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Are the birthers on to something?

Proud to be a birther t-shirt
Even paranoids have enemies

I’ve spent a fair amount of time fishing for gold in the birther bucket of mud. This the 1,443rd article I’ve written on this website, not to mention comments here and things I’ve written elsewhere. That’s a lot of time examining and discussing birther claims about Barack Obama. I’ve thought about, analyzed, researched, tested and ended up rejecting the birther rumors. The factual claims birthers make don’t pan out and we can rule out completely the defining birther assertion:Barack Obama is constitutionally ineligible to be President. But, as Mark Fenster says, just because conspiracy theorists are wrong doesn’t mean that they’re not on to something.

Taking that as a challenge, I’ve been asking myself whether the birthers really are on to something. But what could it be? That’s a hard question because the birthers themselves have put so much time and energy into creating and broadcasting their core absurdity that there has been very little opportunity to consider anything else. I think it’s fair to say that the birther mythology itself is a significant barrier to any valid critique of Barack Obama from the members of that movement.

More fundamental than eligibility denial, the birthers view Barack Obama as someone “foreign” and that is where I think the birthers are on to something. One need look no further than the demographics of the birther movement to see that Barack Obama is different from the prototypical birther: less educated, white, conservative, working class and southern. Barack Obama, despite his humble beginnings and his African heritage, is fairly characterized as part of the elite (well-educated, internationally traveled, articulate, athletic, successful and powerful). In a populist analysis, Obama embodies the “elite other,” the enemy of “the people.” In a racist analysis, Obama embodies the n*****.

I go back to Obama’s essentially pragmatic approach, as articulated in his book, The Audacity of Hope. Obama is saying in that book that an ideological approach to problem solving doesn’t work, and he is no ally of ideologues. George W. Bush’s (or Ronald Reagan for older Americans) “cowboy” approach to foreign policy resonated with Americans who understood patriotism as “we’re Americans and we’ll do whatever we damn well please.” Obama is a pragmatist and a consensus builder with a more international view; he’s not like the birther’s demographic. Populist rhetoric is also anti-science, scientists being identified also as belonging to the elite. Obama, on the other hand, is not threatened by smart people; he respects science; he’s different.

Another thing that the birthers are on to is the fact that there is no formal government-sponsored eligibility screening for presidential candidates, and beyond that they have discovered that the rule of standing prevents a wide range of generalized grievances against the government from being resolved through the federal courts, including adjudication of the particular question of Obama’s eligibility.

So yes, the birthers really are on to something. Barack Obama is indeed very foreign, at least to people like them, and the government is unresponsive to them. The birther problem is that they cannot articulate their real objection to Barack Obama and so must rely on tin-foil-hat conspiracy theories, which in the end don’t advance their cause at all, and indeed distract from it.

This article is the latest in the Understanding the Birthers series.

41 Responses to Are the birthers on to something?

  1. avatar
    LM June 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    I know this may be a little random, but bear with me for a minute. Anyone here ever watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer? The early episodes of that show tended to revolve around taking the nightmares and figurative monsters of adolescence, and making them literal.So a girl who felt invisible because everyone ignored her might literally become invisible. Horny teenage boys might literally turn into animals. And that ex-cheerleader mom who’s trying to relive her glory days through her daughter might be literally reliving them by taking over her daughter’s body. That kind of thing.

    Well, that’s what birtherism reminds me of. The idea that the Democrat isn’t “one of us” or a “real American” isn’t new. In my own memory, I’ve seen that deployed against Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry, and I don’t know, they were probably doing it way before that. Birtherism is just making it literal. Obama’s not just figuratively not one of “us”. They want to make him literally so–not an American at all.

    Yeah, kind of a weird connection, I guess, but there you go.

  2. avatar
    katahdin June 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    In the title, “birthers” doesn’t need an apostrophe.

    This has been an “apostrophe watch” bulletin.

    [Thanks. Doc.]

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    I was reminded just now by what Karl Marx said:

    Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.

    Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right
    , K. Marx

    I think that one need only substitute “conspiracy theory” for religion here to gain a genuine insight.

    [I hasten to add, lest anyone think that I’m a Marxist, that I remember this from my Philosophy of Religion class in college and typed that out of the textbook.]

