Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The earth is flat

Yesterday, the House voted 378-0 to pass a resolution honoring Hawaii on its 50th anniversary of statehood and also as the birthplace of President Obama. The resolution was written by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) in order to both honor his state and get the Birthers in the House, including Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), on the record as to whether or not they really believe that the president was born somewhere else -- such as Kenya, Indonesia, or wherever. All of the co-sponsors of Mr. Posey's bill (that requires the presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship) were put on the spot. They had to put into the official record whether or not they believed Obama was a citizen of the United States. In a nod to sanity they voted for the resolution.

So, that should put an end to all this Birther nonsense, right?

Not hardly. Once conspiracy theorists get hold of something, they never let it go. The more proof you provide, the more they believe the conspiracy: your proof is just proof of the depth of the conspiracy. In this particular case, the Birthers are incapable of accepting the idea that a black man with a foreign sounding name could possibly be elected president, so they come up with this thoroughly ridiculous plot. That's why White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs didn't even try to answer the question put to him about the Birther movement; no matter what he said, it would just be further proof of the vast conspiracy.

Many GOP Congresspersons are afraid of alienating some of their staunchest supporters who hate Obama and buy into this crap, so they do this little misleading dance of "Well, there are still questions, y'know." No, there aren't any questions, unless you are completely nuts!

The Birthers may have reached and passed their peak thanks to the scrutiny, the derisive laughter, and the backlash from the overkill done by the wingnuts in the media (like Lou Dobbs). Mr. Dobbs' efforts to keep raising questions about the president's legitimacy took the movement out from the shadows of rightwing chain e-mails and rumor mongering onto the cable systems of America where everybody could see what a steaming pile of cowpie it was. So rather than getting a large majority of the country on the Birther bandwagon, Mr. Dobbs provoked the ire of people on both the left and the right (even Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh said he was wrong) and reduced himself to little more than a target for mockery.

The Birther movement will never go away entirely, but at least it's been reduced to a few crazies who are doing little more than provide entertainment as it continues to hang out there like the theory that the earth is really flat.

(Yes, there are crazies out there who believe we live on a flat earth!)