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There’s a birther in the wood pile

Is the definition of “birther” expanding?

I was reading up on this event called “Ride for the Constitution” October 11-13 to shut down Washington DC (even more than it already is) this weekend.  Georgia Trucker Earl Conlon started the mainstream version of the story in an interview with US News & World Report. There was some back and forth about whether the truckers were going to try to arrest Congressmen and the President, or just hold “citizen grand juries.” Conlon later retracted his claim that thousands of truckers would circle the DC Beltway at 55 mph, saying that his purpose in making up the story was to call attention to the problems in Washington (read story at TPM Muckraker), and media organizations started reporting the story as a bogus.

So it’s all a hoax, right? This may be an attempt to run really fast to get out front and claim to be the leader, but former country singer Zeeda Andrews (no I’d never heard of her), claims that she is the real organizer of the event, and that Conlon is nobody. On her Facebook page, Andrews wrote:

Hello everyone, I can tell you as the founder of Ride For The Constitution that Earl Conlon acted on his own and is not and never has been a spokesperson of this event. This is a peaceful event that will have the assistance of Law enforcement from DC, Va and Md. This is pure Provocateur on Conlon’s part and anybody releasing false information.

So why am I talking about this on the Obama Conspiracy Theories blog?

When I think of the word “birther,” a number of individuals well known to my readers comes to mind, along with a handful of web sites. Polls tell us that the extent of birtherism is far greater than the visible activist nub. These days the crazies you read about in the newspapers are not most often described as “birthers,” but if you scratch any right-wing nut job, you may find a birther underneath, such as Ms. Andrews, who elsewhere on Facebook called Obama’s birth certificate a fraud.

Facebook comment saying Obama's birth certificate is a fraud.

News Hounds has a post titled “Van Susteren Promotes Birther ‘Ride for The Constitution’ Protest to Shut Down Washington Even More.” Of interest here is that nothing in the article ties anyone involved with the “protest” with what we traditionally call a “birther.” The articles cites rather a comment by Andrews on YouTube that Obama and Osama bin Laden are the same person. This is the full Andrews comment at YouTube:

The fact that these soldiers were set up to die in a no return operation is obvious they had knowledge that Obama didn’t want leaked. This is the Seals that killed Osama Bin Laden. I don’t believe this story. He is alive call me crazy but, Osama Bin Laden is our President Obama do your research. The CIA has been preparing for this since he was a boy. They have same height, bone structure, hands and ears both are left handed the Osama face was created by Hollywood. The fox is in the hen house.

So my question here is whether any nut-job belief about President Obama now qualifies someone as a birther.

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32 Responses to There’s a birther in the wood pile

  1. avatar
    Curious George October 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    More of the same, just another day. When will it end?

  2. avatar
    #Birther Watch October 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    I think it helps to put people’s positions into the proper context, how far will they go, how honest they’ve been in the past, how credulous they are, etc.

  3. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Curious George:
    More of the same, just another day.When will it end?

    When birthers decide to pull a Heaven’s Gate.

  4. avatar
    Arthur October 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    “Zeeda Andrews — a co-organizer of the effort who made October 8 appearances on Fox News and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze to promote the event — apparently thinks that President Obama and Osama bin Laden are somehow the same person; that Obama is a secret Muslim; that the Boston bombings were a “false flag”; that the CIA murdered Buzzfeed journalist Michael Hastings; and that the Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling ammunition in order to slaughter Americans.”

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/10/09/meet-the-conspiracy-theorist-behind-this-weeks/196366

  5. avatar
    Dave B. October 11, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    “So my question here is whether any nut-job belief about President Obama now qualifies someone as a birther.”
    I vote no. Nut-job beliefs about President Obama’s birth– whether based on place, parentage, or wacky legal theories– qualify someone as a birther. So does birth-record goofiness. Others would still fall under your purview of conspiracy theories and fringe views about Barack Obama, so it’s all good.
    But like you said, scratch ’em and you ‘ll probably find they’re birthers too, anyway.

  6. avatar
    Arthur October 11, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Looks like we got us a convoy, good buddy!

    “Virginia State Police reported that roughly 30 trucks left the Dumphries scale on I-95 at 7:00 a.m. The trucks were heading on northbound I-95 in the right lane with their hazards on, according to police. Police told us that the trucks should have American flags and may not have trailers hitched. They may also have #T2SDA signs for ‘Truckers to Shut Down America.’

    “Police say an additional 15 pick-up trucks left Doswell around 7 a.m. with flags and #T2SDA signage.”

    So at this time there’s an unconfirmed report of 45 trucks. More than I thought would show up, but considerably less than what organizer predicted. We’ll see . . .

