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Birthers & Obots

I’ve added a new page under the Visitor Guide menu, titled Birthers and Obots. It’s a short item defining the two terms. What wasn’t quite satisfactory in my mind, and the reason that I’m writing and asking for comment, is the “Birther” category.

I define “Birther” as someone who holds a certain view about the President and I define “Obot” as an activist who opposes Birthers. What I don’t have is a term to describe a Birther activist, one who not only responds to a poll saying Obama was born in Kenya, but who is an activist,spreading this view online.

58 Responses to Birthers & Obots

  1. avatar
    J.Potter August 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Breeders? Spreader (manure imagery)? Carriers? I like that one, ties into the contagion model.

    I have referred to them as members of the priest caste, but it’s a mouthful. Acolytes is fun, but also chewy.

    How about another classification, possibly two: birthers with a pulpit/mouthpiece (blogs, online radio, books), and another for the braintrust (those who hatch new birther memes, such as your conclusion that Donofrio invented the 2parent lie).

    birther brain > birther mouthpiece > birther spreader > birther consumer

    Of course, many birthers are tackling multiple roles. Would be even better if the model had a feedback loop. But I don’t know that I have seen evidence of any. Just swill being sprayed and lapped up.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    After consideration, “Birther activist” might just work. But when you said “birther brain” my mind immediately jumped to Starship Troopers and the brain bugs.

    J.Potter:
    Breeders? Spreader (manure imagery)? Carriers? I like that one, ties into the contagion model.

    I have referred to them as members of the priest caste, but it’s a mouthful. Acolytes is fun, but also chewy.

    How about another classification, possibly two: birthers with a pulpit/mouthpiece (blogs, online radio, books), and another for the braintrust (those who hatch new birther memes, such as your conclusion that Donofrio invented the 2parent lie).

    birther brain > birther mouthpiece > birther spreader > birther consumer

    Of course, many birthers are tackling multiple roles. Would be even better if the model had a feedback loop. But I don’t know that I have seen evidence of any. Just swill being sprayed and lapped up.

  3. avatar
    BatGuano August 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    J.Potter:
    Breeders?

    hey! don’t sully a good band.

    “birther activist” works for me. one of the things i find comical in this fiasco is that birthers now complain about those who use the term, a term they created and originally embraced. it was thru there own actions that the term became a negative.

    on the opposite side it was birthers who phrased “obot” ( i assume to mean a mindless automaton ) but the term has been gleefully accepted by those birthers wish to insult.

  4. avatar
    J.Potter August 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Exactly! Only uglier.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    After consideration, “Birther activist” might just work. But when you said “birther brain” my mind immediately jumped to Starship Troopers and the brain bugs.

  5. avatar
    J.Potter August 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    About that lack of feedback loop I mentioned … has anyone ever noticed birthers reject anything presented by their thought leaders? I mean, the groupthink is strong, but is it absolute?

  6. avatar
    Adam August 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Obot seems to be a derivative of the label, “Bushbot,” which conservative activisits used as an epithet against people who defended Bush policies that made the right angry, such as his Medicare prescription drug plan .

    I used to call it the “Bush giveaway to geezers.” I couldn’t fathom how some of my fellow conservatives could defend that policy, so I used to call them Bushbots, implying that they would blindly support whatever Bush proposed without thinking, as if they were a robots programmed to support Bush.

    The illegal alien amnesty proposal was another Bush-backed policy the support of which would earn a conservative the Bushbot label.

    My previous use of the “Bushbot” label as an epithet makes me hate the “Obot” label.

    I am no supporter of president Obama. I oppose 99.9% of his policy agenda amd would like nothing better than to see him defeated in 2012.

    However, I accept the reality that Obama is our dully elected president, and that he is constitutionally eligible for the office he holds. I engage birthers in forums because I believe the birther issue makes the opposition to the president look silly and actually benefits him.

    Does that make me an Obot? I hope not, because it sounds as if I blindly support the president, when in fact I don’t.

  7. avatar
    Bovril August 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Adam.

    I think you will find that most obots have their own reservations and concerns around the president and some, many or most of his policies and actions.