    Continuing on the theme of what the birthers are on to, one observes the increasing concentration of the media into a few large corporations, eliminating the plethora of independent voices of the last century. The ubiquity of broadband and computers make the Internet the new “people’s voice,” unfortunately without the fact checking.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    I thought yours was a very astute observation.

    LM: Yeah, kind of a weird connection, I guess, but there you go.

  5. avatar
    J.Potter June 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    “In a racist analysis, Obama embodies the n*****.”

    Obama is even more offensive than that to racists, because he is as you said “well-educated, internationally traveled, articulate, athletic, successful and powerful”, in short, “uppity”, this charismatic president is the ultimate walking, in-their-face rejection of their core beliefs. No matter what, they’ll always be “better” then “those people” … no matter what they achieve. Such an egregious incongruity simply can’t be reconciled, so it must be denied … it can’t be real, mustn’t be real, it’s a trick, a deception, a crime, a conspiracy, this person must be tainted and destroyed … so I can rest … easier … assured of my … “superiority”.

    Self-esteem found outside the self is fragile, ugly, and destructive. Oh, the lengths they will go, to prop their ego!

  6. avatar
    richCares June 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Remember Nathan Deal, the Georgia Birther? He thought Obama was an illegal alien, well he became Governor of Georgia and pushed through and signed a anti-immigration bill. It was so successful that the crops in Georgia are dying in the field. It is estimated that Georgia will lose over a billion dollars in this crop fiasco. Go birther go!

  7. avatar
    aarrgghh June 23, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    doc: “More fundamental than eligibility denial, the birthers view Barack Obama as someone “foreign” and that is where I think the birthers are on to something.”

    one could write endlessly on the multifarious self-imposed barriers that birthers have erected between themselves and the object of their contempt. a couple months back i suggested that the birfers’ own cynicism about politics and politicians was one such handicap preventing them from accepting obama’s rise to fame at face value. to birthers it is a story way too good to be true and for that reason alone it must be rejected out of hand:

    that obama isn’t “one of them” is exactly what’s driving the right crazy.

    anyone who might have run with the wrong crowd in school, married their knocked-up girlfriend, cheated on her, nearly killed her during the divorce, ever got arrested, fudged their taxes, swindled a deserving fool or two only to finally run their business into the ground … is clearly too cynical to believe the spotless storybook biography of someone who is at once a member of a party he’s been home-schooled to despise and a member of a religion he’s sworn to oppose and a member of a race he’s till now been able to ignore.

    the “messiah” story is simply too impossible to believe. it’s an act of sheer arrogance to expect any true conservative™ in their right mind to believe any part of it. therefore none of it can be true.

    everyone has their flaws; everyone’s lied and cheated just a little — just look at the entire republican slate. politics is a business that turns saints into whores; obama’s no different. he can’t be — he’s just managed to bury his skeletons a little deeper and the fact that they’re so well hidden can only mean that they’re whoppers. career-killers. impeachables. so the skeletons are surely there and the birfers — if no one else — will surely find them, any day now.

    just any day now …

  8. avatar
    Keith June 23, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    LM:
    Well, that’s what birtherism reminds me of. The idea that the Democrat isn’t “one of us” or a “real American” isn’t new. In my own memory, I’ve seen that deployed against Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry, and I don’t know, they were probably doing it way before that. Birtherism is just making it literal. Obama’s not just figuratively not one of “us”. They want to make him literally so–not an American at all.

    And Kennedy.

  9. avatar
    misha June 24, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.

    I read the linked Rolling Stone article on Bachmann. Hitchens is right: religion poisons everything it touches.

  10. avatar
    Horus June 24, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The birther problem is that they cannot articulate their real objection to Barack Obama and so must rely on tin-foil-hat conspiracy theories, which in the end don’t advance their cause at all, and indeed distract from it.

    For them to honestly articulate their problems with Obama they would HAVE to admit they are racist.

  11. avatar
    Horus June 24, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    aarrgghh: if no one else — will surely find them, any day now.

    I’ve lost count on how many times they have predicted that President Obama would be “frog-marched out of the White House”… any day now.

  12. avatar
    aarrgghh June 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    #1,582,087

    Horus: I’ve lost count on how many times they have predicted that President Obama would be “frog-marched out of the White House”… any day now.

