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Politics Skepticism/critical thinking

Birthers on parade

You may have heard of the lunatic fringe contingent that thinks that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and thus not eligible to be President of the United States according to the Constitution. They’re incredible cranks, cooking up all manner of dire conspiracy theories about a doctored birth certificate and birth documents, all full of dark plotting, aided and abetted, of course, by the “liberal” press. They’re very much like 9/11 Truthers, only not as coherent. (And, no, that’s not a compliment to 9/11 Truthers, either.)

That there are kooky conspiracy theorists who just can’t accept that they lost and we now have a black man as the President of the United States does not surprise me. That our Congressional Representatives seem either to side with these nutcases or are so afraid of them that they dare not speak out plainly is illustrated in this video that a reader sent to me last night:

Notice how only one of the Representatives interviewed would come out and plainly say that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and therefore is a U.S. citizen and therefore eligible to be President of the United States. Pathetic. But if you want to know just how insane the “birthers” are, take note of this. Even Ann Coulter thinks they’re loons:

What’s even more hilarious, the far right lunatic fringe has turned on Coulter, as Ed documents.

I don’t blog about politics all that often, but this interested me as a skeptic for the sheer lack of critical thinking involved that it takes to think that one of Obama’s political enemies wouldn’t have dug up the proof by now and used it against him, as pointed out in the Coulter segment. Hillary wouldn’t have hesitated to use such information. Neither would Edwards. And they certainly had operatives looking for dirt on their opponents, as all campaigns do these days. Still, that doesn’t stop them from taking over town hall meetings, as Mike Castle (R-DE) found out:

The scary thing is, these people clearly have influence.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

164 replies on “Birthers on parade”

I really like the one congressman saying “you guys are the scum of the earth” to a reporter-ish guy. Not the birfers, but a reporter giving him a chance to denounce the idiots.

While the left certainly has its share of whackos (9/11 truthers, for example) at least they can say that those morons generally aren’t taken seriously by politicians (with few exceptions), and they certainly don’t commandere attention from the democratic party.

It’s not surprising that this captured your attention, Orac, given the similarities between birthers and antivaxxers and other anti-scientists.

The Castle town meeting was likely somewhere out in the red-state part of Delaware, where I’ve seen as many Stars and Bars flying as anywhere else I’ve been. It’s worth noting that Delaware was a border state (to the extent that those of us next door are willing to acknowledge that it’s a state at all, that is).

Petty interstate slams aside, the level of belief in the face of contrary evidence here is worthy of supreme beings, UFOs, and Flying Spaghetti Monsters.

Pablo – It’s worth noting that Philip Berg, the lead litigant in last year’s attempt to get the “birth certificate controversy” heard by the U.S. Supreme Court is also a noted “truther”.

Sometimes the political extremes on both sides of the political spectrum wind up meeting each other.

Incoherent is definitely a word I’d use to describe the birfers. Even though they make a bunch of fuss about the birth certificate not proving he was born in Hawaii, they have a whole array of backup theories that makes it all superfluous. Obama’s dad wasn’t an American citizen so he’s not eligible, he renounced his citizenship in Indonesia so he’s not eligible, he traveled to Pakistan so he’s no eligible, etc.

Like the troofers, for one reason or another they’ve become so emotionally committed to the conspiracy theory that they can’t let go. It’s just a waste of time to deal with them.

Fortunately here in Canada political office is open to anyone regardless of place of birth, so we don’t have to worry about this sort of nonsense.

Like the troofers, for one reason or another they’ve become so emotionally committed to the conspiracy theory that they can’t let go. It’s just a waste of time to deal with them.

Yes and no. It is kind of amusing, in a guilty pleasure way, to watch.

Besides schadenfreude, there’s the more practical effect of putting conservative politicians on the spot. They can either alienate their base, or they can show themselves to be batshit insane to the rest of the populace. Now that’s a worthwhile exercise.

This “controversy” is even sillier when you consider that Obama’s late mother was an American citizen. Even if he really *was* born in Kenya, he would still be be an American citizen by birth, because his mother was one.

Back in 1968, when George Romney was running for President, it was brought up that he was actually born in Mexico. As it turned out, both of his parents were U.S. citizens, which settled the issue at the time. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, which was an unincorporated territory of the U.S.; being born there did not automatically confer U.S. citizenship to the baby. Since both of his parents were U.S. citizens, he was automatically one too.

I have to wonder, had McCain won the election, would the “birthers” have gone after him with the same vigor? I highly doubt it.

Obama’s dad wasn’t an American citizen so he’s not eligible,

How does that one work? The law says that if you’re born in the U.S. you’re a natural-born citizen, period.

Fortunately here in Canada political office is open to anyone regardless of place of birth, so we don’t have to worry about this sort of nonsense.

The thing is, I don’t think this is really about Obama’s birthplace or whether he can produce a birth certificate. That is the specific issue the birthers have latched onto, but it really seems to be about Obama’s legitimacy as president. I’ve noticed that a lot of the people who fall for the birther nonsense will also call Obama “Hussein” at every opportunity or rant about Obama’s “socialism,” Bill Ayers, or some other thing. That leads me to believe that the birthers are just looking for ways to disqualify Obama as president, and if it weren’t the birth certificate, they would invent some other cause.

