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Is birtherism good for Ted Cruz?

I’m talking about Ted Cruz. The Dallas Observer is talking about Ted Cruz. Atlantic Wire, Town Hall, News/Talk 790 KFYO, NBC, Fox News, National Review, the Houston Chronicle, the Huffington Post, and Vanity Fair are all talking about Ted Cruz.

How much press does a junior senator usually get? It seems to me that Ted Cruz has a much higher name recognition, and has become a national figure thanks to the birther angle. What’s the saying, “all publicity is good publicity?”

41 Responses to Is birtherism good for Ted Cruz?

  1. avatar
    Daniel March 28, 2013 at 1:25 am #

    WEll the birthers helped get Obama elected for a second term. It’s only right that they help Ted Cruz.

  2. avatar
    gorefan March 28, 2013 at 1:45 am #

    He may be peaking too soon.

  3. avatar
    ZixiOfIx March 28, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    No, I don’t think it helps him, because every time Cruz has to answer a birther question for a worried (and possibly addled) Republican, he isn’t answering questions or making statements that could persuade a Democrat or an independent voter to consider him.

    Knocking candidates “off message” repeatedly never helps.

  4. avatar
    Deborah March 28, 2013 at 2:25 am #

    Birtherism is “good” for any candidate in the sense that after the sedition-like efforts of the birthers, some of us will be far more supportive of a President, regardless of political party just out of national decency!

    I don’t know Cruz’s agenda. It looks to me on the face of it he is eligible. I think it would be a short-lived controversy compared to Obama. Birtherism will die out but many of us will never forget the shocking issues that came to light, and hopefully any policy-maker can use those issues to navigate more just and humane policies.

  5. avatar
    ObiWanCannoli March 28, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    Deborah:
    I think it would be a short-lived controversy compared to Obama.

    A lot of vitriol directed against president Obama is, for the most part, fueled by Xenophobia. The manufactured birth certificate controversy is merely a convenient cover. Cruz probably doesn’t need to be concerned with the eligibility issues, at least from majority of the liberals. Just to create the appearance of balance, some birthers will file law suites and disappear from the birther-verse as soon as the lower court dismiss their complains.

  6. avatar
    Deborah March 28, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    I totally agree, Obi, and I was going to mention that. Cruz is an opportunity for them to expand the appearance of legitimate inquiry and… through no fault of their own their real agendas (religious fanaticism, bigotry, etc.) will disappear, since they can’t make the same complaints about Cruz- except for the LATINO issue!

    What has happened is that people like Alex Jones, Facebook, Orly, et al, projected all their unhappiness onto Obama as though he was the King of England so they could re-enact the American Revolution and patriotism fantasies. With Cruz, maybe we can relive the Spanish inquisition! Let’s start researching now and we’ll be way ahead of them!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition

    Lord, what’s a mother to do?

    Xenophobia is an interesting phrase. But from looking into the legal documents filed by some of the birthers, (some of whom also happen to be “running for Senate” or ran), I’d say there is good cause for concern for the mental health of our own representatives, or potential representatives. What a laugh posterity will get at some of the statements made in those complaints!

  7. avatar
    ZixiOfIx March 28, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    Deborah:
    Birtherism is “good” for any candidate in the sense that after the sedition-like efforts of the birthers, some of us will be far more supportive of a President, regardless of political party just out of national decency!

    I disagree No one is questioning Ted Cruz’s bona fides as they do Barack Obama’s. Birthers don’t believe that President Obama was born in Hawaii, despite the evidence. They don’t believe that the two newspapers which published his birth announcement are real. Some don’t believe that his mother is his mother, or that his father is his father.

    Birthers trash President Obama’s mother incessantly, calling her nasty names, saying she was a nude model and worse. They attack his father. They attack his grandparents. They accuse him of murdering his grandmother. And the Republican Party from the top down joins in the fun, mocking the President of the United States, refusing to deny or reject birtherism. In these ways (and more), the Republican Party and birthers engender sympathy for President Obama and disgust for the GOP.

    Now, look at Ted Cruz. He says that he was born in Canada. His parents were married for a few years before he was born. No controversy. Nothing really out there or nutty, and no one doubts any of this.

    On the other hand, Ted Cruz is a Cuban-American. Birthers are apt to anger Cuban-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, groups that the GOP desperately need to win elections with their insistence that Mr, Cruz isn’t eligible.

    In short, Ted Cruz, a Republican, can’t possibly benefit from having other Republicans attack him the way Democrats can benefit from having Republicans attack them.

