Virgil Goode Comments on Birtherism

On the May 24 post about birther Orly Taitz‘s endorsement of American Independent Party (AIP) presidential candidate Laurie Roth, some IPR readers/contributors wondered about the views of fellow AIP candidate and current Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode on birtherism.

A reader named “just asking”, asked:

Has Rep. Goode staked out a position on British Barry’s usurpation yet?

Trent Hill responded:

Goode hasn’t said anything on the issue of “birtherism”. I’d guess he won’t.

Paulie then commented:

Birtherism (better known as barferism) was ridiculously tiresome when it began and has grown much more so with time. It even makes other conspiracy theories look worse through association, even though some of them may have merit. Goode will probably be too smart to make it an issue, but for the LP’s sake I hope he does, although I won’t enjoy seeing it creep its ugly head up in articles and comments here more as a result.

After reading these posts, I decided to find out for myself. On May 24, I sent an e-mail to Goode, which read:

The readers at IPR (Independent Political Report) have wanted to know your thoughts on the Obama Birth Certificate controversy. What is your opinion of the “birthers” ?

Today, Goode responded:

I would like to see the original birth certificate of President Obama. I assume that there exists an original file with the physician signed paper.  Until I have the opportunity to see such original material I am reserving further comment.

74 thoughts on “Virgil Goode Comments on Birtherism

  1. just asking

    That’s interesting, although my question was more about Barry’s claimed British origins than his alleged certificates per se.

    The question would have been better if it were directly about the Constitutional issues at hand; rather than phrasing it as a Communist Alinskyite would, goading Goode to denounce pro-Constitution Americans with juvenile labels.

  2. paulie

    Excellent job, William. As previously mentioned, Goode playing footsie with barfer delusions can only be good for Johnson and the LP (I would hope and expect that Johnson would give this pernicious barfer nonsense no credence whatsoever), despite whatever barf-fests it may lead to on IPR.

  3. Tom Blanton

    I reckon Virgil oughta catch a bus down to Hawaya so he can see Obama’s original birth certificate and that physician signed paper.

    But, Virgil oughta not be spouting off about Obama until he has produced his own birth certificate and physician signed paper.

  4. RedPhillips

    paulie, I believe anti-birtherism is driven more by PC emotion than by the actual facts. Meaning that because some people assume it to be motivated by Obama”s race, they emotionally react to it out of proportion to what is actually being alleged.

    In comparison to “other conspiracy theories” birtherism is rather mundane. It suggests that a politician fabricated part of his life narrative and then was stuck with the story. (A politician embellishing their biography? Whoever heard of such?) That is not the Illuminati run the world territory.

    I do not believe Obama was born in Kenya and never have. It doesn’t make logistical sense to me. But I think it is highly possible that he fibbed about some aspects of his background and that he now has to continue the ruse.

    Obama posted a copy of his short form BC online. Immediately people questioned its authenticity and wanted to see the long form BC. A perfectly legitimate request. Obama dragged his feet until he finally released the long form, again the authenticity of which was immediately questioned.

    It is not a reach to think this is all fishy. The press and the anti-birthers are being deliberately incurious. Normal routine human curiosity should dictate that the short form and the long form be forensically authenticated by certified document examiners. (As well as his draft registration card the authenticity of which has also been questioned.) If you can use document examiners in routine probate cases, it is not asking too much to make sure the POTUS isn’t feeding us a line. Immediately upon the release of the long form ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN. FOX, the NYT, the Washington Post, the conservative press (National Review, American Spectator) etc., etc. etc. should have commissioned forensic examinations. NONE did. Not one. This is deliberate incuriosity. This is a massive failure of the press in their role as investigators. The press is supposed to objectively seek the truth, not be guardians of the conventional wisdom.

    I’ll believe the long form Obama released is authentic when several forensic document examiners have examined the original and declared it so. Not before. Anything less is deliberately looking the other way.

  5. RedPhillips

    Goode answer this question adeptly and the only way he could. Had he declared himself a convinced anti-birther or brushed off the question he would have alienated a huge portion of the kind of people who might vote for a conservative third party candidate. Had he declared himself a convinced birther he would have created a big distraction. His answer expresses just the right amount of skepticism. (Possibly good coaching.) Good for him.