  7. avatar
    Rickey October 11, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    As of an hour ago the Washington Post reports that the police have counted 30 trucks (some are pickup trucks!) on the Beltway. The ones from Doswell may not have made it to D.C. yet.

  8. avatar
    Dave B. October 11, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Here in Tucson life is already grinding to a halt.

  9. avatar
    Rickey October 11, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    USA Today reports that a “few dozen” truckers have failed to make any noticeable impact on Beltway traffic.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/10/truckers-washington-beltway-protest/2962045/

  10. avatar
    gorefan October 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    You can watch it live on the Maryland I-495 traffic cams.

    http://www.chart.state.md.us/travinfo/trafficcams.php#

  11. avatar
    justlw October 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Traffic cams are in on it. They were subverted by the Xerex machines.

  12. avatar
    JPotter October 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    “Thousands of truckers” …ha! Wishing and saying is so much easier than doing. As if every trucker in the DC area is going to stop work and burn expensive fuel. Talk is cheap, diesel not so much!

  13. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater October 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    justlw: Traffic cams are in on it. They were subverted by the Xerex machines.

    You’re not that far off. I had a nutter tell me that the “2 million bikers” was a success and there really were that many bikers but the government replaced the traffic cam feeds with one on a loop from another day.

  14. avatar
    Rickey October 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Politico calls the trucker protest “a bust” and says that about 30 trucks made their way to D.C.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/trucker-protest-beltway-98194.html?hp=r5

  15. avatar
    justlw October 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater: the government replaced the traffic cam feeds with one on a loop from another day.

    Oooh, ooh, I saw that one! IIRC, Ross Martin was the evil security chief who spoiled the whole thing by walking up to the hidden camera behind the mirror while Barney was taking the loop sample and making a snide comment to his henchman in the control room. So when they saw that, the jig was up, and Willy probably had to quickly but quietly make his way through an air duct.

  16. avatar
    justlw October 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    So here’s the thing. If you’re going to do a Bajillion Disgruntled Peoples’ March, or Drive, or Mope, or whatever:

    1. Don’t post pictures of other events and say they’re yours. We have technology. We’ll notice.

    But this is the big one:

    2. Do your own camerawork.

    You may have been too busy being cranky to notice, but over the last few years, high-quality, highly portable video cameras have become cheap and ubiquitous. (That’s a big word meaning “most grownups with a job have one.” Ask around! Someone you know could know someone with one! )

    Surely one or two of your Bajillion Disgruntled People can be peeled off from the pack and assigned to go up someplace tall (look around! There’s probably some accessible place nearby!) and shoot some video. Then you’re not dependent on the government and their camera-clouding ninjas!

    If you don’t do this, we’re going to be forced to conclude that maybe, possibly, you’re lying your butt off. Again.

  17. avatar
    Northland10 October 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    justlw:
    So here’s the thing.If you’re going to do a Bajillion Disgruntled Peoples’ March, or Drive, or Mope, or whatever:

    But this is the big one:

    2. Do your own camerawork.

    Showing up at your own mope-a-thon has been known to help.

  18. avatar
    Keith October 12, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    Dr Kenneth Noisewater: You’re not that far off.I had a nutter tell me that the “2 million bikers” was a success and there really were that many bikers but the government replaced the traffic cam feeds with one on a loop from another day.

    Not without some justification…

    Republican Deficit Hypocrisy

    [The article discusses the 2003 vote for Medicare Part D…]

    Recall the situation in 2003. The Bush administration was already projecting the largest deficit in American history–$475 billion in fiscal year 2004, according to the July 2003 mid-session budget review. But a big election was coming up that Bush and his party were desperately fearful of losing. So they decided to win it by buying the votes of America’s seniors by giving them an expensive new program to pay for their prescription drugs.

    Even with a deceptively low estimate of the drug benefit’s cost, there were still a few Republicans in the House of Representatives who wouldn’t roll over and play dead just to buy re-election. Consequently, when the legislation came up for its final vote on Nov. 22, 2003, it was failing by 216 to 218 when the standard 15-minute time allowed for voting came to an end.

    What followed was one of the most extraordinary events in congressional history. The vote was kept open for almost three hours while the House Republican leadership brought massive pressure to bear on the handful of principled Republicans who had the nerve to put country ahead of party. The leadership even froze the C-SPAN cameras so that no one outside the House chamber could see what was going on.

  19. avatar
    justlw October 12, 2013 at 1:53 am #

    Keith: The leadership even froze the C-SPAN cameras so that no one outside the House chamber could see what was going on.

