I received the following comment on my Facebook page to yesterday’s post on Obama-bashing by preachers from the pulpit:
“Nice column Jeff, but where was this kind of expose of the people who called Bush the devil – and worse. Why are we so sensitive to these kinds of attacks now? And why are the people who want to see Obama’s birth certificate crazy? We’ve seen his tax records. Why is his birth certificate STILL under-seal. The word of the Hawaiian governor might be good for you, but that doesn’t make the people who it isn’t good enough for crazy. And lastly, why not examine the characters of (Cornel) West, (Oprah) Winfrey, and (Jay) Z? You just examined a part of the characters of these to preachers.”
At this point I need to make something clear.
What I’m engaged in here is not the news. I comment on events in the news, but I’m not going to pretend I’m being either fair or balanced when I do. If you’re looking for objectivity you won’t find it here. I am a journalist, but when I’m blogging, it’s got little to do with journalism.
Now, regarding my friend, I won’t call him out by name because I don’t want to embarass him. He knows whom I’m referring to (and so will a few others).
As far as George W. Bush goes, I don’t know what’s worse than to be called Satan himself, but I admit to have heard Bush called a Nazi who out-Hitlers Adolf Hitler. Nazi comparisons are weak. They almost always are.
When someone plays The Hitler Card it’s because they are desperate and can’t think of a more intelligent and reasoned argument to support their case, so they pull Hitler out of the deck and throw him on the table. In debate, nobody actually wins, but the first person to resort to Hitler comparisons definitely loses.
The Birthers are a different matter. I’ve deliberately avoided talking about them, but since I’ve been asked directly I will answer directly.
The Birthers are crazy people. They eat, sleep and drink crazy. They live in crazy houses and drive crazy cars to vacation in Crazyland. You can’t fix stupid or crazy and the Birthers are both.
They make up a crazy portion of the Republican base. That’s the GOP’s cross to bear for catering to extremism. Throw enough chum in the water to a shark and that keeps it interested, but one day it may decide it wants to dine on the person that fed it.
Much of what fuels The Birthers is only barely concealed racism from people driven nuts by the presence of a Black man in the White House. By denying Obama is the president it gives them the latitude to reject him as the Commander-in-Chief (and get their racist ya-ya’s out as well).
The Birthers are inbred idiots who have searched for a way–any way—to deny the reality that Barack Hussein Obama is the President of the United States. They have created a separate reality where Obama is not a citizen and therefore is an illegitimate usurper.
The Obama campaign produced his birth certificate. The secretary of state and the Republican governor of Hawaii have certified the authenticity. PolitiFact.com has been all over this “story” since it first popped up like crabgrass and recently ripped to shreds the latest twist in this never-ending fairy tale, the “discovery” of a Kenyan birth certificate.
It’s not enough for The Birthers. They say it’s all part of the conspiracy. At what point do reasonable people stop entertaining the delusions of people who won’t be reasoned with?
If you’re a rational thinker, you should object to Obama based upon facts, not the whack job fantasies of a bitter loser like Alan Keyes or Orly Taitz, the triple-threat dentist, real estate agent and correspondence school “attorney” who has filed numerous lawsuits for Keyes and others disputing Obama’s legitimacy to serve as president. Keyes has nursed an undying grudge and a vicious hatred of Obama since he got his ass kicked in the 2004 Illinois U.S. Senate campaign.
Since then Keyes, who has filed suit in California seeking to void the 2008 presidential election hasn’t been any more accomodating toward Obama since his public beat down.
“The person you call ‘President Obama” and I frankly refuse to call him that… at the moment, he is somebody who is kind of an ‘alleged usurper’ who is alleged to be someone who is occupying that office without constitutional warrant to do so.”
As flaky as Keyes is, it’s a surprise he hasn’t gone Black Rambo and tried to scale the fence at The White House to make a citizen’s arrest of Obama the Usurper. To the extent the president thinks of Keyes at all, he’s made it clear he doesn’t think much of him.
In other words, Alan Keyes was an ideal opponent; all I had to do was keep my mouth shut and start planning my swearing-in ceremony. And yet, as the campaign progressed, I found him getting under my skin in a way that few people ever have. When our paths crossed during the campaign, I often had to suppress the rather uncharitable urge to either taunt him or wring his neck.
- Quoted in “The Audacity of Hope” – Page 211 – by Barack Obama
When even Mr. Nice Guy himself wants to strangle Keyes, you get some idea of how much these guys think the other sucks.
Which is why I don’t debate with The Birthers. Their deranged belief system sucks too. Debating their unglued theories only gives them legitimacy and attention they don’t deserve. It’s no different than debating Holocaust deniers. They belong in the same vacuum-packed can of nuts along with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Trilaterial Commission.
People have the right to believe whatever they want. I have the right not to take them seriously and I don’t take The Birthers seriously at all. They’re a bunch of clowns and all they need to make the act complete is a little clown car. In that car are the likes of Keyes, Taitz, Boss Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs so it’s going to be a tight fit.
This is still a democracy and we elect presidents, not kings. There is nothing in the Constitution that says, “Hey, don’t criticize the President of the United States” and there is no footnote reading, “especially a Black one.”
It’s not just healthy to criticize Obama, it’s necessary. It’s your civic duty to do so when you think he’s wrong. There are times when you can learn more from those who disagree with you than you can from those who only shower praise on you. Even Obama’s most ardent supporters have to realize he’s going to make mistakes and when he does, someone is going to have to point it out so he doesn’t do it again.
But it should be done on the issues. Not tall tales dreamed up by radicals and extremists who have rejected last’s November election returns.
It doesn’t make someone raving racist or a looney lunatic to criticize President Obama. All you have to do is disagree based upon principles and philosophy. That should be enough to fuel the fire for another three years.
When the President is wrong who will tell him? That is why there is such a thing as the “the loyal opposition.”
The Birthers are not the legitimate voice of the loyal opposition. They don’t give a damn whether Obama ever produces a birth certificate that passes their muster or not. Their old reasons to vote against Obama didn’t work, so now they made up some new ones.
As time passes, the howls of the Birthers will recede into the background as more sober and rational opponents to the Obama Administration find their voice. In the leadership vacuum of the Republican Party and the lack of a unifying figure in the larger conservative movement, the phonies, the poseurs, and the con artists have seized the microphone.
The conservative mainstream needs a Ronald Reagan moment where they remind The Birthers and the rest of the lunatic fringe that are attempting to define them know just who it is that paid for the microphone.
I wouldn’t want the “Bush knew about 9/11” conspiracy theorists to be seen as the representatives of liberal thought and I would hope a thoughtful conservative would feel the same way about The Birthers.