How does that one work? The law says that if you’re born in the U.S. you’re a natural-born citizen, period.

It takes a bit o’ doing to get inside the mindset, if you can call it that, of the birfers. See, they have all kinds of “reasons” why Obama wasn’t really born in Hawaii. Basically, the birth certificate you can see on the web is a forgery and he was actually born in Kenya. If you get past that, then they’ll tell you that his citizenship was renounced when he was a kid in Indonesia. It goes on and on.

If I understand it correctly, had Obama actually been born in Kenya, despite his mother being a US citizen, he wouldn’t be a natural-born US citizen, due to the way the law read at the time. So the birfers are really hanging onto that one, even though it’s idiotic. They don’t have a good explanation of how the birth announcement got into two local papers.

Well, I live in Delaware and I have got to say, that must be in one of the lower two counties. The northern county, New Castle county (heh, Mike Castle has the same name ^_^, *cough cough*) is a fairly liberal place, and from what I can tell, it seems like only a portion of Obama’s opposers seem to believe that he is not a citizen.

“I saw these bastards in Easy Rider, but I didn’t believe they were real. Not like this, man, not hundreds of them.”

—HST

Yeah, I saw a “Where is the birth certificate?” friggen billboard the other day while driving through Pennsylvania. Lovely stuff.

I keep seeing blog posts about “birthers” and confusing them with posts about “forced birthers”. Suppose it’s just what I get for the entire internet being American, and for hanging out on feminist blogs a lot.

“How does that one work?”

It doesn’t (i.e., your second statement is correct), though that ORLY? Taitz lady attempts to claim it does. She also claimed that Magna Carta somehow empowers a “citizen grand jury” to indict Obama under our constitutional system. She’s a crank who got her law degree from a cereal box, but her “reasoning” has been clung to by the birfers with vigor.

“That there are kooky conspiracy theorists who just can’t accept that they lost and we now have a black man as the President of the United States does not surprise me.”

Sure, Orac, put it down to racism. That’s about as disingenuous as it gets. (And a bit of anti-white racial projection, maybe?)

That we have a president with no qualifications, who hung out with domestic terrorists and race-mongers, is a serial apologist, and whose policies reek of Satan-worshipping, Saul Alinsky-style socialism – while seeming to worsen everything he touches – would be more like it. Face it: We – including this black man – don’t like him or what he stands for. I say, if you want to shut up the Birthers, then just show us his friggin’ birth certificate – don’t tell us it exists, or that you’ve seen it, or how logical it should be to everyone: Just produce the damn thing. It may not work but it’s a better answer than your wrong-headed leftist swill.

You forget, Buddy (as much as I admire what you do) I’ve got your number, so don’t think you can pull this liberal race crap on me without knowing where it comes from:

You’re a liberal – the biggest race hustlers in the country – from the Dixiecrats to the Democrats, defending white or black, it’s all the same to you. But I’ve got news for you – you’ve lost me, man:

And you will be defeated.

I’m not American so haven’t been following this closely, but wasn’t the original Birther an ex-Democrat or someone who had been close to Obama in some capacity? I vaguely remember reading something like that when the thing first popped up ages ago.

If so, I guess it would at least explain why some of these nutters think the issue has legs.

Also, I’m surprised at your comments about representatives not wanting to speak out against it. Surely this stuff hasn’t spread beyond a vocal but small minority of the loony far right (and maybe the odd nutty HRC supporter)?

These ‘birther’ idiots would be perfectly happy to amend the Constitution in order to make Schwarzenegger eligible to run for president, but, now that they have lost, it is time to find any possible criticism of the winner because he is from another party.
Nobody cares at all about the country; all that matters is who wins.

Hmmm, doing some more digging into the “Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen even if he was born in Hawaii” thing, the argument seems to be this: the U.S. constitution never defines what “natural-born citizen” means, and the 14th amendment only says “citizen”, not “natural-born citizen”, so you have to go by what original intent of those who wrote the constitution, and that original intent was that a person’s father (or both parents) had to be a citizen for that person to be the president.

…the U.S. constitution never defines what “natural-born citizen” means…

Which is what kills the argument dead in its tracks.

…and the 14th amendment only says “citizen”, not “natural-born citizen”…

Not quite. The 14th. amendment draws a distinction between being “born” and being “naturalized” for citizenship. Therefore it’s perfectly reasonable to conclude that a “natural-born citizen” is simply one whose citizenship is conferred by birth.

…and that original intent was that a person’s father (or both parents) had to be a citizen for that person to be the president.

I haven’t seen this claim before. Care to provide some sauce?

Last night, there was a House bill with language that honors Hawaii as a state and explicitly mentions Hawaii as Obama’s birthplace. It passed 378-0, with 20 Republicans and 35 Democrats not voting. Not sure if any of the people who abstained were birthers, or if all of the “yes” voters were paying complete attention.

@Tyler DiPietro:

…the U.S. constitution never defines what “natural-born citizen” means…

Which is what kills the argument dead in its tracks.

Well, you can’t simply treat it as undefined, so you have to have some way of figuring out what definition to use, and constitutional intentionalism is one way of doing that.

… and that original intent was that a person’s father (or both parents) had to be a citizen for that person to be the president.

I haven’t seen this claim before. Care to provide some sauce?

From here:

He received a Kenyan/UK citizenship via his foreign father and is not a “natural born Citizen” by originnal intent.

Well, you can’t simply treat it as undefined, so you have to have some way of figuring out what definition to use, and constitutional intentionalism is one way of doing that.

So is textualism, and “natural-born citizen” pretty much begs to be interpreted as “citizen by birthright” (which is guaranteed in the 14th. amendment).

It’s also worth noting that, though “original intent” is widely cited in conservative circles as the best mode of legal interpretation, it’s actually quite shaky upon close analysis (in any legal deliberation, intentions of lawmakers vary widely, which was certainly the case with the constitution). Even Antonin Scalia doesn’t adhere to “intent originalism” as much as he adheres to “public meaning originalism”.

From here:

It looks like you’re only playing Devil’s Advocate here, but a random crazy making an assertion in one of Ed’s comment threads is not exactly what I was looking for. :-/

Sorry, not sure if this has been addressed already….

If Obama’s mom is an American citizen, then why isn’t he considered an American citizen regardless?

….so, his “non-citizenship” just happen to slip by all the universities he attended, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs where he got his passport (that requires a birth certificate), his applications for all offices (senator, president), as well as Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and the media during the election….only to be exposed now by people who are obviously distraught. Yeah, not buying it either.

The burden of evidence is on them. They have nothing but accusations. NOTHING!

Well, Stephen Colbert has just announced that the House is in the District of Columbia and technically not in the United States, so the 378-0 vote is void, ’cause Congress isn’t, er, Congress. Sorta.

Why don’t we all just agree to respond to birthers with a gentle, “you are a fucking idiot; now shut up and go away”?

Turn on the Colbert Report NOW — he’s got one of the primo birthers on. Barrel, meet fish …

It looks like you’re only playing Devil’s Advocate here, …

Partially, but it’s also that I Am Not A Lawyer, so I can’t really tell if the argument is invalid or not. The argument that Obama wasn’t really born in Hawaii is absurd, so it’s less interesting to talk about (though much more interesting for pointing-and-laughing).

That we have a president with no qualifications, who hung out with domestic terrorists and race-mongers, is a serial apologist, and whose policies reek of Satan-worshipping, Saul Alinsky-style socialism – while seeming to worsen everything he touches – would be more like it. Face it: We – including this black man – don’t like him or what he stands for. I say, if you want to shut up the Birthers, then just show us his friggin’ birth certificate – don’t tell us it exists, or that you’ve seen it, or how logical it should be to everyone: Just produce the damn thing. It may not work but it’s a better answer than your wrong-headed leftist swill.

Why am I not surprised that The Crack Emcee has birther sympathies?

Delurking for a moment…

Per the link in #27, even if the claims of the birthers were true, wouldn’t Obama STILL be a natural-born citizen by this criteria:

Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)

I mean, it’s a moot point anyway, but…

I don’t know what makes me want to vomit more:
These crazy ass “birthers” OR the fact that I now agree with Ann Coulter on something! I feel the bile in my throat and it smells like Ann!
JTD

Satan-worshiping socialism?

Didn’t you know that all socialists must be Satan-worshipers? Of course, that doesn’t explain how socialists can all be atheists too.

Geez, my Reagan-loving days of the 1980s are far behind me. 25 years ago, I’d never have thought that anyone could ever call me a socialist…

The birfers are great, people like The Crack Emcee do the daily show’s writers writing for them.

Marcus :

Also, I’m surprised at your comments about representatives not wanting to speak out against it. Surely this stuff hasn’t spread beyond a vocal but small minority of the loony far right (and maybe the odd nutty HRC supporter)?

The small minority of vocal nutcases is all the republican party has left.

Face it: We – including this black man – don’t like him or what he stands for.

That proves he was born in Kenya!!

Wait. No it doesn’t.

My mistake.

Wow, just wow!

I am an Army brat born in what was then the Panama Canal Zone. There is a law that makes us US citizens that was ratified after McCain was born (it was sometime in the 1930s). Both of my parents were born in the USA (born in Wisconsin and Washington… the latter being the state versus the city), yet there was a time when the Republic of Panama was going to declare us citizens and my dad immigration papers ready for me (my dad was also stationed there during some of my high school years, apparently he took the duty instead of his original orders to… wait for it… Hawaii!… because the officer he was to replace did not want to leave just then).

I did not turn into a Panamanian because I was born there, and because I was there for 8th, 9th and 10th grades, and because Torrijos thought it would be a good idea to declare anyone born in Gorgas Hospital were citizens!

Though I will say that a fellow band parent who has taken advantage of Hispanic opportunities for his daughter has admitted I am more Hispanic than he is. His parents came over on the first wave of Cubans escaping Castro before he was born in the late 1950s. His only claim is that his parents were born in Cuba. At least I was born in Hispanamerica (is that right… hispan y america?), lived there for a third of my youth… puedo hablar la lingua! (of course, I have not spoken or written for over thirty years…. which is more than NEVER!).

