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Graham: birther critic running for president

imageNews reports say that my senator, Lindsey Graham, is running for president, and will officially announce his candidacy June 1 in Central, SC. Wow, just wow!

I’m no fan of his, except for his stand on one important issue: birthers. Graham is a double threat to them. First he said, on video, that people who think Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States are crazy. These are his exact words:

The people who are doing unfair and unkind things to the President, it says more about them than it does the Republican Party. What the Republican Party has to do … We have to say “that’s crazy.” So I’m here to tell you that those who think that the President was born somewhere other than Hawaii are crazy.

But not only is he critical of original birtherism; he is also critical of the crank view that U. S. Presidents must be born in the United States to two U. S. citizen parents. He said in a 2008 letter to constituents: “Every child born in the United States is a natural-born United States citizen except for the children of diplomats.”


Doc’s State of the Birther Address

The conspiracy theory I call “the birther movement” has been around 5 years now and over that time we’ve seen an Internet rumor grow to a national phenomenon, where most people know about it and at one point more than half of Republicans believed it. Books were written, web sites created, over 200 lawsuits were filed (all without success), and the President himself addressed the issue in a special press conference on national television.

Where are we now?

Clearly much of energy behind birtherism was political. Support for such beliefs was strongly skewed toward people leaning to the right politically, and if any one birther demographic were signaled out, it would be old conservative southern white guys. Today, however, political motivation is waning as the focus of presidential politics moves from Barack Obama to the 2016 election. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said the a political movement based on “angry white guys” is not sustainable.

The 9/11 truthers were largely left-leaning at the start, and focused on President George W. Bush. In 2006, as the administration of Bush wound down, activism from the left died down, and truther activists are now comprised mainly of far right groups: Constitutional Party and Libertarian supporters, folks who are prone to conspiracy belief in general. What we see among the Truthers is a shift from political motivation to classic conspiracy theory thinking, and an overall decline in activism.

With the birther movement, I think that we’ll a see similar shift this year. The racial bias that underlies much of the movement will remain and I expect that “angry white guys” will continue to be the core demographic, but general right-wing activism will decline, while general conspiracy thinking and racial bias will provide any new converts. The President is scheduled to leave office in January 2017, and that leaves hardly any opportunity for new lawsuits, although Orly Taitz continues her individual legal efforts to pry documents out of the federal government.

One interesting development is the election of a number of Tea Party affiliates to Congress. These individuals, who may be described as “fringe” in many of their beliefs, and characterized by a general non-application of critical thinking to their public positions, are ripe candidates for new birther converts, or may be “closet birthers” already. We’re waiting to see what if anything will come from Representatives Stockman and Yoho. We may see resolutions or bills introduced (but not approved) relating to birther issues. We may again see allied legislation (to require birth certificates from presidential candidates) offered in States in the run up to the 2016 election. Now that they cannot be accused of being attempts to block Obama’s candidacy, some of these “birther bills” may actually pass.

What I see today is a lack of enthusiasm among birthers. Many birther web sites have gone inactive. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse is about the only news-making activity going on, and that initiative really has nowhere to go1 besides making money from Mike Zullo’s new book. On the other hand, I think that low-level birtherism is with us for the long term, settling down among all the other many conspiracy theories (Freemasons, black helicopters, New World Order, chemtrails, HAARP, alien abduction/UFO cover up, and on and on) that haunt the back alleys of the Internet.

1Maricopa County lacks jurisdiction to prosecute any alleged crimes involving President Obama, plus the County Prosecutor seems to be level-headed enough to recognize that the Posse doesn’t have any evidence.

Senator Graham calls for tightened restrictions on birthers buying guns

In a telephonic town hall meeting earlier this evening, Senator Lindsey Graham pointed out a gaping loophole in the federal background check system (NICS): state participation in submitting mentally ill persons to the NICS database is spotty at best, allowing persons legally unable to own guns to evade background checks.

In 2008, Senator Graham at another meeting identified persons who think Barack Obama was a Muslim or born outside the United States were “crazy.”

It seems to me that the Senator is calling for the birthers to be entered into the NICS database and forced to buy their guns from private sellers online and from unlicensed sellers at gun shows (Graham opposes universal background checks).

Senator Graham spoke of some sort of adjudication before a mentally dangerous person was placed in the federal system, but I assume that if he introduces legislation, being a birther would be one of the tests for being dangerous.

Liberals cover Orly Taitz; Conservatives not so much

Here’s the latest story title on Orly’s blog:

Dan Amira, reporter for the far left NewYork magazine posted an interview with me and provided a link to my site for people to see for themselves Obama’s forged IDs and stolen SSN, however who claim to be exposing Obama did not publish either the docs or the link. Demand they post Obama’s failed E-Verify or post a link to my site. Demand that Ari Rabin-Huff from Media Matters does not become complicit in the cover up of forgery and SSA fraud, demand he posts the interview and documents as well.

Orly Taitz has been the albatross around the neck of Conservatives who are attempting to recover from the pummeling they received in the last election. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham identified the problem when he said “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” Taitz’s rejection by Breitbart News, et al. at a recent CPAC session, is an example of a shift in Conservative strategy to try to become respectable. Fox News hasn’t had a Taitz article I can find since 2011.

On the other hand, the liberal and progressive press is all to happy to rub Orly Taitz in the faces of conservatives and to keep her in the news. The example Taitz cites from New York Magazine is one; Huffington Post has extensive Orly Taitz coverage; and we’ve seen articles at

Colin Powell: birthers killing the Republican party

Photo from Wikimedia CommonsGeneral Powell served his country as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and later as United States Secretary of State under George W. Bush. Powell, a moderate Republican, spoke to ABC News and said that the extremists, including the birthers, are destroying the Republican Party. This is a sentiment expressed by a few other brave Republican moderates, including Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who said that the Republicans should tell the birthers that they are “crazy.”

Powell calls birtherism “nonsense” and an example of an “idiot presentation” that is to blame for the Party’s low approval rating.

Republicans have to stop buying into things that demonize the president. I mean, why aren’t Republican leaders shouting out about all this birther nonsense and all these other things? They should speak out. This is the kind of intolerance that I’ve been talking about where these idiot presentations continue to be made and you don’t see the senior leadership of the party say, ‘No, that’s wrong.’ In fact, sometimes by not speaking out, they’re encouraging it. And the base keeps buying the stuff.

And it’s killing the base of the party. I mean, 26 percent favorability rating for the party right now. It ought to be telling them something. So, instead of attacking me or whoever speaks like I do, look in the mirror and realize, ‘How are we going to win the next election?

Not just Obots

I reject the term “Obot” to describe birther debunkers because it implies that birther debunkers do what they do in support of Barack Obama. In fact, many who wish the birthers would go away are Obama opponents, for example:

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, an advisor to John McCain in the 2008 election, said in a letter to constituents: “Every child born in the United States is a natural-born United States citizen except for the children of diplomats.” And what does Graham think about those who claim Obama was born overseas?

The people who are doing unfair and unkind things to the President, it says more about them than it does the Republican Party. What the Republican Party has to do … We have to say “that’s crazy.” So I’m here to tell you that those who think that the President was born somewhere other than Hawaii are crazy.

How about staunch conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly?

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