For Your Birther Reading Pleasure

by Vince

I give you a slew of reads to satisfy (or challenge) your birther tastes.

Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, says enough is enough:

In an interview with CNN’s John King, Brewer called the issue a “huge distraction” and said that doubters have failed to offer any proof that President Obama was born outside the country.

“It’s just something I believe is leading our country down a path of destruction, and it just is not serving any good purpose,” Brewer said, calling it a distraction from the much more pressing issue of the economy.

“I think we really just need to move on,” Brewer continued. “Everybody’s had two years to prove, if they wanted to, that he was not born in Hawaii. They haven’t come up with any of that kind of proof.”

Kevin Drum sees the power in xenophobic talking points:

This is why last summer’s Fox-fest of xenophobia — Shirley Sherrod, the Ground Zero mosque, the New Black Panthers, anchor babies, liberation theology, etc. etc. — was so effective. It’s also why all the birther nonsense is so powerful. Without the constant drumbeat of racially charged crap from the likes of Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Dinesh D’Souza, it might just be a fringe curiosity. But with it, it gets a patina of intellectual support that turns it into a dangerous and mainstream belief.

Everybody involved in this pretends to be outraged if you point out what they’re doing. But anyone with a pulse can see what’s going on. And guess what? Summer is coming! There’s no midterm election in the offing, so maybe Fox News will decide to cool it on the xenophobia front this year. But then again, maybe not. Nobody on the right really called them out on this last year, and there doesn’t seem to be any real limit to their shamelessness. So maybe they’ll try it again. It seems to be pretty good for ratings, after all.

David Frum goes in for the kill on birtherism and laments the current state of the GOP:

Any last lingering doubts that maybe, perhaps, a pregnant Stanley Ann Dunham in the summer of 1961 boarded a propeller plane from Honolulu to Los Angeles, then from Los Angeles to New York City, then from New York City to Gander, then from Gander to London, then from London to Nairobi – and then repeated the trip backward a few weeks later – all so that her baby could acquire Kenyan nationality – those doubts are definitively squelched, as they should have been three years ago.

Now the more haunting question: How did this poisonous and not very subtly racist allegation get such a grip on our conservative movement and our Republican party?

I know there will be Republican writers and conservative publicists who will now deny that birtherism ever did get a grip. Sorry, that’s just wrong. Not only did Trump surge ahead in Republican polls by flaming racial fires – not only did conservative media outlets from Fox to Drudge to the Breitbart sites indulge the birthers – but so also did every Republican candidate who said, “I take the president at his word.” Birthers did not doubt the president’s “word.” They were doubting the official records of the state of Hawaii. It’s like answering a 9/11 conspiracist by saying, “I take the 9/11 families at their word that they lost their loved ones.”

Finally, on a slightly different note, DiA proposes removing the “born in United States” clause from the Constitution:

My 69-year-old father was born and raised in Saskatchewan. In his twenties, he became an American citizen by serving in the U.S. Army. He became a policeman in Missouri, and subsequently served the public as the chief of police in two Iowa towns for upwards of 30 years. What’s the point of keeping Americans like this out of the Oval Office? When the rubber hits the road, they might sell us all out to Ottawa? To the Indonesians? What? It seems to me that any worry about divided loyalties can be more than adequately debated and decided within the electoral process. I don’t think Arnold Schwarzenegger or Arriana Huffington would make a very good president, but the idea that they’re ineligible simply because they first saw light in foreign lands strikes me as, yes, un-American.

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