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Donald Trump still a birther

Just for historical completeness, I note the recent remarks by birther Donald Trump who is still displaying his orangutanian heritage as a birther. Trump said at a Republican gathering in New Orleans (as reported in The Daily Beast):

I would have been totally happy about that [Obama born in the US]. In fact, I would have probably preferred it because that would mean we would have a president for whom everything was fine.

Trump then said that he thinks Obama lied about being born in Kenya to get favorable treatment in college. Trump previously offered millions to see Obama’s college records.

Trump had raised conspiracy theories last year about the death of Loretta Fuddy.

News coverage:

NPR: Barely mentions birthers

NPR gave a shout out to the birthers this morning on its Morning Edition program, quoting Texas Republican precinct chairwoman Ann Teague as saying: “We never saw a birth certificate” (listen at 1:21).

One wonders how anybody could not have seen a birth certificate, but just in case somebody missed it, here it is (photo courtesy of, click to expand):

YouGov polling on the birthers

This is interesting. I signed up as a member of YouGov about a month ago. You can express opinions on people and books and other things. They send you questionnaires from time to time. You can earn points for valuable prizes 😉 I’ve never been asked about it (darn) but they do track birtherism, and published an article, The Birthers Aren’t Going Anywhere (An Update), yesterday. Looking at changes over the past year, Adam Berinsky writes:

These polls demonstrate the hint of some movement toward the belief that Obama was born in the United States. However the percentage of people who think that Obama was not born in the United States has held steady throughout the year, and perhaps even increased slightly.

While significantly lower today than immediately after Obama’s release of his long form birth certificate, Republicans who say Obama was not born in the US are at a high for the year at 39%.

I read these polls and they are pretty consistent, showing lots of folks say Barack Obama was born abroad. But I have a hard time reconciling that with what those who hold that view actually do, i.e. nothing. Every time the birther celebrities hold an “event” a couple dozen people show up, or they cancel the event due to lack of people signing up. I keep wondering why there is such a tremendous gap between the number of people who say they believe something, and the number willing to put feet to their beliefs.

Given all the outrageous things people say about Obama (he’s a Muslim terrorist trying to destroy the country, homosexual coke addict communist murderer with a mother who’s a whore), I wonder if a significant number of respondents who say Obama was born overseas are just taking the opportunity to spit on him, rather than saying what they believe is true.

@LeaderJones Birther parody on Twitter

The real Timothy Jones photoRepresentative Timothy Jones (right), Republican Majority Floor Leader of the Missouri House, reportedly changed his Twitter name, and someone snapped up the old one, @LeaderJones. The new tenant calls himself “Birther Tom Jones,” self-described:

Parody of Orly Taitz endorsed, Speker-to-be Tim Jones of Missouri. Lover of Cheetos.


  • Revenge best served cold. As it will be to left wing trolls who have so gleefully & fraudulently attacked me
  • Gleeful, fraudulent, Cheetos stained, basement dwelling, hateful, lonely left wing trolls: revenge is best served cold.
  • “WOW, unapologetic birther is unanimously elected to be the speaker of MO Hopuse of Reps!!!” -Orly Taitz
  • Debating about how to best seek revenge against the Hysterical Left. Thinking of showing up in a George W Bush mask!
  • What do you mean I don’t have to show photoID to vote today? ShaneSchoeller [candidate for Missouri Secretary of State] told me I would! How are we supposed to disenfranchise people?
  • I’m so proud to have a hearing on our Voter Disenfranchising Constitutional Amendment on Election Day!
  • Getting ready to debate on the floor but some loser took the phonebook I stand on so people can see me. Damnit. I will get my revenge!

If you comment on this article, please limit your remarks to 140 characters each. This article introduces a new article category, “Social Media.”

45% of Republicans are birthers; the Times explains why

A recent New York Times poll found 45% of Republicans believe Barack Obama was born outside the country. The mainstream media are taking this up as a challenge, to try to inform their readers and combat the increasing lunacy of the birthers. The New York Times, deserving of the name “newspaper of record,” has published a major article on The Psychology of the ‘Birther” myth.

I’m putting this article up as fast as I can, before I have even had time to read the Times piece. I’m sure, however, that we’ll have a lot to talk about.

One of the seven authors of the Times segment, David P. Redlawsk professor of political science at Rutgers University, said:

The reality is that “facts” are unlikely to mean much to those who believe in their gut that Obama is not American. Political psychologists call this “motivated reasoning.” It goes something like this: I dislike someone; I learn something positive that should make me feel better about him; instead, I dislike him as much or even more. This is clearly irrational, but our feelings about people are complicated, and we tend to hold on to them even in the face of contradictory information. This is not unique to those who dislike Obama.

Palin – Wurzelbacher ticket in 2012?


The mainstream media has of late been needling Republican leadership about the birther issue. Since a recent poll now shows 51% of  likely Republican primary voters think Barack Obama was born outside the United States, I think the media are right to press the issue. Most recently Rep. Michele Bachmann (potential GOP presidential candidate) was interviewed on Good Morning America, where she gave a tepid endorsement of Obama’s birthplace saying to “take him at his word”, but changed the subject when pressed for a more definitive statement. We’ve seen similar unwillingness to confront the Republican fringe from House Speaker John Boehner in an interview last Sunday.


Republican leadership is in a rather awkward position right now. Party strategy over the years has led it to the point where most of  its voters hold a really crazy idea. They risk forfeiting their leadership position if they confront the crazy.

Has the intellectual capacity of the average GOP voter degraded to the point now where the next election could see Barack Obama and Joe Biden pitted against Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber?