There is no such thing as Birthers
— Comment at WorldNetDaily
That commenter doesn’t like the term apparently. This article was prompted by two recent indents where birther-style remarks were trouble. The first is the video of US Representative Steve King that I recently featured saying that perhaps Barack Obama’s newspaper birth announcements were telegraphed from Kenya.
Another in the news is a tweet from Heidi Wys, an adviser to Puerto Rican House of Representatives President Jennifer González, who advised the Obamas where to go to celebrate the President’s birthday:
Take her to Burger King, buy her a sundae with double banana, take her to your homeland, Kenya!
It’s hard to parse out exactly what that means, but it’s clearly some sort of a jibe at Obama’s heritage, if not his place of birth. Calls for her resignation have been made.
So is being a birther an unforgiveable political sin, punishable only by banishment from the public scene? The US Constitution guarantees certain basic freedoms including the freedom of speech, the press and peaceful assembly. However, as conservatives like to say, actions have consequences. Birthers are not, under law, “protected classes” against which discrimination is illegal.
Right now the rights of the birther to speak are guaranteed, but not the freedom from consequences which, in the case of the birthers, is governed by the marketplace. If enough of the people think being a birther is an issue important enough to effect their vote, then officials should think about dumping birther subordinates, and keeping their own mouths under control.
Being a birther is still generally a political liability, especially in larger races. Polls of Republican voters show such high support for the foreign-born President conspiracy theory that the current Republican nominee is very lucky he does not have to endorse it in order to placate his party’s base. He can thank Donald Trump (who I believe intentionally raised the issue and then took the brunt of humiliation when the President’s older birth release document was released) for that.