    I don’t know Cruz’s agenda. It looks to me on the face of it he is eligible. I think it would be a short-lived controversy compared to Obama.

    If Birthers don’t believe it now, they won’t believe it later. 100 or so court cases, and they don’t believe in Wong Kin Ark, or any case since then.

    Birtherism will die out but many of us will never forget the shocking issues that came to light, and hopefully any policy-maker can use those issues to navigate more just and humane policies.

    Which shocking issues? Which “more just and humane policies”?

    There have been exactly 0 shocking issues. A man born in the United States with an American mother and an African father became President of the United States. A lot of racists really hated him because of his color, and tried to slander the President. A lot of their so-called leaders refused to disagree with the racists, and paid the price at the polls.

    Nasty? Sure. Disgusting? Of course. Shocking? Not even a bit. Racism and the “Southern Strategy” are hardly new concepts.

    As for “just and humane”, nothing the birthers did hurt the President. He was elected and then elected again. His opponent and his family, who made birther jokes, were kicked out on their rears. The GOP suffered massive losses this last election, and untold women and men abandoned the party.

    Sounds like the laws and policies we have worked just fine, and everything is as just and humane as it needs to be.

  8. avatar
    Deborah March 28, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    I can’t disagree with anything you wrote, Xixioflx, which was good writing. Being shocked is subjective to each individual though. Of all things I find most shocking is that these people are absolute child abusers. Why would they trash a child on the basis of a few bureaucratic inconsistencies? That’s not acceptable. None of it is, but that least of all.

    If you say Cruz can’t answer correctly, that he is “thrown off” by concepts he is not familiar with, well he has four years to learn them.

    Barack Obama is a child of dual citizenship who grew up, earned his degrees and made his own choices that ultimately had not much to do with his parent’s choices when he was a child.

    This was a historical event for all who lived through it, and I assert, it WILL change policy in many ways. Can’t stay in the conv now- bed time.

  9. avatar
    The Magic M March 28, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    ZixiOfIx: Birthers are apt to anger Cuban-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, groups that the GOP desperately need to win elections with their insistence that Mr, Cruz isn’t eligible.

    … or Marco Rubio.

    Deborah: It looks to me on the face of it he is eligible. I think it would be a short-lived controversy compared to Obama.

    Hard to predict. It’s possible more people are willing to believe you’re ineligible if born abroad (regardless of parents) than were willing to believe in some conspiracy/fraud to hide Obama’s “real” birthplace, or parents, or whatnot.

    The problem for the GOP is two-fold:

    1. All Obama birthers will also be Cruz birthers, and this is really Catch-22 for the Republicans this time. If they don’t speak up against it, the crazy are still not going to vote for Cruz. If they do speak up, the Dems will be all over them because of the hypocrisy of not speaking up against birtherism when it was against Obama. Win-win for any Democratic candidate.

    2. Additionally, Cruz birtherism will comprise people who believe you’re ineligible (or, worse, *should* be ineligible) of you’re born abroad. Since this belief doesn’t require all the conspiracist background of Obama birtherism, it might cause much larger numbers to adhere to it.

    McCain didn’t have those problems, but then again birtherism was fairly new and truly fringe (in the sense that there was virtually no media coverage) during the 2008 elections. There was no history of GOP officials flirting with birtherism etc.

  10. avatar
    Serpico March 28, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    I saw this over at Free Republic.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/3001334/posts

  11. avatar
    Thinker March 28, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    This is the key to birfer hypocrisy. Why do people believe he was born in Canada and not Cuba? or Moldova? or the Kremlin? Has Mr. Cruz ever shown his birth certificate? His kindergarten records? Adoption records? Naturalization records?

    I read on the internet that Ted Cruz’s real father is Saul Alinsky. I have not seen any evidence refuting that.

    ZixiOfIx: Now, look at Ted Cruz. He says that he was born in Canada. His parents were married for a few years before he was born. No controversy. Nothing really out there or nutty, and no one doubts any of this.

  12. avatar
    sfjeff March 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    I think that the real lack of controversy shows that this was never about ‘doubt’ of whether Obama was born in Hawaii- it was always about making him ‘other than American’- along with an element of reminding people that his father was from Kenya- i.e. a way to refer to him being black without mentioning race.

    There will be no serious campaign trying to paint Cruz as ‘other than American’- it just won’t happen.

  13. avatar
    elmo March 28, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Ted Cruz is a certifiable nutjob. He believes in the “Agenda 21” conspiracy theory (he ran on it, in fact). He’s not just the junior senator from Texas, he’s the only senator from the John Birch Society. He makes Tom Coburn look like a statesman!

