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July 20, 2009

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the birthers are gonna drag the GOP down into the dark cold abyss. if i felt it was worth saving, i'd offer a life preserver. but then again i wouldn't want to offend all those self-reliant salt-of-the-earthers with a hand-out.

Castle's aggrieved constituent at about 1:10:

"I want my country back"

So do I.

No joke -- this is a serious problem with democracy and the idea of "one person, one vote."

Castle's aggrieved constituent at about 1:10:

"I want my country back"

So do I.

So does my Penobscot friend up the road.


So does my Penobscot friend up the road

He should never have cheated on Hot Lips.

The birthers really blow me away. I am still amazed to regularly see people saying stuff like, "Well, if he just produced his birth certificate all this would go away."

I mean do they not have Google on their planet? The first hit on "Obama birth certificate" is the Snopes page which includes a link to a scan of the damn thing, links to the Factcheck.org account of examining the actual certificate, a copy of the birth announcement from a Hawaii newspaper, an account from Hawaiian officials verifying the existence of the birth certificate, and an account of someone talking about a conversation they had with the obstretrician who delivered him.

I just do not understand how a rational person can look at that and keep believing in a conspiracy. Now to be fair I don't understand how rational people can believe in a lot of things that many of them do, but not when it comes to simple questions of fact with an widely-agreed mechanism for determining truth ("get a copy of the birth certificate", "ask officials if they confirm that he was born there", "look for contemporary evidence").

What has Rome ever done for us?

Aquaducts.

What?


It would have been funny if, after the pledge, someone else among the stupid rabble would have risen and demanded that Castle and the rest on the dias stand on one leg and dance the hokey-pokey, and then another would demand everyone grab their crotches and squawk like chickens, and on and on ...

To think the Republican Party was so effing concerned with the Bell Curve not too many years ago, and then to think how the Republican Party went right out and recruited the dumbest end of that Curve for its base and its candidates, you know, way down on the left-hand side where the curvy line just about hits zero.

If these folks weren't so earnestly officious (voices shaking with righteousness) along the lines of Barney Fife recruiting Gomer Pyle to make a citizen's arrest of Aunt Bea for disorderly conduct at the meeting of the Women's Auxiliary, I'd fear for my country.

Except for this: there's no Sheriff Andy to collect their bullets for safekeeping. Not a one in the Republican Party -- just demagogue after demagogue getting elected (or not) and feeding the hate frenzy of their ignorant NRA, tax-hating, race- and religious-baiting base.

Still, guns take a certain amount of intelligence and courage to operate, and I'm betting these low trash lack both.

I don't even think they're coordinated enough to do John Cleese's funny walk, although they could probably throw a Jew down a well after a drink or two.

I just do not understand how a rational person can look at that and keep believing in a conspiracy.

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" -- Sherlock Holmes

If it is unlikely that a rational person could look at the evidence and still conclude that there is some sort of conspiracy or that Barack Obama is not an American citizen eligible to serve as president, then it logically follows that . . .

"I just do not understand how a rational person can look at that and keep believing in a conspiracy."

Do you know how many people believe the moon landings are a hoax? Buzz Aldrin once had to punch one of them in the face to get him to quit harassing him in person.

Can you imagine just how many people would have to be in on that for it to be a conspiracy to create a hoax?

Notice that a significant number of the audience can't, in fact, even recite the pledge of allegience correctly, but instead start off "I pledge allegience, under God...."

The guy who shouted something about someone or someones not being able to get it right was correct. Pathetic.

(I'm reminded of all the people who think they're being patriotic by displaying unlit flags at night, or tattered flags. If you're going to emphasize your patriotism with symbolic displays, at least know what you're doing and how to do it.)

Notice that a significant number of the audience can't, in fact, even recite the pledge of allegience correctly, but instead start off "I pledge allegience, under God...."
Well, considering that "under God" was added the first time just to Show Them Godless Commies at the height of the Cold War, it's also possible that these fine upstanding citizens have just taken it upon themselves to add another "under God" to the Pledge, to show that by gum they mean it.