  6. Pingback: Virgil Goode on Birtherism | Conservative Heritage Times

  7. paulie

    because some people assume it to be motivated by Obama”s race, they emotionally react to it out of proportion to what is actually being alleged.

    I can’t think of a more logical motivation, although I grant some people are just second-handing a meme and may not be motivated by racism or some other form of bigotry.

    In comparison to “other conspiracy theories” birtherism is rather mundane. It suggests that a politician fabricated part of his life narrative and then was stuck with the story. (A politician embellishing their biography? Whoever heard of such?) That is not the Illuminati run the world territory.

    An 18 year old, very pregnant white girl supposedly was on a transatlantic flight in 1960, when they were rather expensive, plus on the way back with her son, and no one remembers. And for what purpose? Obama’s backers could not have selected Deval Patrick or someone else? Hillary Clinton and John McCain would not have discovered the deception and made something of it? It fails to make sense on so many levels.

    On the other hand, it makes all kinds of sense that some people just can’t handle a half-African president with a Muslim African name a decade after 9/11.

  8. paulie

    I think it is highly possible that he fibbed about some aspects of his background and that he now has to continue the ruse.

    Yeah, that’s plausible.

    Obama posted a copy of his short form BC online. Immediately people questioned its authenticity and wanted to see the long form BC. A perfectly legitimate request. Obama dragged his feet until he finally released the long form, again the authenticity of which was immediately questioned.

    Naturally, anything he could conceivably post would be questioned by some.

  9. paulie

    I’ll believe the long form Obama released is authentic when several forensic document examiners have examined the original and declared it so. Not before. Anything less is deliberately looking the other way.

    It may actually not be authentic. At this point, Obama or someone on his team may be deliberately messing with the barfers. That’s about as conspiratorial as I’ll get.

    You have a point about press incuriosity. But for the most part it is

  10. RedPhillips

    “An 18 year old, very pregnant white girl supposedly was on a transatlantic flight in 1960, when they were rather expensive, plus on the way back with her son, and no one remembers. And for what purpose?”

    That’s what I mean when I said it doesn’t make sense logistically. More likely BO Senior may not be his real father. Maybe his mother got knocked up by a black guy and they needed a good stand-in. BO Senior sure never acted like a father and its questionable if he and Obama’s mother ever acted like a couple.

  11. David Colborne

    The latest spin from the right on the issue is that BO played up the Kenyan and Indonesian connection earlier in his political and academic career and it backfired. It fits into my Hanlon’s Razor-dominated view of politics – Obama had a back story that, with a little bit of embellishment and exaggeration, would play magnificently to possible constituents, so he did what seemed best at the time.

    That said, it’s basically impossible to prove the Truth (capital T) of his birth to people that are firmly convinced that any piece of paper that proves Obama right must be “falsified”. If you’re a northern, you could be in Hawaii holding what someone tells you is Obama’s long form certificate of live birth and you still wouldn’t believe it because “Hawaii is in on it” or whatever. This means that, for all intents and purposes, Birtherism isn’t a testable theory – it’s a belief. Beliefs don’t respond to logical discussion or reason. They only respond to those that agree with them and are reinforced by those that disagree with them. Consequently, I’m not going to spend more time than I absolutely have to arguing on the subject.

  12. David Colborne

    *Birther, not “northern”. Apparently my phone’s auto-correct doesn’t see “Birther” as a word. I’m not about to correct it.

  13. Be Rational

    As wrong as Birthers may be, it is wrong to assume their motivation is racism.

    Many Birthers seem to be trying to use a legalistic attack based on the Constitution to make political points in an all fronts effort to discredit an ideological foe.

    There was a Birther attack on McCain as well, during the campaign. It ended when McCain lost.

    Which brings up the question of what happens once Obama is out of office. Will there still be a Birther movement demanding documents from other candidates? Will we see more of the same in this cycle, demanding documents from other candidates? If the nonsense ends will that prove it was racist, or will it show that the people involved have wised up, realized they were wrong although unable to admit so while Obama was in office, and moved on?

  14. Joe Buchman

    I hesitate to add to this, but it seems the claim that he was born in Kenya began with President Obama himself, or his agent, in a promotional flyer for a book he was shopping around in . . . 1991.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=60d_1337282968&comments=1

    “Barak Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya . . .”