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he also believes in alien abductions, that the moon landings were faked, and that the flouride in water is a commie plot.

  14. avatar
    Scientist March 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    sfjeff: There will be no serious campaign trying to paint Cruz as ‘other than American’- it just won’t happen.

    Unless he did this http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizenship/renounce.asp, he remains a Canadian citizen. Of course that doesn’t disqualify him to be US President, but it is a fact.

  15. avatar
    Thinker March 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    What’s funny is that a good percentage of the people who believes all this conspiracy nonsense also believes birfer nonsense. If it came down to it, and Ted Cruz were to run for President, I think we might see some birfers start to disown the fake two-citizen-parent rule. I believe RimJob at Free Republic declared that it didn’t apply to Rick Santorum because, even though his father was not a citizen when Rick was born, he was a soldier in the US military and therefore demonstrated his patriotism and loyalty to the US. I’m sure somebody could come up with an exception like this to apply to Mr. Cruz.

    elmo:
    Ted Cruz is a certifiable nutjob. He believes in the “Agenda 21″ conspiracy theory (he ran on it, in fact). He’s not just the junior senator from Texas, he’s the only senator from the John Birch Society. He makes Tom Coburn look like a statesman!

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he also believes in alien abductions, that the moon landings were faked, and that the flouride in water is a commie plot.

  16. avatar
    Deborah March 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    The real point hiding behind the birther scene, and other conspiracy theories, is most always the apocalypse. The people who hate Obama and who think he is Muslim and the “anti-christ” want to keep it in our faces that Satan is ruling the world and God is going to end it soon. These people are not looking for truth, facts or solutions of any kind. They are looking forward to the end of the world.

    In the early 1990’s I “studied” a little with the Jehovah’s witnesses for a year. I finally “escaped”, and was actually kind of proud of my ability to think for myself. Then come to find out a majority of Christians think just like them (and a lot of my “friends,” or former friends). I had no idea. I was never indoctrinated like this as a child. I think the Bible is the biggest piece of literary garbage ever written, written by priests who do not seem to have much more of an education than their originally illiterate flock (prior to the Protestant Revolution).

  17. avatar
    misha marinsky March 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Deborah: Then come to find out a majority of Christians think just like them (and a lot of my “friends,” or former friends). I had no idea.

    A minister in the Anchorage AoG to me, at the Iditarod: “Auschwitz was divine retribution because you people have refused to accept God’s only son.” A woman with him told me Jewish people “deserve to suffer.”

    Palin belongs to the Wasilla AoG.

    A woman at a Costco saw Angel, and told me she was raised in an evangelical home. She said her parents always spoke glowingly of Israel, but were anti-Semites. She left the church, fed up.

    Read the comments:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/magazine/oy-vey-christian-soldiers.html

  18. avatar
    MattR March 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    elmo: Ted Cruz is a certifiable nutjob. He believes in the “Agenda 21″ conspiracy theory (he ran on it, in fact). He’s not just the junior senator from Texas, he’s the only senator from the John Birch Society. He makes Tom Coburn look like a statesman!

    This is why I think birtherism can help Cruz. It will make him appear more electable to moderates if the public is more focused on the crazy right wingers who oppose Cruz as not eligible than the crazy right wingers who support him for his ultra conservative politics.

  19. avatar
    Sef March 28, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Deborah: The real point hiding behind the birther scene, and other conspiracy theories, is most always the apocalypse.

    You may have a point. Among my Pastafarian friends, I knoiw none who are birthers.

  20. avatar
    Dave B. March 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Well, maybe it’ll make him a better person.

  21. avatar
    Deborah March 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Misha:

    Jews and Muslims were forced to convert and confess to Christian beliefs during the Spanish Inquisition or else leave the country. Historically, Jews have been expelled from numerous countries because the Christian priests and rulers believed the Jews were “anti-Gentile” (for lack of a better word). The priests then went on to literally censor the Bible to protect Gentile ears. Many Christians have no idea how censored the Bible is, not to mention mistranslated.

    I personally think the concept “anti-Gentile” should hold as much weight in the balance as “anti-Semitism” though, in spite of my qualifier above “for lack of a better word”.

