Saturday, May 7, 2011

Too little, too late

There's a new trend around the right-wing internets that's kind of amusing me. Via Outside the Beltway:

It’s aggravating that Birtherism managed to get even the amount of traction that it did. But it’s a relief that, once the hard proof was out there, only the truly wacky fringe are holding onto it. As Prof. Jacobson put it, “what is clear is that the evidence mattered, much more so than skin color.” It shouldn’t have ever required this extra level of proof, but once it was available, Birtherism was done for.

So, henceforth, anyone who insists upon holding onto their conviction that opposition to Obama is purely motivated by his race will find themselves joining Birthers as personae non grata. At this point it’s at least as irrational.

Yes, you read that right. Anyone that suggests that racism has anything at all to do with the batshit crazy opposition against Obama is now on par with people that think there was some Islamic/African plot formed almost 50 years ago to forge a birth certificate so that an "outsider" could destroy America from within. Apparently the right now wants a cookie because those amazing numbers from a few weeks ago showing how many of them are birthers dropped once Obama released his birth certificate:

Chart courtesy Washington Post/ABC News

Never mind that he actually did that years ago.

Dodd links to Ben Smith over at Politico, who also pushes the idea yeah, that birther stuff was like, totally crazy yo, but there's crazy to be found everywhere, like in "leftist" 9/11 truther theories, so this whole birther thing had nothing to do with racism.

A couple of thoughts.

First, like I've said a thousand fucking times, the problem isn't that crazy people exist. The problem is that the Republicans have a pattern of mainstreaming their crazy for political gain to the detriment of the entire country. Not only do I not recall any Democratic candidates over the past ten years expressing doubt over President Bush's complicity in the 9/11 attacks, I don't recall the mainstream media ever asking them about it at all, because it's a fucking fringe conspiracy theory.

Second, I don't know how the question was phrased in the truther poll; the idea that we shot our own missiles at the WTC is pretty much grabbed out of the records of nothing or someone's ass. But as far as the "Bush knew" theory? That actually has a bit more credibility, because do we know that:
  1. There was already a conspiracy theory centered around letting an attack on the United States happen in order to justify our involvement in a war that served as a primer for conspiracy theories regarding the former president.

  2. The focus of attention after 9/11 turned abnormally quick towards warring with Iraq, a county which had nothing to do with the attacks on the US.

  3. We know that 9/11 was indeed used to justify a separate goal of removing Saddam from power.

  4. Remember that whole "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" memo? Yeah.
Now let's look at the rational behind the "Obama is not an American citizen" theory.
  1. His father was from Kenya

  2. Obama grew up in Hawaii.

  3. Obama is black, Africans are black

  4. Obama's middle name is Hussein
And there's that.

Third, that blatant, in-your-face facts have changed minds says nothing about why this became an issue in the first place. Look, it's wonderful that after cowing the president into doing something no other leader of this nation was forced to do, the Republicans are changing their tune. Perhaps now that this is out of the way, we can go back to discussing the real things that are destroying our empire, like women or gay men fucking. But the fact that the Republicans, after being made to look like fools, are now dismissing birtherism (after Donald Trump has pretty much successfully framed his current gifting scheme around it) says little about the origins of the conspiracy theory in the first place, or why it took off like a wildfire when it should of been laughed out of the room a long time ago.

You don't get to say now, after you've been made fools of, that this change of heart somehow proves the Republican party is in a sane place, or that this whole moronic debacle would have totally happened if the elected president was the typical, old southern boy white guy. Clinton always had the conspiracy theorists after him as well, but there's really nothing that compares to this level of stupid. Besides, all that's really happened is the screech box has been cleared for newer, more exciting, "deather" theories, because there's apparently something suspicious about the President of the United States hunting down America's Public Enemy #1.

I realize that this whole birther issue is now a complete embarrassment, and it only reinforces the assumed racism within the Republican party, and that it looks terrible for them. But after all the identity politicking they've pulled, what did they really expect? That the same people that they've been deliberately priming with racist dog whistles would take a rumor that the president isn't "one of us" and magically reject it once it got to the point of the absurd? Of course not. This is the beast they created. Everything since Nixon's Southern Strategy to Reagan's "State's Rights" speech to Jessie Helm's "Hands" ad has been leading up to this spectacular moment in xenophobic stupidity. Republicans wanted the Dixiecrats, they courted the Dixiecrats, and now those Dixiecrats are Dixiecons, through and through. You own them, Republicans. Enjoy.

So sure, I'm glad you finally joined the rest of reality when it comes to Obama's nationality. But it was your framework that allowed this nonsense to flourish in the first place. So sadly, there is no cookie for you today, right-wingers. Just more examples of why you'll be impotent and obsolete in another 10-20 years.

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