-American socialist who won't protect us from terrorists (the subtext being that he should be removed from office forcibly through rebellion or assassinated). What's that, you say? Liz Cheney and Free Republic are already saying it?

No, this is just an issue for people who are upset with the outcome of the last election, who can't stand blacks or taxes, and who are trying any kind of smokescreen they can think of to cover for their racism and lack of respect for democratic elections and civil society. It is 1992 and Bill Clinton redux. He must be guilty of SOMETHING because he's a sleazy Democrat, right? Let's start a ten year investigation.

Failing this, Obama needs to publish as much corroborative evidence as he can to substantiate his claim that he meets the criteria as set forth in Article ll of the U.S Constitution to be President of the United States.

Nope, doesn't have to do this either, he's already been vetted. Although I am considering contacting your employer, your health care provider, and the FBI and telling them I don't think you are an American citizen and that you have faked your birth certificate. Should be fun times for you ahead! Hey, maybe an expert from Daily Kos can examine it!

Posted by: trex on July 22, 2009 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

* Gov. Linda Lingle , who has repeatedly vouched for the birth certificate's authenticity, to no apparent avail

And she is a Republican, I might add.

But it's useless to add it. You can't convince nutcases with facts when they know it to be otherwise in their hearts..."heart" being a euphemism for the amygdala.

Posted by: trex on July 22, 2009 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK
Frank: "BTW, which hospital is that today?"

That would be the Kapiolani Maternity Hospital for Women, which became the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children upon its 1976 merger with Honolulu Children's Hospital, and is today known simply as Kapiolani Medical Center. Aside from the occasional change in nomenclature, it's still located at the corner of Punahou St. and Bingham Street, exactly where it was when Barack Obama was born there 48 years ago.

Further, the birth certificate has already been produced and authenticated. So, what's your point - that is, besides proving before a national audience that you're terribly ill-informed?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on July 22, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

I have no doubt that Barack Obama is a natural citizen, and that he is lawfully my president... and I am very grateful that it is Barack Obama and not John McCain or Sarah Palin in the White House.

But Obama's refusal simply to release his real birth certificate (the one produced contemporaneously, at the time of his birth, signed by the doctor, etc.) is just bizarre.

Instead of it being the nutcases who demand the release of the real birth certificate, it should be the normal people... the Obama supporters... who demand its release, if only to shut up the nut jobs. Bloggers like you, Steve, should be pressuring the White House to release this document so we can move away from this absurd distraction and pull the credibility rug out from under the crackpots.

Posted by: Dan at Airships.net on July 22, 2009 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Next time you liberals want a passport, just tell the birthers at the State department to check out your website for the birth documentation they demand. If they squeal, get some of your pals to send a letter assuring the document is valid and see what happens!

Spinning is NOT going to do it! Make your man prove that he is a natural born citizen like all the other "birthers" require in America. Make them stop.

Posted by: Sara123 on July 22, 2009 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

I know what they're doing. They're giving some lone wacko out there another excuse to try something drastic. The Cheneys and Dobbses know that it's nonsense, but they don't care.

If (God forbid) there is ever an attempt on the President's life, the culprit will be a Birther. It may not be his only motive, but it'll be one of them. You can bet on it.

Posted by: Kreniigh on July 22, 2009 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

"...Wow. The GOP keeps coughing up younger, supposedly more compelling, 'new' leadership, from Sarah Palin to Mark Sanford to, now, Liz Cheney -- and they keep making clear they're not ready for prime time. It's remarkable."-Joan Walsh

The insanity belongs to the idiots who keep putting them on TV and radio. The last people in the world the majority if the public wants to hear from...Liz Cheney, Palin et al.

And make no mistake...the republican whacko machine has been spewing this insanity for some time now. Consider this (from driftglass.com):

"...The one point that Matthews misses in his otherwise commendable performance -- the most important point for my money -- is his faulting Representative Gigglepants for "playing to the nut wing".

Sorry, Chris: that was the problem in 1980.

By 1994 these same fucks had been whipped into their predictable hysterics by an equally bughouse nuts concatenation of GOP Der Stürmer-grade hateprop the gist of which was that Bill Clinton had not been legitimately elected. Later they wet their pants on cue as Hate Radio and Jerry Falwell screamed into their furry little ears Every!Fucking!Day! that Vince Foster had been assassinated, that Hillary Clinton was a lesbian, that the Clintons had made a fortune dealing drug in Arkansas, that they had murdered scores of people to cover it all up...."
(snip)

"...And so the three, central realities around which the entire political and media class orbit continue to be these:

1. On issue after issue, the reason things get and stay so completely broken in this country is that Republicans can only get ahead in the Modern GOP by doing the political equivalent of standing on our cultural overpasses and lobbing cinderblocks into rush hour traffic.

2. The more havoc Republicans wreak, the more their base rewards them because the GOP is now mostly made up of zealot Christopaths, bigots, moral imbeciles, gun nuts and the generally cactus-fuck-crazy scum of the nation.