    The Q’uran came into being when illiterate Mohammed learned to read (but not write). That hardly made him a prophet of Israel, but he thought so. Logically, If God intended for Mohammed to communicate with the Israelites, the Q’uran would have been written in Hebrew, just as if God expected the Mexicans and South Americans to convert to “the Word”, God would have written a Spanish Bible! In other words, Allah expects the Israelites to learn Arabic and Aramaic, and the white people’s God expects Hispanics to learn English.

    Both the Bible and the Q’uran demonstrate the most profound ignorance of basic Aristotilian (that’s Aristotle) concepts- a story should have a beginning, middle and an end and a thesis to prove a hypothesis. In other words it should make sense to the reader!

    The fact that only priests and rulers could read and write while the masses could not is, in my view, probably the ONLY criteria of “authority” they had in the “word.” In other words, the illiterate folk were simply instructed to obey the literate who were perceived as divinely inspired for no reason other than they could read and write.

    The development of the printing press and the dissemination of information to the masses (similar to the internet today) caused the Protestant Revolution and the attempt to create a more equitable society by virtue of spreading the wealth of information. Today, most of us do not consider learning to read and write to be “divine inspiration.”

    Why people hold on to medieval, superstitious ideas today given the information available to us, seems to be an utter inability to accept the fact that the people have been deceived at the very source they sought information and truth from: the Bible and the Q’uran.

  22. avatar
    Suranis March 29, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    You know, I really REALLY hate the idea that people in the middle ages were stupid. They must certainly were not. They knew damn well the world was round and had had the size of the earth locked down from about 300AD. People think of Galileo as some kind of illuminating Genius, but he was often completely wrong and the inquisition can be thought of as a bitch slap fight between scientists of the day, with Galileo sneering and calling everyone who disagreed with him stupid.

    You know what the big break with the Jesuits was? A Jesuit astronomer had calculated that Comets came from from a distance far beyond the moon, Galileo thought they were atmospheric phenomena, and called the Jesuit a moron. This was after and argument about the nature of sunspots.

    Yes, sunspots.

    That and the fact that Galileo insisted that planetary orbits were circular, and therefore his models were actually pretty crap at predicting planetary movements, meant that he really had no defense against the Inquisition, who fielded some of the greatest mathematicians of their day against him, most of them priests.

    And this was 500 years before computers. These guys did all of their maths BY HAND. Kepler’s formulas are still used on planetarium programs today.

    These men were not stupid. And they believed in God.

    Columbus was an idiot who believed the rest of the world was wrong about the size of the earth. It was only by sheer accident that America was in the way. And yet people think of him as some kind of visionary.

    So kindly dial back the arrogance that we are living in some kind of enlightened age. Never, ever think that our ancestors were dumb people just because we can watch Honey Boo Boo on television.

  23. avatar
    donna March 29, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    add the Dallas Observer: Obama Birthers Turn Their Attention to … Texas Senator Ted Cruz?

    Ted Cruz has barreled into Washington with the force of a crazy, toupee-haired meteorite smashing through the Capitol dome. But for all his rhetoric about Obama and communists and how they are pretty much the same thing, Cruz has distinguished himself from fellow wingnuts by keeping relatively silent on the topic of Obama’s place of birth.

    Perhaps this should be chalked up to a rare instance of rationality. Or perhaps it’s to avoid uncomfortable questions about his own provenance.

    This is what the snake looks like eating its own tail. These are Cruz’s people: grass-roots conservative activists too damn angry to listen to facts or reason. And now, they are trying to nip a potential 2016 presidential bid in the bud.

    The whole bit is a tad academic. If Cruz opts to run for president, he will rise or fall on the force of his ideas, which play incredibly well in a scarlet-hued Texas but are, one hopes, a bit to extreme for the U.S. electorate as a whole.

    http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/03/obama_birthers_turn_their_atte.php

  24. avatar
    Deborah March 29, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Suranis
    These men were not stupid. And they believed in God

    I don’t think it is stupid to believe in God. I do think there is an enormous amount of “stupidity” in the Bible though. I’m not an atheist, but I do agree with Christopher Hitchens about many things, including his concept of a “celestial dictator.”

    I think your point could have been made much better without linking it to my comments. I don’t see any connection between your point and mine. Your ideas are interesting, but it was not necessary to link your ideas to mine to make a point.

    The peasantry were a part of the class wars of Europe. The class war structure followed a general pattern from upper to lower class in this approximate order- rulers, priests, merchants, farmers (peasants), slaves. There were many intelligent people during that time, and many artists worked tirelessly to educate and liberate the lower classes.