I do have a birth certificate. I can get copies by writing Washington, DC, where copies were sent after the turnover.

So does our president. He can obtain copies of his birth certificate by writing the State of Hawaii.

Oh, and this is my standard note of advice if you ever meet any with a Spanish accent: ask them where they are from.

You will find very few are from Mexico (which is the first assumption).

Also, I have learned you can really freak someone out by knowing something about the country. I love the reaction I mention Bernardo O’Higgins or Francisco de Miranda (who has hte distinction of participating in the American Revolution, the French Revolution and revolutions to seperate much of Latin America from Spain (mostly Venezuela, which is where I learned much of this stuff).

She also claimed that Magna Carta somehow empowers a “citizen grand jury” to indict Obama under our constitutional system.
It sounds like she’s also a FOTL kook as well. They’re big on how Magna Carta and “Common Law” trumps every law bought in after the 13th century anywhere in the Western world (hint: they don’t).

Oh, now I have “birther sympathies”? Where? Prove it. I offered up a solution to the problem of birthers – show them the elusive birth certificate – I didn’t say I agree with them. (I didn’t even imply it, acknowledging in my birther post that it’s “not my issue” and that I believed the National Review when they said they’ve seen it.) So where’s the great logic and fairness of Orac, now? Poof! It doesn’t exist, as I’ve always said! You’re a coward.

It’s just a bunch of liberal swill, hidden behind a bunch of bogus racism charges. And, like I also said, I’ve got your number – you’re unwillingness to acknowledge your failings regarding me and my case are as disingenuous as your birther/racism charges reveal. Attack, attack, attack, is that all you’ve got for me? Turning your “followers” on me as a kooky birther – not someone you betrayed? I guess your supposed “sympathy” for me and my plight is all used up now, so you can go back to using me for ridicule, right? Punk.

And to your idiot “followers” who, for all their intelligence, don’t know shit from Shinola in the real world, Rules For Radicals, Saul Alinsky’s primer for, both, Hillary and Obama was dedicated to Satan – something else I don’t think of as true, but must acknowledge as a part of our world because others do.

As I’ve said from the first day I found this site:

For a bunch of supposedly “smart” people, you folks are dummmb.

Better read up on your Black Lightening, kids, because you and I are in for a shocker – and you’re going to lose. I’m beating my homeopath – not dispairing about him as Orac does his situation with the loons – and I’ll beat Orac, too.

As a matter of fact, it’ll be a pleasure.

Regarding the Magna Carta: surely the point of the American revolution was to renounce the rule of British law, if you believe that British law still holds then of course Obama isn’t head of state- the Queen is!

Oh, now I have “birther sympathies”? Where? Prove it. I offered up a solution to the problem of birthers – show them the elusive birth certificate – I didn’t say I agree with them. (I didn’t even imply it, acknowledging in my birther post that it’s “not my issue” and that I believed the National Review when they said they’ve seen it.

I don’t read your blog; so how am I supposed to know what you think of the birther isue, other than what you posted here and that you seem to think that socialists worship Satan?

I guess your supposed “sympathy” for me and my plight is all used up now, so you can go back to using me for ridicule, right? Punk.

Yes and no. It’s possible to have sympathy for your plight and still think your behavior in my comment section is execrable and obnoxious. You wave your history like a talisman in front of you to ward of criticism of your behavior, which only works for so long.

The Castle town meeting was likely somewhere out in the red-state part of Delaware, where I’ve seen as many Stars and Bars flying as anywhere else I’ve been. It’s worth noting that Delaware was a border state (to the extent that those of us next door are willing to acknowledge that it’s a state at all, that is).

A border state, yeah, and its politics are a microcosm of the whole East Coast: the southern two counties are pretty Southern in feel, but the northern county (where I live) is mostly an extended cluster of Philadelphia suburbs. Most of the residents live in the northern third of the state.

According to Daily Kos, the town hall meeting was in Georgetown, which is in the southern third of the state (read: Redneckville). The woman asking the question was someone known as Crazy Eileen, who’s so completely bonkers that even the local conservative radio station, WGMD, has banned her from calling.

I am not familiar with Crazy Eileen or WGMD because I try to avoid Slower Lower (our nickname for southern Delaware). But it sounds like she’s atypical even for Sussex County, which is saying a lot.

1. The problem is that the term “natural born citizen” was not defined when the Constitution was adopted and is not defined in the 14th amendment. There have been statutes passed since then for the purpose of attempting to clarify the situation. However, as I pointed out in a comment on Ed Braytons’ blog, under one statute, a Kenyan born President Obama would not be a natural born citizen, which statute was in effect at the time of his birth and under another statute that was passed after his birth and modified some of the conditions in the first one, he would be a natural born citize, even if born in Kenya. Unless and until the Supreme Court were to find the current statute unconstitutional, the issue of original intent is nothing but a pile of crap.

2. The issue of the birth certificate, or certificate of live birth is another red herring. If someone requests a birth certificate from the State of Hawaii, the document that President Obama has posted on his web site is what they will receive. Therefore, the birthers’ complaint is not with the president but with the State of Hawaii.

