Monday, August 24, 2009

THE RISE OF BIRTHER-WITH-AN-EXPLANATION. Politico reports Arizona Rep Trent Franks' complaint that he has been maligned as a birther, when he's really what we call around here birther with an explanation -- he has come to believe, after "a significant amount of research," that Obama was in fact born in the U.S., but is outraged that the President won't produce the double-secret long form birth certificate, which despite the conclusive results of Franks' painstaking investigation he still finds necessary to "put people's concerns about his national identity to rest for good."

The item draws a passel of interestingly passive-aggressive comments in a similar mode. Here's a good one:
I think President Obama is a wonderful man and a history maker, too! I want to celebrate him! Let's construct a great monument marking his place of birth, like we do with other presidents. I'd also like to shake the hand of physician who delivered our great president into the world on his day of birth. So... who exactly is that doctor? And, specifically, what is the address where we can begin building that monument? ...crickets...
This is my favorite:
I am sitting on a very large cash donation that I wanted to make to the childrens ward of the hospital that Obama was born. I mean it is historically significant the first Black President and first from Hawaii, I want to make that donation in the name of the doctor that birthed Obama. That simple tidbit of information available on the long form version of his BC is the only thing standing in the way of the poor sick children getting some much needed upgrades to their hospital ward. Emails to the White House have not been responded to. No one will provide this information. It couldn't be that Obama wants to deny the sick children.... no that definately isn't it so why can't I get this information from the most transparent administration in our history?
The current, sad era in American history isn't good for much, but it is proving a golden age for tendentious arguments. These folks want to keep the birther obsession alive as part of their greater effort to delegitimize Obama, but perceive that they are being laughed at. So they invent fantasy scenarios in which Obama is actually harming citizens by failing to produce the proof they claim not to need.

Franks' version is rather bland, but his defenders show great imagination and nerve. You've got to admit, most ordinary people wouldn't pretend to have a large endowment to offer as ransom -- in comments to a blog post, yet. But we're not dealing with ordinary people.

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