    For example, “sacrificing a bull unto the Lord” does not mean animal sacrifice as may be interpreted by the uneducated- it means that the farmers were required to donate one of their cows to the priesthood so they could eat meat and drink wine with their evening meal. I admit I have not done any research on how many farmers today donate cows to the priesthood, but I hope you get my point.

    Anyhow, with Obama we have re-lived the American Revolution. I’m lookin forward to re-living the Spanish Inquisition with Cruz.

  25. avatar
    J.D. Sue March 29, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    Suranis: Never, ever think that our ancestors were dumb people

    I agree wholeheartedly. And we have lost more knowledge/wisdom than we can ever account for.

  26. avatar
    Deborah March 29, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    Also, I don’t think Columbus was a visionary. He paved the way for a genocide- but the conversation hasn’t touched on that since I have been here.

  27. avatar
    Deborah March 29, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    Ted Cruz at CPAC regarding Catholic Church and Democrats. (Keep in mind I have no opinion whatsoever about Cruz either way- it is just getting easier after the birther issue to anticipate the complaints voters might raise).

    http://www.politifact.com/texas/article/2013/mar/28/ted-cruz-claim-about-democrats-contraception-lacks/

  28. avatar
    misha marinsky March 29, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    Deborah: He paved the way for a genocide- but the conversation hasn’t touched on that since I have been here.

    I brought it up once, but I can’t find the link. The Inquisition was a dress rehearsal for the Holocaust.

  29. avatar
    misha marinsky March 29, 2013 at 2:52 am #

    Deborah: Ted Cruz at CPAC regarding Catholic Church and Democrats.

    http://www.politifact.com/texas/article/2013/mar/28/ted-cruz-claim-about-democrats-contraception-lacks/

    The actual goal of the right-to-life mob, is outlawing contraceptives. This is about reproductive freedom, not abortion.

    Conservatives want to outlaw reproductive freedom. Independent women frighten them. The worst bigots are Ann Coulter and Phyllis Schlafly.

    Coulter hits the trifecta: Reproductive freedom, 1st Amendment, anti-Semite.

  30. avatar
    misha marinsky March 29, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    Deborah: I don’t think it is stupid to believe in God. I do think there is an enormous amount of “stupidity” in the Bible though.

    Where was this god in Auschwitz, or at slave auctions where children were sold from their parents? The bible, or Scriptures, is allegory like Greek mythology. Call it Jewish mythology.

    Deborah: I’m not an atheist, but I do agree with Christopher Hitchens about many things

    The Settlers and their politicians are funded by American evangelicals. They tell the Settlers the bible justifies stealing from Arabs, and egg on the Settlers into violence against Arabs. Hitchens was right.

  31. avatar
    Deborah March 29, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    Yes, Misha, I agree, it is Jewish mythology. There is no nice way to tell evangelicals what trouble-makers they are! Horrible trouble makers- rebels without a cause. What would Jefferson do? A politician that can openly declare either agnosticism or atheism would lose a lot of voters in this climate- so far gone are we from the original concepts not to vote for a politician based on religion. Instead the fanatics force him/her to openly declare a belief system to gain their vote.

  32. avatar
    ZixiOfIx March 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    The Magic M: Hard to predict. It’s possible more people are willing to believe you’re ineligible if born abroad (regardless of parents) than were willing to believe in some conspiracy/fraud to hide Obama’s “real” birthplace, or parents, or whatnot.

    I agree. See National Review Online: The Cruz Birthers, a discussion thread on Free Republic. Notice that the conversation has switched largely from President Obama to Senator Cruz, and from allegedly born in Hawaii to definitely born in Canada.

    Notice also that the Cruz Birther issue is now large enough for National Review to try to tackle years before the next national election. Notice that National Review enlists a diverse panel of experts including liberal Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, and conservative Eugene Volokh, a professor at the UCLA School of Law. Notice that back on the FR thread, the birthers aren’t buying any of it, to the tune of more than 600 responses, more than most other recdent Obama birther threads.

    From the comments, there are a few birthers, who now disingenuously say that they would vote for Senator Cruz because “the Democrats did it first”; but most cling to the same-old, same-old – “Cruz isn’t an NBC, and I ain’t voting for him”. Some even see a conspiracy in the fact that the cases of President Obama, Senators Cruz, McCain, and Rubio, as well as Governor Jindal have all cropped up in the last several years. I guess we have to give them credit for constancy.

    The problem for the GOP is two-fold:

    1. All Obama birthers will also be Cruz birthers, and this is really Catch-22 for the Republicans this time. If they don’t speak up against it, the crazy are still not going to vote for Cruz. If they do speak up, the Dems will be all over them because of the hypocrisy of not speaking up against birtherism when it was against Obama. Win-win for any Democratic candidate.