3. Mr. Crack Emcees’ complaints about President Obama have nothing to do with his eligibility to be president. Even if they were true, this is a matter for the voters, not the courts. There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the election of a Socialist to the Presidency. There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents someone who palled around with terrorists from being elected president. There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents someone who attended a church whose pastor was a whackjob (by the way, it should be pointed out that the pastor of the church that former Governor Palin attended was at least as round the bend as Reverend Wright) from being elected president.

All this birther nonsense is just a way to give wing-nuts an excuse to engage in behavior that they would call treasonous if a “liberal” has engaged in it.

Is this not akin to an archaeological find that ‘proves’ the Bible? That is to say if there was evidence of that sort of calibre then the you-know-what would hit the fan. “The President of the United States is a fraud!” “The Bible is true in a way that contradicts conventional history!” Somehow since ‘birthers’ can only seem to get enough ‘evidence’ that maintains their status quo and doesn’t impact American society in any way then it’s good indication they have nothing.

P.S. The left equivalent may be when they talk about Al Gore being the rightful President.

Moving the goalpost. It is a very common denier tactic to attempt to justify their case.

Seriously, crackMC, the COFL, denoted by the seal of the Hawaii gov’t, is Hawaii’s official document stating that it exists. For the birther conspiracy to exist, nearly entire Hawaii government is colluding to hide that fact that a biracial man was born on the island nearly 50 years ago.

For you to be correct, it would involve a massive smoke screen involving Hawaiian newspapers, their department of health, the US Congress(since they just passed a resolution affirming that Obama was born in Hawaii) etc.

How about offering up a legal document, or a conversation, or any kind of evidence to support anything you are saying, THAT IS NOT A BLOG POST. Notice how when Orac is discrediting someone, he will link to studies, news stores, etc. You link to the exact same source.

Your ad hominem attacks further discredit your reliability since you cannot address a single point without calling someone a swine or a satan worshiper. Clearly, you believe your lack of any real and actual evidence can be made up for by name calling and childish posturing.

Come back when you want to act like a rational adult. Or if you are in fact a juvenile, disregard what I’ve said.

… if you want to shut up the Birthers, then just show us his friggin’ birth certificate ….

Since exactly that has been done several times, why should anyone waste their time and energy by doing it again?

Fortunately here in Canada political office is open to anyone regardless of place of birth, so we don’t have to worry about this sort of nonsense.

Heh, well, if you had the crazies that we have here, they’d find some other mad conspiracy theory to push.

Look, I’ve got some Canadian friends who have explained how an American like me can understand Canadian socio-politics, so I think I can give you a hypothetical that will help you understand: What if about 3/4 of Canada was exactly like Alberta? Eh?

Surely this stuff hasn’t spread beyond a vocal but small minority of the loony far right

Sort of. One problem is that this loony minority happens to have a lot of TV and radio shows, so credulous ignorant people (and you have them in Canada too, so don’t knock us for that!) who are upset about the election result tend to just parrot what they heard on O’Reilly or Limbaugh or Hannity or Beck. That’s still a minority, but the problem is it’s a sizable enough minority of conservative voters that a conservative candidate who pisses them off could be in some trouble come next election. So even though everybody with a brain knows it’s complete bullshit, certain people have a strong incentive to just give the whole nonsense a nod and a wink.

The really funny part about all these people (like the insane Crack Emcee, yikes) saying that Obama is a “socialist” is that Obama is probably the most moderate president the US has had since Jimmy Carter. While I recognize he’s got another 3+ years (or maybe 7) to prove himself, if the presidency keeps going like this then Obama will be remembered in the history books as the first black president, and not much else. Maybe a footnote as the one who helped usher in the first lukewarm attempt at universal healthcare, but the version that’s percolating through congress right now isn’t really very revolutionary. Cracks me up that people are calling “Socialism!” and insisting that the sky is falling…

“I don’t read your blog; so how am I supposed to know what you think of the birther isue, other than what you posted here and that you seem to think that socialists worship Satan?”

Oh, Orac, Orac, Orac, you can be such an ass sometimes – along with your idiot pal, Skemono: did I say he was born in Kenya, asshole? – basing your ideas about me on your assumptions (Ass-U-Me) which never fit. First, there’s my statement:

“If you want to shut up the Birthers, then just show us his friggin’ birth certificate – don’t tell us it exists, or that you’ve seen it, or how logical it should be to everyone: Just produce the damn thing. It may not work but it’s a better answer than your wrong-headed leftist swill.”

That “If you want to shut up the Birthers” should’ve told you I ain’t one of them, but that I, too, would like to see a birth certificate to end the controversy – it’s what any intelligent person would do if someone asked to see it: They wouldn’t send out a bunch of middle men, to say they’ve seen it, they’d just produce it. That they haven’t done so is what’s fueling the controversy.

Next, I also said I’m offering a solution that “may not work” on them – again, acknowledging the birthers as a bunch of cranks, like the U.F.O. cultists, who may not be persuaded by real evidence – but, for goodness sakes, give ’em a chance, before you go claiming they’re crazy, by doing what they ask. They’re disgruntled American citizens with every right to see the damn thing.

