Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Politics — Rick Moran @ 10:26 am

Richard Hofstadter was once referred to by George Will as “the iconic public intellectual of liberal condescension,” largely because one of his more popular works, the essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” took direct aim at flyover country and some of the more outlandish conspiracy theories that flourished at the time. (The essay still makes good reading, if only because Hofstadter was an excellent writer and captured the essence of the “Red Scare” so well.)

In truth, from what I know of Hofstadter and his work (largely through criticisms penned by conservative historians), he had that maddening tone in his writing that he was privy to a great truth and that only those who accepted his premises and agreed with his reasoning could grasp it. (If you are truly interested in tracing the history of conspiracy, Daniel Pipes excellent study Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From is a must read.)

Conspiracies flourish among the ignorant, the uneducated, and the oppressed according to Pipes. The Arab world lives on conspiracy. Governments find it advantageous to promote them in order to deflect criticism for the wretched conditions of their citizens.

For a while, the conspiracy culture in America was little seen or heard. Following the banishment of the John Birch Society from mainstream conservatism, modern paranoids were left without a mouthpiece to reach the population at large. They were indeed confined to the fringes where they argued incessantly among themselves in their little known journals and magazines while the world moved forward.

It is unfair to confine the paranoid style to the right as Hofstadter tried to do. Even while he was writing his essay describing it, there was the left wing fringe that saw Nazis in Washington and tried to connect the Rothschilds and the Jews to a shadowy international finance conspiracy that used the now debunked Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a factual text. (Both right and left loved that one.)

But for many years, it really didn’t matter because the fringe of both right and left were never given the opportunity to reach the public at large due to the control of media by the few. You might hear some Kluxer spouting nonsense on a small radio station somewhere or find a copy of The New American littering the floor of some public restroom. But by and large, the fringes were relegated to the, well, fringes.

All that changed with the advent of the internet, of course. Now, every manner of conspiracy nut has crawled out from underneath their rocks and polluted our discourse. Their ranting forms the background of internet chatter. A decade ago it was Vince Foster and Ron Brown, cocaine cartels, murder for hire, and other malfeasance by Bill and Hillary Clinton that garnered unwarranted attention.

Then it was Bush’s turn; war to enrich Bush’s cronies, Haliburton, the draft, detention sites for liberals - all made the greatest conspiracy hits on the left. Whether it was because the internet had become more pervasive, these lefty memes actually hit mainstream sites like Daily Kos, Oliver Willis, MyDD and the like.

Indeed, there are now two conspiracy theories that have gone nearly mainstream and have actually entered the consciousness of American citizens. The 9/11 Truthers - despite enormous evidence to the contrary that debunks every single one of their theories - are coloring people’s attitudes about that event. The pushback against the Truthers has been very heartening to see and it may be that the tide will eventually turn toward rationality.

But what do you do about a conspiracy theory like the Obama “Birthers?” Or the “Trig Truthers?” The former doesn’t believe Obama is eligible to be president because he hasn’t released a “birth certificate” stating he is a “natural born citizen.” The only possible conclusion that can be drawn, according to the Birthers, is that Obama was born elsewhere and there is a gigantic coverup to keep the information under wraps.

As with the 9/11 Truthers, facts don’t matter to these people and indeed, only serve to enrage them. Neither do facts seem to matter to the Trig Truthers whose most prominent booster, former conservative supporter of George Bush Andrew Sullivan, has labored long and hard to “prove” that little Trig Palin is not the child of Sarah Palin but of her 17 year old daughter Bristol. (This hilarious Vanity Fair timeline ices the case, that Trig is Sarah’s baby but Sullivan, weirdly, continues his quest to award the child to Bristol).

Lots of folks are enraged at Sullivan. But Sully has shown his unfitness for rational thought on a variety of subjects besides his obvious disdain for common sense in the Trig matter. Others, like torture, I believe he has been spot on.