  13. avatar
    Gary June 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    At least Bush got Congressional authority before he went to war. Let’s see your [Offensive language deleted. Doc.] Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan, expanded drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and started an illegal war with Libya. You’re right he’s not like Bush he’s more like “I’m Obama and I’ll do whatever I damn well please.” He’s also played more golf in two years than Bush played in eight. As for seeing him as foriegn how can you not? He’s been a citizen of at least 3 foriegn countries, Britain, Kenya and Indonesia!

  14. avatar
    Thrifty June 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Gary: At least Bush got Congressional authority before he went to war. Let’s see your [Offensive language deleted. Doc.] Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan, expanded drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and started an illegal war with Libya. You’re right he’s not like Bush he’s more like “I’m Obama and I’ll do whatever I damn well please.” He’s also played more golf in two years than Bush played in eight. As for seeing him as foriegn how can you not? He’s been a citizen of at least 3 foriegn countries, Britain, Kenya and Indonesia!

    Are you some sort of truth vampire who, if he speaks a true statement, will instantly burst into flames and die?

  15. avatar
    gorefan June 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    Gary: At least Bush got Congressional authority before he went to war.

    But President Reagan didn’t.

    But then President Reagan also granted amnesty to illegal immigrants and raised taxes at least 7 times during his Presidency.

  16. avatar
    misha June 24, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Gary: and started an illegal war with Libya

    Oil. Obama’s buddies, like Halliburton, didn’t want that oil to end up in the hands of the rebels, and we didn’t do anything to help them. It’s from the play book started by Eisenhower.

  17. avatar
    LM June 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Gary:
    At least Bush got Congressional authority before he went to war. Let’s see your [Offensive language deleted. Doc.] Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan, expanded drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and started an illegal war with Libya. You’re right he’s not like Bush he’s more like “I’m Obama and I’ll do whatever I damn well please.” He’s also played more golf in two years than Bush played in eight. As for seeing him as foriegn how can you not? He’s been a citizen of at least 3 foriegn countries, Britain, Kenya and Indonesia!

    Gary, I have my own reservations about the war in Libya and the justifications for it, and about the wisdom of the drone strikes. I don’t think that makes him the worst president that’s ever been, let alone that it has any bearing on the fact that he is the president and deserves the respect due to that office. There’s never been a president that didn’t make some decisions I didn’t like. If there was ever one that I agreed with completely, I’d think there was something wrong! (I think it would mean I’d lost my mind.)

    The golf thing is …. just silliness.

    The thing about seeing him as foreign–that’s just the point, I think. If you see him as foreign, well, that’s how you see it. He’s different from you and you don’t feel any affinity or kinship for him. That’s fine, I understand that. But there’s a major difference between that and the objective question of whether he’s a natural born citizen eligible for the presidency. The fact that he’s foreign to you in a subjective sense doesn’t make him literally foreign.

    You know, i grew up with the idea that the diversity of races and cultures in America was a strength, not a weakness. That someone whose parents were from some far-off place, with different customs and experiences, and I, from a 99% white (I believe there was one black family) small rural town, could be bound together by the fact that we were both Americans–that’s a beautiful thing. It makes me sad that so many people seem to hate that.

  18. avatar
    LM June 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I thought yours was a very astute observation.

    I almost forgot: thanks! I don’t comment too often, and when I do I usually get no reaction. Always hard to say what that means. I try not to think it just means they’re incredibly uninteresting, but I have to admit the possibility.

  19. avatar
    Majority Will June 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    LM: I almost forgot: thanks! I don’t comment too often, and when I do I usually get no reaction. Always hard to say what that means. I try not to think it just means they’re incredibly uninteresting, but I have to admit the possibility.

    I appreciate your comments. Thanks.

  20. avatar
    Majority Will June 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    “He’s also played more golf in two years than Bush played in eight.”

    I’m not sure if that’s true since birthers lie about almost everything but Bush still holds the record for most vacation days in office for any President in U.S. history beating the former record holder, Reagan.

  21. avatar
    G June 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Majority Will: “He’s also played more golf in two years than Bush played in eight.”
    I’m not sure if that’s true since birthers lie about almost everything but Bush still holds the record for most vacation days in office for any President in U.S. history beating the former record holder, Reagan.