Your other stupid assumption is that I “seem to think that socialists worship Satan”. I never said that – back to my words:

“We have a president with no qualifications, who hung out with domestic terrorists and race-mongers, is a serial apologist, and whose policies reek of Satan-worshipping, Saul Alinsky-style socialism.”

Hmm. Nothing in there about all socialists worshipping Satan. A lot about Obama and his policies, which are right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, which was dedicated to – who? – “Lucifer“. (Alinksky coined the term “community organizer” as well.) I would’ve thought the President of the United States – and his Secretary of State (who wrote her college thesis on the book) – would’ve rejected it’s contents based solely on that, considering they both were pursuing higher office. And, if you ask me, it’s another damn good reason why anyone – including birthers – would question his credibility for the office and willingness to lie to us.

Now, Jackass, you prove to me where you got your birther/racism charge from, or did your racist ass just make it up out of thin air, as I said?

Finally, my behavior on your comments section is exactly what you deserve: you are charging people with racism who have shown none. You have dissed me as a crank when I’ve been right about a lot of shit (like Homeopathy being a cult, and the infiltration of hospitals by these cultists) that you dismissed as my crankery before – without an apology, once you changed your tune, I might add. You have not behaved as I – a person who first came to you pleading for help – would expect but as what you are: a cynical, knee-jerk liberal with a “turf” you think you’ve got to protect AKA a very small, and not very bright, man.

As Panda Bear, M.D. (who you admitted is better at this debunking shit than you are) said, I can see through your liberal science elitism – which you’ve practiced on me from the start – and that’s, partially, why you dislike me. I’ve never thought you very special, as I do the very-Christian but still down-to-earth Panda. (Which explains why you don’t even read my shit, while Panda’s made TMR his sister blog.) From the basis of “alternative” medicine (cultism) to Global Warming, you’ve been more of a representative of conventional thinking than Panda or I and you hate that anyone from the Right will claim the mantle that you liberal wing-nuts – like that idiot, P.Z. Meyers – or the “denial” dolt, Hoofnagle – have occupied. You’re a clique of conventional wisdom compared to us – and you can’t stand it.

I told you, almost four years ago, that I wasn’t going to stop – or back down – and I’m still going strong, Orac, while you’ve changed your tune to more closely match my song. If I were you, I’d start reading my blog, man:

I’m bringing in the drums real soon.

I agree with D.C. Sessions. Watching and listening to the birthers is kind of a guilty pleasure. The birthers are a respectable “Jerry Springer Show.”

I notice the woman talking to Castle says she has a birth certificate from the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA … that’s the problem!

Obama’s certificate is only from the State of Hawaii. He wasn’t born where they hand out the special certificates.

And her certificate says she is a citizen! His doesn’t! His just says he was born alive in Honolulu on a certain date.

Good grief!

“Since [showing us Obama’s birth certificate] has been done several times, why should anyone waste their time and energy by doing it again?”

Two things: 1) I ain’t seen it – no one’s provided a link to it, even, on this thread – there’s just a bunch of folks claiming they’ve seen it – and after that last election cycle, filled with a liberal media bias unseen in the history of politics (something I don’t hear any of you liberal scientists acknowledging, discussing, or repudiating as you should) nobody in their right mind is going to trust anybody’s word on shit. That’s why I don’t consider the birthers quite kooks yet: They’ve got a righteous beef.

2) It’s so elitist to say “Why do it again?” You do it because they – the American people – are demanding to see it, that’s why. It shouldn’t be difficult, so do it. Again, and again, and again, if necessary. This is the presidency we’re talking about here, and while totally non-racial liberals were happy to hand it to this loser, to get THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT!!! the rest of us want merely the best man for the job – or, at least, someone we’re sure is an American and on our side.

James Sweet,

You’re a pussy.

Crack Emcee may not have “birther sympathies”, but the post he refers to is right out of the birther playbook – i.e., raising doubts about whether Obama really has a Hawaii birth certificate even though it’s been widely posted on public websites (like Barack Obama’s personal website) for the better part of a year.

You can make legitimate, cogent arguments against President Obama’s policy positions and decisions he’s made while in office. But at this point, arguing about his heritage is utterly ridiculous and an EPIC FAIL.

To Peter Syms and a-non,

For the last time: I never – never – said I didn’t think Barack Obama was an American. I said he’s done enough, starting from even before his election, to give people pause and to doubt him on a host of issues, this being one of them. And, like the media onslaught we’ve witnessed for some time now, the Left has encouraged this wariness and doubt.

And Pete, that “exact same source” has links – in red – that you can follow, as I did, when I put them in there. Sorry if it bothers you that I don’t have time to do it twice:

I’m too busy putting a foot in Orac’s much-deserving ass.

Matthew Cline said “He received a Kenyan/UK citizenship via his foreign father and is not a “natural born Citizen”

I assume his father filed the usual “Consular Report of Birth Abroad” forms to notify his government of the birth – but that alone wouldn’t make Obama a Kenyan citizen.

Children born abroad, and those born to parents of differing citizenship status are in a legal limbo, sometimes for their entire life. It depends on the rules of the birth country and the rules of the country where the child was born how things are resolved.

He was born in Hawaii – Hawaii was a STATE – and that’s all it would take to be a “natural-born citizen” even if both his parents had been non-citizens. There are some requirements about spending enough time in the USA post-birth, but he was living in the USA long enough to satisfy those.

