Battle of Birtherism: Rightbloggers Divide on Whether Obama is Foreign-Born or Merely Un-American
Even as prominent rightwing columnists and politicians tried to talk down the birther surge exacerbated by the Donald Trump campaign, the notion that Obama is not a citizen was given a new lease on life by the impending release of a book by Dr. Jerome Corsi, cleverly titled Where's the Birth Certificate?
This looks like a schism in rightblogger ranks. But despite differing on one of the great issues in U.S. history, the birtherist and anti-birtherist factions are more united than divided.
Last week The Drudge Report plugged Corsi's birther book in a front-page "exclusive" entitled "BOOK TO REVEAL OBAMA'S 'TRUE' IDENTITY?" -- even though the book is not scheduled to be released for another month. Drudge described the book as "this year's high stakes publishing project" and asked such meaningful questions as, "Does Corsi definitively declare the location of Obama's birth?"
In other words, it sounds like a publisher's press release no one bothered to make journalism-like, but we doubt this bothered true believers: The Corsi book quickly shot to Amazon's top ten in pre-order.
Several of the brethren were as excited about Corsi's book as Objectivists awaiting the release of the Atlas Shrugged movie or pre-teens anticipating a Justin Bieber concert.
"This is going to be driving Liberals, Progressives, Unionistas, the MSM (yeah, I know a Ven diagram of these groups looks almost like a single circle) batshit crazy the entire summer," predicted Robbie Cooper of UrbanGrounds, who said he'd pre-ordered a copy himself. "I'm not sure what Obama is hiding," added Cooper, "but I know he's hiding something."
"Kool-Aid drinkers such as Whoppi Goldberg will screech and wail that [Obama] has already" produced a birth certificate, said The Freedom Medium. "There must be something pretty good in that Kool-Aid for Whoppi and the Obamaites to overlook the fact that an image on the internet that looks like it was Photoshopped by a 12-year-old is not proof."
"Now you know why - no birth certificate!" Well, look, it can't all be serious analysis; even birthers gotta cut loose sometimes.
Phil Brennan of The Cagle Post allowed himself to fantasize about a world in which John McCain is given the White House because Obama turned out to be Angolan or something. But despite his evident hatred of the President, Brennan couldn't enjoy his dream, because "the thuggish behavior of the pro-union forces in Madison Wisconsin" had forced him to conclude that, should Obama be expelled even righteously, there would be "blood in the streets."
Brennan decided finally to let the pretender Obama stay in the White House until the Republicans beat him in 2012, which he encouraged them to really work at it this time, even though this would "incur the wrath of the left-leaning media which would aim their poison darts directly at their hearts." (We believe Brennan was speaking figuratively here, and perhaps throughout.)
Give Us Liberty gave it to us straight: "ANY BIRTH CERTIFICATE THAT MAY EXIST...WILL SHOW THAT OBAMA LIED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE...PLAIN, PURE AND SIMPLE...HE DEFRAUDED AN ENTIRE COUNTRY...HE COMMITTED THE GREATEST CRIME EVER AGAINST OUR COUNTRY AND ALL THAT IT STANDS FOR!..." Well, no wonder he doesn't want to admit it!
While this was going on, some big conservatives suddenly spoke out against the birther surge. Maybe they were troubled that the buffoon Trump was leading GOP Presidential polls; maybe they were afrighted by another poll that suggested birtherism is now almost a majority opinion among Republicans. (Let us not rule out conscience or a rising gorge, however unlikely these seem.)
Whatever: The Trump candidacy came under fire from National Review's Rich Lowry ("Trump absurdly promises to become a personal Scotland Yard for the birthers"). Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann publicly backed off birtherism. John Hawkins of Right Wing News beseeched the brethren to evade "the birther trap." Former Reagan and Bush White House official Linda Chavez denounced the "false charge that Obama has never produced a valid copy of his birth certificate." Even Republican
Nevada Arizona Governor Jan Brewer refused to sign a birther-inspired bill.
Some conservatives who didn't want to go full birther yet insisted that the persistence of this delusion was actually Obama's fault. Call it the "have your flake and eat it too" approach.