Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Birthers," Wingnuts Who Think Obama Was Born In Kenya, Make Me Ashamed To Be From The South

By Manifesto Joe

This has become the Whitewater of the Obama era. Despite evidence and still more evidence that Barack Hussein Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Hawaii (a belated happy birthday to a fellow Leo, Mr. President), a large number of Americans, almost all Republicans, don't believe that he's an American citizen. And they are heavily concentrated among white Republicans in the South.

This reminds me a lot of Whitewater in the '90s and the "questions" that dogged Bill Clinton throughout his eight-year presidency. I was not quite as intolerant of right-wing kooks back then as I am now. I suffered through a litany of conspiracy theories from acquaintances.

Bill and Hillary were not only dogged by the specter of an investment in which they lost money. Bill Clinton, I was told by these crazies, was directly involved in over 100 murders back in Arkansas, during his governorship. We went through various "Troopergates," "Tailgates," and so forth. A special prosecutor was appointed, and spent over $40 million to eventually find out that Clinton apparently got a couple of blowjobs from an White House intern and lied about them. And then he wasted a lot of time and money getting Clinton impeached, and without a conviction, over the likes of that.

Now we have the same raving lunatics sizing up Barack Hussein Obama. Clinton was indeed a wheeler-dealer and a Falstaffian figure who had a hard time keeping his pants zipped. Obama admits that he sampled a few drugs while he was in his twenties, mostly pot. Now it's a big deal for him to have a beer, and there's much ado about trouble giving up his smokes. Other than that, he's a model father and husband, a regular Mr. Cleanhands.

So, the rubber-room refugees zero in on this citizenship horseshit. And they're mostly, though not exclusively, Republicans in the South. To wit, a recent column from usnews.com:

According to a new poll from Research 2000 (commissioned by Daily Kos), a majority of Southerners either believe that Barack Obama was not born in the United States (23 percent) or are not sure (30 percent). Only 47 percent of Southern respondents believe Obama was born in the USA. By contrast, 93 percent of Northeastern[er]s said yes, he was born here, 90 percent of Midwesterners did and 87 percent of Westerners.

Here's a link to the whole column.

I have been argumentive and contrarian quite often with people who characterize Southerners as stupid. Why? I have encountered my share of dumbass Jersey-talking Yankees, and my one visit to Southern California was quite an eye-opener. There, I learned that there's just a marginal difference between a philistine who sips Chardonnay and wears designer jeans and a philistine who chugs Miller High Life and got his or her jeans at Wal-Mart.

But after seeing the results of this poll, I don't know if I can muster a defense for fellow Southerners anymore. Forrest Gump was only partially right -- stupid is not merely what stupid does. It's also what it says. Words can be poison, and this notion is utterly toxic.

I stand ashamed to be a native Southerner, with deep roots in states other than Texas (Alabama, North and South Carolina, Arkansas). I hope I can consider myself an exception, but we seem to have de-evolved from the rest of Western culture.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Obama's birth certificate really not genuine? As a Republican, I have my doubts, but I keep an open mind. There's a lot of unanswered questions about this issue. Officials from Hawaii (which is a Far-Left Blue State, by the way) have only displayed a xeroxed version of the certificate. Where is the original? Why does this document show signs of PhotoShop tampering? (Just like Dan Rather's fake documents about President Bush's military service, which CBS has never apologized for).
Like I said: I keep an open mind on this issue. But I do believe we should open an investigation into this and determine all the facts of the case. The American people deserve no less than all the facts. Until an investigation is held, doubts will remain amongst many of the America people.

R Southern said...

I'm ashamed to be from the same planet as they are, but there's not much I can do about that, either. If I get the chance, I'll run over a couple with my car, though I'd hate to soil my car that way.

Ted McLaughlin said...

Well said !

Manifesto Joe said...

To Anon:
From what I've seen, I think the issue has been gone over so thoroughly over the past 18 months that there's no serious doubt left.
The keeping of birth certificates is, unfortunately, not done well. They misspelled my mother's name on hers, and they got the time of birth on mine 12 hours off (p.m. instead of a.m.). So one can often find some major nits to pick on a lot of people's birth certificates, and that might explain the absence of an "original."

But if you look at what's there, including a local newspaper announcement, I don't think there's any doubt left that Obama was born in Hawaii, where his father was a foreign
student who married an American. This is something that is being kept alive by people who are just trying to sully Obama any way they can. And unfortunately, they prey upon the "minds" of ignorant people.

Mycue23 said...

