I have been wanting to write an article called “the demise of the birther movement” for almost 5 years now, but it just hasn’t happened. Still, in the chart above showing monthly visits to this web site, we see a marked decline in site visits starting with a peak around the 2012 election. A previous high point was around the release of the President’s long form birth certificate to the press and precipitated many new visitors to the site. In that month over 50% of the visits were from first-time readers of the site; today it’s about 35%. (For more details, see our Site Statistics page.)
What’s most surprising to me is much continuing interest at all following the start of Obama’s 2nd term in office. But the birthers keep birthin’ and the Obots keep poking holes in their claims, and people keep hitting the web site.
The one real mystery in this whole business is birther funding. I know, having run many web sites over the years, that web presence isn’t expensive. I spend more taking the wife out to eat one time than I spend on this web site for a month, and I spend more here than I really have to. The only significant anti-birther expense is the court document procurement for the Jack Ryan collection at Scribd.com that have to be purchased, and “Jack” pays for them out of pocket with some help from others(that’s mainly where The Fogbow donations go). Birther web sites probably cost the same or less than mine (some are even free hosting), but unlike this site, most birther sites have paid advertising and/or solicit donations. The Cold Case Posse, which actually seems to spend money on travel and expert opinions, takes donations; they say that their funding comes from private and corporate donors, but they do not file financial disclosures like other charities. The question is whether birther site donations amount to anything significant, and whether some birther sites are essentially money-making businesses. Are birthers funded by rich right-wing donors, or do they barely cover their costs from PayPal clicks. This is a question without answers beyond the occasional remark from Orly Taitz over a particular contribution.
Orly Taitz always keeps some lawsuit or other active. Most recently she sued the US Postmaster General about Obama’s Selective Service registration (registrations are done at post offices), but I can’t fathom what she could get out of that besides being designated a vexatious litigant. The Cold Case Posse keeps scheduling press events and vowing that they have the proof, but won’t release it. They’ve pretty much admitted that they are never going to try to file charges against the President, so the rationale for hiding results seems not to exist (nor probably do the results themselves).
It’s summer anyway. It’s hot and humid—rains every day here. These is the doldrums both in weather and in birtherism. I guess we’ll just muddle on and see what happens.
For listeners of the RC Radios show last night: this is the article that I mentioned with the preliminary title of “Declining returns.”