What's wrong with the birthers?

Obviously, if you think nothing’s wrong with them, this isn’t a productive thread for you, but if you think (like every other sane person on this planet) that however evil or socialist Obama may be, he’s a homegrown American evil socialist, then what do you think is going on with the birthers? I could make a poll, but I would probably miss some of the options because it’s just so weird to me.

Obviously, I think (by the word “sane” above) that they’ve simply got a screw loose, more specifically that this is some manifestation of Hofstadter’s paranoid strain in American politics gone mainstream. But some other possibilities are they’re channeling their deep-down racism into this birther nonsense because of the utter unacceptability of racist rhetoric, or that they actually don’t believe a word of it, they’re just trolling IRL to get the libs worked up defending what everyone really knows to be true, or they’re very stupid, simple souls who’ve bought into the wrong team and have no sense of what a fake argument looks like, or that they’re being manipulated by their overlords (Beck, Limbaugh, etc.) in some kind of ratings scam–or you tell me what you think the explanation is.

Actually, I’m not sure what the whole basis for having to be born in the US is anyway.

If someone comes to the US at the age of one and then ultimately rises to the point whereby they are in the running for president, what’s the difference? Does being born in the US sprinkle magic dust on someone or something?

I think it’s just one more flavor of conspiracy theory nuttiness, and it satisfies the same tribal, “we have the evil world figured out” paranoiac needs that all conspiracy theories do. Nothing new here.

The more disturbing thing is that it just one manifestation of some type of mental illness that affects a significant number of people. That includes both the left and the right and everything in between. You see it conspiracy theorists of all types. Some of them think the government does these all-powerful things that control the world. Others think it is big businesses that do it. It seems to be a base instinct that is similar to religion in that there is a power much bigger than yourself at work and you can understand some of it if you try hard enough but probably not all of it.

You may wonder what this has to do with a birth certificate so I will tell you. A lot of people think Obama came out of basically nowhere to ascend into the presidency. It is a little true in a way. His trajectory onto the national stage was pretty fast for his background but other people have done similar things. People that don’t like him want to know how that slipped by and how other people helped him do it. Their main strategy now is to call him out on a technicality because that is one thing they think can still happen.

The weird thing about that “mysterious origins” thing is that I think the public knows more about Barack Obama’s upbringing and background than any other POTUS or prominent politician in recent memory.

Ugh, you are making me defend Beck!, AFAIK Beck has a kernel of intelligence that allows him to dismiss the birthers.

Rush, Hannity and Savage remain pigs by constantly continuing to ask “the questions”.


Palin thinks it’s a legitimate question too.

No magic dust, but the constitution requires that a person be born in the US to be eligible for the office of president.

I could pretend it’s not thinly veiled racism, were it not for the fact that John McCain was born in Panama. “Oh, but that’s ok, because for all intents and purposes that was America once upon a time.”

I don’t understand what it matters, either; why can’t the office of President have the same residency requirements as someone running for the Senate? From up here in the great white north, a primary between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sarah Palin would make for some fantastic TV; he’s the only moderate republican who could even touch her.

It could - but it doesn’t.

(This may not be the best line of inquiry if the goal is to undercut the birthers’ silly position.)

No, it requires that you be a ‘natural born citizen’ to be president. ‘Natural born citizen’ includes being born overseas to parents who are US citizens – like John McCain (born in Panama) for example.

I know it’s in the constitution. I meant I don’t understand the basis for it being in the constitution. It might have been relevant back then but seems more of a curiosity now.

I believe conspiracies are caricatures of the individuals undesirable traits taken to extremes. Since Bush and Cheney were seen as secretive, corrupt and willing to sacrifice american lives to push their agenda the 9/11 truth movement and theories they’d do a false flag terror attack to cancel the 2004 elections were right along with that concept.

Obama is a black democrat with a weird name (aka not a ‘real american’ on several levels). So take that to extremes and you get the birther movement. If he were a white guy name bubba you’d never hear this shit.

Nobody on the left thought Cheney was born in another country, and I don’t think many on the right think Obama wants to do false flag terror attacks.

It was put in the Constitution so that foreign powers couldn’t slip one of their nobles into the fledgling republic and start to take over. That was a legitimate concern. Today, maybe not so much, but the U.S. Constitution is a powerful thing and it can be changed but not easily. It generally takes years and huge amounts of effort to do and the birth requirement isn’t of enough general interest to start the process to change it. There is still no guarantee that it would pass. The change would have to be ratified by 3/4 of the states among other things. It is the Constitution and not just a regular law so the birth requirement is real until someone wants to spend all the time it takes to get it changed. That isn’t likely in the near future.

Every few months on this board, usually after some crackpot riles up members, a number of new threads are created asking “why, oh why do birthers continue to pursue their agenda?” I am confident this won’t be the last. I am, however, flummoxed why the question keeps being asked on a board populated by those who skew more intelligent than the average bear.

For the umpteenth time: Obama’s black. That’s the reason. Period.

The never-ending machinations on this board of trying to get into the psyche of the birthers, ascribing conspiracist motivations, questioning their intelligence, etc… all make no sense to me. Many of you humble me with the depth and breadth of knowledge you have on topics I have but a passing familiarity with and some with which I have absolutely none. I won’t, but I could rattle off the screen names of those who impress me to no end here, both on the liberal and conservative ends of the spectrum. So, to have this question asked over and over again, when the same answer is provided as often as the question is asked is a bit disconcerting and disappointing.

pseudotriton ruber ruber answered the question is his own OP:

That’s it. No further analysis needed.

Go to just about any birther thread on this board and you will read at least one response, a few in bold, size 7 font, that Obama’s race is the birthers’ motivation, so I’m far from the only one presenting this conclusion.

Consider Occam’s razor, the history of this country, and the racist rhetoric and imagery that has only increased since Obama threw his hat in the ring over 3 years ago. Consider also the disgusting commentary on many radical right blogs, Stormfront and FreeRepublic* to name just two of the more well-known, that are infested with birthers and their compatriots.

Some things are obvious. This is one of them.

  • Yes, I understand that Stormfront and FreeRepublic espouse different philosophies and are not really the same ideologically.

You may be right. I just have a hard time accepting that so many million Americans are racist. It may be true, but it’s very sad to me. I would have thought that we were past that, at least to the extent that racists were more marginalized than that.

Didn’t Obama’s grandma say she was present at Obama’s birth? Anyway, there are enough questions about the document for people to consider something is being concealed:


I think it may be sublimated eevn to themselves. They know they don’t like and distrust Obama - they see him as "other - but they don’t want to admit to themselves that their discomfort is race based, so they come up with these surrogate projections instead.

I also think there are probably some who are intelligent enough to know it’s bullshit, but aren’t above cynically exploiting it if they think it will help their political side (I would put the Hannitys and Becks of the world in that category).


No there aren’t.

The “Obama’s grandma said she was there when he was born” was a mistaken answer given because the question was mistranslated. Both the grandmother and the interpreter almost immediately corrected it, but you don’t hear that when the birthers bring it up.

And no, none of those is “proof” or even “evidence” of anything. The state of Hawaii says that he was born there. That means he was born there. Period. All of the handwaving and arm-flailing in the world doesn’t change that. The only possible way that an OFFICIAL STATE GOVERNMENT CERTIFICATION of his Hawaiian birth would be false is if there were some huge conspiracy including both Republican and Democratic politicians and civil servants. Which still doesn’t explain away the two birth announcements in the Honolulu papers only days after his birth. What time machine did Obama invent to go back and place those?