    Agreed.

    2. Additionally, Cruz birtherism will comprise people who believe you’re ineligible (or, worse, *should* be ineligible) if you’re born abroad. Since this belief doesn’t require all the conspiracist background of Obama birtherism, it might cause much larger numbers to adhere to it.

    A distinct possibility.

    But I would argue strenuously that the GOP has a three-fold problem with birtherism. Issue #3 is racism. Just today, Alaska Representative Don Young, a Republican, called Mexicans “wetbacks”. Then he apologized, saying that he didn’t mean to be disrespectful, but that the term was okay way back when. In my lifetime, it has not been “okay”, and I have a grown child. Rep. Don Young Apologizes for ‘Wetback’ Comment

    From George Allen’s “Macaca” moment, to Rick Santorum’s “Bla… People” comment, the GOP has a long history of spouting racist garbage. It’s a massive problem, and people with a conscience are bothered and disgusted.

  33. avatar
    ZixiOfIx March 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Thinker:
    This is the key to birfer hypocrisy. Why do people believe he was born in Canada and not Cuba? or Moldova? or the Kremlin? Has Mr. Cruz ever shown his birth certificate? His kindergarten records? Adoption records? Naturalization records?

    I read on the internet that Ted Cruz’s real father is Saul Alinsky. I have not seen any evidence refuting that.

    I sort of get this, so I’ll try. Ted Cruz admits he’s from Canada, which is admitting on the face of it that he isn’t eligible, according to birthers. He’s telling a damning truth on himself, so why lie?

    On the other hand, at the dawningf the birther story, when they only knew that Obama was an “other”, a foreigner”, and that he was not like them, when they were casting about for any sort of way to make sense of how this “other” could possibly become the President of the United States, Mr. Obama’s claims* that he was born in Hawaii were seen as suspect. Denying the truth and latching onto the conspiracy was a way out of the mental mess that they were in. Most people don’t want to think that they themselves are afraid.

    Another example would be 911 Truthers. The idea that a handful of people could, with a little planning, fly a plane into a massive building in the largest city in the United States, and use it to kill thousands of innocents while the cameras roll, is terrifying. Truly terrifying, What’s safe, if not the Word Trade Center in New York City? For many, it makes more sense that the government, with it’s endless resources, took the building down, and they will never believe otherwise.

    Having a black man as president was so scary that “He’s a commie-red-diaper-baby plant from Kenya” makes more sense to them than all of the evidence that he was born in Hawaii.

    Does that make sense?

    * I say claims here because that is what birthers say.

  34. avatar
    misha marinsky March 29, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

    ZixiOfIx: I sort of get this, so I’ll try.

    Here’s my take: Cruz is going to run. He was born in Canada to a mother born and raised in Delaware, which gave him US citizenship by birth. He’s eligible.

    He has to appeal to the Tea Party and the birthers. He’s going to say, ‘I admit I was born in Canada,’ throwing red meat. The birthers are going to say, ‘He admits he was born overseas, and his father became a US citizen, so I’m going to support Cruz.’

    Then he’ll sound crazy enough for the TP. ‘I’m a Christian.’ ‘I support the 2nd Amendment.’ ‘I always say the pledge to the flag.’ Whenever someone asks him about a conspiracy, he’ll say ‘I don’t know enough to comment.’ He’ll give them the full Monty.

  35. avatar
    misha marinsky March 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    ZixiOfIx: Having a black man as president was so scary that “He’s a commie-red-diaper-baby plant from Kenya” makes more sense to them than all of the evidence that he was born in Hawaii.

    Does that make sense?

    Yes.

  36. avatar
    ZixiOfIx March 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    misha marinsky: Here’s my take: Cruz is going to run. He was born in Canada to a mother born and raised in Delaware, which gave him US citizenship by birth. He’s eligible.

    I agree, but if the birther madness continues, he may wait till 2020 to run. 4-5 years ago, a lot of people thought Jindal would run in 2012, and for a number of reasons, some of them almost certainly birther-related, he did not run. Jindal was born in the USA to two Indian parents here on a student visa, iirc.

    He has to appeal to the Tea Party and the birthers. He’s going to say, ‘I admit I was born in Canada,’ throwing red meat. The birthers are going to say, ‘He admits he was born overseas, and his father became a US citizen, so I’m going to support Cruz.’