    I can’t off hand remember any actual obot who blindly supports the President, most of us simply loath the arrant lies and BS promulgated by a small, very loud and poisonous group of seditious feckwits.

  8. avatar
    J.Potter August 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    @Adam:
    “Does that make me an Obot? I hope not, because it sounds as if I blindly support the president, when in fact I don’t.”

    To the birthers it does!

    Should earn you respect with your fellow conservatives, tho. Although, you may get a sideways glance for having contact with “those icky people” (birthers).

  9. avatar
    Daniel August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Adam: Does that make me an Obot?

    Nope.

    I’m pretty much in the same boat. I’m a fiscal and social conservative. I’ve never voted for a democrat. I don’t like how Obama is running things.

    I oppose birthers because a) I oppose sedition no matter what. b) birthers are making Republicans look stupid by association. c) birthers are practically handing the next election to Obama on a silver platter.

    One does not have to support Obama in order to oppose the abject stupidity that is birtherism.

  10. avatar
    gorefan August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Adam: Does that make me an Obot?

    Maybe not, but it is enough to get you banned from the Freerepublic website forums.

  11. avatar
    jayHG August 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Adam, if you go over to free republic, you are definitely an obot of the first order!!! If you tell them that you oppose President Obama, they won’t believe you. They will be on you like white on rice.

    It’s entirely fine not to be a supporter of the President. That’s the American way. Some people are republicans, some are democrats and some are independents. We’re free in this country to find our own way and work towards our own ideals (as long as I don’t try to force anyone else over to my side, that is). I mean, I can try to persuade you, but I can’t make you vote for my guy.

    And I love the birthers because you are correct – they definitely benefit President Obama, but you can’t tell that to a birfer!!

  12. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) August 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    J.Potter: Exactly! Only uglier.

    NUKE EM RICO!!!!

  13. avatar
    J.Potter August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    The movie “adaptation” left out the nerve gas, didn’t it?
    Flamers, too. The Avalon Hill adaptation was much more satisfying … and a better correlation to birtherbusting as well!

    “Here, birther, birther, birther ….”

    Of course, the bugs had actual weapons that required a physical defense. Here, reason is all you need. I’d take the powered armor tho, too, just in case.

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): NUKE EM RICO!!!!

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    If the birthers come up with a less pejorative word than “birther” but such a word would have to define the class we’re talking about. “Patriot” doesn’t adequately delineate the class.

    BatGuano: “birther activist” works for me. one of the things i find comical in this fiasco is that birthers now complain about those who use the term, a term they created and originally embraced. it was thru [their] own actions that the term became a negative.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Obot is a term without a consensus. From a birther’s point of view obots blindly support the president, making you not an obot. From my point of view, an obot is an anti-birther, which you might be depending on your level of activism.

    The birthers created the term “obot” (I think originally hyphenated “o-bot”) as a term for a person who was an Obama minion, either paid or fanatically in support of him. This definition derives from the birther belief that anyone looking at their case fairly would agree with them — and so the association between bias or bribery and anti-birther activity. However, the Obot construct itself is a symptom of the birther’s illusion.

    While the birther-defined Obot probably exists somewhere in the world, I have personally not encountered one.

    Adam: Does that make me an Obot? I hope not, because it sounds as if I blindly support the president, when in fact I don’t.

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Clearly Quote of the Day material πŸ˜‰

    Daniel: One does not have to support Obama in order to oppose the abject stupidity that is birtherism.

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    This is one of the reasons that I don’t allow discussion of how well Obama is doing as President on this site. I want folks like you and Adam to feel welcome on the site. The views of folks having no pro-Obama bias are particularly valuable to folks like me who may have some bias and thereby miss something.

    Daniel: I’m pretty much in the same boat. I’m a fiscal and social conservative. I’ve never voted for a democrat. I don’t like how Obama is running things.

  18. avatar
    J.Potter August 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Great post, Doc! This has been my ultimate knock on birtherism itself, that it requires confirmation bias. If the birther story was logical, airtight, it would be persuasive. Those who were biased against it would have to yield to it. But, since the least effort at follow-up reveals their claims to be inferences built on assumption, birtherism can’t persuade.

