This "story" - that Barack Obama wasn't really born in the United States of America, and thus isn't eligible to be president - has always been complete bull****, the disturbed fever dream of modern day John Birchers (they call themselves "Tea Partiers" and "Republicans" nowadays), racists, and other paranoid loony-tunes. It's also a sign of how much disinformation, misinformation, and outright lies can not only float around the dark recesses of the internet, but also crawl out from under its slimy rock there into the light of day, if we can call the infotainment funny farm idiiocy known as the "mainstream media" the "light of day." The problem is, this one got out of control, finding fertile ground in the Republican Party and "Tea Party" ranks, with one recent poll indicating that only 33% of Republicans are sure that Barack Obama was born in the United States (45% of Republicans say he wasn't, 22% aren't sure). Astounding.
The bottom line is that we never should have spent two minutes talking about this garbage, particularly at a time when we have such pressing challenges in our country. Of course, we also shouldn't have spent two minutes talking about imbeciles and self-promoting hucksters like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. We shouldn't have spent two minutes talking about "death panels," "climategate," and all the other "sideshows and carnival barkers" (as President Obama calls them) sloshing around out there in the sewer.
What's been fueling the "birther" theories about President Obama, who just happens to be our first African American (actually, mixed race) president? Let's be blunt about this: as Blue Virginia readers are voting overwhelmingly in the poll on our front page right now, the "birther" craziness and all the other craziness about Obama being a "Muslim," a "Kenyan anti-colonialist," etc, etc., is the clear result of: a) racism; b) the right-wing media echo chamber doing its echo chamber-y thing; c) insanity; d) xenophobia; and e) calculated Republican strategy. Just keep that in mind the next time one of these crazy memes starts popping up in your email inbox, on Faux "News," on the Sludge Report, at a conservative forum, at a Republican debate, or wherever.
P.S. Here's the White House statement on this matter. I'm sure it won't put the "issue" to rest, but hopefully it will make anyone propagating it - or having propagated it in the past - seem even crazier than they already are. And yes, that includes our own Ken Kookinelli, who I'd also point out is a believer in other completely discredited/crazy/crackpot "theories" like "climategate."
At a time of great consequence for this country - when we should be debating how we win the future, reduce our deficit, deal with high gas prices, and bring stability to the Middle East, Washington, DC, was once again distracted by a fake issue. The President's hope is that with this step, we can move on to debating the bigger issues that matter to the American people and the future of the country.
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