    Well, that’s quite a bit different. Appalling, yes, but telling C-SPAN to turn their cameras off is not the same as purportedly injecting fake video images.

    By the way, I must offer a correction to a previous post. According to IMDB, Ross Martin never appeared on Mission: Impossible. Justlw regrets the error.

  20. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 12, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Northland10: Showing up at your own mope-a-thon has been known to help.

    Well, the nutters keep going bigger but getting the same unimpressive results.

    Idiots on foot-> Idiots on motorcycles -> Idiots in Semis -> ?

    What will step four be? Please tell me that they’re gonna try driving their houses(like actual houses) to DC next. I’d pay to see that.

  21. avatar
    Rickey October 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Apparently nothing is happening with the truckers today. The conservative Washington Times reported that protest made “no impact.”

    http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/metro-news/2013/oct/12/milloin-tuckers-bikers-muslims-amounts-capital-hil/

  22. avatar
    Rickey October 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    I just took a look at the D.C. Beltway traffic cameras. It is a beautiful day today and traffic is very light, with no caravan of trucks in sight.

    http://www.chart.state.md.us/travinfo/trafficcams.php#

  23. avatar
    Arthur October 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Rickey: Apparently nothing is happening with the truckers today. The conservative Washington Times reported that protest made “no impact.”

    How odd. The Russian Times has report that the truckers were successful.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXmto-Te9Ms
    Whom do I trust? This may be the first time I actually credit the Washington Times as an objective news source.

  24. avatar
    gorefan October 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Rickey: I just took a look at the D.C. Beltway traffic cameras. It is a beautiful day today and traffic is very light, with no caravan of trucks in sight.

    Over at ORYR they are calling it a success. LOL

    http://www.birtherreport.com/2013/10/video-truckers-demand-obama-removal.html

    What’s great is that they are basing it on a news report from RT America. RT stands for Russia Today.

    Birthers wish Putin was the US President.

  25. avatar
    Rickey October 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    gorefan:

    What’s great is that they are basing it on a news report from RT America.RT stands for Russia Today.

    So who am I supposed to believe, RT America or my own lying eyes?

  26. avatar
    misha marinsky October 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Convoy, shutdown effort dubbed ‘bust’ by national press

    As reported earlier by Overdrive, about 30 trucks showed up Friday, Oct. 11, to the Capital Beltway this morning as part of the planned convoy around Washington’s I-495. A much larger number of trucks was intended to overtake all three lanes and cause a traffic jam to get the attention of lawmakers.

    http://www.overdriveonline.com/convoy-shutdown-effort-dubbed-bust-by-national-press/

  27. avatar
    RanTalbott October 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: Please tell me that they’re gonna try driving their houses

    One word: motorhomes.

    I’ll bet they’d actually get a much bigger turnout: there have to be oodles of birthers among the retired RVers.

    Timing is key: if they schedule it to coincide with the nearby grand opening of a Cracker Barrel or a Camping World, they might get the RV equivalent of a flashmob (“flashmobile”??).

  28. avatar
    Dave October 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    I have read several articles at wingnut blogs about the list of demands the truckers have been handing around. But I can’t find the actual list anywhere. The quotes in the articles are interesting. A sample: “… a legal investigation has proven that his documents provided are forgeries, which is a felony offense.”

    Anybody know where this document can be found?

  29. avatar
    Dave October 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    I found it — and it’s a doozy. Enjoy.

    http://ridefortheconstitution.org/press-release-the-american-drivers-terms/

  30. avatar
    CarlOrcas October 13, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Dave: I found it — and it’s a doozy. Enjoy.

    Wow! An 18 wheel version of ORYR and Free Republic combined.

    Virginia State Police said the rain was more of a problem than the truckers.

  31. avatar
    Dave October 13, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Buried in the middle of that deranged rant are a few complaints that actually relate to trucking and, for all I know, might have substance. But they make it hard for people to take them seriously when they start out sounding like Orly Taitz and end up sounding like Alex Jones.

  32. avatar
    Judge Mental October 14, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    “So my question here is whether any nut-job belief about President Obama now qualifies someone as a birther.”

    Probably not any nut-job belief but seeing as you introduced this with a reference to one particular belief ie that President Obama is actually Osama Bin Laden, I’d say that believers of that theory are at the very least probably birthers by default.

    Unless they believe that Osama Bin Laden was born in Hawaii on 4th August 1961 to Anne Dunham and BO Snr, President Obama and Osama Bin Laden cannot be one and the same man without his existing birth details having been fabricated.

    I should really now go slap myself hard round the head for talking about this as if we were having a routine conversation about something to which any normal rational measures and assessments could actually be applied.