    Joe

  15. Be Rational

    @18

    So it could be that Obama applied to Harvard as a Born-in-Kenya, Raised-in-Indonesia, African American in order to enhance his chances of admission and thus created the misinformation himself.

  16. David Colborne

    To be fair, there have been partisan “legalistic” attacks on every sitting President for as long as I can remember. GWB had Diebold and Florida hanging over his head. Clinton had his near-impeachment. Reagan had Iran-Contra. I’m sure Bush Sr. wasn’t immune; I just can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

    If I had to hazard a guess, I’m betting this first became in vogue during the Watergate era when it was proven that a scandal could, in fact, unseat a president. Since then, I think both parties have been trying desperately to find something to nail their opponents on, whether it was really there (or really substantial enough to warrant impeachment) or not.

  17. RedPhillips

    “…for all intents and purposes, Birtherism isn’t a testable theory – it’s a belief. Beliefs don’t respond to logical discussion or reason.”

    This may be true of some convinced birthers, but there are a lot of people who aren’t convinced birthers who just think something might be amiss. These people could be satisfied if the press would just do their due diligence and investigate. The press didn’t take Nixon’s word for it when he said he wasn’t a crook. Why should they take Obama’s self serving word on the authenticity of his documents?

    If race plays a part in this, it is at least as much of an explanation for why the press desperately doesn’t want to believe anything is amiss as it is for why birthers believe something is.

  18. Jeremy C. Young

    How many other presidential candidates have ever been asked to have their birth certificates authenticated by forensic examiners? The question is ridiculous on its face. For instance, John McCain’s birth in the Panama Canal Zone raised the question in 2000 of whether he was legally qualified to be President. There was a court case about it, decided in McCain’s favor — and never was McCain asked to prove that the birth certificate issued to him by the government and produced by that government was authentic.

    It comes down to this: either you trust that the documents produced by the government are the documents produced by the government, or you don’t. I recognize that folks around here are inclined to believe that government is a bad thing, a view I don’t share. But if you believe the government isn’t competent to push its own paper — if you believe that proof is not proof — if you believe that the simplest, most innocuous things are fabricated — then you’re incapable of having a rational discussion.

    I get frustrated enough with conspiracy theorists who can’t be bothered to apply a uniform standard of proof to traumatic events such as presidential assassinations. To require the same ridiculous standard of proof for a routinely-issued government piece of paper is beyond the pale.

  19. Jill Pyeatt

    The whole think about this birther stuff is: what do those claiming Obama was born in Kenya want at this point? If no one has taken it seriously so far, it’s unlikely that anyone in a position to do something about it will in the next 5 years. Does anyone REALLY think the Democrats will scramble around and find someone new to run for President?

    As far as I’m concerned, the people who have died in the hideous wars Obama supports will still be dead. I’d rather spend my time trying to get someone better elected to the White House.

  20. Thane Eichenauer

    The long form birth certificate Barack Obama has produced looks authentic to me.

    After nearly four years of attacks on Obama’s natural born citizen-ness I think the odds of me winning the Powerball are greater by a factor of 1,000,000 to one than Obama being declared not qualified by a judge in the US.

    I wouldn’t give as long odds for John McCain ever getting disqualified.

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2010/04/john-mccains-fake-birth-certificate/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-born-citizen_clause#John_McCain
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/us/politics/28mccain.html

    In the end it is far easier to convince any given rational US voter than Obama supports big government than it would be to convince him that Obama fails to qualify as a natural born citizen. I imagine the reason there are still advocates pursuing this issue is that it is hard to convince many voters that Romney is any less an advocate of big government than Obama is.

    Lastly the controversy, vital or irrelevant, does provide what I imagine Ernest Hancock would call a shiny ball with with to distract voters from considering a small government candidate for President. He might also go on to remind us “Ask the wrong question and you are guaranteed to get an irrelevant answer.”

    If someone were to ask me “Thane Eichenauer, do you think Barack Obama qualifies as a natural born citizen?” I would give him the answer “Am I allowed not to care?” (which I think is the same answer Ernest Hancock would give)

    http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Article/088918-2011-04-29-i-enlarged-the-obama-long-form-image-to-600.htm

  21. ATBAFT

    It would really liven-up the election if Obama’s
    applications to Occidental, Columbia and Harvard were to show up. Then, perhaps, Obama’s side could be shouting about forgeries.
    Or maybe some of his school pals will step forward and claim Obama claimed to be Kenyan born. Of course, they might have Vince Foster’s fate in the back of their minds!

