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The apotheosis of the birthers

“Apotheosis” is one of a handful of words that I’ve always wanted to use in a sentence. One definition of apotheosis is:

the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax

I got to use it at Birther Report yesterday. Here’s a bit of the exchange:

VeniVidiVici4U: kevin,  your false sense of security is about to come face to face with a serious case of asswhooping reality.

Dr. Conspiracy: You seem to think that as the days pass, you are getting closer to the apotheosis of the birthers. But you’re doing nothing more than going around in circles chanting the same mantra of forgery this and fraud that (and telling yourselves that Zullo will save you).

I used it to describe the mythical transformation of birthers from a bunch of Internet Yahoos to the heroic removers of the usurper president, who saved the Republic from destruction, and are forever enshrined in the pantheon of true patriots™.

What strikes me about the discussion at BR is the earnestness and consistency of the belief. I suppose I could paste a compilation of similar statements, but that would be tedious and not particularly informative. Suffice it say that there are many, and I’ll leave with two examples:

BornTexas: It’s not impeachment that will end the usurpation, it will be the mountain of lies and fraud revealed for all to see. Once released, the feeding frenzy will be epic. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. The Dems will eat their own to avoid the gallows. Soetoro and his enabling minions will suffer the brunt of the onslaught.

William: I don’t get it. You are going to lose. How you deal with that fact is concerning.

I’m just not seeing this.

48 Responses to The apotheosis of the birthers

  1. avatar
    Hektor January 25, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

    Doc, I think that a lot of this apotheosis has to do with a combination of the general wishful thinking that seems to be contagious with birthers and the sunk cost fallacy. The remaining birthers have a lot invested in their obsession. To concede that the President will remain in office until January 20th, 2017 and then go on to have a legacy as a former head of state is not only anathema to them, but an admission that the birthers have collectively wasted more than eight years of each of their lives and countless grifting “donations” to the cause. They cannot face such hard truths so retreat into fantasy about what will happen once they have finally been proven right.

    Ever since I first came upon the words “Obama was born in Kenya” I have always noted that birthers have spent more of their time fantasizing about things that would happen to the President, his family and their supporters rather than concentrating on goals.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 25, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

    I’ll put that in the pot and see what happens.

    Hektor: Doc, I think that a lot of this apotheosis has to do with a combination of the general wishful thinking that seems to be contagious with birthers and the sunk cost fallacy

  3. avatar
    Janny January 25, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    My husband just spent four days in Florida attending to his elderly parents (of course, in the scheme of things we would be considered elderly too!) — as always, they ask him about things they see on Faux Noise. As always, he explains why the horrendous emails they receive are not to be believed. As always, they ask why this could be — oy. So, really, the climax of this is they want to believe bad things because they’re Republican.

  4. avatar
    Rickey January 25, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    The birthers remind me of the victims of Nigerian 419 scams. They have invested so much time (and in some cases, money) in birtherism that they can’t bring themselves to admit that they have been on a fool’s errand.

    Birther John is a perfect example. He has basically admitted that birthing is going nowhere and that Zullo is never going to announce anything, but he still can’t give it up.

  5. avatar
    john January 25, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

    ….So do the Obots (not giving up) It’s all academic at this point. The only thing left to do now is just debate the issue ad nasuem. I do agree, Zullo is never going to release anything. The Arpaio investigation has been so blogged and nitpicked, it’s really not a credible thing more. Zullo never continued to release stuff or refuted and the investigation continued to do a downward spiral of noncredibility.

  6. avatar
    realist January 25, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    john:
    ….The Arpaio investigation has been so blogged and nitpicked, it’s really not a credible thing more.Zullo never continued to release stuff or refuted and the investigation continued to do a downward spiral of noncredibility.

    What you seem to continue to fail to see is that it never was credible, there was never any “there” there. Never will be, no matter what Zullo or Arpaio may decide to release or not. It’s all fantasyland nonsense. Always has been. Always will be.

  7. avatar
    Arthur B. January 25, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

    john: The Arpaio investigation has been so blogged and nitpicked, it’s really not a credible thing more.

    But think about it, john. If you’ve got the truth on your side — if you’ve got actual evidence and actual facts — then it should be able to stand the test of time.

    Doesn’t it look like everything you had was so insubstantial that it completely fell apart from being “blogged and nitpicked”?

    Real evidence doesn’t crumble so easily. He’s got nothing now because he had nothing then.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater January 25, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    john:
    ….So do the Obots (not giving up)It’s all academic at this point.The only thing left to do now is just debate the issue ad nasuem.I do agree, Zullo is never going to release anything.The Arpaio investigation has been so blogged and nitpicked, it’s really not a credible thing more.Zullo never continued to release stuff or refuted and the investigation continued to do a downward spiral of noncredibility.