3. Every major media outlet knows the minute they acknowledge the incredibly dangerous reality that 1/3 of the American electorate are zealot Christopaths, bigots, moral imbeciles, gun nuts and the generally cactus-fuck-crazy scum of the nation - and that they are not evenly or randomly distributed across the political spectrum, but instead have been carefully and deliberate recruited en masse by the Right for the last 30 years - they will instantly lose millions of readers, listeners and viewers - along with the billions of dollars in ad revenue that come with them - and will instead be subjected to an around-the-clock cry for their blood by the orc armies of the Right that would make the Kill Bill havoc of the anti-Clinton crusade look like a friendly round of nude Stratego.

For Republicans like Tom DeLay, politics was no-holds-barred, Hate Radio-driven jihad, 24/7/365, and what Chris Matthews misses in his comment about "playing to the nut wing" is that after 30 years of brutal winnowing, the war for the soul of the GOP is long since over..."

You should quote driftglass.com more often Steve. Liz Cheney and Palin are the cultivation of hate-nut radio...just look at the right's townhalls and see the angry willfully misinformed "party" snarl and show its fangs like Cerebus. The republican party is no longer a credible political party capable of governing any part of America. The democratic party contains what was left of the credible republicans already and could become 2 parties itself...Progressive social dems and the conservadems. There is your 2 party system.

Posted by: bjobotts on July 22, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

a COLB is not a BC

they are two different legal documents, and if the left cant tell the difference thats their problem. but to rail agasint those who CAN tell the difference, makes no sense.

bottom line:
the left will not believe the future that is coming their way, they never lived under it, experienced it, or have any idea. they are looking for some outer sign that never is the same, and forget that others have lived uncer collectivist life.

in a collectivist world, the left could say that a dinner napkin was a birth cert, and that would be law... but until that is here, then they cant do that, and their attempts to dont work..

why?

cause the people they are ordering to believe are not yet at the end of a gun as other famous socialists have said.

butthe left does not get one thing.

all the believing didnt change the 100 million murdered.

and if your going to say that they werent, then your going to have to explain where my grandparents are and rest of my family they put and moved, and later killed (we saw the orders in the history books and ledgers).

i dont care personally...
my family has lived under both, we know how, the libs here dont.

they are being prepared to believe that they are going to enter a utopia of more productive capacity, more happiness etc.

500k drink themslves to death each year in russia, such was the happiness that still flows forth.

Posted by: art dodger on July 22, 2009 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

btw..."...One thing puzzles me about this whole thing. Does the original birth certificate from 1961 not exist anymore? Not actually available even to Obama? Is there a reason they haven't released it other than not wanting to feed the crazies?
Posted by: Vondo on July 22, 2009 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

They have produced the certificate, the SoS in Hawaii verified the original BC and still these birthers claim lies and forgeries etc. It is ridiculous to insist that Obama carry around an original BC and show it to each and everyone of them. Each person signing onto this and each person falling for its rhetoric only puts themselves on the list of willfully ignorant closed minded stooopids.

Posted by: bjobotts on July 22, 2009 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Dan at Airships...

Obama is not in possession of the original birth certificate. The state of Hawaii has it on file.

I don't have my original either, I just have a copy.

Obama cannot go to Hawaii and demand to see it. He doesn't own it, the state of Hawaii owns it and they have, repeatedly, verified that the content of the copy that obama has is the same as the one on file. They are probably getting sick and tired of dealing with this subject because it's so fucking ludicrous to begin with.

Even if they had the original on display at a press conference, the fucking moron birthers would just move the goalposts further and claim that it's a fake and that the entire govt of Hawaii is in on the fix.

They are just one more sign that the GOP is in total disarray without a mast or a captain.

It would be nice to see one credible republican politician support Obama on this, but they won't because they like having the story float around.

Oh well, it says a lot more about them than it does about Obama.

Posted by: Schism on July 22, 2009 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

art dodger, you really need some professional help.

or maybe you just need to get out more.

Posted by: Schism on July 22, 2009 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

"...Posted by: art dodger on July 22, 2009 at 4:58 PM

You really should get some help dodger...you are very sick and so is your imagination when trying to equate your fantasies with reality. The BC has been verified by the Hawaii SoS and was produced to those who went to Hawaii to view the original when the issue first came up. The state keeps the original and only releases copies which you cannot copy again and show as proof. This is our president and these idiots are trying to force him into pettiness dealing with their nonsense. None of which has a damn thing to do with your fear mongering.

You're a closed minded bigot, apparently incapable of seeing your own insanity which reads loud and clear back here on planet earth. "A napkin is not a BC"...how stupid. Plus you don't even have a realistic definition of the left in America yet use the term to demonize people as if the term stood for the devil and evil. The left in America opposes everything you claim they are, or stand for. Get some treatment and maybe you'll find some serenity. You obviously suffer from blame damage.

