Raised seal on Barack Obama's birth certificate/FactCheckAs I’ve blogged a number of times already, Birtherism is a delusion that simply will not die. A frequent mantra of Birthers is that Obama has never produced his birth certificate. That, however, is factually incorrect; he has done so, and did it prior to his election in 2008. See FactCheck and Politfact, cached here and here for the evidence. (Note, neither of these fact-checking sites is “biased” towards Obama and the Democrats; recently, for instance, FactCheck pointed out tall tales told by him and by his party, and Politifact has a running “Obameter” listing promises he’s made, and has not shied from listing some as broken.) Oh, and that Kenyan birth certificate you may have heard about? It’s a fake (cached).

Making this situation worse is that denial that Obama is a US citizen has become religionized, and inextricably linked to the claim that he’s a Muslim. So the delusion has taken on an added dimension and, essentially, doubled in scope. Yes, that’s been covered by FactCheck (cached) and Politifact (cached), too — but again, the deluded Right-wing Birthers don’t give a fuck about facts.

Birtherism among Rightists has become so strong and pervasive, that GOP leaders refuse to confront it any more. If anything, they make excuses for Birtherism and wink in its direction. A recent example is House Speaker John Boehner, who did exactly this during his appearance on Meet the Press yesterday (WebCite cached article). When host David Gregory asked about persistent Birtherism, he said:

David, it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people.

That’s an interesting claim on Boehner’s part, since he’s been telling Americans for the last couple of years that Obama is a vile, wicked socialist, and he hasn’t “listened” to any Americans outside of the extreme Right-wing. After having told us what we’re supposed to think about Obama and the Democrats all this time, suddenly he declares he’s unwilling to tell us what to think? What a fucking hypocrite! At any rate, he continued hedging:

Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.

That’s all well and good, but it’s hardly a dismissal of Birtherism. Then, having said that, he veered back toward his original position:

MR. GREGORY: But that kind of ignorance about whether he’s a Muslim doesn’t concern you?

SPEAKER BOEHNER: Listen, the American people have the right to think what they want to think. I can’t–it’s not my job to tell them.

So the Speaker slalomed from, “I’m not supposed to tell people what to think,” to “Obama said he’s a citizen and a Christian,” to “People have a right to be deluded.”

Well, Speaker, you’re correct in that Americans have a “right” to be deluded. No doubt about that. The right to be a fucking ignoramus is undeniable. But you — as a leader in your political party — have a moral and ethical obligation to inform them of the truth. Even if it’s not a convenient truth to tell, and — yes — even if they don’t want to hear it. This is not a question of anyone’s “rights.” This is a question of what the objective facts are and what his duty is, as the leader of the Republican party in Congress.

In other words, it’s a question of fortitude and leadership.

Boehner has purposely chosen to keep his party chock-full of childish, delusional, paranoiac imbeciles. Just because he’s too much of a sniveling coward to tell them to knock off their Birtherist bullshit and shut the fuck up about the President not being a citizen or a Christian.

Way to go, Speaker. What outstanding courage you’ve shown! Why, you’ve demonstrated perfectly the kind of character it takes to lead the Right in the US.

It’s time for everyone on the Right — starting with Speaker Bonehead and the rest of his sanctimonious Rightist rabble in the House — to grow the hell up, stop telling demonstrable lies, and move on to something else, fercryinoutloud.

Photo credit: FactCheck.

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5 Responses to “House Speaker Engages In Pseudo-Birtherism”
  1. Time to stop telling lies? Hmm… good luck with that request. Politicians at lower levels of government lie to get to higher levels. Those already in higher levels lie to stay there. It's all about power and greed. I doubt there are many truly selfless civil servants out there anymore. Civil service is a lot like welfare. For some, once they start receiving it/participating in it, they begin to believe that it's owed them.

    The prime directive of a bureaucracy is to maintain the bureaucracy… at all costs. Hence, as Tricky Dick once said, “Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist.” Boehner and his brethren do and say what's best for themselves at any given time and place. That's politics –> poli = many + tics = bloodsucking insects.

    I'm here all week, folks!

    G'night!

    ~Eric

  2. PsiCop says:

    As someone who was once an elected official (municipal, yes, and it's a small town, so small it still has the old New England-style town meeting form of government), I have to say that it is most certainly possible to be a truthful politician. And even be successful at it. I do not buy that politicians "have no choice" but to lie, or that it's the best way to remain in office.

    It is, however, the easy way to stay in office. Being honest with people is difficult and requires the kind of courage few people possess. Honestly, lying is not always as successful as we might think. Lying certainly didn't work too well for Bill Clinton, who only narrowly escaped being hurled out of office by his lies. Had he 'fessed up to his dalliance with Ms Lewinsky right from the start, he wouldn't have had to go through an impeachment and Senate trial. He'd have been harangued by the Right for a while and vilified all over the place … but I can't imagine there'd have been an impeachment or any of the other mayhem that ensued from the discovery that the stain on Ms Lewinsky's dress was evidence of his perjury.

    The bottom line is, I think politicians CAN do better. It's just that they're too cowardly to do what it takes.

  3. I'm a bit jaded when it comes to politicians and politics. Sad, I s'pose. A part of me somewhere holds out the tiny bit of hope that there are some well-meaning, well-intentions politicians out there.

    What would you expect from an atheist, Libertarian-leaning non-violent anarchist? ;)

  4. PsiCop says:

    I want you to REPENT, you vile, God-hating heathen!

    <ahem>

    Sorry about that, it just slipped out … !

  5.  
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