I was musing on the remarkable story of Orly Taitz. On one hand she can be viewed as a crazy dentist with some crank theories. On the other hand, Taitz has been remarkably effective in getting publicity. How many of us have been interviewed on prime time national television multiple times?
Is there a fictional character that models her birther career? Don Quixote comes to mind as one whose self-image far exceeds his objective narrative. Mr. Bean is another, a bungling man who is oblivious to the disasters he creates around himself.
Perhaps Phil Berg fits the Don Quixote story better. Berg was a successful lawyer, an Assistant Attorney General of Pennsylvania before he went wrong. Quixote was hit on the head; I don’t know what happened to Berg. It may have been his brother’s death or just being consumed with conspiracy theories, first about 9/11 and later about Obama’s birth place. In any case, he began neglecting his clients, went bankrupt and is facing disciplinary action from the Pennsylvania bar (hearing later this month).
A number of the birthers, thinking that they personally were on a mission to remove Barack Obama from the White House have gone to jail for their magnificent obsessions, notably Terry Lakin, Walter Fitzpatrick III and Darren Huff. Others have lost their jobs and family ties.
All this is to say that sometimes we are frustrated by birthers who won’t listen to reason and seem to be able to spout nonsense with impunity. However, craziness takes its toll – sometimes public and sometimes private. There are always consequences.