But Sullivan telling conservatives that they have to totally cut themselves loose from talk show hosts and pop conservatives like Ann Coulter in order to regain their soul is downright strange. And it shows why he is so oblivious to the fool he is making of himself over the Trig Truther issue:

Take yours truly. I’m not a Democrat and if pushed, I’d have to say right now I’m a libertarian independent. I’m uneasy about Obama’s long-term debt, to say the least, but I’m intelligent enough to know it’s not Obama’s as such, but mainly Bush’s, and I’m also cognizant that the time to cut back may not be in the middle (or beginning) of a brutal depression. On most issues, I side with what used to be the center-right, but the GOP is poison to me and many others. Why?

Their abandonment of limited government, their absurd spending under Bush, their contempt for civil liberties, their rigid mindset, their hostility to others, their worship of the executive branch, their contempt for judicial checks, their cluelessness with racial minorities and immigrants, their endorsement of torture as an American value, their homophobia, their know-nothing Christianism, and the sheer vileness of their leaders - from the dumb-as-a-post Steele to the brittle, money-grubbing cynic, Coulter and hollow, partisan neo-fascist Hannity.

I’m waiting for the first leading Republican to do to these grandstanding goons what Clinton once did to the extremists in his own ranks: reject them, excoriate them, remind people that they do not have a monopoly on conservatism and that decent right-of-center people actually find their vision repellent. And then to articulate a positive vision for taking this country forward, expanding liberty, exposing corruption, reducing government’s burden, unwinding ungovernable empire, and defending civic virtue without going on Jihads against other people’s vices.

If today’s “conservatives” spent one tenth of the time saying what they were for rather than who they’re against, they might get somewhere. But the truth is: whom they hate is their core motivation right now. That’s how they define themselves. And as long as they do, Americans will rightly and soundly reject them.

Sully is “uneasy” over Obama’s long term debt but blames Bush? He is blaming Obama’s predecessor for deficits 10 years down the road?

See what I mean by strange? I believe any reasonably informed individual could easily correct Sullivan by pointing out that the $11 trillion in debt (best case scenario) - the “long term debt” that Andrew is “uneasy” about but that he blames on Bush - is a direct result of the president’s budget proposals for which he, and he alone, is responsible. But Sully’s Obama worship has unbalanced him to the point that he apes the worst blindness to incompetence of the Bushbots he railed against for years. It can’t be his hero’s fault.

Sullivan’s wildly exaggerated, insulting, misinformed, and I suspect deliberately misconstrued critique of Republicans is typical of someone who ignores facts, eschews logic and reason, and abandons rationality while embracing a kooky conspiracy theory about the origins of a baby.

His rant defines Hofstadter’s other major contribution to paranoid political analysis by revealing Sullivan is suffering from the idea of the “First Party System” where fear that the “other party” will destroy the country dominates. Calling Sean Hannity a “neo-fascist” is remarkably silly, on the order of calling Bill Clinton a murderer. Sullivan isn’t just exaggerating. He has allowed hysteria to overtake his faculties so that what appears to any rational human as gross hyperbole strikes him, I’m sure, as reasonable analysis.

He is asking for a “Sister Souljah” moment from leading Republicans who listen to Rush, Coulter, Hannity (a neo-fascist? C’mon Andrew), and the rest of the cotton candy conservative brigade. I take a back seat to no one in urging my conservative friends to wean themselves from these pop conservative’s idea of “conservative philosophy” but neither do I believe it necessary to castrate them. All I and other pragmatists are asking for is putting these jokers in their proper place and take them for what they are; entertainers. Their popularity is a symptom of the dearth of leadership on the right at the moment. And I suspect once that situation is resolved, Limbaugh and his ilk will fade in influence and importance.

Sullivan is not interested in saving the right from itself, of course. His rhetoric has now wholly devolved into the childish mutterings of leftist paranoids who see “Christianists” on a par with Islamists and “hate mongering” from those who criticize liberal policies. It has brought him fame, a good living, and a seat at the table with the big boys.