Given the irrationality of these jokers, as demonstrated upthread, I wouldn't be too shocked if soon enough every other phrase in the updated Pledge were "under God".

"Well, considering that 'under God' was added the first time just to Show Them Godless Commies at the height of the Cold War...."

As you know, Bob, specifically, in 1954, although the pledge was written and used since 1892.

At least Mike Castle did the right and honest thing. I watched it as a confrontation between the old Republican party, having a dignity equal to serving in office, and the angry percentage that has become its new 'base', lacking the dignity to even address their own representative.

One further thought: I'm sure someone in that woman's family came over since 1776. It would be very hard to find someone in American who is a 'real American' by her rhetorical implication.

"(I'm reminded of all the people who think they're being patriotic by displaying unlit flags at night, or tattered flags. If you're going to emphasize your patriotism with symbolic displays, at least know what you're doing and how to do it.)"

One of my greatest pet peeves.

"I want my country back"

Sure lady, just as soon as you pay off that national debt you racked up.

In fairness to Castle, this sort of thing is actually pretty common when Congressmen go to meet their constituents. Okay, this one is extreme, but it's not /that/ extreme. Because town halls and such? Are total catnip to the crazies, left and right alike. Brings them out of their trailers and basement rooms, all twitching and aquiver.

Back in the 1980s, I was a very junior Congressional aide, and oh-so-excited about my first town hall. The representative going right to the people! Democracy at its purest! I couldn't understand why the other staff members were so glum about the whole thing...

(It's U.S. representatives who get the worst of it, BTW -- the clip is totally typical in that respect. State legislators don't get anywhere near as many, because state government issues don't energize the whackos nearly as much. And Governors and Senators tend to do fewer town hall style meetings, and/or to have better crowd control.


Doug M.

""I just do not understand how a rational person can look at that and keep believing in a conspiracy."

To be fair, I don't understand why a rational politician wouldn't have just authorized the release of his actual birth certificate, that lists the hospital he was born in, and jazz like that, instead of the version Hawaii is willing to issue even if you weren't really born there.

And before you erupt about my insanity, I don't think he was born abroad. That birth announcement pretty much nailed it, he couldn't have planted THAT.

But even the Snopes site recognizes that the certificate which was released wasn't the original certificate. And, while Joe Nobody couldn't get the Hawaii authorities to let him look at the real thing, Obama could quite easily have gotten it out, if he really wanted the rumors quashed.

I suspect he finds the rumors useful somehow, maybe as a red herring to keep people focused on something that won't pan out, instead of looking everywhere until they find something really damaging.

Oh, and I'm kind of pissed off at the courts: As long as we've got a constitutional requirement that Presidents be native born, Americans are damned well legally entitled to proof that they are, if any question arises.

To be fair, I don't understand why a rational politician wouldn't have just authorized the release of his actual birth certificate . . . I suspect he finds the rumors useful somehow,

Once again, Occam's Razor proves useful: The simpler, more likely explanation is that the President of the United States has neither the time nor the inclination to indulge the bigoted fantasies of loser morons. (Yes, bigoted. The only reason this ever became a thing for a certain class of right-wing jacktards at all is because he is a black man named Barack Obama. If he were a white man named Joe Smith, we would never have heard of this "issue.")

As long as we've got a constitutional requirement that Presidents be native born, Americans are damned well legally entitled to proof that they are, if any question arises.

Actually, no, I think that candidates for the presidency are entitled to presumptively be considered eligible until someone can definitively demonstrate that they are not. You seem to have a real problem with the entire concept of "innocent until proven guilty," as you have in other contexts. Might wanna work on that.