Obama did have, as the foreign-born child of a Kenyan citizen, a chance to claim Kenyan citizenship … when he was of legal age and could renounce his USA citizenship and formally claim Kenyan citizenship. Kenya doesn’t allow dual citizenship and does not allow late claims … a foreign-born child has to claim it soon after reaching legal age.

He did not do that, or there would be a formal renunciation of US citizenship filed with the State Department.

Nothing his parents might or might not have done on his behalf – up to and including getting him a non-USA passport, formally or informally adopting him, taking him overseas, enrolling him in school, etc. – can terminate his citizenship that stems from being born in Hawaii.

The only person who could terminate Barack Obama’s US citizenship is Barack Obama, after his 18th birthday, with a sworn declaration of renouncing US citizenship. Those are filed with the state department, they are witnessed, they are BIG MOJO! And he wouldn’t have been able to get a US passport, or a US security clearance with one of those on file.

My American niece, with a French husband, had children while they were living in England: The children at the moment are tri-citizens. England by birth, French and American by virtue of the citizenship of their parents … both consulates issued the appropriate “Certificate of Birth Abroad” and the tykes have both American and French passports. France allows a non-French wife to get a French passport, so my niece (legally, without risking her US citizenship) has a French passport too.

“the rest of us want merely the best man for the job – or, at least, someone we’re sure is an American and on our side.”

“For the last time: I never – never – said I didn’t think Barack Obama was an American.”

You know, it is hard to believe the same person said the two above quotes.

So you want someone that you’re sure is an American but you never – never – said you didn’t think he was an American?

*scratches head*

You know, it is hard to believe the same person said the two above quotes.

Heh, it reminds me of an anti-vaxer I confronted who said — with a straight face, and within the same five-minute time span — the following two statements:

“My kids will get vaccinated over my dead body!”

“I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. I just want to give people the facts and let them make their own informed choice.”

Blech. Be honest, will ya? When I talk to anti-vaxers, it is true that I try to restrict myself to merely setting the facts straight, but I’m not going to pretend I don’t have a motive: I would like to convince them to vaccinate, thank you very much. I’m not going to lie about it, because that would make me a disingenuous asswipe. (see also, The Crack Emcee)

You know, it is hard to believe the same person said the two above quotes.

Indeed. Thanks for picking that up. I can smell a disingenuous “I’m just asking questions” or “I want to see the evidence” gambit when I see one. When Crack Em said to “shut the birthers up” just show ’em the birth certificate, he said it exactly the way I’ve heard it said by birthers. The analogy above to the antivaccine movement couldn’t be more apt.

Hmm. Nothing in there about all socialists worshipping Satan. A lot about Obama and his policies, which are right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, which was dedicated to – who? – “Lucifer”. (Alinksky coined the term “community organizer” as well.)

Nice straw man. I didn’t say you thought “all” socialists worship Satan. (If you can be ridiculously pedantic, so can I).

Let’s see, though. You claim that Obama’s policies are right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals. Obama was a community organizer in his youth, and Alinsky coined the term “community organizer.” Alinsky allegedly dedicated his book to Lucifer.

I know! I’m sorry I got it wrong the first time. You didn’t mean to say that socialists worship Satan. You meant to imply that Barack Obama worships Satan. My bad. I should have seen it the first time.

“Thanks for picking that up. I can smell a disingenuous ‘I’m just asking questions’ or ‘I want to see the evidence’ gambit when I see one. When Crack Em said to ‘shut the birthers up’ just show ’em the birth certificate, he said it exactly the way I’ve heard it said by birthers. The analogy above to the antivaccine movement couldn’t be more apt.”

Great, Orac, now you’re charging me with a belief that I’ve openly – and vigorously – denied, based on how I talk. ( Just as you’ve charged the Birthers with a racism no one has seen.)

Sorry I’m not as carefully erudite as you guys, but being a prim little bitch ain’t my calling, and, I’m sure, most Birthers, etc., are “just folks” as well, so y’all can have a good ol’ time picking their english apart, too – it’s a great way to try and avoid other people’s points – if you’re a stupid elitist yourself.

You really should read my blog, dude, if only to count how often I use the “delusional thinking” tag. It definitely applies here, considering how sure of yourself you are, based on such flimsy bullshit.

Now pick that last sentence apart: I’m sure you can,…

I’m sure, most Birthers, etc., are “just folks” as well

Nice appeal to the lowest common denominator. “These folks are salt of the earth, so if you criticize the crazy shit they believe then you must be an elitist!”

James Sweet,

Jesus, dude, are you stupid?

“Nice appeal to the lowest common denominator. ‘These folks are salt of the earth, so if you criticize the crazy shit they believe then you must be an elitist!'”

No, if you spend your time dissing their language – to avoid dealing with the points they raise – then you’re using the tactics of an elitist. I’m an atheist, with a blog that’s all about crushing beliefs – not just a belief in God – so your comment wouldn’t apply to me in the least.