I wonder if they realize how far out there on the fringe he truly is?


  1. I believe any reasonably informed individual could easily correct Sullivan by pointing out that the $11 trillion in debt (best case scenario) - the “long term debt” that Andrew is “uneasy” about but that he blames on Bush - is a direct result of the president’s budget proposals for which he, and he alone, is responsible.

    Sad stuff. Bush runs the country for 8 years, hands a massive economic crisis off to Obama, then when Obama does what every non-Fox economist says he has to do to rescue the country, it’s all Obama’s fault. 100%. And Bush deserves 0%.

    Drivel. And worse than drivel, Rick, it’s precisely the kind of irrational, my-side-must-be-right and the other-side-must-be-evil magical thinking you’re attacking in this piece.

    The notion that Bush is not to blame for the steaming pile of horse product he dumped on Obama is a perfect example of crazy fringe thinking. Nice try, but the country ain’t buying.

    The long term debt will be a direct result of trillions of dollars spent not having anything to do with fixing the economy but with advancing liberal policy objectives.

    And btw - thousands of economists - about 2000 to be exact - disagree that Obama’s pumping trillions of dollars into the economy is the prescription for recovery. Sorry, but that’s partisan poppycock - talking points straight from the White House.

    You disappoint me to be so slavishly devoted to a politician that you can’t admit when he’s fucking up.


    Comment by michael reynolds — 5/6/2009 @ 11:03 am

  2. I always found that most of us believe something to be true an then collect evidence to verify our view. Trying to be rational also means keeping your ego in check and accepting the possible validity of the opposing view (and I’ll be the first to admit that is not always easy). Since many of the more outlandish views are not fact driven but rather reflect the rather poor psychological state of that person, arguing is almost always futile.
    Case in point: you correctly point to the throwing around of ’socialism’, ‘fascism’ charges toward Obama or Bush by the fringes without knowing what they are talking about. I find it quite offensive toward the victims of these regimes and I could go into personal history. However, I don’t think the people saying these things are in any way interested in the truth or in helping our country but only to satisfy their ego.

    Comment by funny man — 5/6/2009 @ 11:43 am

  3. Michael;
    You never disappoint. I believe Rick’s point was about Sully’s uneasiness with Obama’s debt but seeming inability to assign responsibility for debt problems to Obama. A rational stance could be to express concern AND assign responsibility for debt issues to both Bush and Obama. One could then point out that, insofar that debt is a problem, that Pres. Obama has seriously compounded that problem. It appears Sully couldn’t take that step because…

    But back to my main point. Rick says black, you say white (Except when he says something you agree with then you suggest he’s deluded for remaining a Republican. “Luke. I am your father!”)

    You don’t disappoint

    Comment by c3 — 5/6/2009 @ 11:46 am

  4. Bob runs the family finaces for 8 years. Then just as Bob is due to move out it gets revealed that the house is about to be foreclosed on.

    Tom takes over the family finances and takes out a second mortage so that the family can keep a roof over their heads.

    Whose fault is it that Tom had to incur the debt?

    Comment by KenGirard — 5/6/2009 @ 11:49 am

  5. Ken -

    Sorry, but your analogy is lacking at best, so let me help you out with what is so blindingly left out by you and your type …

    What you forget to mention is that Tom was a knowing participant in at least the last 2 years of Bob’s financial malfeasance. Tom, along with his odd and assorted aunts, uncles, cousins and sundry other shirt-tail relatives were all co-signers on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th ’second-mortgages’ that were already taken out on the family house under Bob’s tenure as CFO. Now that Bob is gone and Tom is in charge, it is completely disingenuous (read a complete and total LIE) to claim no responsibility whatsoever for the mess he had a hand (however small) in helping create. What is even more absurd is Tom’s notion that the ’solution’ to this all is to take out a new ’super-mortgage’ that in and of itself is going to cost more than total of Bob’s original mortgage + all the ’second’ mortgages he (Bob) co-signed for + plus all the mortgages and second mortgages of the previous 42 owners of the house.