  22. zapper

    @25 In order to reveal the truth they would have to be disloyal to Obama and believe themselves inVinceable.

  23. wolfefan

    Goode’s answer seems ridiculous to me. He’ll only be satisfied if he personally can inspect the relevant documents? Who is he to judge their authenticity? Does he need to personally inspect Romney’s birth certificate? May I personally inspect Goode’s? If he wants my vote he can drive it up here – I only live a couple of hours from him, and he’s been through Fairfax many times on his way to and from DC. He can just drop it off next time he’s through if he wants my vote. 🙂

    As paulie points out, there is a lot of anti-Obama stuff even from the mainstream that tries to paint him as not a “real” American. Remember the first McCain campaign slogan? “An American president Americans can be proud of.”

    I’ve never seen a credible explanation about why GOP officials in Hawaii would willingly lie to help Obama and stick to it for years and years and years. What are they getting out of their participation in this alleged conspiracy?

  24. Ryan C

    This birther issue was litigated in 2008. What is the point of litigating again, other than to distract from the real issues that matter to Americans these days, like jobs, the economy, monstrous deficits, attacks on personal liberty, etc.

  25. wolfefan

    It’s actually been litigated dozens of times. The last count I saw was around 94 or so.

  26. just thinking

    @4 I don’t know that further alienating the pro-Constitution slice of the electorate is a good strategy for Johnson, certainly not if he wants more Paul voters.

    @5 & @7 Goode answer this question adeptly and the only way he could

    An even more good answer would have been to show he understands the nature and importance of the issue by presenting his own birth papers, authorizing further release of said papers by Virginia (?), and to also release either birth or naturalization papers for his parents.

    @9I can’t think

    Try thinking about Obama’s British and other foreign nationalities.

  27. just paying attention

    @28 & @29 — It really hasn’t been litigated at all. Obama has never presented his birth papers in any legal proceeding for examination. You should try to stop spreading disinformation on this point in the future.

  28. Ad Hoc

    Barfers are so silly!

    Obama himself, or his agent, in a promotional flyer

    She admitted she made an error.

    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/obama-literary-agent-1991-bio-was-error/549401

    Miriam Goderich, whose literary agency described eventual-President Obama in 1991 as having been born in Kenya, said today that the description reflected “a simple mistake and nothing more.”

    “You’re undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya,” Goderich said in a statement to Roll Call. “This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me — an agency assistant at the time.”

    Another barfer conspiracy theory bites the dust yet again!

  29. Ad Hoc

    alienating the pro-Constitution slice of the electorate is a good strategy for Johnson, certainly not if he wants more Paul voters.

    Barfers =/= pro-constitution, more like pro-delusion.

    And not all, or most likely most, Paul voters are barfers. Most likely, most are not, and those are the ones Johnson should go after.

  30. Ad Hoc

    Try thinking about Obama’s British and other foreign nationalities.

    Thought about it. Figured out it was ridiculous. Moved on.

    Now, as to the question of whether it is motivated by racism: yes, of course a lot of it is motivated by racism, which is really so obvious it doesn’t really have to be debated.

  31. just paying attention

    @6 @14 An 18 year old, very pregnant white girl supposedly was on a transatlantic flight in 1960, when they were rather expensive, plus on the way back with her son, and no one remembers. And for what purpose?

    Well, Ann & Barry were documented as being in the Seattle are in August 1961, so there was at least one transoceanic flight involved.

    The purpose was likely to protect Barry’s (maternal grandfather and) biological father, already being surveilled by the FBI as a Communist agent, from prosecution for federal child-sex trafficking charges for impregnating a minor.

  32. just asking

    Hey moron @32 — where did the “fact” this lady failed to “check” come from in the first place?

    Have you ever published anything anywhere ever?

    Publishers don’t make up their own bios for their authors out of thin air. The facts come from the author.

  33. just asking

    @34 Thought about it. Figured out it was ridiculous. Moved on.

    So you’re saying Barry’s claim that his father was a British national is a ridiculous lie?