Phil - proving you're qualified for a job isn't the same thing as proving you're not guilty of commiting a crime. You can't say to a potential employer that he should presume that you are qualified, and how dare he ask for proof of those qualifications. So, I'm with Brett Bellmore: I am perfectly comfortable assuming that Obama's citzenship, but if I wanted proof I feel like it ought to be as easy as a Freedom of Information Act request.

Brett: As long as we've got a constitutional requirement that Presidents be native born, Americans are damned well legally entitled to proof that they are, if any question arises.

That would be why there was just as much outcry (and still is) in Republican circles over whether John McCain was actually qualified to serve as President.

In fact, there ought to have been a greater outcry over McCain, since McCain is naturally-born only by jus sanguinis, whereas Barack Obama is naturally-born both by jus solis (being born on the country’s soil) and by jus sanguinis (by right of your parent’s citizenship).

Unless, of course, the key problem with Barack Obama wasn't anything to do with rubbish about his birth certificate or who his mother was and where he was born, all of which would equally have applied to John McCain, but the problem the closet racists had that a black man with a non-European name was running for President and was going to win...

The answer is easy: the boy born in Hawaii and announced in the papers was not the Obama who is now in the WH. He got later replaced by the foreign Obama (whatever happened to the poor original remains to be found out). Why doesn't Obama proof that it was really him born there and then?
And btw, how difficult would it be to replace the original copy of the paper (who else should keep one?) in the newswpaper archives with a forgery containing the birth announcement? And why did Obama visit his 'grandmother' shortly before she died, if not to take care of a potential witness?
And anyway, it was clearly not the founders original intent to have a Hawaii born president since none of them could have seriously imagined Hawaii to be part of the US.
---
Jes, if the McCain thing was meant as sarcasm: There were indeed attempts to disqualify the 'liberal traitor' McCain on this basis during the primaries and there were some actual scholars that did a legal analysis of this claim. Iirc the answer was along the lines of "We are pretty sure that McC is formally qualified but not 100% and one never knows what a court could make of it".

"(Yes, bigoted. The only reason this ever became a thing for a certain class of right-wing jacktards at all is because he is a black man named Barack Obama. If he were a white man named Joe Smith, we would never have heard of this "issue.")"

Actually, just to be fair, people did raise questions during the primary about McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal zone.

The majority of highly successful Black Americans – and to a large extent, women - Obama’s age and older have learned over time how to deal with stuff like this as a matter of personal and professional survival.

The ‘you don’t deserve [insert achievement] ‘ argument comes in many forms;
Summa Cum Laude? Everyone graduates Summa Cum Laude now!
Where’s the birth certificate?
You only got in ‘cause you’re [insert minority group]
She slept her way there

Successful women and minorities learn, over time, to give such nonsense exactly as much mental bandwidth as it deserves (none), and get on with doing their job.

IOW, it’s rational to expect that a wise African American man, with the richness of his experiences, will make better decisions around how to handle nonsense like this than a white man who has not lived that life.

Do you mean to tell me you have to be qualified to serve as President of the United States?

I thought anyone could just "grow up" to be President.

Following Milton Friedman's injunctions against doctors, hairdressers and plumbers requiring certification, why must Presidents be "certified" by the voters?

Then, if you throw in the grand American tradition of leveling and being so suspicious of "elites" (you know, the ones who have worked all their lives to be "qualified"), why do we demand qualification for Presidents?

What would happen if it was learned today that Abraham Lincoln was not an American citizen?

Would we have to fight the Civil War over again because its result was now somehow tainted?

No doubt, considering its result is considered tainted by a large number of bohunks now serving in Congress.

Alright, everyone stop what you're doing this minute and stand and recite the Gettysburg Address!

John McCain's black children are not American. And if that doesn't scare the crap out of you, then I'll make some robocalls insinuating that he is the Manchurian candidate from the Hanoi Hilton.

But even the Snopes site recognizes that the certificate which was released wasn't the original certificate. And, while Joe Nobody couldn't get the Hawaii authorities to let him look at the real thing, Obama could quite easily have gotten it out, if he really wanted the rumors quashed.