    If that is too complicated for you wrap your brain around, let me simplify. You can NOT get out of debt by exponentially increasing your debt. The whole second mortgage game played by so many in this country is what caused this mess. Yes, Bush was a financial dolt, but Obama is making him look bush league (pun intended) when it comes to comparing their abilities to rack up massive and unsustainable levels of debt. Our current CFO is on track to create more debt by his very own lonesome than the previous 43 occupants of the White House combined. Sorry, but there is absolutely no way on God’s green earth to justify that.

    Comment by Michael S. — 5/6/2009 @ 1:25 pm

  6. Rick said:

    And btw - thousands of economists - about 2000 to be exact - disagree that Obama’s pumping trillions of dollars into the economy is the prescription for recovery.

    So these economists don’t subscribe to Keynesian Economic Theory. What then, do they say is the proper approach to dealing with the current nightmare?

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 5/6/2009 @ 1:32 pm

  7. All I and other pragmatists are asking for is putting these jokers in their proper place and take them for what they are; entertainers. Their popularity is a symptom of the dearth of leadership on the right at the moment. And I suspect once that situation is resolved, Limbaugh and his ilk will fade in influence and importance.

    Yes, they are entertainers, but with an important difference. They are also conservative in their worldview, which is a huge improvement over commedians of the left, and the likes of Alan Colmes.

    I thought this was obvious; no one I know is running around waving a sign saying “Limbaugh for President”, or “Coulter for Senator”. Meanwhile, we are indeed running around trying to find viable candidates for openings in 2010, and a Messiah of our very own to run in 2012. That, to me, is the key missing ingredient, not this awful soul-searching and interparty rifting that gives the opposition such a hilarious opening to downplay conservatism.

    Conservatism has just about always been a movement of major political segments, just as the Republican Party has been a coalition that hoped to weld all kinds of odd groups into an election winning behemouth–one group being plain old conservatives. This is why Moran is correct in saying, in effect, that social litmus tests should be forgotten during party election buildup time. A vote has no marks of origin on it.

    However, I have yet to see what Moran calls “moderate conservatism” defined or interpreted in sufficient detail (issue by issue), which, as we all know, is where the devil is. I do hope that he continues to develop this theme in expanding scope and detail, for in the end a viable and believable party line may be forthcoming that helps to bring all of the factions closer together, and perhaps helps to add a few independents as well.

    This is a great hope! There is no doubt in my mind that we need every vote we can get to defeat the Democrats in the next few elections, and finding common ground for the voters to rally around is the way to go.

    Comment by mannning — 5/6/2009 @ 3:10 pm

  8. Is there a difference between this: http://www.exposeobama.com/ and the John Birch Society?

    I heard an interview with the man who runs the “expose” Obama website. He basically admitted he throws red meat to hungry dogs for pay. His stated goal was to de-legitimize candidate Obama and now (I suppose) president Obama.

    Were the Birchers political operatives that peddled in half truths and bullsh!t for pay or were they genuine fringe thinkers?

    How much of the crazy talk that Americans expose themselves to on a daily basis is just a guy talkin sh!t for a pay check? How much of it is espoused by true believers?

    Does this distinction even matter when we think about the corroding influence that crazy talk has on our political discourse?

    Comment by bsjones — 5/6/2009 @ 3:11 pm

  9. Great post, Rick! The oddity about Hofstadter’s article is that it presupposed that leftists were not conspiracy theory types, a supposition that was about to come under great assault by the Kennedy assassination nutbars and the crazy conspiracy theories that flourished in the antiwar movement of the 1960s: Remember the bit about how LBJ’s wife had vast rubber plantations in South Vietnam and that’s why we were fighting the North Vietnamese takeover?

    Here’s the other oddity: the paranoid left largely disappeared from the mid-1970s to around 2000, when they initially coalesced around the Florida recount, then hopped on board the 9-11 Truth bandwagon.