  34. just paying attention

    @22 – Hawaii has not released any paper to the general public. The only “paper” which as been released are electronic images provided by the Obama campaign and the Obama White House.

    Your premises about “documents produced by the government” are therefore false. check yourself before you wreck America.

  35. Ad Hoc

    Just stupid,

    Nice fantasy life you have.

    I won’t argue you with you, imbecile, as it makes me dumber just to respond to your delusional nonsense and in a battle of half-wits you have the advantage of having been one longer.

  36. Ad Hoc

    Barfers should never be coddled. Acknowledging any of their nonsense as being even remotely possible is a huge mistake. Any candidate who wants to be taken seriously (obviously this does not include Goode) would clearly and unambiguously dissociate from any hint of taking barfer nonsense seriously.

  37. just paying attention

    @20 Poppy Bush was more involved in Iran-Contra than Reagan was (for that matter, so was Clinton). A special prosecutor operated throughout Poppy’s adminstration and issued indictments against Weinberger and several others at the end of 1992; was still building more cases against more people. After Clinton won, Bush Sr pardoned everyone.

  38. just paying attention

    @39 Thank you for conceding your deep abiding ignorance and hardcore anti-American sentiment on this issue.

  39. Ad Hoc

    jeez, enough with the barfing already!

    Move on to something that has more relation to reality, like chupacabras, PLAS, or the boogie monster.

    Better yet move completely past all that crap to the real world, where none of that nonsense gets the time of day.

  40. Ad Hoc

    How about locking barfers away somewhere so they can pass their latest psycho conspiracy crap back and forth and not bother anyone else?

  41. Deran

    “Birthers”, like “Truthers” contribute nothing to the conversation, they are just sad sacks, like Ogle and Milnes, who sit around and propound Alice in Wonderland hypotheses instead of actively taking part in politics.

  42. just saying

    @44 Thank you for conceding your role as an violent anti-American enemy combatant.

  43. RedPhillips

    “Goode’s answer seems ridiculous to me. He’ll only be satisfied if he personally can inspect the relevant documents? Who is he to judge their authenticity?”

    wolfefan, of course Goode doesn’t expect to personally inspect the original, but I’m sure you know this and are just raising a straw man. He wants the original document scrutinized by credible examiners for authenticity.

  44. RedPhillips

    Ad Hoc, what you are doing is attempting to thought stop with your childish school yard name calling. How Orwellian of you. We won’t play with the little birther children. Birther! Birther! Nah nah nah boo boo!

    “The first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called, in Newspeak, CRIMESTOP. CRIMESTOP means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. CRIMESTOP, in short, means protective stupidity…” George Orwell, 1984

    Grow up!

  45. Ad Hoc

    No, I’m not trying to stop barf…I mean, birthers. I grant they are annoying, kind of like yelping chihuahuas, but I wasn’t serious about locking them up, even though it would be for their own good more than anything else. Anyway, I hardly call what they pass back and forth thought.

  46. wolfefan

    Hi Red @49 –

    No, I wasn’t raising a straw man. Goode said he would like to see the documents, not have credible experts examine them. I was taking him at his word. Goode’s a savvy guy – he knows how to say he would like to have independent, credible experts examine the original documents if that’s what he means. I admit I’m holding him to a higher standard than I would a typical CP or Green or LP candidate. Goode has been around, and has long experience in choosing his words carefully – particularly in writing, and knowing that he was writing for publication.

    Based on what I’ve read here, many (if not most) birthers would not find any experts credible who disagreed with them. They would say that they are part of the conspiracy, just as they say that the Republican governor of Hawaii was also part of the conspiracy. I understand that those on the other side would say the same thing, but the difference for me is where the preponderance of the experts would come out.

    BTW, Red, I agree with you about name calling and civility. While I often disagree with your views, I always appreciate the thoughtful way in which you express yourself and the fact that you try to acknowledge and respectfully respond to counter-arguments. I also admire your ability to reasonably and fairly summarize opinions that are contrary to yours when you are writing articles that are posted here.

  47. RedPhillips

    “Barfers should never be coddled. Acknowledging any of their nonsense as being even remotely possible is a huge mistake. Any candidate who wants to be taken seriously (obviously this does not include Goode) would clearly and unambiguously dissociate from any hint of taking barfer nonsense seriously.”