    Birtherism hasn’t been a credible thing since the beginning.

  9. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG January 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

    john:
    ….So do the Obots (not giving up)It’s all academic at this point.The only thing left to do now is just debate the issue ad nasuem.I do agree, Zullo is never going to release anything.The Arpaio investigation has been so blogged and nitpicked, it’s really not a credible thing more.Zullo never continued to release stuff or refuted and the investigation continued to do a downward spiral of noncredibility.

    Translation: Us birthers lost, but I’m gonna keep arguing anyway!

  10. avatar
    alg January 26, 2015 at 12:11 am #

    john:
    ….So do the Obots (not giving up)It’s all academic at this point.The only thing left to do now is just debate the issue ad nasuem.I do agree, Zullo is never going to release anything.The Arpaio investigation has been so blogged and nitpicked, it’s really not a credible thing more.Zullo never continued to release stuff or refuted and the investigation continued to do a downward spiral of noncredibility.

    John, for me birthers like you are just entertainment. The reality is that there is nothing to this nonsense. Never has been. The story was over the moment Obama released his certification of live birth in 2008. People like you are a fleeting minority of individuals who delude themselves through the self-reinforcing deception of internet communities that feed on made up stories.

  11. avatar
    Pete January 26, 2015 at 12:45 am #

    john:
    ….So do the Obots (not giving up)It’s all academic at this point.The only thing left to do now is just debate the issue ad nasuem.I do agree, Zullo is never going to release anything.The Arpaio investigation has been so blogged and nitpicked, it’s really not a credible thing more.Zullo never continued to release stuff or refuted and the investigation continued to do a downward spiral of noncredibility.

    John, there was never any credible evidence to start with.

    As someone else has said, if they had had anything credible, don’t you think they would’ve released it, and it would’ve held up to scrutiny?

    Are you not aware that President Obama, like any President, has political enemies? Don’t you realize that some of those enemies are smart enough to evaluate evidence? And don’t you realize that if anything really credible had EVER been released that really indicated he was ineligible to be President, Mr. Obama’s astute political enemies would’ve been all over it?

    If Arpaio’s posse had been credible investigators, don’t you think they would’ve actually… um… INVESTIGATED? They never contacted the White House, never looked at any side other than the side they wanted to push to raise funds for Arpaio, never did jack except present VERIFIED fraudulent evidence to the public.

    Speaking of which: If they had been dealing honestly, don’t you think they would’ve answered those who exposed their evidence as a fraud? Don’t you think they would’ve given even SOME excuse?

    If they had ever been for real in the first place, do you think they would’ve promised to reveal “universe-shattering evidence” in MARCH OF LAST YEAR, and then never done anything?

    If they had ever HAD any “universe-shattering evidence,” don’t you think they would’ve made that public?

    The fact is, John, they were just con artists from the very beginning. There were people who tried to tell you and other birthers the truth, but you just absolutely wouldn’t have any of it.

    How does it feel to be a years-long sucker? I’m guessing it probably doesn’t feel that good.

  12. avatar
    Lupin January 26, 2015 at 2:53 am #

    After Obama leaves office, they will continue to believe in their cargo cult and think “any ay now” he will be exposed/jailed for all his “wrongdoings”. They’ll go to their graves believing that. It’s now part of their scripture.

    After all they still believe in all the rubbishy claims ,made against the Clintons, which no doubt will resurface as soon as Hillary officially announces.

    It’ll be like a vast nostalgia trip to the 90s.

  13. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) January 26, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    Pete: How does it feel to be a years-long sucker? I’m guessing it probably doesn’t feel that good.

    Which is exactly why hardcore birfers can never admit they were wrong (not even about Zullo, if not about the whole thing).

  14. avatar
    truxton spangler January 26, 2015 at 9:20 am #

    john:
    The Arpaio investigation has been so blogged and nitpicked, it’s really not a credible thing more.

    Yep, sure, THAT’s why it’s not credible. If their “investigation” can’t stand up to the scrutiny of bloggers, what possible hope could they have in court?

  15. avatar
    Benji Franklin January 26, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    Pete: How does it feel to be a years-long sucker? I’m guessing it probably doesn’t feel that good.