    The Trig Truth thing and especially Andrew’s involvement in it is really, really strange. It’s not something I have ever seen the 9-11 Truthers even mention, although most of them clearly have no love for the GOP. When it’s too fringy for the Trooofers, it’s way out there.

    Comment by Pat Curley — 5/6/2009 @ 3:48 pm

  10. Rick, did you really mean 2000 economists? The full page CATO advertisement had 200 names. An impressive lineup regardless. (I spot checked 10 or so names to verify that it wasn’t overtly padded.)
    I was unable to find (in a quick lazy search) an estimate of the total number of economists in the U.S. 200 seems like a small number relative to the number of colleges and universities.

    Comment by Bill Arnold — 5/6/2009 @ 4:32 pm

  11. IMO it is never a good idea to cite Daniel “Crack” Pipes. But then you did title the post “News From the Fringes”.

    Comment by HyperIon — 5/6/2009 @ 4:44 pm

  12. The difference with your “entertainers” is that they get to call your politicians into line. So you are being more than a little disengenuous there.

    Comment by yoyo — 5/6/2009 @ 5:27 pm

  13. If you’re going to equate Trig Trutherism with Birth Certificate Trutherism I’d like to see the prominent rightie that is pushing the former. I see this all the time: Reid calls Bush a liar but Rush said something bad about Pelosi so it’s okay.

    And when did EVERYONE become a Keynesian? I took Economics in grad school and undergrad (80s and 90s) and Keynesian economic theory was treated as crazy talk across a number of professors. And now the most recent experience with Keynesian theory (after my course work), Japan, has been a disaster. Of course that’s all explained away because they didn’t do it right. Sound familiar? Yup, same way Stalin and Mao didn’t ’spoil’ socialism for the masses. They didn’t do it right! We can make it work!

    Finally, our cumulative deficit is about 40% of the size of our economy (maybe a little higher now). I think that means, roughly, that if we shut down the government for a year and charged a 40% flat tax we’d be debt free (not that this is possible, just detailing the concept) a year later. Japan’s borrowing is 180% of their annual GDP. The US paying off all its debt is absurd. But Japan’s situation is impossible. Based on Obama’s own budget, our total debt it projected to be at about 80% of the economy in ten years. I bet Japan made a similar projection. But they, Japan and now Obama, build in rosy assumptions - low interest rates, the return of high growth - that effectively disguise the real impact. This is why the people love Obama but not so much his plans. They intuitively understand that a chicken in every pot paid for by someone else will eventually run out of someone elses. Obama may be flying high (or highish) right now but can he really bamboozle the people for four years? We’ll see.

    Comment by EBJ — 5/6/2009 @ 5:33 pm

  14. This “what is a moderate / what is a true conservative” debate with its accompanying hurt feelings and finger pointing is beginning to resemble a dog chasing it’s tail. Now anyone who criticizes a moderate will soon be seen hanging around area 51? I know rhetoric has become heated, but do so many people miss the point? The backlash against moderate conservatives or “RINO” Republicans began as a reaction to specific individuals in the Republican Party who, in order to promote themselves and curry favor with the media, went out of their way to label themselves as moderates as defined by liberal Democrats. The moderate or pragmatic position cannot be defined by one side or another, it has to be arrived at by reasoned objective debate and compromise. When John McCain, for instance, seeks out a camera and claims the moderate label on immigration or climate change he always adopts the language and terms of the opposition. When this happens he provides liberals with license to brand any position more conservative than his own as extreme. This does much to promote the individual and nothing to advance either the party or conservatism. Why should liberal Democrats debate a complex, divisive issue and expose themselves when they can define the middle ground and a herd of RINOS stampedes over the rest of us trying to occupy that ground? I have spent enough time on this blog and others to realize there are a great many people who define themselves as moderate and you feel you will soon need to know some password or secret hand shake in order to participate in a discussion of conservative politics. This controversy is not about those who are willing to engage liberals in debate and make policy based on compromise, it is about those in positions of influence whose motivation for compromise has more to do with self interest or self image (a maverick) than in a vision of politics as “the art of the possible”. If the profile does not apply to you, then it is not directed at you. Those to whom it applies know who they are and try to confuse the issue so as to discredit their critics. Once again they put self interest first.