    Yeah, that’s a really dumb and weak argument for any hater to make. Bush sure played a lot of golf. It seems most presidents do. Heck, if I had to deal with the stress of running the free world and pretty much a 24×7 job, I’d start hitting the links when I could too! People who work very hard need to recharge the batteries to stay fresh, focused and alert. Golf is supposed to be a good stress reliever for situations like that.

    Anyways, about as dumb an argument as attacking a teleprompter, which all modern presidents use too…and wisely so.

  22. avatar
    misha June 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    Gary: He’s also played more golf in two years than Bush played in eight.

    The golf record holder is Eisenhower. My parents always used to refer to him as “that guy who spent 8 years playing golf.”

    Also, John Foster Dulles was an outright anti-Semite, and believed racial segregation was acceptable, and the proper way a society should be.

    When an Iranian coup was proposed, Truman said no. Then Eisenhower approved it, which led to Khomeni.

    Sorry, Charlie.

  23. avatar
    G June 25, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Gary: Try again MW. Clinton 174 daysBush II 69 daysReagan 42 daysBush I 40 daysThat’s for 8 years.Obama 90 days in 2 years.http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/president_obama_year_in_numbers_gmxQqJMk9n4XBqb3OzBsnNhttp://www.factcheck.org/2010/01/president-obamas-vacation-days/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/7607947/Barack-Obama-plays-golf-eight-more-times-than-George-W-Bush.html

    Ok, your telegraph article shows that Obama has played more golf than GWB, but your other links do not support your argument against MW about vacation. In fact, they show that the ONLY modern presidents that took LESS vacation than Obama were Bill Clinton & Jimmy Carter – both democrats.

    The statistics show that Reagan, GHWB, GWB all took more vacation time than Obama. Your very own Factcheck citation is quite clear on that. Then again, you are citing an article from 01/11/10, so I searched to see if there was something more updated and the most recent I could find is this, from 07/28/10, so 7 more months of data perspective could be had in comparison. The results were generally the same pattern as what Factcheck had shown:

    http://www.matchdoctor.com/blog_121083/Presidential_vacations_A_little_perspective_perhaps.html

    As of a week ago, Obama has spent 65 days on vacation, in 19 months (3.42 days of vacation per month).

    For comparison, Bush Jr. by this point in his presidency had spent 120 days on vacation in 19 months (6.3 days of vacation per month). Cite

    Of the recent Presidents (going back to Carter), in their first year in office (not including Camp David):
    Carter spent 19 days on vacation (1.6 days per month)
    Reagan spent 42 days on vacation (3.5 days per month)
    Bush Sr. spent 40 days on vacation (3.3 days per month)
    Clinton spent 21 days on vacation (1.8 days per month)
    Bush Jr. spent 77 days on vacation (6.4 days per month)
    Obama spent 26 days on vacation (2.2 days per month)
    Cite

    And before anyone leaps on the qualifier “not including Camp David,” Obama spent an additional 27 days at Camp David. Bush Jr. spent an additional 78 days at Camp David.

    Note that the only Presidents who spent less time on vacation than Obama were fellow Democrats

  24. avatar
    Obsolete June 25, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    It irks Gary that Obama killed Bin Laden.

  25. avatar
    Expelliarmus June 25, 2011 at 1:49 am #

    I also seriously doubt that Obama goes golfing with John Boehner for fun. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20074213-503544.html

    I personally am not very fond of the game of golf — but one reason that many are suspicious of the game is that it has always been an old boys’ network thing –in the corporate world, deals were being made on the golf course, to the exclusion of those who weren’t participating.

    But the bottom line is that it’s one way of cutting through all of the partisan grandstanding. Boehner wasn’t going to walk off the golf course in a big huff after the 7th hole because he didn’t like something Obama said about taxing rich folks.

    I would also guess that, as a form of physical recreation, it is probably one that is easier on the Secret Service than, say, jogging or bicycling around town. Golf courses are probably pretty easy to secure, with a good view of anyone who might be approaching.

  26. avatar
    Northland10 June 25, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Gary:
    Try again MW.