    Here again, in the land of the sane, we are probably wrong about the details of Birther-Think. We imagine they will be remorseful at realizing they have been exploited, misled, and conned for eight years. But that assumes they would view that as time that could have been better spent. It’s pretty obvious that people who can be focused on such obvious Birther silliness, could never have thought of anything better to do anyway.

  16. avatar
    bob January 26, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    john:
    ….So do the Obots (not giving up)It’s all academic at this point.

    If by “academic,” you mean “President Obama is and continues to remain the duly elected president,” then sure.

  17. avatar
    Rickey January 26, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    john:
    ….So do the Obots (not giving up)

    Why should we be expected to give up? We have been victorious at every turn – state courts, Federal courts, the Supreme Court, and the Court of Public Opinion.

  18. avatar
    Arthur January 26, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    john: I do agree, Zullo is never going to release anything.

    And I agree with you, john.

  19. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG January 26, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    Rickey: Why should we be expected to give up? We have been victorious at every turn – state courts, Federal courts, the Supreme Court, and the Court of Public Opinion.

    And Night Court! Don’t forget Night Court!

  20. avatar
    Pete January 26, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: And Night Court! Don’t forget Night Court!

    You left out the basketball court, the tennis court, AND the raquetball court.

  21. avatar
    Pete January 26, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    The Magic M (not logged in): Which is exactly why hardcore birfers can never admit they were wrong (not even about Zullo, if not about the whole thing).

    I guess that’s it.

    I suppose they’re faced with a choice.

    Either the word of verified frauds is the gospel truth, sheer nonsense is courtroom evidence, reasonable people are evil shills, and the conspiracy runs so deep that even the dog and cat are in on it…

    Or birthers are the biggest fools, idiots, morons and suckers in recent history.

    I guess no one wants to face the reality that they’re a total idiot.

  22. avatar
    CarlOrcas January 26, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    john: Zullo is never going to release anything. The Arpaio investigation has been so blogged and nitpicked, it’s really not a credible thing more.

    For the sake of discussion, john, let’s say the problem is with the blogging and nitpicking and not the “investigation”.

    What would you do if you were Zullo? Just sit there and suck your thumb while bloggers and nitpickers wreak havoc on your “investigation” or would you put on your big boy pants and call a news conference and lay out your evidence for everyone to see?

  23. avatar
    Pete January 26, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

    In the end, the joke is on the birthers.

    They chose to waste years of their lives (and in many cases a lot of money as well) on total BS, when they could’ve spent the time doing something useful.

    Planting a garden. Bowling.

    Heck, even watching “Days of Our Lives” reruns would’ve been better use of their time.

  24. avatar
    OllieOxenFree January 26, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

    I found comments, as recent as this week, of people absolutely convinced that 9/11 events will result in trials and convictions of U.S. Officials. Over 14 years later, and there are still those who are absolutely convinced their cause is just and will end with “hangings.” This doesn’t just target the previous administration, but the current one as well. Claiming that having not disclosed what actually occurred on 9/11, Obama and his administration are equally complicit in the cover-up, and therefore giving “aid and comfort to the enemy,” and are guilty of treason. No doubt, this will extend to the next administration as well.

    For true believers, conviction is a constant and revelation is only a matter of timing.

  25. avatar
    John Reilly January 27, 2015 at 12:59 am #

    We had this discussion here a few years ago about how many people are actually charged with treason each year. I think the answer was it averages one per year. Given our track record of not hanging ex-Presidents, one wonders where the get the idea we are about to change.

  26. avatar
    alg January 27, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    OllieOxenFree: For true believers, conviction is a constant and revelation is only a matter of timing.

    It’s this strange and inexplicable tendency of human beings to believe in revelation and resurrection. Our human drive to believe in messiahs and redemption may be a part of our genetic make-up. While, after six years, birthers still expect deliverance; and, after 14 years, truthers still expect salvation, there are billions of people who, after over 2000 years believe the son of God will ultimately return to save the faithful.

  27. avatar
    Lupin January 27, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    alg: It’s this strange and inexplicable tendency of human beings to believe in revelation and resurrection.Our human drive to believe in messiahs and redemption may be a part of our genetic make-up.While, after six years, birthers still expect deliverance; and, after 14 years, truthers still expect salvation, there are billions of people who, after over 2000 years believe the son of God will ultimately return to save the faithful.

    Arthur C. Clarke believed that human religions were a useful tool in our evolutionary climb away from the caves but that they would eventually disappear like our appendix.

  28. avatar
    alg January 27, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    Lupin: Arthur C. Clarke believed that human religions were a useful tool in our evolutionary climb away from the caves but that they would eventually disappear like our appendix.