    Ad Hoc, this is what I was referring to as thought stopping, not your obviously sarcastic suggestion that they be locked up. That Obama was born in Kenya is implausible but not spaceship Moon territory outrageous. That Obama is hiding something and attempting to cover-up it up is a rather mundane allegation. It may be false, but it is by no means outrageous.

  48. Ad Hoc

    I don’t think it’s outrageous to suggest he may be covering something up. As for Kenya, I’d have to say that, yes, such suggestions are way out there.

    Goode probably isn’t hurting his campaign, because they have to vote for someone, and who better? Merlin Miller will be on a lot less ballots.

  49. RedPhillips

    “Based on what I’ve read here, many (if not most) birthers would not find any experts credible who disagreed with them. They would say that they are part of the conspiracy, just as they say that the Republican governor of Hawaii was also part of the conspiracy.”

    At this point, I think you are correct. This is a problem. But I partially blame Obama for the problem. He is the one who drug his feet releasing stuff and created an impression among reasonable people that he might have something to hide. The appropriate response for a candidate to someone asking to see your birth certificate is to produce one. Why not? The appropriate response when he isn’t satisfied and wants to see your long form is to produce it and relish the in-your-face satisfaction when you wag it in his face.

    That is one thing I have never understood about this whole mess from the beginning. If Obama really never had anything to hide, then I question his manhood. If someone suggested I wasn’t a citizen it would take an army to keep me away from my birth certificate which I would then promptly shove up his a**. I would canoe to Hawaii if I had to before I would allow myself to be seen as backing away from a challenge like that. Obama was essentially called out on a grand scale. What kind of a man allows himself to be publicly called out like that and responds not by putting up but instead hides behind lawyers and a friendly press and punditocracy? And people scratch their heads, “Why do so many people think he’s hiding something?” Because he acted like someone with something to hide.

    If Obama really never had anything to hide, then all I can conclude is that he and I think a lot differently. I would have never let my lawyers do my talking for me. I would have marched into the records dept. in Hawaii with 100 cameras in tow and demanded my birth certificate.

  50. paulie

    I think he enjoys watching his opposition run in circles chasing their own tails.

    Or, perhaps as you suggest, he may have something to hide.

    I doubt very much it is nation of birth, though.

  51. langa

    I think it is probably a combination of the two things mentioned by Paulie @ #58. I don’t think the two motivations are mutually exclusive.

    As for the birthers, I figure most of them are motivated not by racism, but by partisanship. After all, many of them seem to be quite fond of Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, etc.

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    RP@57,

    “If Obama really never had anything to hide, then all I can conclude is that he and I think a lot differently.”

    I suspect Obama has plenty to hide.

    The question is, what are the things he’s hiding?

    My own best guess is just as “conspiracy theory” oriented, I guess, but it fits the known facts better.

    To wit, his cosmopolitan heritage and upbringing made him a perfect candidate for recruitment into the intelligence community, and his college/travel track looks like something that would eventuate from that (goes to Occidental, a well-known CIA recruitment campus; travels the world for not entirely clear purposes; then swings seats at Ivy League institutions and moves on into a civically-oriented career).

    Maybe he doesn’t want to talk it that because he found it embarrassing later when he was flirting with stuff a little more leftish than Langleyish.

    Or maybe he can’t talk about it because doing so would compromise sources, methods or even ongoing operations.

    Or maybe some combination of the two, or something else.

    Or maybe it’s not the truth. But it’s a lot more plausible than these “his mother secretly traveled to Kenya to have him, then secretly smuggled him back, incidentally modifying all contemporaneous official and media records, so that he would someday be able to become the first Kenyan Muslim Marxist president of the United States” fantasies.

  53. George Phillies

    Obama benefits greatly from birtherism. The people who fall for it are not likely to vote for him anyhow. However, most Americans who are not Republicans look at birthers, form a judgement of Obama’s opponents, and move on. And when Romney ties himself to a birther like Trump, well, Obama is certainly not going to complain when Romney loses a few points in the polls.

  54. paulie

    I agree with George. Obama benefits from it, so that is one reason why he allows it to keep going by not being more forthcoming with information sooner, although not an exclusive possible reason as already noted.

    Goode probably benefits as well, as he is trying to peel more extreme voters away from Romney primarily.