Joe,
I would never count you among the ignorant of any region of the country. Idiots will believe what they want to believe. As you know, once a conspiracy theory gets going, it is impossible to stop. You could invent a time machine and take those idiots back to witness the birth of Obama and they would still deny that he was born here. I think we should just leave those idiots to trying find more evidence that we didn't land on the moon, while we get on with the real business of this country. You keep up the good work.

Jack Jodell said...

Joe,
I'm with Mycue23 and R Southern. And, as you pointed out so well, stupidity exists all over the country, southern California, the Midwest, the Northwest and Northeast - everywhere. Wingnuts and hardcore conservatives are, by nature, fearful, cynical, and suspicious little souls. Generally not very well educated, they often respond to the loudest voice or the biggest bully in the room. And, once their mind is made up, there's no changing it. They are fools.

I date the rise in wingnutism from the so-called "Republican Revolution" of 1994. Yes, we had mean-spirited and mouthy conservatives before (Spiro Agnew) and during the Reagan years, but 1994 was when the nasty, dirty, combative, and wholly dishonest and ignorant Lee Atwater-Newt Gingrich-Karl Rove brand of vile conservatism came into being. Today it has become rampant, and as Burr Deming points out, it replenishes itself repeatedly in the vacuous internet, talk radio, Fox "News" cocoon it has spun around itself. Bullshit cannot stand on its own forever. Reality has a way of slicing and dicing delusion into nothingness eventually. So I do expect this foolish era to pass. But in the meantime, it is unjust, pointless, and infuriating to normal, rational people.

Marc McDonald said...

re:
>>Reality has a way of slicing and
>>dicing delusion into nothingness
>>eventually. So I do expect this
>>foolish era to pass.

Jack, I hope you're right. But I'm not optimistic about this.
America seems to be entering a new Dark Ages. Superstition and ignorance are increasingly replacing science and reason.
Alone among First World nations, America has a sizeable population that rejects everything from Darwin to global warming.
The likes of Sarah Palin actually revel in their ignorance.
Public education continues to deteriorate.
Fewer and fewer Americans read.
A good portion of Americans are fat, smug, clueless and totally ignorant about the rest of the world.
I fear we are at the edge of an abyss of a new Dark Ages.
With the collapsed economy and the voices of hate and ignorance growing louder, I fear that we're in for some very grim times ahead, as America moves closer to Third World status.

R Southern said...

Yes, but I wonder about the value of your or my admitting so much. Also, I differ with you in that I'm pretty sure that Sarah Palin is in favor of higher education so that her children can grow up to accurately count their rocks and snowballs (and snowballs with rocks hidden inside)! When we run out of nuclear missiles, she's the one who'll be close enough to throw them at her close neighbor Russia.

R Southern said...

Sorry if I'm having "too much fun". I know you've been working hard and being serious!

Manifesto Joe said...

Not to worry. I really would like to lighten up this blog, but I seem to be hitting some kind of middle ground between gravitas and the lighter approach, so I'm probably going to stick with that. I know your blog, Ron, and hence I know that we others in this stream look (and are) far too serious. To each his own. I like you the way you are.

Ron Southern said...

For some reason, I missed your last response above until just now. Guess I was busy with the following serious nonsense:

I'm not sure it's such a great idea to go after the CIA and Bush and Cheney right now. I would be willing to believe anything bad about those shitheads short of baby-fucking, but to bust open an additional can of worms while in this economic slump and while trying to get Republican cooperation on a difficult health care (or health insurance) reform bill seems like begging for trouble. It may be way too moralistic a stance for Obama.

On the other hand, maybe things are just going to go badly no matter what we do, so why not do every damn thing we want to do, just like we (as a government) always have? Hell, let's exhume Nixon and kick his sorry corpse all around the block while we're killing time!

Anonymous said...

Regarding obesity... isn't MJ is being a little silly regarding our (American) lifestyle? Isn't it true that we all can choose to ride everywhere, even avoid stairs, whether we are rich or poor? Isn't it true that rich or poor we all now have access to foods that are calorie dense? Isn't it also true that few of us need do physical work, rich or poor?

Manifesto Joe said...

Anon: It's mystifying that you would leave this particular comment here, on this post, rather than on a much more appropriate one. And, it seems pointless. I don't think anyone would disagree that Americans could take more personal initiative for fitness and such. But to think that those ads we're bombarded with, through myriad media, don't have an effect, is pretty silly. The agencies wouldn't be in business if the ads for McDonald's and such had no effect. There's big money back of them. Get real.