Posted by: bjobotts on July 22, 2009 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Spinning is NOT going to do it! Make your man prove that he is a natural born citizen like all the other "birthers" require in America. Make them stop.

I'm curious, does someone help you tie your shoes in the morning? How can you still be so ignorant of the facts around this issue? For you and the other mouthbreathers on this thread, and all the ones that are sure to follow, here is a link for you. Click it.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

There you can see photographs of the birth certificate taken by the people at FactCheck.org. You can see the raised seal. The nice people at FactCheck affirm that the birth certificate is genuine and that your continuing braying is not only ignorant, it is a crock of shit.

For those of you that will refuse to click the link because you're desperate to continue in your ignorance, let me quote from the page:

In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is "fake."

We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said

Good fucking Christ you people are stupid.

Posted by: trex on July 22, 2009 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Go birthers, go!

Posted by: ROTFLMAO on July 22, 2009 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK
Sara123: "Spinning is NOT going to do it! Make your man prove that he is a natural born citizen like all the other 'birthers' require in America. Make them stop."

"Mother! Please! Make them stop!" - Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), The Exorcist (1973)

Why? The only one who's "spinning" is you, and you've succeeded only in making yourself dizzy, like my daughter used to do as a toddler when she'd channel the whirling dervishes.

Anyway, you're clearly in no position to demand anything. You're the ones who willingly wandered down White Wing Alley, lady. Stop hitting us up for cab fare, and find your own way home.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on July 22, 2009 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK
art dodger: "a COLB is not a BC"

"You know you don't have to act with me, Steve. You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and - blow." - Slim (Lauren Bacall), To Have and Have Not (1944)

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on July 22, 2009 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Three things for the birthers to explain to me:

-- when he went to Indonesia, he had a passport, right? And to get that passport, he needed to have proof of citizenship, like a birth certificate. Whatever he had/has was good enough then, so it should still be good enough now.

-- what was the cost of a flight to Africa in 1961? This was a poor student, living in her parent's house/backyard at the time. How far before a due date would she have had to have traveled, to be allowed on a plane for a flight of that distance in those days? And as others have pointed out, it would be INSANITY to go from US healthcare at a maternity ward in a nearby hospital to flying for approximately a zillion hours to Kenya to...have a baby?! And then, you're in a village in Kenya with a newborn and the presence of mind to preserve that child's chance of being president by getting birth announcements in the local Hawaiian paper on that very day?!

--and why would there have been a conspiracy at the time to hush this up, to plant the items in the newspaper etc.? A year ago in 2008 people didn't think we could elect a black man president. But, you're telling me that Obama's crafty 19 year old mother hatched a plan to give birth to a future president in Kenya but hush it up to make sure he was still eligible for the presidency? Huh?! Oh and then she moved to Indonesia for a while, you know, just to seal the deal for him. @@

Posted by: Jen on July 22, 2009 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

The Founding Fathers included a requirement in the U.S. Constitution that the President be native born. That same requirement was not included for Senators or for members of Congress. Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin went out of their way to include a citizenship requirement for the President.

If George Washington thought it was important to know where a President was born. We should give our founding father the benefit of the doubt...or was he just a "crazy birther" too (/satire).

Obama's paternal grandmother said that he was born in Kenya. She is in a better position to know than any of us. If his grandmother said he was born in Kenya, more probably than not he was.

This is a constitutional issue. The Constitution should be changed if we no longer want a birth requirement for the President. The best available evidence of Obama's birth comes from his Grandmother.

Its not "crazy" to ask the constitutionally mandated question of where was the President born. Especially when his own grandmother says he was not born in the U.S. The right thing to do both ethically, and legally is to make the inquiry.

Posted by: Rob on July 23, 2009 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

http://people.mags.net/tonchen/birthers.htm

Posted by: Marc on July 23, 2009 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

They took our jerbs!!!

Posted by: Adam on July 23, 2009 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Its not "crazy" to ask the constitutionally mandated question of where was the President born. Especially when his own grandmother says he was not born in the U.S. The right thing to do both ethically, and legally is to make the inquiry.

Well Rob, the problem with your argument is that there is a birth certificate, a birth announcement, and witnesses showing that his grandmother (if indeed she did say this) was wrong. Sorry.

Case closed.

Posted by: trex on July 23, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK


Liz C is just odious. She is so partisan it verges on the robotic and will attack our president any chance she gets. Remember when the GOP was saying how it was awful and unpatriotic to attack a sitting president during war? Well, we are at war. How dare she say that Obama won't defend us overseas. He increased troops to Kabul and didn't hesitate for one second to shoot those pirates dead a few months ago. Oh and Liz? How about your Dad...did he defend us overseas during the Vietnam war? Oh that's right, he dodged the war with multiple deferments. So just go back to Wyoming and shut it already.

Posted by: david on July 23, 2009 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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