    I’m not as sure of this, because JIndal’s parent eventually became Americans as well, and birthers and the tea party don’t love Jindal.

    Then he’ll sound crazy enough for the TP. ‘I’m a Christian.’ ‘I support the 2nd Amendment.’ ‘I always say the pledge to the flag.’ Whenever someone asks him about a conspiracy, he’ll say ‘I don’t know enough to comment.’ He’ll give them the full Monty.

    Christian isn’t enough. He’s Catholic, and that may or may not cut it – I can’t say because I don’t know what kind of Catholic he is. Does he believe in evolution? Most Catholics do. That’s a deal breaker for some. Is he okay with birth control for everyone else? Another deal breaker. Abortion for some? Another deal breaker. He’s a nut on immigration for sure, so that’s taken care of, but it’ll cost him if it makes it to the convention.

    I want to mention here that I’m Catholic, and some conservatives I have met don’t consider me to be a Christian.

    o.0

    This is a huge issue within the GOP. There is a dangerous gauntlet of theological and political pitfalls, all of which are deal breakers, that has to somehow be successfully navigated. It’s very difficult. A lot of Republicans stayed home rather than vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon. This stuff matters. Their wrong-headed, half-baked opinion on birth certificates matters. It’s crazy and stupid and has nothing to do with anything, but it matters. If he can’t get past the point that his place of birth, nothing else he says or does will matter.

    For people looking for a way to not vote for a Hispanic Catholic, birtherism is a convenient place to hang their hat.

  37. avatar
    JPotter March 29, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Now that the Reds have Hispanic Voter Complex, Cruz is in like Flynn. But not only for that reason.

    Follow my patternicity here. For the past several cycles, whenever the Reds lose a Presidential election (and thus have no incumbent), the Reds next run the Bizarro Red-version of whatever the Blues ran last time. It started when they abandoned standard candididates after Dole.

    • In ’96, Clinton crushed Dole, despite 4 years of winger frothing.
    • In ’00, the Reds responded with the Red Clinton … a southern charismatic (winger charismatic that is) governor, Bush II.
    • In ’04, Reds won again, so no problem. Back to standard candidate for ’08, McCain.
    • That didn’t work too well, so in ’12, they go with the Red Kerry, a bland, NE governor with deep pockets.
    • That didn’t work, so in ’16, the Reds will rally around the Red Obama, Cruz, a junior Senator with a [relatively] exotic past.
    • That won’t work, as it’s just too much of a stretch, and Cruz is no better than the loony also-rans from ’12. Cruz will lose to a Democratic woman in ’16, leading the Reds to respond in ’20 with a woman … Bachmann again? Brewer? Fallin?

    Whoever it is, it’s popcorn all around.

    (This post not entirely serious, until it turns out I’m completely right, in which case you heard it here first LOL)

  38. avatar
    G March 31, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    Agreed. The GOP is a victim of the tribalistic extremism, excessive zealotry and bigotry that it has created. Although I’m sure there will be a few “moderate” candidates trying to restore “sanity” or appeal to the big-bucks cynical manipulating “establishment wing” of the party, they can’t stop the clown car candidates who appeal to their rabid base masses.

    I don’t see this schism being resolved before 2016 at all. I expect another clown-car candidacy debacle in their primaries, despite all the attempts by the Karl Rove factions out there to appear sane. The folly of their Romney choice in 2012 is that it just gives the extremist faction yet another excuse to blame the loss on the candidate being “not conservative enough” instead of addressing all of the many core problems with their party’s stances.

    Therefore, ironically, I don’t see how the GOP will be able to course correct and curb its own crazy until the masses actually succeed in both nominating one of their own extremists to be their mast bearer and have to face the music from having the majority of the nation soundly reject their choice…and even then, many will simply continue to double down in further denial. I simply don’t see where they can just paper over their problems and get away with it anymore and I strongly suspect that a continued slow crash-and-burn is the most likely outcome. Only after that is over do I see hope for a new saner political alternative party to emerge.

    The only question I have is how many cycles this will take…

    ZixiOfIx: This is a huge issue within the GOP. There is a dangerous gauntlet of theological and political pitfalls, all of which are deal breakers, that has to somehow be successfully navigated. It’s very difficult. A lot of Republicans stayed home rather than vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon. This stuff matters. Their wrong-headed, half-baked opinion on birth certificates matters. It’s crazy and stupid and has nothing to do with anything, but it matters. If he can’t get past the point that his place of birth, nothing else he says or does will matter.

    Agreed.