    Comment by dmirishman — 5/6/2009 @ 6:23 pm

  15. Let me tell you about Obama’s supposed screw-ups: he’s at about 70% in the polls. So if he’s screwing up, he’s doing it in a way the American people like.

    I recently moved from North Carolina to California. (By way of Tuscany.) I have health insurance in NC, but when I went to CA I was rejected. Why? Pre-existing conditions. I’m in reasonably good health — for a middle-aged guy. Rejected anyway, my property, everything I have, suddenly in jeopardy.

    Name a single developed country where I’d ever have to go without health insurance. There’s only one: the USA.

    Fortunately I make a nice living. So I hired a guy, and the guy seems to have worked it all out. But most people can’t afford to “hire a guy.” Most people can’t just throw money at the problem.

    But this experience has pushed me from “the health insurance companies are criminal enterprises but I guess we should keep them in business,” to, “the health insurance companies are criminal enterprises and I hope Obama doesn’t compromise but puts these assholes out of business.”

    Give me a choice between the health care the French have and what we get? Not even close. No Frenchman is ever bankrupted by health expenses. Ever.

    There’s a lot wrong with this country. Our medical insurance system is a disgrace, our infrastructure is an embarrassment, our primary educational system is a 19th century relic, people working 40 hours a week can’t feed themselves while incompetent CEO’s vote themselves million dollar bonuses.

    I am willing to pay more to have those problems addressed. I’m in the top tax rate, and I am WILLING to pay to fix this. I am not alone in this. An awful lot of us who are doing well are willing to pay.

    Now, I’d prefer to have not let things get to this desperate pass, but we’ve had a country run by Republicans for most of my adult life, and Republicans, as we know, love tax cuts for rich people above all other things. So our roads, airports, ports, internet infrastructure, electrical grid, primary educational system and health care system are a disgrace. So now we end up paying more to fix problems Republicans pretended didn’t exist because they didn’t exist for rich people.

    You know, I actually hope you guys find a way forward. But the way forward for the GOP or conservatives is not through amnesia. You are not going to get away with pretending the last 8 years under 43, and the 4 years under 41, and the Reagan years, didn’t happen.

    George W. Bush is yours, you own him, and you own the results of your disastrous, magical thinking policies. And now thanks to the GOP, and thanks to conservatives, we have a mile high pile of crap to shovel. It would be nice to have your help, but since you seem permanently stuck on useless, I guess we’re going to have to fix your mess ourselves.

    And let me tell you something: you are right to be scared. Because if we succeed — and I think we will, at least Wall Street seems to think we will — it will spell the end of your deluded, fantasy ideology. Unfortunately, all that is good and useful and necessary in genuine conservatism may be swept away at the same time.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 5/6/2009 @ 8:43 pm

  16. well said michael r, I’m an australian full health care emergency, chronic etc costs me 1.5% of my gross income. If i was a low income earner it would be free. My daughter had a chronic condition in her early years with multiple hospital stays, some in intensive care, except for ambulance insurance I have never been stressed by my medical costs.

    Why are you americans so happy to pay too much to greedy thieves for a substandard service? In Aus many people have private health insurance for extras like cosmetic surgery however if they are really ill or injured they always go public because the service is better. How can such a huge country as the US have it in reverse?

    Comment by yoyo — 5/6/2009 @ 9:02 pm

  17. Michael;
    How does that rant fit in this thread?

    Comment by c3 — 5/6/2009 @ 9:34 pm

  18. More news from the fringe:

    Get your Venn Diagram ready.

    Compare this:

    to this:

    Decidedly different guests. Which interview style leads to understanding?