    I think that’s a very plausible prediction, but if the root cause of such beliefs lies in our evolution, it’s entirely possible that mechanism is hard wired in our brains and may require a considerable passage of time before we rid ourselves of what is now an ineffective trait. That means we are stuck with birtherism and similar dysfunctions for what may be a very long time, particularly if tea partiers know how to procreate. 🙂

  29. avatar
    bovril January 27, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    I have always tended to be of the view [belief.. 😎 ] that the belief in religion, mysticism etc. is too closely entangled with the human ability to imagine things that do not exist and to then invent and work to make them real for religion to ever really die off.

    I think we would lose an essential part of that which allowed a proto hominid in the past to descend from the trees, take that early bipedal stance and make that trip to the open plains because it seemed like a good idea or dare I say….a leap of faith…..

  30. avatar
    AGROD January 27, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    One of my favorites is the Reed Hayes report. Has it been almost what 18 months since it was complete? How much money did they pay for that pos?

  31. avatar
    truxton spangler January 27, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    AGROD: One of my favorites is the Reed Hayes report.

    Assuming Arpaio and Zullo never make their big reveal, is there any reason Reed Hayes can’t just release it on his own?

    Will we see birthers suing A/Z to release their info?

  32. avatar
    Lupin January 27, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    bovril: I think we would lose an essential part of that which allowed a proto hominid in the past to descend from the trees, take that early bipedal stance and make that trip to the open plains because it seemed like a good idea or dare I say….a leap of faith…..

    We’re getting way OT here, but myself, I separate faith and spirituality which are OK in my atheist book, from belief in fairly transparent parables and fairy tales. Odin and Thor are OK as far as I’m concerned, I enjoyed the comics and the movies greatly, but I don’t arrange my life around them.

    Wikia estimates that through its 5,000 years of recorded history, humanity has worshiped millions of “gods” (methods of calculation differ). Whatever the number, if we call it “N”, the only difference is that I don’t believe in N gods while most religious folks don’t believe in N minus 1, which on a scale of that magnitude is virtually indistinguishable.

    My two cents of course. If after i die I appear before Hades or find myself reincarnated into a trilobite, I’ll look very stupid indeed.

  33. avatar
    bob January 27, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    truxton spangler: Assuming Arpaio and Zullo never make their big reveal, is there any reason Reed Hayes can’t just release it on his own?

    It isn’t his to release. I’m sure Hayes is contractually obligated to not release it (unless Zullo authorizes him to do so).

  34. avatar
    bgansel9 January 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

    Pete: Either the word of verified frauds is the gospel truth, sheer nonsense is courtroom evidence, reasonable people are evil shills, and the conspiracy runs so deep that even the dog and cat are in on it…

    Or birthers are the biggest fools, idiots, morons and suckers in recent history.</blockquote

    The really sad thing is this isn't just about the birther issue, but instead, a whole host of conspiracy theories (Benghazi, etc…) They will come out as total fools eventually. It will all fall apart at some point because it will be so glaringly obvious that it was all a fabrication.

  35. avatar
    Notorial Dissent January 28, 2015 at 1:30 am #

    It has been said repeatedly that the report was bought and paid for by Zullo/CCP, depending on whose story you believe, and that it belongs to him/them, so Hayes was officially out of the picture and barred from comment as soon as he handed the report over. Now as to how much he actually got paid, that has never been said to my knowledge, but some money or something had to have changed hands.

    The one thing that can be said with certainly about the report, other than that it will very likely ever never see the light of day, is that there is nothing in it of any probative value, since Hayes isn’t competent in any other field than handwriting analysis, and there really isn’t anything he can say that will matter one jot. Hayes is NOT certified or qualified as a forensic anything, and so he really can have no opinion that amounts to anything as far as a document is concerned, and particularly not of an image copy of a document.

    bob: It isn’t his to release. I’m sure Hayes is contractually obligated to not release it (unless Zullo authorizes him to do so).

  36. avatar
    Keith January 28, 2015 at 1:50 am #

    alg: particularly if tea partiers know how to procreate

    I thought it was a requirement that TEA-partyers are beyond procreation already.

  37. avatar
    Pete January 28, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Notorial Dissent: The one thing that can be said with certainly about the report, other than that it will very likely ever never see the light of day, is that there is nothing in it of any probative value, since Hayes isn’t competent in any other field than handwriting analysis, and there really isn’t anything he can say that will matter one jot. Hayes is NOT certified or qualified as a forensic anything, and so he really can have no opinion that amounts to anything as far as a document is concerned, and particularly not of an image copy of a document.

