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4/28/2011
Birthers Appear Unimpressed with Obama Birth Certificate

My latest PJ Media column looks at the stubborn stupidity that is the Birther movement in the wake of the release of Obama’s birth certificate:

A sample:

For the true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool, never-say-never birthers, the only thing that will apparently convince them of the provenance of Obama’s birth is a document that tells them exactly what they believe — that the president wasn’t born here and is therefore ineligible to hold office. Any evidence to the contrary is dismissed as fake or forged, or is simply ignored as not worthy of their attention.

To wit: When confronted with irrefutable proof that you have been wrong all along, concentrate on minutiae that, at least in your own mind, can keep the theory alive. Here’s a comment from Roger L. Simon’s “Teachable Moment” post on the Tatler:

A color copy, and everyone uses black ink to sign their name? 90% of pens in the world are blue.

This is an obvious forgery.

It is sad and pathetic, yes. After having gone through several hundred comments on sites ranging from Hot Air to Newsbusters, the only conclusion I can draw is the astonishing fact that not one single birther admits to error. I would hope that there are some birthers who have seen the light and are too embarrassed or depressed to comment about it. But those that took the trouble either searched valiantly for the kind of detail our friend above found, or speculated about ways the certificate of live birth could have been forged:

Witness Protection forges documents all the time. Whose [sic] to day [sic] this is not one? Same for CIA. BUT – the big question is why hide it?

The answer to that question was given by White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer:

Earlier Wednesday, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said the debate has been “really bad for the Republican Party.”

The so-called “birther” debate is “good politics” but “bad for the country,” said Pfeiffer.

With 75% of the country believing that President Obama was either definitely or probably born in America, and 45% of Republicans believing the opposite, the White House didn’t have to lift a finger to “prove” anything. The GOP was doing a bang-up job of making themselves look like paranoid nutcases without any help. The old political adage that states “Never get in the way of your opponent when they are self-destructing” applied here.

I urge everyone to read Richard Hofstadter’s old essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” to understand the mindset at work among the Birthers. I think most objective observers today would admit that Hofstadter allowed his partisanship to intrude far too often in his observations (later in life, he abandoned the new left and embraced conservatism as a philosophy). But much of what he writes can be applied to either the right or left fringe, which makes many of his points ring true.

When so much of one’s intellectual and emotional capital is invested in paranoid beliefs, it becomes impossible to admit error because one isn’t just admitting they are wrong about a single issue, they are admitting that their worldview is incorrect. The entire notion of  how they experience reality is challenged. Therefore, it becomes imperative to protect their beliefs, even if every piece of  objective evidence says otherwise.

With Donald Trump now leading the GOP field, it’s a good bet that other paranoid fantasies will be resurrected. I can’t believe some of the people who are cheering this irresponsible lout on. He’s more arrogant than Obama. He’s more of a narcissist, less experienced in government, and less patient and prudent. He’s got an ego the size of Mount Everest and would likely betray Republicans as often as he would hammer the Democrats.

If Trump wins the nomination even after making some of the most outrageous statements ever uttered by a serious candidate for president - that we should take Libya’s oil, for instance - then the Birthers will look downright rational next to a Republican party that had truly lost its collective mind.

By: Rick Moran at 10:55 am

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