    Clinton 174 days
    Bush II 69 days
    Reagan 42 days
    Bush I 40 days
    That’s for 8 years.

    Obama 90 days in 2 years.

    Did you even read the FactCheck article? Looks like you pulled out the numbers without the important reference:

    Clinton – 174 days in 8 years, 21 his first year
    Bush II: 69 in his first year (one year only)
    Reagan: 42 in his first year
    Bush I: 40 days in his first year

    Obama had 26 his first year. The Post article mentioned a different number for 2009 but may have been counting the Camp David trips. If we were top add Camp David, you would need to add 78 more to Bush II for the first year.

    Before you make a claim, I recommend you actual read the entire article, or as you said, “try again Gary.”

    p.s. I should note a cute little mention in the FactCheck article. Some of Reagan’s vacation time was spent at the home of Walter Annenberg 😉

  27. avatar
    Majority Will June 25, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Gary:
    Try again MW.

    Clinton 174 days
    Bush II 69 days
    Reagan 42 days
    Bush I 40 days
    That’s for 8 years.

    Obama 90 days in 2 years.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/president_obama_year_in_numbers_gmxQqJMk9n4XBqb3OzBsnN

    http://www.factcheck.org/2010/01/president-obamas-vacation-days/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/7607947/Barack-Obama-plays-golf-eight-more-times-than-George-W-Bush.html

    Thanks for proving you have a considerable reading comprehension problem.

    Do not try again. You are hopeless.

    However, if you’d like to state Obama may top Bush in vacation days during his second term in office, that would be just swell and thanks in advance for conceding his second term win.

    Another fun fact about Bush:

    President Bush said with a straight face this week that he gave up golf in honor of the fallen soldiers in Iraq, claiming that he quit after the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003:

    “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

    (excerpt: huffingtonpost.com)

    Bush went golfing two months later.

    Link to the video of GWB caught in another lie:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/16/bush-lied-about-giving-up_n_102138.html

    “I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man’s life,” he said. “I was playing golf — I think I was in central Texas — and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, ‘It’s just not worth it anymore to do.'” FORE!

  28. avatar
    Majority Will June 25, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    Obsolete:
    It irks Gary that Obama killed Bin Laden.

    “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.”
    – George W. Bush, 9/13/2001

    “I truly am not that concerned about him (Osama bin Laden). I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him when he had taken over a country.”
    – George W. Bush, 2002

    “So I don’t know where he is. You know, I just don’t spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you.”
    – George W. Bush, 3/13/2002

    “Uh . . gosh, I don’t think I ever said I’m not worried about Osama bin Laden. It’s kind of one of those, uhhhhh, exaggerations.”
    – George W. Bush, 10/13/2004 (Debate with John Kerry)

  29. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 25, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    It looks like National Public Radio has made an observation in line with mine:

    In modern times, Michael Dukakis was mocked in 1988 for reciting a Greek oath during his convention speech, and, in the 1992 campaign, questions were raised about a trip Bill Clinton had taken to Moscow as a young student. John Kerry was bizarrely accused of “looking French” by Republican opponents — tying in to charges that he was effete and out of touch. “Democrats are saying he’s one in a million. A war hero who speaks French, isn’t it more like one in a trillion?” joked Jay Leno.

    On one level, the charge seems a bizarre one to level at Obama, the first ever president who is not entirely of European heritage, doesn’t have a European name, had few ties to the continent before becoming president, and has been accused by opponents, since taking office, of neglecting European allies. Not to mention, of course, the elephant in the room whenever questions about Obama’s identity come up is the “birther” movement and the suspicion among many Americans that the president may be Muslim or not a U.S. citizen.

    “Every presidential contest is about ‘he doesn’t share your values, his values are different than America’s.’ People are just a little hypersensitive to it because Obama does have a unique background,” Goldfarb says.

    The “European” charge has the advantage of allowing Romney, who may eventually have to appeal to centrist voters in addition to the Republican base, to attack Obama on questions of values without appearing to pander to the extremist fringe.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/06/24/137390789/foreign-policy-european-next-label-on-the-list

  30. avatar
    Majority Will June 25, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The “European” charge has the advantage of allowing Romney, who may eventually have to appeal to centrist voters in addition to the Republican base, to attack Obama on questions of values without appearing to pander to the extremist fringe

    And the centrists will have to tune out the extremist fringe trying to make something of Romney being of Mexican descent and a former Mormon missionary in France.

