They wouldn’t vote for Obama anyway
I speak for myself, and perhaps for a lot of you, in saying that the one thing that made the birthers important, and what focused our attention on them was the possibility, even though we didn’t acknowledge it, that deep down we feared either that the birthers could influence the outcome of a close election and defeat Obama, or that a loss by Obama would signal a shift away from fact-based decision making in the country. Our hopeful mantra to ward off birthers making a real difference was “they wouldn’t vote for Obama anyway” and as I listened to CNN coverage last night, I didn’t hear the word “birther” mentioned one single time.
In fact, one of the last things I thought about last night was even bothering to look at what the birthers were saying, so irrelevant they seemed. However, prompted by a comment I saw on Twitter, I did drop by Orly’s web site where I found 4 separate huge titles urging her supporters to call the Romney campaign and demand that he not concede until all the votes were counted. One began “STOP!!!” How silly it sounds that a dentist in California and maybe a few hundred people who read her blog last evening could make the slightest difference in the decision-making process of a presidential campaign. To me the silliness of the attempt is emblematic of just how irrelevant birthers really are once history has intervened and said: “no, birthers didn’t effect the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election.”
Every day for weeks now there have been multiple alerts from Google News on keywords like “Obama birth certificate” and “Orly Taitz.” There were none last evening. Yesterday morning I saw, for example, something from the Dallas Morning news below that I cannot imagine being written today:
And while the discourse was often petty — with obsessions over gaffes, Obama’s birth certificate and Big Bird — the candidates offer vastly different visions on taxes, changes to entitlement programs that serve tens of millions of Americans.
The road ahead, I believe, will be characterized by a sharp drop in any mainstream concern over birthers, and with that lack of attention, birthers lose their power, a power that was never more than a specter of the crazies running the asylum. Interest in birtherism will now truly become, as Obama termed it, “bemusement.”
Nut cases will not shut up. They live in a world of denial in which the election is just one more proof of the evil Obama thugs taking over the country. My neighbor talked yesterday about leaving the country if Obama won, but they won’t leave the country—things are going too well for them here. Orly Taitz will continue her lawsuits and lose, and likely garner stiff sanctions in the process. Her donations, such as they are, will dry up. I think the “two citizen parent” crank legal theory will have the wind knocked out of their sails because it no longer has any chance of influencing voters.
So what does this mean for me?
The birthers always surprise, and I’ll cover whatever crazy twist they come up with; however, there is no urgency any more. I can practice bemusement.