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Chicken v egg

Why do some people believe Barack Obama was born in Africa?

Well, there are some who believe it because they have seen what they believe is a Kenyan birth certificate. But there were birthers before that!

Some believe it because they think his step grandmother in Kenya says so. But there were birthers before that.

Some believe it because they believe they think remarks by certain African persons about “homeland” and “son of the soil” mean he was born in Kenya. But there were birthers before that.

Some believe it because they think they have found flaws in Barack Obama’s 2007 birth certificate. But there were birthers before that, too.

In fact, there were birthers before there was any reason for them to be. The egg came first.

18 Responses to Chicken v egg

  1. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 30, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    They have believed it from the beginning because he has been black…..from the beginning.

  2. avatar
    misha May 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    CarlOrcas: They have believed it from the beginning because he has been black…..from the beginning.

    I am not being an apologist for Corsi, but Corsi did the same thing to Kerry. He’s a latter day Roy Cohn. They both made a career out of destroying the careers of others.

  3. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 30, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    misha: I am not being an apologist for Corsi, but Corsi did the same thing to Kerry. He’s a latter day Roy Cohn. They both made a career out of destroying the careers of others.

    Agreed on Corsi and Cohn but I’m talking about why so many are willing to believe anything – as long as it’s bad – about Obama. At it’s most basic it is because he his black.;

    It’s not new or unique in our history but you’d think we could have gotten past that sort of nonsense in the 21st century.

  4. avatar
    BouquetofRoses May 31, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    CarlOrcas: Agreed on Corsi and Cohn but I’m talking about why so many are willing to believe anything – as long as it’s bad – about Obama. At it’s most basic it is because he his black.;

    It’s not new or unique in our history but you’d think we could have gotten past that sort of nonsense in the 21st century.

    I, too, agree that race plays a role in the birther movement, even though many birthers denied it. No other president has ever been under the microscope to this extent.

  5. avatar
    Daniel May 31, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    BouquetofRoses: I, too, agree that race plays a role in the birther movement, even though many birthers denied it.

    How many racists ever admit to being racist?

  6. avatar
    BouquetofRoses May 31, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    Daniel: How many racists ever admit to being racist?

    Oops, you’re right!

  7. avatar
    The Magic M May 31, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    I’ve only always wondered why all birthers have been so fixated on Mombasa. No alternative Kenyan birth theory (Nairobi or the neighbourhood of Obama Sr’s relatives) ever gained traction or was even discussed.

    I think that is because conspiracy theories hardly ever correct themselves – after all, claiming an alternative Kenyan birth location would mean admitting there is doubt (or no proof) of birth in Mombasa. And we all know no conspiracy theory ever admits there is such a thing as “no proof” for or “reason for doubt” about it.
    That’s why they always cling to what came first, no matter how silly and no matter to what extreme lengths and stretches of logic they must go to defend it.

  8. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 31, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    BouquetofRoses: I, too, agree that race plays a role in the birther movement, even though many birthers denied it. No other president has ever been under the microscope to this extent.

    Unfortunately this really isn’t new or unique. It has always existed on the fringes but today’s technology makes widespread distribution as simple as a single keystroke.

    Years ago the John Birch Society had reading rooms in many cities chock full of pamphlets that read very much like the crazier stuff you see today on the internet but it never got widespread distribution and it virtually never made it to the mainstream press though they mailed piles of it to newsrooms every day.

  9. avatar
    misha May 31, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    CarlOrcas: Years ago the John Birch Society had reading rooms in many cities chock full of pamphlets that read very much like the crazier stuff you see today on the internet

    Robert Henry Winborne Welch Jr. was an American businessman, political activist and author. He was independently wealthy following his retirement and used that wealth to sponsor anti-communist causes. He co-founded the conservative group the John Birch Society in 1958 and tightly controlled it until his death.

    Welch was a fundamentalist Baptist and, by his own admission, was “insufferable” in his attempts to convert his fellow students.

    Republican mainstream unhappiness with the John Birch Society intensified after Welch circulated a letter calling President Dwight D. Eisenhower a “conscious, dedicated agent of the Communist Conspiracy.”

    “But my firm belief that Dwight Eisenhower is a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy is based on an accumulation of detailed evidence so extensive and so palpable that it seems to me to put this conviction beyond any reasonable doubt.”

    Conflating modern liberalism and totalitarianism, Welch described government as ‘always and inevitably an enemy of individual freedom.’

    Welch accused Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower of being communist sympathizers and possibly Soviet agents of influence. He alleged that President Eisenhower was a “conscious, dedicated agent of the communist conspiracy and that Eisenhower’s brother Milton was the President’s superior in the communist apparatus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_W._Welch,_Jr.