    This is also, perhaps, why it can take a person so long to realize that the birthers are (or at least have convinced themselves that they are) serious. I thought it was s spoof, something just to rile up President Obama fans with. After that realization came the Twilight Zone phase. Basic axioms about the nature of reality had been cracked. I had uncovered the abyss and Cthulhu was beckoning. And then acceptance comes, and it’s all been tragicomedy ever since!

    Some corners of the internet need disclaimers.

    Dr. Conspiracy: This definition derives from the birther belief that anyone looking at their case fairly would agree with them

  19. avatar
    Bob August 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    I’ve wondered if the great bulk of Birthers are “new” Birthers that then relatively quickly return to being mere Garden Variety Wingnuts. And Obots (anyone who believes that Obama is eligible to be POTUS) are forever Obots.

    A person can go from Birther to Obot but there is no such thing as an Obot to Birther transition. They will claim otherwise, of course.

    It only goes >-ONE-WAY->

    Or perhaps the great bulk of Birthers consists of a Garden Variety Wingnuts just egging on New Birthers.

  20. avatar
    Keith August 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Scammers?

    Con Artists?

    White Ants?

    Seditionists?

    Narcissist?

  21. avatar
    US Citizen August 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    What I don’t have is a term to describe a Birther activist…

    Mmmm… “Wrong?”
    That IS the term to describe one, but I don’t know… maybe afterbirther? Proactive Birther?

    Really, there’s no singular, definitive term that would be easily understood and widely adopted for something this uniquely crazy.
    Perhaps “Idiot with keyboard and telephone?”

  22. avatar
    Daniel August 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    PEBKAC

  23. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett August 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    notbots (as in “not eligible”)

  24. avatar
    Keith August 5, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    US Citizen: … maybe afterbirther? Proactive Birther?

    Abortionist?

  25. avatar
    Lupin August 5, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    Adam: I am no supporter of president Obama. I oppose 99.9% of his policy agenda amd would like nothing better than to see him defeated in 2012.

    However, I accept the reality that Obama is our dully elected president, and that he is constitutionally eligible for the office he holds.

    I too am not enamored of many of your president’s policies, although he does seem a very likeable person, but I’m no supporter of his. Just because we loathe and ridicule birthers doesn’t make us “Obots”, I think.

  26. avatar
    Bovril August 5, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    I wear the badge of Obot with pride….I am unabashed in being a member of the poke with sharp pointy stick tendency….. 😎

    YMMV

  27. avatar
    Tes August 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    I think “birther activist” is the most appropriate term. I mean, there’s the tea party, and tea party activists; there’s progressives and then there are progressive activists; republicans, and republican activists, democrats and democratic activists. In each case, the term “activist” means one who not only “believes” but works to evangelize on behalf of their “cause.”

  28. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    OK, that’s settled. Now I’m looking for a phrase to describe the average WorldNetDaily reader. I’m leaning towards inbred right-wing trailer trash, although I don’t want to insult people who live in trailers.

    Tes: I think “birther activist” is the most appropriate term.

  29. avatar
    Zixi of Ix August 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    I oppose most of President Obama’s agenda, but I try to be a logical, fair person, and I reject unwarranted attacks in the same way that I reject racism and all the other ‘isms’. I refuse to get caught up in name calling, casting aspersions, and making up lies simply because I don’t like his politics.

    I also vehemently oppose those who would drag the Republican Party into the Dark Ages, and get especially grumpy when they do it for fame, attention, money, or a combination of all three.

    To the degree that mainstream GOP “leaders” try to play the birther game, I reject them. People like Michele Bachmann, who have tried to suck up to the birthers are permanently off my voting list. Truth be told. there are a lot of reasons someone like Bachmann is off my list, but if I only need one reason, there it is.

    Obama ran. He was elected fairly. He is qualified. That’s the end of it. Period. Any attempt to change his status in any way that doesn’t involve a ballot box is vile, disgusting and un-American.

