Sometimes I wonder if Obama is playing the birthers like a cheap violin
I don’t spend much time reading liberal sources and watching liberal commentators, so I can’t characterize them, but at least in anecdote I can report a theme, and that is that the birthers are good for Barack Obama.
One example is the Martin Bashir program on the Arpaio Cold Case Posse investigation of Obama on MSNBC that I linked to previously. On that program, commentator Goldie Taylor said:
I’ve heard a lot of my colleagues call this the “politics of otherness.” This is just their way of calling the President something else, like “Muslim,” like, you know, “illegal immigrant.” … So they can get around saying what they want to say, and that word we won’t use on this television today. This is just a cover for their own bigotry. …
You know what I love about it? What I love about it is that it’s going to remind people there there is a reason to go to the polls this fall. I think that this is a bad miscalculation on their part, if they believe that they can whip up, that they can incite this kind of hatred, push this kind of bigotry, and that the American people won’t respond.
Each time I hear this sort of thing my knee-jerk reaction is that it is just self-serving rhetoric – spin if you will. However, I am reconsidering the possibility that encouraging birtherism may actually be part of the Obama re-election campaign strategy, exactly as Karl Rove described it:
This is the White House strategy. … The President can come out and say “here are the documents.” But they’re happy to have this controversy continue because every moment the Conservatives talk about this, they marginalize themselves and diminish themselves in the minds of independent voters.
What got me thinking about this was what Obama and Democrat attorneys have done, or more accurately what they have not done in defending recent ballot challenges. What they could have easily done was to submit a certified copy of the President’s birth certificate (the short form). Instead, in Georgia supposedly an uncertified copy of the long form was sent to the Secretary of State, and a hyperlink to a web page containing the form was submitted in Mississippi. This, along with Jablonski’s non-appearance in Georgia and the empty chair in Indiana could be viewed as egging the birthers on. It was only when people started taking birthers seriously did the White House respond, as it did last April when it released the long form birth certificate.
The examples I have cited are a long way from sufficient evidence of an intentional Obama campaign strategy of nurturing birthers just enough to use them to discredit conservatives in general, but in the future I’ll not be dismissing such claims as just rhetoric.