Belief in the imminent end of the world has been widespread for perhaps the last 2200 years, and not confined just to the lunatic fringe. Cromwell, Newton, Milton and Luther are examples of notable figures who looked for the end soon. Literally hundreds of predictions for particular dates for the end have been made and have passed. Masses of people have sold their worldly possessions and gone up to the mountain, or out into the field to await the end, only to be met by another dawn just like the one before it. Despite disappointment after disappointment, predictions continue, and apocalyptic end time beliefs persist.
I bring this up for its parallel to the birther movement, itself full of predictions that this is the lawsuit that will have standing; Obama will be carried out of the White House in chains within a month; there will be a popular uprising of the people and the military; and the truth will be uncovered at last. These predictions and hopes have been met with disappointment after disappointment. All the lawsuits have been dismissed, all the Kenyan birth certificates have been proven frauds, and now Terry Lakin pleads guilty and goes to jail.
One need look no further than the economic bubbles of the past to see irrational exuberance and speculation lead to disappointment–only with conspiracy theories, the bubble never has to burst.
I say all this to explain why I believe the birther movement, post Terry Lakin, will be very much like the birther movement before him. The particular item the birthers will tie their hopes to will change, but the hope itself will not. There neither is any reason for folks like me to believe that this defeat, this dismissal and this irrefutable hard evidence will shut the birthers up either. Belief in such things is not rational, but it is very human.