    Does this make me an O-Bot? Don’t know and don’t care. They can call me what they want. People who go around trashing the memory of Obama’s dead mother and harassing the mother of dead babies in Hawaii (which surfaced again this week, btw) are in no position to make me feel bad regardless of what they say or what they call me.

    Adam wrote:
    Obot seems to be a derivative of the label, “Bushbot,” which conservative activisits used as an epithet against people who defended Bush policies that made the right angry, such as his Medicare prescription drug plan .

    I used to call it the “Bush giveaway to geezers.” I couldn’t fathom how some of my fellow conservatives could defend that policy, so I used to call them Bushbots, implying that they would blindly support whatever Bush proposed without thinking, as if they were a robots programmed to support Bush.

    The illegal alien amnesty proposal was another Bush-backed policy the support of which would earn a conservative the Bushbot label.

    My previous use of the “Bushbot” label as an epithet makes me hate the “Obot” label.

    I am no supporter of president Obama. I oppose 99.9% of his policy agenda amd would like nothing better than to see him defeated in 2012.

    However, I accept the reality that Obama is our dully elected president, and that he is constitutionally eligible for the office he holds. I engage birthers in forums because I believe the birther issue makes the opposition to the president look silly and actually benefits him.

    Does that make me an Obot? I hope not, because it sounds as if I blindly support the president, when in fact I don’t.

  30. avatar
    G August 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Sad, spiteful dupes

    Dr. Conspiracy: OK, that’s settled. Now I’m looking for a phrase to describe the average WorldNetDaily reader. I’m leaning towards inbred right-wing trailer trash, although I don’t want to insult people who live in trailers.

  31. avatar
    Keith August 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Zixi of Ix: …They can call me what they want. People who go around trashing the memory of Obama’s dead mother and harassing the mother of dead babies in Hawaii (which surfaced again this week, btw) are in no position to make me feel bad regardless of what they say or what they call me.

    Well said, Ix.

    It is heartening to know that there is still some semblance of sanity on your side of the aisle.

  32. avatar
    obsolete August 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I’m leaning towards inbred right-wing trailer trash, although I don’t want to insult people who live in trailers.

    I agree- I’ve known people who live in trailers who are rational, normal people in every way. There is no scientific correlation between living in a trailer and being a wingnut.

    I too am heartened by seeing all of the rational conservative posters here. Although I am certainly to the left of Obama myself, I recognize the need for discourse with sane opponents who can debate the direction the country should take without smearing frosting all over their ass and proclaiming it victory.

  33. avatar
    Tes August 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    OK, that’s settled. Now I’m looking for a phrase to describe the average WorldNetDaily reader. I’m leaning towards inbred right-wing trailer trash, although I don’t want to insult people who live in trailers.

    Birtherists. Like so-called christian extreme fundamentalists and Islamists, they consistently twist the truth to their own exclusionist/hateful purposes. They ignore science, fact, logic, because it doesn’t fit with their hate-filled fantasies. And like fundamentalists (of any sort), they hate all who don’t believe, or who fail to believe with the same zealous passion they believe. Also like many forms of fundamentalism, they seek not just to convert “the lost” — but to bring harm upon those who refuse to convert and those who challenge their beliefs.

    They’re Birtherists.

  34. avatar
    Tes August 5, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    On second thought, that may not be appropriate for the average WND mere reader, but it seems to fit the average “pro-WND” commenter there.

  35. avatar
    J. Potter August 5, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    Attempt #1: Farahsees

    Of course, the Pharisees were definitely activists, not mere consumers.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    OK, that’s settled. Now I’m looking for a phrase to describe the average WorldNetDaily reader. I’m leaning towards inbred right-wing trailer trash, although I don’t want to insult people who live in trailers.

  36. avatar
    J. Potter August 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Attempt #2: WNDolts

    Insulting, not witty.

  37. avatar
    J. Potter August 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    Attempt #3: … drinking from Farah’s Faucet?

    Not a known, but share-worthy.

  38. avatar
    J. Potter August 5, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    Attempt #4: … sniffing at the Farahmones again?

    A description of the act of pickin’ up what Farah’s been puttin’ down.