    Romney couldn’t use it to peel voters away from Obama, but maybe to fire up his base and keep some of them from staying home or voting for e.g. Goode.

    Johnson, however, would be smart to avoid or dismiss it. He would lose many more potential supporters if he doesn’t, as he does not seem well suited to appeal to the stereotypical birther in other ways (too socially liberal, among other things).

    He could pivot, something along the lines of:

    I’m far less concerned with allegations that President Obama has lied about his background, or with Governor Romney meeting the technical definition of what some people have called an “anchor baby,” than with all the ways their openly stated and acknowledged policies have, are, and will harm the health, prosperity, peace and liberty of the US and the whole world.

  55. just saying

    Romney isn’t an anchor baby, as his father was American.

    Obama isn’t an anchor baby, because his alleged father of record expressed no interest in becoming an American.

    Louisiana Gov. Jindal would be the best example of a prominent politician who was an anchor baby.

  56. paulie

    “Anchor baby” is a pretty ridiculous term to begin with, but:

    George Romney was born to American parents living in the Mormon colonies in Mexico; events during the Mexican Revolution forced his family to flee back to the United States when he was a child.- wikipedia

    When wikipedia says American parents, were they still (US) American after they moved to Mexico, fleeing the US polygamy laws, or did they then constructively renounce their American citizenship and become subjects of Mexico? And when they fled (back?) to the US, did they cross the border “legally”?

    Obama’s mother was a US citizen born in the US, his father could stay permanently due to marriage with or without children had he wanted to, and of course as we all know Obama was born in Hawaii.

  57. just saying

    When wikipedia says American parents, were they still (US) American after they moved to Mexico, fleeing the US polygamy laws, or did they then constructively renounce their American citizenship and become subjects of Mexico?

    They never renounced their citizenship. (George Romney’s parents weren’t polygamist anyway.) Congress stripped most of the fled Mormons of several of their rights, such as the right to vote, but they retained their citizenship. They remained Americans, as were their children. Mexico wasn’t doing the feudal jus soli thing, as they were leery of foreign domination and recoonization.

    his father could stay permanently due to marriage with or without children had he wanted to,

    Except, of course, that US immigration officials doubted there ever was an actual marriage or that Dunham’s boy was Obama’s, and they did indeed kick Obama Sr out of the country. But yeah, if you want to make up facts to fit your preferred narrative, that seems pretty accurate.

    and of course as we all know Obama was born in Hawaii.

    See above.

  58. RedPhillips

    Tom, there is also a rumor that Obama’s mother was a CIA asset. Birthers should play up this angle because it could potentially appeal to the fringe left as well.

    George, I believe that the birther thing is better for stirring up Obama’s base than it is for converting fence sitters to Obama. The people who react viscerally to birtherism are either Obama supporters or establishment types who feel some sort of emotional need to guard the conventional wisdom against wrong think. (Also taint phobic center-rightists who feel the need to protect the “conservative” brand.) Most fence sitters could care less either way. I’ve been in conversations in mixed company (meaning not all raging right-wingers) where the subject of Obama’s birth came up and the disinterested just shrug it off. “Yeah maybe.” The people who get spun up by birtherism are the self-appointed guardians of right think. Take for example Wolf Blitzer’s recent exchange with Donald Trump. That the supposedly objective press has taken it open themselves to be the guardians of the conventional wisdom should disturb EVERYONE, left, right and center.

  59. paulie

    I believe that the birther thing is better for stirring up Obama’s base than it is for converting fence sitters to Obama.

    I know people in the middle who are put off by what they consider the extremism of the tea party, including the birther “issue.” There are also people on the left who are disappointed with Obama’s record on peace, civil liberties and corporatism, but rally around him because of these kinds of attacks.

  60. paulie

    just asking,

    Thanks for the link, but it seems far less conclusive than you make it out to be. Interesting bit of speculation.

  61. Big Bertha

    Get your heads out of the sand, people!

    Obama is Rosemary’s baby, his father is Beelzebub.

    Miss Dunham got impregnated by the devil and took her baby to Satan’s home in Kenya to be consecrated in a black mass.

    His demonic minions have been planning his ascent to the throne in DC since long before he was born.

    It is all written in Revelations!

    REPENT!

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