And I find it odd that you don’t go after Orac for his assumption of racism on their part – where’s the factual basis for it? There is none, unless a woman yelling, “This is my birth certificate,…” is racist. He’s a wide-open target for the accusation of perpetuating the very racism he claims they have (it’s called “projection”) but you let him spout that crap without a word of condemnation. Or is anti-black racism the only kind you see?

You guys are weird.

Crack Emcee:

The problem you’re failing to notice–or rather, one of the problems–is that disgruntled American citizens do not have a righteous beef if they have done no due diligence to seek answers to their questions, and certainly do not have grounds to assert a specific conclusion MERELY BECAUSE NO ONE HAS SPOONFED THEM. That is infantile.

It’s readily available at the logical sites and in high Google hits. It’s been here:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/27/obamas-birth-certificate-part-ii/

and other famous sites, such as Snopes, for a year. To act as you have in that context is reprehensible.

You really should read my blog, dude, if only to count how often I use the “delusional thinking” tag. It definitely applies here, considering how sure of yourself you are, based on such flimsy bullshit.

Trolling for traffic: you’re doing it wrong.

“I don’t read your blog; so how am I supposed to know what you think of the birther isue, other than what you posted here and that you seem to think that socialists worship Satan?”

Hmm, I don’t see any qualifiers around the line “you seem to think that socialists worship Satan”, so, since you’re so hot on language and how it’s used – and obviously so much more well-spoken than I – your claim that you didn’t say I “thought ‘all’ socialists worship Satan” sounds like bullshit to me. Do you know how to admit to someone when you’re wrong – which is one sign of a decent man – or is it all about image to you?

Face it, Orac: Every time you put your foot in your mouth, I’m going to take it out and hold it to the fire. And I’m going to keep doing that until you apologize and get a fucking clue. Why? Because you’re not a bad guy, but – as I discovered from the first – just a bad advocate for “our side” (let’s call it the Atheist American Anti-Alternative Medicine and Cultish NewAge Crew). You’re too leftist, too elitist, and too stuck in conventional thinking to be an effective leader – not that I don’t think you’d make a good one – just that, in your current incarnation, you suck BIG TIME.

I mean, look at you: “Alinsky allegedly dedicated his book to Lucifer.” No he didn’t – he dedicated his book to Satan, period. And I didn’t “imply that Barack Obama worships Satan” but said – not implied but said – his “policies reek of Satan-worshipping, Saul Alinsky-style socialism” – not the same thing by a country mile. Yet you somehow think you come off as being fair to my argument when you’re clearly twisting it – based on your every-ready bag of what you think are wonderful debating tricks (Straw Man!)

Dude, your education ain’t gonna help you with me – I’m actually *smart* – and, like you, not so humble. I’ve been battling assholes who went to better schools my whole life. I know all your tricks, and see you coming from a mile away, so don’t try to play me:

It won’t work, man.

Now, admit your fucking racism and apologize, so I can get back to tending my own lawn. You may not read my blog, but I read yours, and these racist episodes ain’t what I come here for.

Plus, you’ll be a better man for it.

Question: why are we engaging someone calling him/herself “The Crack EmCee” pimping a blog called “The Macho Response”?

“What’s even more hilarious, the far right lunatic fringe has turned on Coulter”

Philip Berg, the lead plaintiff, in the case on which review was sought by the Supreme Court about the “birth certificate controversy” is (or was) a Democratic Party activist. Birthers are hardly limited to “the far right lunatic fringe”.

@ Dave:

“If I understand it correctly, had Obama actually been born in Kenya, despite his mother being a US citizen, he wouldn’t be a natural-born US citizen, due to the way the law read at the time. So the birfers are really hanging onto that one, even though it’s idiotic. They don’t have a good explanation of how the birth announcement got into two local papers.”

Not quite. Section 1 of Article Two of the U.S. Constitution states, in pertinent part:

“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

From the US State Dept. website:

“Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock: A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) INA provided the citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child’s birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen is required. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen are required for physical presence in the U.S. to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.”

http://travel.state.gov/law/info/info_609.html

Where ever he was born, Pres. Obama’s mother met the physical presence test as the law them provided. Accordingly, he is a “natural born citizen” — which is the language used, not “born in the U.S.” For those really interested, read the 14th Amendment debates reported in the Congressional Globe. Merely being born in the U.S. was not considered sufficient by itself to confer citizenship — at least according to the drafters of the 14th Amendment. Being subject to the “jurisdiction” (e.g., legal power and authority) of the U.S. government was the key. This is why former slaves and their children were citizens, while the children of foreign Ambassabors born within the U.S. were not.

FYI: Jennie Churchill (Winston’s Mom) did not meet test so that he son was a U.S. citizen. So, although Winnie’s Mom was a U.S. citizen, he was not a “natural born citizen” and so could only be awarded an “Honorary” U.S. citizenship.

It’s readily available at the logical sites and in high Google hits.
CrackEmCee knows that perfectly well. But he’s not satisfied with websites and photos. Photos can be photoshopped! Websites lie! Everybody tells lies on the internet!!
What he wants is the actual paper certificate right there in his sweaty little hands. Examining it. Going over it with a microscope. Checking the watermarks. Checking the signatures. Subjecting it to paper tests.
The he’ll say “YES! I thought so! It’s a dammed FORGERY!!!”

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