  39. avatar
    J. Potter August 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    Attempt #5: Plotbots

  40. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 5, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    I’ve lived in a trailer myself.

    obsolete: I agree- I’ve known people who live in trailers who are rational, normal people in every way. There is no scientific correlation between living in a trailer and being a wingnut.

  41. avatar
    Wile E. August 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Willfully Naive Dupes?

    WiNDup dolls?

  42. avatar
    J. Potter August 5, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Attempt #6: Mustachios

  43. avatar
    J. Potter August 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Attempt #7: Connedservatives, Connedservients

    WiNDup Dolls is hysterical!

  44. avatar
    J. Potter August 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    …. but it’s probably best to take the highroad, and be inoffensive, if not downright clinical. “dedicated WNDers” …. “fine folks who frequent WND” … etc.

    “Frequent flyers”, hehe.

    Stan Lee always referred to Marvel readers as “true believers” …. but even that would be perceived as condescending. Which is why I use it! πŸ˜‰

  45. avatar
    J. Potter August 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    Having said that …. WiNgerDingers?

    Excelsior!

  46. avatar
    Keith August 6, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    Every specialty has its own jargon, and confidence tricksters are no exception. I believe the correct term is: mark.

    I suspect there are other terms, I have heard the term ‘wallet’ used in movies, so it is probably a moving target.

  47. avatar
    Keith August 6, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    And of course prostitutes use the traditional term ‘john’ to for their paying customers.

  48. avatar
    J. Potter August 6, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    ClueSniffers? PlotLickers? Deregulated Militia?

  49. avatar
    J. Potter August 6, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Plotlickers ….. cluesniffers…..

  50. avatar
    Sef August 6, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    How about “refuseniks”. Just add another definition to the already exiting word. Maybe Orly feels guilty that she was not in this select group and has to compensate in other ways.

  51. avatar
    J. Potter August 6, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Projectionists? It’s their favorite psychological crutch.

  52. avatar
    J. Potter August 6, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Daily Flailers?
    CorsiFarians?
    Ali Baa Baa and the 40 Sheep?
    The Absent Thinkers?

  53. avatar
    Wile E. August 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    J. Potter:
    Attempt #6:Mustachios

    The 300 Mustacheketeers

    Is 300 too high?

  54. avatar
    El Diablo Negro August 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    How about “Farahcons” an offshoot of Neocons

    It may irk them with the resemblance to Farrakhan; leader of the Nation of Islam.

    But im eeeeevillll!!
    [puts pinky to mouth]

  55. avatar
    J. Potter August 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    The 3 Mustacheteers, hehe. Believe it or not, I once worked for a company that allowed men to wear mustaches, but not beards, because “men with beards are perceived as untrustworthy.” Incredibly out of date!

    Makes me want to start a new photoshop series … spreading Farah’s stache around …

    Wile E.: The 300 Mustacheketeers

    Is 300 too high?

  56. avatar
    Egharcsar August 6, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Late in on this blog, but I add Obama apologist and active eligibility challenger to replace your terms dr c., from my steadfast position of course.

  57. avatar
    obsolete August 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    Of course, apologist is a poor choice because no one need apologize for following the law and Constitution which says Obama is eligible. After all, we are not the ones who desire to overthrow our government!
    “Active eligibility challenger” should maybe be “futile eligibility challenger”, as Obama’s eligibility has been repeatedly proven, and “eligibility challengers” will never achieve success in getting him out of office, because they are starting with an incorrect data point.

  58. avatar
    J. Potter August 7, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    My string of silliness aside, I have been thinking about an appropriate, serious term for WND readers …. and I can see a need there because referring to them as “readers” isn’t accurate.The verb “read” doesn’t encompass the whole of the activity. Reading, reacting, consuming, replicating. Of course, can’t use a whole sentence. In computing, a device that has been compromised into accepting data and instructions from an external source is termed a “bot”. But bot is already commonplace, and implies a complete lack of consciousness.

    For its biological and musicological meanings, I suggest drones. That the word start with a ‘d’ is bonus. WND drones.