    Comment by bsjones — 5/7/2009 @ 2:19 am

  19. This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 5/7/2009, at The Unreligious Right

    Comment by UNRR — 5/7/2009 @ 5:27 am

  20. Truthers?” The former doesn’t believe Obama is eligible to be president because he hasn’t released a “birth certificate” stating he is a “natural born citizen.”

    I have a very simple factual question to which no one knows the answer: In what hospital was Obama born?

    Second question: Why has Obama spent tons of money on lawyers to keep anyone from finding out?

    Meanwhile, I do have access to George Bush’s National Guard dental record from Alabama in 1972.

    Comment by Locomotive Breath — 5/7/2009 @ 7:18 am

  21. @Locomotive Breath:

    How much has Obama paid to lawyers? Its the State of Hawaii that won’t release the birth certificate . . . I would think that the State is funding the costs of any legal action.
    Is there currently a lawsuit going on with Obama involved (well, his lawyer)?

    I’m confused because several people have seen and verified the birth certificate. You can get high-resolution scans (complete with the embossed seal and the non-blacked out certificate number) at:
    They’ve also got a scan of the birth announcement in the period newspaper (discovered by an anti-Obama investigator during the campaign). Factcheck.org tends to play it pretty much as close to neutral as I think a human being can — they call shenanigans on the Blues as easily as on the Reds.

    If I’m missing something, please fill me in. I loves me a good conspiracy theory. 99% are hokum, but sometimes you find one that raises your eyebrow. I think the Truthers are chowderheads, but I easily admit that lack of expected plane debris at the Pentagon is . . . odd. Not Truther odd, but odd nonetheless — and I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the “magic bullet” theory (or the Deus ex Machina bullet, since caling it “magic” is like calling the Grand Canyon a “divot”).

    I’m skeptical of the Birthers, but I’m more than open to being converted. You sound like you know more about it than me, so maybe you can answer a question about the conspiracy I’ve always wondered about — why Obama? I mean, if the plan is to plant evidence 40 years ago (i.e. the birth announcement in the newspaper) to slip a presumed secret double agent into the White House, why pick a black guy with a Muslim name? Of all the secret agents you could think in 1961 that possibly had a snowball’s chance in Hell of actually getting elected President, I can’t think of a stereotype that would be more of a longshot (at the time). What’s the supposed master strategy, and what about it made looking at the black son of a Muslim made them think this was their shot?

    Comment by busboy33 — 5/7/2009 @ 11:07 am

  22. Michael - whoah! you sure have a lot of pent up frustration and anger! A large majority of the ‘American people that like’ Obama - are exactly that - they LIKE Obama, they have no clue about his policies or ideaologies - they LIKE Obama as a super-star or celebrity. Most have no clue what they voted for or what they are in for, but I hope they fasten their seatbelts, because they are in for the ride of their lives!

    While I see your point about healthcare and can sympathize with your situation - and I agree the system needs an overhaul - I TOTALLY and COMPLETELY disagree that the government needs to take it over and manage health care. I want control over my health care and the services that I want, not what the government wants to ALLOW me to have.

    Yes, our infastructure is in a mess - but to blame it solely on the Reublican’s is being naive at best. Just what party do you think was in control of Congress for the last 2 years, as well as previous years at times? This is a NON-PARTISAN mess, and trying to lay blame to one side or the other does NOTHING to help clean it up. Additionally, if you think Obama is trying to clean it up, you are again being naive.

    Yes, we have a hole to dig out of, but spending trillions and trillions and amassing a debt that size that most of us cannot even comprehend is NOT the way to dig out of it. Money management is a pretty basic principal, whether you are dealing with $100K a year or trillions. You simply cannot continue to mortgage your way out of a hole. You pay off your debts and become solvent, then start fixing your problems - not the other way around. And even if this were possible - do you ACTUALLY think these trillions of dollars in the stimulus, omnibus, and budget are going to help with infastructure, healthcare, education, etc???? NO!!! The money goes to pet projects of all the corrupt Republican and Democratic Congress members. EVERY ONE OF THEM.

