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Retrospective retrospective

It has been on my mind that about this time of year, I usually write some sort of retrospective, a “year in birtherism” or “major birther stories of the year” article. I’m not so much inclined to do it this year. There was just one big birther story in 2012: “Obama re-elected despite birthers.”

My first retrospective article was published a year after the blog started: “Obama Conspiracy Theories 2009 Retrospective.” I wrote then:

If any one thing about the year was remarkable, it was the persistence of those who support these views. What started up as a few Internet blogs turned by year’s end into a new word, "birther" entering the vocabulary as a runner up for "word of the year."

2010 was such a disappointing year, I titled my retrospective “Not with a bang but a whimper.”

When I look back at things from this last day of 2010, I see not much cheer for the birthers. All their great hope lawsuits have been to the Supreme Court and been denied. Terry Lakin plead guilty and tearfully said that disobeying orders was not the way to get his questions answered. Taitz lost her bid for political office. National birther events haven’t generated enough attendance to fill a school bus. … It’s pretty pathetic.

I called 2011 “The year of the long form.”

Thinking back over the past year, I think no single event more influenced the birther movement than the release by the White House of a certified copy of Barack Obama’s original Certificate of Live Birth from Hawaii…

You can browse through earlier articles here:

    12 Responses to Retrospective retrospective

    1. avatar
      Scientist December 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      It might be more accurate to say, “Obama re-elected because of birthers”. Perhaps not directly, but birthers are a clear symbol of the drift of the GOP off the right edge of the cliff (fiscal and otherwise) that led to the spectacle of the Republican primary circus, the “legitimate rape” comments, the self-deportation, the rejection of a deal that had even a 10:1 mix of spending cuts and tax increases and other insanities. All of those made the majority of the voters very reluctant (rightly so) to hand the reigns of power to any member of that party. Given their recent shenaigans (eg,, the rejection of their own Speaker’s Plan B) it is fair to say that birtherism is merely the tip of the iceberg.

    2. avatar
      Keith December 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      Scientist: Given their recent shenaigans (eg,, the rejection of their own Speaker’s Plan B) it is fair to say that birtherism is merely the tip of the iceberg.

      Notice that ‘Plan B’ would have passed the House! Boehner won’t even bring his OWN bill to the floor even when he knows it will pass! McConnell did practically the same thing in the Senate a while back, offering a bill and when the Dems said OK he fillibustered his own bill.

      The crazy is truly running deep these days.

    3. avatar
      Andrew Vrba, PmG December 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Gotta agree with Scientist.
      I reason that rational people tend to be repulsed by conspiracy theorists. Birthers probably served to sway a lot of undecided voters into voting for Obama. “Oh, you’re backing Romney? Well if that’s who the crazies are backing, I’m doing the exact opposite!”
      The fact that Romney made with the birther friendly humor probably compounded that! “Oh, so Romney is backing the aluminum foil hat crowd? I REALLY don’t want a guy like that in America’s driver’s seat!”

    4. avatar
      JPotter December 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      “Obama re-elected”
      Factual and objective, leaves the birfers out of it, which reflects reality quite well.

      “Rebuke of the Birf”
      Short and catchy.

      “Horde of Birfer Rabble No Match for Unstoppable Kenyan Muslim Socialist Atheist Warlord”
      Nope.

      “Year of the Vacant Chair”
      Now we’re getting somewhere. With the forces of unreality befuddled, foiled, and obsessed by empty seats, reality marches on. What a simple distraction. Correlate the Empty Chair with Uncarved Block. Those Buddhists are really onto something.

    5. avatar
      Majority Will December 31, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      I appreciate your retrospective retrospective introspective.

    6. avatar
      Rickey December 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      I tend to put birther leaders into four categories, which occasionally overlap.

      The true believers are led by Orly, who actually believes that somewhere, somehow she will be able to remove Obama from office. Whether she will continue her campaign of futility after Obama is inaugurated remains to be seen.