This, of course, doesn't make sense.

NOBODY (or very few) has access to their original certificate. And if the state/local authorities say that the certificate is genuine, folks have gotta bring more to the table than vague insinuations. Obama doesn't have to do a thing.

Birthers: please provide definitive proof that you have not been replaced by a soviet sleeper agent that looks exactly like you.

By the way, all of your personal posessions were replaced last night, by exact duplicates, courtesy of our alien overlords.

That way lies madness, but if that's where you're bound and determined to go, pardon if the rest of us point and laugh.

Hartmut: Jes, if the McCain thing was meant as sarcasm

It was. And, yes, I'm aware that people were asking "is McCain a natural-born citizen" who had never asked themselves what "natural-born" meant and who didn't want to do so now. (One of them showed up on my blog last year, and repeatedly informed me that he didn't care what the legal or the customarily-understood meaning of "natural born" was, and would I quit quoting Latin at him, he'd read an article in the newspaper so he knew that McCain's opponents had a real case. I did wonder if he was a sarcastic sockpuppet even at the time, but I suppose it's possible he was a wingnut who thought McCain was too liberal.)

But, by the stats of various google searches, there was not even a tenth the questioning of whether McCain was a natural-born citizen than whether Obama was.

McCain's claim to be a natural-born citizen could be set aside if his mother were shown to be not American and not married to his father. Did McCain produce his mother's actual birth certificate at any point? Or his parents' marriage certificate? If he's never produced the actual documents, how can anyone believe he's allowed to run for President? He can't prove he's a natural-born citizen without those documents, and by the standards set for Obama by the racist you-got-to-prove-it wingnuts, McCain obviously has something to hide.

I don't see why all of these explanations for Obama not producing the original certificate or otherwise dignifying this idiocy can't be true.

In other words, he doesn't have the bandwidth to deal with it, regards it as just another expression of garden variety racism, knows the burden of proof is on the birthers to back up their extraordinary claims and that they can't--and having judged this by the foregoing to be a complete waste of time and energy, ignores the birthers and allows them to raise the visibility of all the crazies in the GOP base that turn off the vast majority of Americans.

Sounds about right to me.

I just listened to the woman in the audience, and ... the peculiar thing is, it's not difficult to feel sorry for her, while at the same time wishing her heartily in some mental health treatment facility. She sounded really quite cracked, in all senses of the word...

The astounding thing was the number of people who clapped. Surely when you hear someone going insane like that the humane thing to do is to quietly get them out of the room and ask them who their doctor is, not enable them?

"ask them who their doctor is..."

No, first ask if she has health insurance.

the best part of this is around 2:05 when castle says "do you want me to lead it?"

if you listen, some guy says "you probably don't even know it." loves it

if you listen, some guy says "you probably don't even know it." loves it

The GOPers are being eaten by the monster they created.

"It's U.S. representatives who get the worst of it, BTW -- the clip is totally typical in that respect. State legislators don't get anywhere near as many, because state government issues don't energize the whackos nearly as much. And Governors and Senators tend to do fewer town hall style meetings, and/or to have better crowd control."

They should bring more cheese.

"I suspect he finds the rumors useful somehow, maybe as a red herring to keep people focused on something that won't pan out, instead of looking everywhere until they find something really damaging."
I suspect that independent voters see these nutbars frothing at the mouth about a clearly ridiculous non-issue and think "I want no part of those crazies." Why not let them work themselves into a frenzy? It's kind of fun watching wingnut heads explode.

The risk is of course that one of the crazies is actually able to handle a sniper rifle expertly and will use is on the 'usurper' (an pessimist that I am I assume that this is going to happen).
And a 'real' crazy would not think about the fact that there is a line of succession consisting of people that are also high on the hate list.

At the moment, once we'd get past President Biden, and President Pelosi, we'd wind up with President Robert Byrd, which really would likely please relatively few, indeed.

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