    ZixiOfIx: For people looking for a way to not vote for a Hispanic Catholic, birtherism is a convenient place to hang their hat.

  39. avatar
    G March 31, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Yes, that all makes sense and can explain a good portion of the “fear” motivations behind such conspiracy mindsets. They lack the emotional maturity to face the stark realities of the world as it actually is and need excuses that shield themselves within the protective cocoons of their own limited worldviews.

    ZixiOfIx: On the other hand, at the dawningf the birther story, when they only knew that Obama was an “other”, a foreigner”, and that he was not like them, when they were casting about for any sort of way to make sense of how this “other” could possibly become the President of the United States, Mr. Obama’s claims* that he was born in Hawaii were seen as suspect. Denying the truth and latching onto the conspiracy was a way out of the mental mess that they were in. Most people don’t want to think that they themselves are afraid.

    Another example would be 911 Truthers. The idea that a handful of people could, with a little planning, fly a plane into a massive building in the largest city in the United States, and use it to kill thousands of innocents while the cameras roll, is terrifying. Truly terrifying, What’s safe, if not the Word Trade Center in New York City? For many, it makes more sense that the government, with it’s endless resources, took the building down, and they will never believe otherwise.

    Having a black man as president was so scary that “He’s a commie-red-diaper-baby plant from Kenya” makes more sense to them than all of the evidence that he was born in Hawaii.

    Does that make sense?

  40. avatar
    G April 1, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    There were also a lot of GOP voters who were vociferously anti-Mitt during the primaries, but then simply changed their tune and got in line once he was their nominee.

    So while I certainly think that a good portion of these hard-core “2-citizen parent” Birthers will remain true to their new found views on NBC and go after folks such as Cruz, Rubio, etc. for such things, I expect that a good portion of them will all of a sudden drop the issue and change their tune, should one of those candidates become their party’s nominee. Those types will simply get in line to support the GOP as they always have and “conveniently” forget or deny their past Birtherism charges against him…

    Not that these Birther kooks ever had the real numbers of “true believer” support within their own party to begin with (besides what people just easily and cynically say in polls to make a statement). Face it, despite how loud the crazy can be online, they really have always been a marginal force. I don’t see many of the same cynical manipulators getting on board to pay lip service to their antics once they start going after their “own people”, so I think such a scenario will only serve to reveal how small and insignificant their cult actually is. Therefore, I have doubts that they would even be much of a force in swaying opinion on selection within their own party primaries for choosing a presidential nominee. More than likely, many of those that cynically pandered and propped them up during these past few cycles will work swiftly and put resources behind shutting these crazies down.

    Nor do I see any serious indication that an actual left-wing “Birther” movement would actually crop up either.

    Most likely, while the issues of “Birtherism” won’t be forgotten, the lesson of what a sad joke Birtherism is will be what remains and the true “dogging” of any future candidates on the topic will be more in jest and cynical irony than in true preventative attempts such as the lawsuits, letter writings and fake grand jury nonsense we saw against Obama.

    Cruz is just another flame-throwing extremist. He’s got as much chance of becoming President as Michelle Bachman did…which is pretty darn close to near zero. He will fail to appeal to broader America, not because of “Birtherism,” but simply because of his own extreme and outrageous beliefs, statements and actions.

    ZixiOfIx: From the comments, there are a few birthers, who now disingenuously say that they would vote for Senator Cruz because “the Democrats did it first”; but most cling to the same-old, same-old – “Cruz isn’t an NBC, and I ain’t voting for him”. Some even see a conspiracy in the fact that the cases of President Obama, Senators Cruz, McCain, and Rubio, as well as Governor Jindal have all cropped up in the last several years. I guess we have to give them credit for constancy.

  41. avatar
    G April 1, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    Sadly, that type of apocalyptic fundamentalist fantasy thinking does seem to be the root motivator behind a significant portion of RWNJ behavior. Certainly not all of it, as there are a fair number of RWNJ that aren’t followers of EOTW belief systems. However, as the extreme crazy are usually those that howl the loudest, their types are the ones we seem to hear from the most.

    I wonder what the true proportion of the American public is that actually believes in such things…and even worse…what percentage of that number is the extreme group that desires to see it happen…

    Deborah: The real point hiding behind the birther scene, and other conspiracy theories, is most always the apocalypse. The people who hate Obama and who think he is Muslim and the “anti-christ” want to keep it in our faces that Satan is ruling the world and God is going to end it soon. These people are not looking for truth, facts or solutions of any kind. They are looking forward to the end of the world.