Birthers have been labeled cranks (and worse) from the start and I know that must get old. Over the years, Birthers have tried to take on the trappings of respectability in various ways.
One of the first, and most effective attempts at putting on respectability was in court. “Look Ma, I got a federal lawsuit.” It worked wonders for Phil Berg at least until he lost all of those lawsuits. However, even today after 99 failures, lawsuit are still being litigated. The latest incarnation of the lawsuit is the ballot challenge, which is going even worse than the previous lawsuits because they are being dismissed on the merits rather than on a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Another early example is the web site. Once upon a time, having a web site was a big deal, and having a nice-looking web site cost a lot of money. Now, to quote myself, “any fool can have a web site” and software tools make a nice site within the range of anyone. Birther web sites assume fancy titles like “The American Thinker” and display patriotic symbols to obscure the essential nonsense underneath.
A number of Birthers who are former military officers are referred to by their former ranks, again to make them sound more important and more respectable. Commander Charles Kerchner, Captain Pamela Barnett and General Paul Vallely are examples.
Then the Birthers went through a whole phase of pseudo-governmental titles such as “The American Grand Jury,” “People’s Grand Jury” and “the people’s prosecutor” (Andy Martin). Thankfully, that seems to be behind us.
Birthers (specifically Charles Kerchner) placed half-page ads in a national newspaper, the conservative Washington Times. (The actual circulation of the Washington Times is about half that of my local Greenville News; however, “Washington” gives it a ring of respectability.)
Next, they tried to be respectable by passing legislation, what we called the “birther bills.” One almost succeeded in Arizona, but for the veto of Governor Brewer.
One more attempt to gain respect is to use an elevated title such as “leading jurist” for Mario Apuzzo, “noted constitutional expert” for Herb Titus and “civil rights attorney” for Orly Taitz. And don’t get me started about self-appointed forensic document experts who appeared by the busload at WorldNetDaily after Obama’s long form was released (and we should not forget Dr. Ron Polland who was there from the beginning with his crank analysis).
And now, the Birthers’ newest toy is the Super PAC. Super PAC’s are all in the news these days and the birthers have one too. It’s the Article II Super PAC and we saw it in the context of providing streaming coverage of the Georgia ballot challenge hearing last month. Others are just discovering the PAC. One article appeared today at the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights site titled, “Tea Partiers Launch Birther Super PAC”. The Article II Super PAC is also taking out ads in the Washington Times.
Just to give you an idea of the cast of characters and ambitions of the Article II PAC, I’ll give you this excerpt from a recent fundraising email from PAC treasurer Gary Wilmott:
We at Article II Super Pac and the Article II legal Defense Fund will continue to work tirelessly to educate the American public about what it means to be a constitutional president. Our focus right now are the Ballot Challenges in three key states: Florida, California (headed by Capt. Pamela Barnett) and Pennsylvania (headed up by Cdr. Kerchner). We are also negotiating with a very well-known attorney to help represent us in the Florida and California challenges. We need to raise a minimum of $18,500 in the next week to 10 days for the CA and FL efforts.
Try as they might to be respectable, the collection of cranks we call the Birthers are just, as we say in the business, “turd polishing.”