  31. avatar
    obsolete June 25, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Northland10: p.s. I should note a cute little mention in the FactCheck article. Some of Reagan’s vacation time was spent at the home of Walter Annenberg

    Where they were plotting the rise of a young black Marxist to destroy the U.S. from within…

  32. avatar
    Lupin June 25, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: [I hasten to add, lest anyone think that I’m a Marxist

    Marx wrote a lot of things that are perfectly correct and remains today one of the best political economists ever. What Lenin did has as much to with Marx than what Torquemada did with Jesus.

    Only in America is Marx ignored or reviled, mostly pout of ignorance.

  33. avatar
    Wild Bill H June 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    “Obama is a pragmatist and a consensus builder with a more international view; he’s not like the birther’s demographic. Populist rhetoric is also anti-science, scientists being identified also as belonging to the elite. Obama, on the other hand, is not threatened by smart people; he respects science; he’s different.”

    Who and where is this Obama person you speak of? I know for a fact that you are not referring to the current POTUS as he is greatly threatened by anything and anyone who opposes him, he respects only himself. He is no more pragmatic than my big toe and the only consensus that he has managed to build as POTUS is that of a racial split the likes that this country hasn’t seen in years. I find it so odd and interesting at the same time that we can hold such different views of the same person. That you can see in him qualities that I can’t even imagine him having.

    “Another thing that the birthers are on to is the fact that there is no formal government-sponsored eligibility screening for presidential candidates, and beyond that they have discovered that the rule of standing prevents a wide range of generalized grievances against the government from being resolved through the federal courts, including adjudication of the particular question of Obama’s eligibility.”

    And this doesn’t seem to bother you in the least? I bet if the shoe were on the other foot and it was the Dem’s screaming about a Republican POTUS not being legit you would suddenly find religion in the fact that there is no eligibility screening. Somehow I think you might also find fault with the legal system in their standing rules as well. But then, what do I know, I’m just a racist idiot birther.

    “Barack Obama is indeed very foreign, at least to people like them, and the government is unresponsive to them. The birther problem is that they cannot articulate their real objection to Barack Obama and so must rely on tin-foil-hat conspiracy theories, which in the end don’t advance their cause at all, and indeed distract from it.”

    This is very funny indeed. He is foreign alright….nothing like any president we have had before. I don’t find him foreign in the sense that he is from Mars or another country….just foreign in his backwards thinking, ideals, and political agenda. And we certainly do not think the government is unresponsive…the government is being shoved down our throats and into our lives at breakneck speed under Obama’s oversight. The government has become the ONLY thing that IS actually responsive, because the economy certainly isn’t unfortunately. And actually, I think I’ve done an excellent job of articulating my objection to Obama, I need no tin-foil at all. The man is an empty suit. We play a game whenever we see/hear him speaking. We make bets as to when he is talking off teleprompter. It is THAT noticeable, which is truly sad. He can’t get his thoughts together, he hems and haws and his whole cadence changes – and what comes out of his mouth usually makes no sense whatsoever. But I will give him kudos for one thing – he can read masterfully. I just have to wonder whose words is he reading, because they certainly aren’t his as he can no more speak from the heart than a parrot.

    “less educated, white, conservative, working class and southern”
    This birther is from middle America, I’m an older white Independent voter working on my Masters after being a stay at home mom to my two children who left the nest with good jobs and are supporting themselves. Well – 1 out of 5 criteria isn’t too bad.

    “The factual claims birthers make don’t pan out and we can rule out completely the defining birther assertion:Barack Obama is constitutionally ineligible to be President. ”

    Are you calling Obama a liar? He is the one who insists that he was born a dual citizen governed by British Law at the time of his birth; not me. So that fact doesn’t pan out? And last I was aware, the only precedence set for A2S1 was in Minor where the court held that a NBC was born on the soil of 2 US citizen parents. Unless you have a precedent to the contrary…well I’d say he is ineligible. But for the life of me, I cannot understand why this blog exists if you truly felt he was eligible. After all, he IS POTUS, he IS in the White House, what more do you want?