    If you believe that the Republican’s have been in charge for most of your adult life, then I suggest you revisit history. Just because you have a Republican POTUS, doesn’t make the Republican’s ‘in charge’ - to be in charge you MUST have a majority vote! If you don’t understand that basic principal, how could you possibly comprehend the complexity of the economic situation at hand. The Dems are just as much to blame as the Reps.

    I would imagine one day when you are declined some life saving drug or treatment because the government decides you are past the age of usefullness, you might look back and regret your position on the matter and see that government is never a good substitute for self-responsibility.

    Comment by Sally Hill — 5/7/2009 @ 1:04 pm

  23. Locomotive breath confirms that asking pointed questions only gets you more suspicious looks and then that knowing look of “oh, you’re in on it too”

    Comment by c3 — 5/7/2009 @ 3:16 pm

  24. @c3:

    I’m being dead serious. I’m not aware of Obama being involved in litigation to hide the birth certificate — if there is a lawsuit, especially if Obama is paying for the legal team, I’d like to learn about it. Locomotive Breath sounds as if he’s aware of an actual case, and if there is one that would certainly raise some serious questions (depending on what the details are). I don’t like it when things don’t make sense, and it doesn’t make sense to me to litigate and spend money to keep a document secret when its already been released. That would be extremely suspicious (to say the least) so if there is something going on, I want to know about it. I’m holding a printed copy of Obama’s birth certificate in my hand — looks legit to me, but if there’s a reason to think this (not the ‘07 copy Corsi made a fuss about) is bogus, then I’m all ears.

    Since he’s asking “pointed questions” he sounds like he’s more familiar with the details of this stuff than I am, so I’m trying to get another person’s perspective on the matter to hopefully broaden my horizions. If he (or she) knows about the Birther position, then maybe he can answer my question. I’m not giving anybody suspicious looks . . . I’m trying to figure out what the fuss is about. Despite some (IMHO) legitimate factual questions the Truthers raise, I can’t get beyond the starting gate with the whole idea because it just doesn’t make any sense. I have the same problem when I talk to Birthers, and if L.B. knows something about it then maybe he can help me see whatever it is I’m mising. I have no opinion about whether L.B.’s a Birther or not, but his “pointed questions” suggest he knows more about the theory than I do (or else he’s just randomly making things up, which I assume isn’t the case).

    Trust me, when I’m being flippant I don’t think you’ll have any problem spotting it. For an example of me being a smart-a$$, see my comment on Rick’s next post.

    p.s. — I have no idea what hospital I was born in. I know it was Metheuen, Mass., and its such a small town that there’s probably only one in the area (I’m guessing), but I wouldn’t think that’s information most people have. Has somebody checked hospital birth records in the area and failed to find any record? That would be interesting . . . presuming they had access to all the birth records from all the Honalulu hospitals in service at the time. Again, I’m unaware of the details about this — that’s why I didn’t say anything about the hospital question one way or another.

    Comment by busboy33 — 5/7/2009 @ 4:42 pm

  25. More news from the Fringe:

    Why Obama will Never be MY President.


    Comment by bsjones — 5/8/2009 @ 12:49 am

  26. I ended up in the wrong thread’s comments and noticed this before I left, and figured I’d comment.

    … but I easily admit that lack of expected plane debris at the Pentagon is . . . odd.

    It’s ‘odd’ because it’s really rare for a commercial plane to hit the ground at full throttle. People don’t have a lot of everyday experience with aluminum subjected to that sort of energy, so we think of metal as bending and deforming as opposed to shattering into tiny shards.

    Same thing with the tiny, tiny bits that the WTC towers and their contents ended up in. It looked like everything in it was blown up because of the huge crushing energy of the 1/4 mile drop of ton and tons of material.

    It evades “common sense” by virtue of being an uncommon event.

    Comment by Dwight — 5/8/2009 @ 9:44 am

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