    Is he competent in the field of handwriting analysis?

    I don’t take that as a given.

    Even so, it’s a far cry from handwriting analysis to giving a professional opinion on the computer-processed output of a Xerox WorkCentre.

    It’s like saying that since Bob works in the hospital billing department, he’s qualified to do brain surgery.

  38. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 28, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    He is accredited by the National Association of Document Examiners, written a book and has testified in court.

    What he has not done is to say a word publicly about Obama’s birth certificate.

    Pete: Is he competent in the field of handwriting analysis?

  39. avatar
    Rickey January 28, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    He is accredited by the National Association of Document Examiners, written a book and has testified in court.

    What he has not done is to say a word publicly about Obama’s birth certificate.

    As I have said before, I believe that the Hayes report is full of caveats. If it says what Zullo has claimed it says, there would be no reason to not release it.It wouldn’t surprise me if the report says that Hayes can’t reach a definitive conclusion without examining the original document.

    In any event, we are never going to see it. As i recall, Zullo has claimed that he copyrighted it, but that appears to be another of his lies. I searched the copyright office records online and there is no record of it. I searched under Zullo’s name, Hayes’ name, Maricopa, Cold Case Posse, etc. but could not find the report (Hayes does hold five copyrights, four of which are about handwriting and one is about astrology).

  40. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 28, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    It’s not necessary to file in order to claim a copyright. All you have to do is add a copyright notice to the document (just as this web site carries a copyright notice down at the bottom). Actually, you don’t even have to put in the notice.

    The rules are a little different for an unpublished work (such as the Hayes) report, but he still doesn’t have to file.

    Rickey: As i recall, Zullo has claimed that he copyrighted it, but that appears to be another of his lies.

  41. avatar
    Rickey January 28, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    It’s not necessary to file in order to claim a copyright. All you have to do is add a copyright notice to the document (just as this web site carries a copyright notice down at the bottom). Actually, you don’t even have to put in the notice.

    The rules are a little different for an unpublished work (such as the Hayes) report, but he still doesn’t have to file.

    I can see where that would apply to Hayes, who wrote the report. But how could Zullo claim to have a copyright for Hayes’ work without filing it or without publishing the report?

  42. avatar
    realist January 28, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    It’s been quite a while, but as I recall, one of the main reasons Zullo claimed a copyright to the Hayes Report was that he [Zullo] claimed that due to the copyright Hayes could not ever change/modify/alter/update/whatever the report.

    While that sounds all good, due to it being a report prepared for litigation purposes, there are circumstances where it would be Hayes’ obligation as an “expert” to change/modify/alter/update the report. And even if it were not his obligation to do so legally, he can still do so at any time.

    Despite Zullo’s claim, he is once again wrong.

  43. avatar
    sfjeff January 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    While his report may be copywrited- unless this guy also signed a non-disclosure agreement regarding the issue, I think he could still provide his professional opinion, without the report.

  44. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG January 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    realist: Despite Zullo’s claim, he is once again wrong.

    Zullo could claim the sky is blue, and it would change just to spite him and his stupid mustache.

  45. avatar
    dunstvangeet January 28, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    Notorial Dissent: Hayes is NOT certified or qualified as a forensic anything, and so he really can have no opinion that amounts to anything as far as a document is concerned, and particularly not of an image copy of a document.

    Hayes is qualified as a Questioned Documents Examiner, in the field of Handwriting Analysis. However, Hayes had better prey that this report doesn’t find the light of day. If it does, his credibility as a forensic expert is shot. Every trial he’d appear in would involve impeaching him upon this report.

  46. avatar
    Keith January 28, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

    Lupin: Arthur C. Clarke believed that human religions were a useful tool in our evolutionary climb away from thecaves but that they would eventually disappear like our appendix.

    I have also had that same belief, at least as far as the necessary to ‘elevation’ of the human species part. I probably actually picked it up from Clarke somewhere along the line.

    The disappearance of religion part is, IMHO, fantasy; in the same way and for the same reason as is the disappearance of the Communist Party once the Workers Paradise is achieved.

  47. avatar
    Keith January 28, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

    AGROD:
    One of my favorites is the Reed Hayes report.Has it been almost what 18 months since it was complete?How much money did they pay for that pos?

    WhoGAS? If it had anything of value to the Birther’s argument it would have been released 15 nano-seconds after it was read.

  48. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 28, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    Maybe Zullo is paying for it on the installment plan.

    AGROD: One of my favorites is the Reed Hayes report. Has it been almost what 18 months since it was complete? How much money did they pay for that pos?