      Then there are those who, such as Donald Trump, embraced birtherism in an effort to delegitimize Obama and prevent him from being re-elected. They obviously failed, big time. I am inclined to put Mario Apuzzo into this category, as well (it is clear to most of us that someone or some anti-Obama group has bankrolled Apuzzo’s lawsuits and that the real objective was to defeat Obama at the polls).

      Then we have the grifters, who had to have known that they had no chance of removing Obama from office through the courts but who obviously wanted to delegitimize and defeat Obama while also making money from birtherism. These include Farah, Corsi, Klayman, Kreep, etc.

      Finally, we have the unhinged Obama haters, exemplified by Dr. Kate, butterdezillion, Tracy Fair, Sibley, Judy, Strunk, etc., who are too far removed from reality to be able to comprehend the utter futility of their efforts.

      Obama’s re-election has been a crushing blow to all of them, although the grifters and Apuzzo probably earned a pile of cash for their trouble. I don’t consider Orly to be a grifter because she can’t possibly have taken in enough in contributions to cover the time and expense which she has expended in one defeat (both legal and political) after another.

      I’m not sure what Leo Donofrio hoped to accomplish. Perhaps he thought that he could make a legal reputation for himself? The one thing that he did accomplish was to resurrect the name of Emmerich de Vattel from the ash bin of history.

    7. avatar
      Yoda December 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Rickey:
      I tend to put birther leaders into four categories, which occasionally overlap.

      The true believers are led by Orly, who actually believes that somewhere, somehow she will be able to remove Obama from office. Whether she will continue her campaign of futility after Obama is inaugurated remains to be seen.

      Then there are those who, such as Donald Trump, embraced birtherism in an effort to delegitimize Obama and prevent him from being re-elected. They obviously failed, big time. I am inclined to put Mario Apuzzo into this category, as well (it is clear to most of us that someone or some anti-Obama group has bankrolled Apuzzo’s lawsuits and that the real objective was to defeat Obama at the polls).

      Then we have the grifters, who had to have known that they had no chance of removing Obama from office through the courts but who obviously wanted to delegitimize and defeat Obama while also making money from birtherism. These include Farah, Corsi, Klayman, Kreep, etc.

      Finally, we have the unhinged Obama haters, exemplified by Dr. Kate, butterdezillion, Tracy Fair, Sibley, Judy, Strunk, etc., who are too far removed from reality to be able to comprehend the utter futility of their efforts.

      Obama’s re-election has been a crushing blow to all of them, although the grifters and Apuzzo probably earned a pile of cash for their trouble. I don’t consider Orly to be a grifter because she can’t possibly have taken in enough in contributions to cover the time and expense which she has expended in one defeat (both legal and political) after another.

      I’m not sure what Leo Donofrio hoped to accomplish. Perhaps he thought that he could make a legal reputation for himself? The one thing that he did accomplish was to resurrect the name of Emmerich de Vattel from the ash bin of history.

      Personally, I put them into two categories–the evil and the stupid. The evil ones know what they say is BS. The stupid ones believe the BS with all their heart.

    8. avatar
      US Citizen December 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

      Majority Will:
      I appreciate your retrospective retrospective introspective.

      Thank you for your respective perspective.

    9. avatar
      Majority Will January 1, 2013 at 4:34 am #

      A respective of elective invective needs perspective.

      US Citizen: Thank you for your respective perspective.

    10. avatar
      US Citizen January 1, 2013 at 4:57 am #

      Majority Will:
      A respective of elective invective needs perspective.

      I agree if you mean as a collective and not as a directive.

    11. avatar
      Majority Will January 1, 2013 at 5:06 am #

      I’m receptive to a collective perspective. It sounds festive.

      US Citizen: I agree if you mean as a collective and not as a directive.

    12. avatar
      G January 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      How is this last group different from Orly’s “true believers” exactly? …”Unhinged Obama haters” sure seems to describe Orly and her “flying monkeys” to a tee…

      Rickey: Finally, we have the unhinged Obama haters, exemplified by Dr. Kate, butterdezillion, Tracy Fair, Sibley, Judy, Strunk, etc., who are too far removed from reality to be able to comprehend the utter futility of their efforts.