Rightbloggers Enjoy The Birther-rific Quasi-Candidacy of Donald Trump
That Trump might push this self-publicity campaign all the way to the 2012 Republican convention is expected by no one sane, which leaves many rightbloggers out.
But even some of those who doubt Trump's sincerity are grateful that at least he's bringing attention to the serious issue of Obama's birth certificate.
Trump first leaked a little birtherism early last month, telling Good Morning America that he had "a little doubt" about the President's background.
Later Trump went further, noting to Geraldo Rivera that Obama "spent a lot of money to keep this [birth certificate issue] out of print." (He admitted he had not seen George W. Bush's birth certificate, but he was "sure he has one.") Trump also brought his act to The View (Whoopi Goldberg suggested his claims were racist, which Trump later called "insulting") and was praised for his "valuable service" to birtherism by Rush Limbaugh.
True Disbelievers were ecstatic. Birther Report said that Fox News -- yes, Fox News -- "is in complete damage control mode... CAN YOU SHOW ME THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE!?... they can't ignore the power of Trump. Don't let up, Trump!" They also claimed Army Lt. Colonel Terry Lakin had been "sent to prison for asking the same simple question that Trump is now raising." (Lakin was actually imprisoned for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan because he was not convinced that Obama is legitimately Commander in Chief.)
To be fair, some rightbloggers found the Trump birther campaign unproductive. "There are more legit things to hit Obama over the head with than where he was born or where he was raised," said BigGator5 of RedState. "The point is, Trump doesn't really grasp the intellectual basis behind conservative principles," said Alana Goodman at Commentary, "and apparently has no interest in learning."
Yeah yeah. But pointy-head cavils took a back seat when Trump released what he portrayed as his own birth certificate as a challenge to Obama. "Exclusive to Newsmax: Trump's Hospital Birth Docs," roared the birtherrific rightwing site, and showed a small certificate with a little seal in the corner.
"Donald Trump Shows His Birth Certificate: Now He Wants To See Obamas," said The Warning Signs. "Barry Soetoro - Can Not Hide From Himself - Donald Trump," headlined Morning Liberty Radio.
Call that a "birth certficate"? It's crooked! And why the shadow? What are they trying to hide?
Some took the old Birther-with-an-Explanation approach. "I remain convinced that Obama is a citizen... but it is odd that Obama has refused to make a full release of his birth certificate," said Say Anything.
Democrats for Sale was interested in Trump's claim that "even in the classes he supposedly took at Columbia, no one remembers Obama. Something is not right and we have to wonder if at Columbia he studied in a foreign country as part of their program." Wheels within wheels! Maybe that apartment he allegedly lived in was a front, too.
Left Coast Rebel suggested, reasonably, that this switcheroo had been Trump's plan all along. He counted this as a triumph against the "Lamestream Press," which made it a positive in his book even though he doubted Trump's sincerity as a candidate.
Others felt similarly. "In the end, Trump will not run and will not be successful in getting Obama to release the long form of his birth certificate," said Right Wing Thinking. "However, Trump might very well succeed in diminishing the sting of the 'birther' label." Sharon Rondeau of The Post & Email, Inc "sent by fax, email, and certified mail to The Trump Organization in New York City" a lengthy missive offering "to meet with you via telephone or in person to further discuss the evidence against Obama and those who put him in power."
It may be helpful to note here that Obama's Certificate of Live Birth (that is, his birth certificate) has been viewed and photographed. But the issue persists because, polls suggest, many if not most Republicans choose to believe in it. And while many rightbloggers are pleased that Trump is playing directly to that crowd ("Trump is accomplishing in two weeks what some lawyers and pundits have been unable to do in two plus years"), more practical rightbloggers weren't so happy about it.
At RedState, for example, gawken speculated that if Trump brought up his birther theme at a Republican candidates' debate, the liberal media would unfairly use this as an excuse to talk about it ("These people are NOT impartial, they aren't our friends...they are working diligently, every day, to defeat us, and the principals we advocate").
Birtherism is supposed to be a Republican secret weapon -- accent on the "secret." It may be hinted at, as the more believable Republican candidate Mike Huckabee did when he said he'd "love to know more" about Obama's birth certificate, but always with plausible deniability, lest independents be alienated. To paraphrase Kirk Lazarus, you never go full birther. That's why the bigger rightbloggers like Instapundit mainly drop intriguing related items about Obama's heritage ("DONALD TRUMP: You know, I think that Obama fellow just might be a Muslim") without getting too deep into it.
Still it's a tonic for the troops, as shown by The Last Refuge's endorsement: "I'm rooting for THE DONALD to keep beating the progs over the head with an issue I don't give a hoot about."
And seeing as it's early in the election, some of the boys and girls actually took the time to explain what else they liked about Candidate Trump.