  34. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    I think you are projecting.

    Wild Bill H: Who and where is this Obama person you speak of? I know for a fact that you are not referring to the current POTUS as he is greatly threatened by anything and anyone who opposes him, he respects only himself. He is no more pragmatic than my big toe and the only consensus that he has managed to build as POTUS is that of a racial split the likes that this country hasn’t seen in years. I find it so odd and interesting at the same time that we can hold such different views of the same person. That you can see in him qualities that I can’t even imagine him having.

  35. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    It is my view that the withering examination of the Press and the opposition candidates makes such a scenario impossible. Any reasonable vetting process would just ask for a state-certified copy of a birth certificate — Obama released that in June of 2008.

    No, I cannot conceive of any scenario under with I’d be a birther hounding a Republican president.

    Wild Bill H: And this doesn’t seem to bother you in the least? I bet if the shoe were on the other foot and it was the Dem’s screaming about a Republican POTUS not being legit you would suddenly find religion in the fact that there is no eligibility screening. Somehow I think you might also find fault with the legal system in their standing rules as well. But then, what do I know, I’m just a racist idiot birther.

  36. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Thomas Jefferson accepted French citizenship as an adult and was a French citizen while he served as President of the United States. One of the criticisms leveled against Jefferson at the time was that he was “too French” to be President.

    You don’t know much history, do you?

    Wild Bill H: He is foreign alright….nothing like any president we have had before.

  37. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Minor doesn’t say that. But one thing that Minor does say is that it is not deciding the question of citizenship for the children of aliens. Wong Kim Ark decided that question. Minor makes a clear division of citizenship into only two categories, natural born and naturalized. It didn’t decide the question of which category the US-born children of aliens fit. Wong did. The Indiana Court of Appeals (who I would trust is more qualified than you to have an opinion) said that based on Wong Obama is a natural born citizen.

    Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said that Barack Obama was eligible to be President because he was born in Hawaii. If the current US Supreme Court ruled, there is no question that it would be 9-0 against you.

    Wild Bill H: And last I was aware, the only precedence set for A2S1 was in Minor where the court held that a NBC was born on the soil of 2 US citizen parents.

  38. avatar
    aarrgghh June 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    there was an analogous movement against bush the second that passionately argued and counted and recounted the butterfly ballots throughout his first term. unlike the birfers they had real lawyers arguing their case. like the birfers they were an ineffectual force on the political scene and were dismissed by everyone. after bush’s reelection they redirected their efforts to the voting machines with no greater success. the current trajectory of the birfer movement suggests that they are not on course to fare any better.

    Wild Bill H:
    I bet if the shoe were on the other foot and it was the Dem’s screaming about a Republican POTUS not being legit you would suddenly find religion in the fact that there is no eligibility screening.Somehow I think you might also find fault with the legal system in their standing rules as well.But then, what do I know, I’m just a racist idiot birther.

  39. avatar
    Scientist June 26, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    Interesting that transgender Sally/Bill complains about no one “vetting” Obama yet then in the next paragraph complains about too much government. I can’t think of anything more obtrusive than some government agency deciding who can and can’t run for office. Sounds like the Guardian Council of Mullahs in Iran who make sure that anyone running for office is acceptable to the clergy.

    And just out of curiosity, what would a “vetting” of Presidential candidates for eligibility entail? They would show their b.c. (in whatever form their birth state issues) and some proof that they have lived in the US for 14 years (no one is certain whether that is the immediate 14 years precdeing the election, consecutive or cumulative) such as tax returns, mortgage documents, etc. Any authority doing such a “vettiing’ would have to conclude that Obama is eligible.

    And in case Sally/Bill thinks they would demand both citizens be parents (which even Vattel did not) they are dreaming. This has not been the policy of the US government ever and certainly not in the last century. There is not a single government document that states any such thing, so they simply would have no foundation to apply such a standard and would not.

    So whatever “vetting” would occur, Obama would pass with flying colors. Nice try Sally/Bill

  40. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    I haven’t followed this in detail, but I thought that there had been significant movement towards voting machines with audit trails. I heard that Florida no longer uses punch card ballots.

    aarrgghh: after bush’s reelection they redirected their efforts to the voting machines with no greater success.