  10. avatar
    JoZeppy May 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    While I do believe there are racist undercurrents in birtherism, I don’t believe it’s secondary to the root cause, which is that there is a particularly nasty extreme on the right that refuses to accept the legitmacy of any President or candiate that they do not personally approve. The kind of people that rant about the evils of Iran, but actually would like that system of government, as long as the council that approves which candidates run for office share their personal ideology. As was pointed out, look at Corsi’s attacks against Kerry. A right wing group with the goal of removing Clinton from office was organized before Clinton even took office. The most ridiculous theories about Clinton (from killing Vince Foster, to running drugs) circulated throughout his Presidency, and we spent how many tax payer dollars to investigate possible accusation against him? The only reason racism enters into the equation, is that many of this group are also racist. While their racism may come out during their rants, the root issue is that they cannot accept any President that doesn’t share their ideology as legitimate. Since they believe they are the only “true Americans” and that the “others” are anti-Americans, who are motivated by the specific intention of destroying the US, therefore, any of the “others” cannot be legitimate, since their goal is destroying the country they were elected to lead.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 31, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    JoZeppy: While I do believe there are racist undercurrents in birtherism, I don’t believe it’s … the root cause, which is that there is a particularly nasty extreme on the right that refuses to accept the legitmacy of any President or candidate that they do not personally approve.

    I find it hard to imagine any conspiracy theory junk having legs if Colin Powell had been elected President.

  12. avatar
    Scientist May 31, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I find it hard to imagine any conspiracy theory junk having legs if Colin Powell had been elected President.

    His parents were immigrants from Jamaica. Powell birthers could claim he was born on a trip back to visit family. That would make more sense than the Obama/Kenya nonsense since Jamaica is much closer to the US and Powell’s mother would have had family in Jamaica, unlike Obama’s in Kenya. Also, I have no idea whether Powell’s parents became US citizens before he was born or not, so the Vattelists could perhaps have at him too..

    Jesse Jackson would have been tough, but I’m sure they would have thought of something.

  13. avatar
    aarrgghh May 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    i’ve long said that birferism is an expression of sore-loserism; birfers are a sub-class of people who believe that the only reason they lose elections is because the opposition cheats. birferism allows birfers to discount their own faults and blame their losses on vast and powerful malefic forces. racism is a pre-existing condition that, along with sexism and classism and all the other bigotries, opportunistically finds expression through birferism, but it is not a cause.

  14. avatar
    El Diablo Negro May 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Scientist:

    Jesse Jackson would have been tough, but I’m sure they would have thought of something.

    I think he would be portrayed as a radical who does not trust Caucasians. Even though he was in the MLK movement, there were some factions that were not peaceful. Every attempt will be tried to link him to the radical factions of the MLK movement. IMHO Jesse Jackson would have a tougher time than BHO simply because Jesse had a hand in empowering blacks at a critical time in American history.

  15. avatar
    G May 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    JoZeppy: While I do believe there are racist undercurrents in birtherism, I don’t believe it’s secondary to the root cause, which is that there is a particularly nasty extreme on the right that refuses to accept the legitmacy of any President or candiate that they do not personally approve. The kind of people that rant about the evils of Iran, but actually would like that system of government, as long as the council that approves which candidates run for office share their personal ideology. As was pointed out, look at Corsi’s attacks against Kerry. A right wing group with the goal of removing Clinton from office was organized before Clinton even took office. The most ridiculous theories about Clinton (from killing Vince Foster, to running drugs) circulated throughout his Presidency, and we spent how many tax payer dollars to investigate possible accusation against him? The only reason racism enters into the equation, is that many of this group are also racist. While their racism may come out during their rants, the root issue is that they cannot accept any President that doesn’t share their ideology as legitimate. Since they believe they are the only “true Americans” and that the “others” are anti-Americans, who are motivated by the specific intention of destroying the US, therefore, any of the “others” cannot be legitimate, since their goal is destroying the country they were elected to lead.

    Thank you very much for your insight. Excellent points to reflect upon.

  16. avatar
    G May 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    aarrgghh: i’ve long said that birferism is an expression of sore-loserism; birfers are a sub-class of people who believe that the only reason they lose elections is because the opposition cheats. birferism allows birfers to discount their own faults and blame their losses on vast and powerful malefic forces. racism is a pre-existing condition that, along with sexism and classism and all the other bigotries, opportunistically finds expression through birferism, but it is not a cause.

    Sore-loserism is definitely a great way to sum up such movements. However, I would argue that underlying bigotries and ideologies are the driving impetus for why such sore-loserism is so intently visceral for many of these people, so I would not rule it out as a cause. Surely, such things are a cause for some.

    I would say that the underlying causes are several (bigotry, ideology, religious, etc) but the end result is all sore-loserism.

  17. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    misha: Robert Henry Winborne Welch Jr.

    During the 1960’s, when I was a young lad, I worked as a reporter in Phoenix and got to know lots of real Republicans…..Goldwater, John Rhodes, Paul Fannin, etc……and they all thought Welce was, to put it mildly, nuts.

    The Birch folks gravitated to Goldwater in 1964 but he never subscribed to their wilder fantasies.

    I see in the musings of today’s birthers the same disconnect from reality that afflicted the Birchers nearly a half century ago.

    There is nothing new under the sun.

  18. avatar
    Northland10 June 1, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    aarrgghh: birferism allows birfers to discount their own faults and blame their losses on vast and powerful malefic forces.

    I had also noticed that they have always had a way of overstating their case (whatever case that may have been). With the recent release of the LFBC, they have headed way overboard. Oddly enough, I came across in a book a quote from Nixon:

    “Those who are lying or trying to cover up something generally make a common mistake – they tend to overreact, to overstate their case.”

    Nixon’s Shadow, The History of an Image, David Greenberg, 242.

    Beyond on the obvious irony for Nixon, I do find this illuminates some of the recent birther antics.