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Ben Smith Was Right

It seems Ben Smith pretty much nailed it:

I’m still not sure this represents actual belief, as opposed to a kind of trash talk about a president you hate.

A new Washington Post poll puts paid to the absurd notion that Birthers, asinine as they are, were motivated purely by racism:

In interviews following the public release the president’s “long-form” birth certificate last week, fully 70 percent of Americans say Obama was born in Hawaii, a big bump-up from the 48 percent who said so a year ago. Even more say he was U.S.-born, or call that their best guess, for a total of 86 percent.

Overall, 10 percent of Americans say Obama was likely born abroad, down from 20 percent in an April 2010 Post-ABC poll. Almost all those who now say Obama was born in a foreign country say that it’s only their “suspicion;” just 1 percent claim “solid evidence” that the president was born elsewhere (9 percent said so last year). [Emphasis added.]

It’s aggravating that Birtherism managed to get even the amount of traction that it did. But it’s a relief that, once the hard proof was out there, only the truly wacky fringe are holding onto it. As Prof. Jacobson put it, “what is clear is that the evidence mattered, much more so than skin color.” It shouldn’t have ever required this extra level of proof, but once it was available, Birtherism was done for.

So, henceforth, anyone who insists upon holding onto their conviction that opposition to Obama is purely motivated by his race will find themselves joining Birthers as personae non grata. At this point it’s at least as irrational.

Related Posts:

About Dodd
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He can kill a mime using only his thumb. He joined the staff at OTB in May 2007. Follow Dodd on Twitter.

Comments

  1. The flaw in Smith’s argument is that the “hard proof” was made available by the Obama campaign on June 13, 2008

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  2. Dodd says:

    The flaw in Smith’s argument is that the “hard proof” was made available by the Obama campaign on June 13, 2008

    I disagree. That’s the very essence of it. Proof acceptable to most of us has indeed been around for years. And those who wouldn’t just accept it were a serious source of annoyance. But, as we now know… better proof was available but (for whatever reason) Obama chose not to put the matter to rest permanently years ago (it’s not like the existence of this better evidence wasn’t known until recently).

    There will always be people who will seize on such excuse to justify their animus. He was speaking in the context of Truthers (who have seized on what they think are “holes” in the “official story”), but the same logic applies. But once Obama decided to release his LFBC, the issue died overnight. He shouldn’t have had to, mind. But it obviously would have had this same effect any time up to now.

    Trutherism, by contrast, will probably be with us for a good long while yet.

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  3. Rick Almeida says:

    The word “purely” in your phrase “motivated purely by racism” does a lot of very subtle work to construct your straw man argument. Since nobody argues that “opposition to Obama is purely motivated by his race “, this is either a vacuous or a dishonest post.

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  4. Richard Gardner says:

    I just don’t know. Going through the checkout today I saw on the front page questions about the recently released Hawaiian archival record – things such as the numbering sequence being wrong.

    Stuff like this sells, and enquiring minds want to know!

    (And exactly who knows how Hawaiian state birth records were numbered back in 1961? This of course was that Pulitzer Prize eligible “National Enquirer.” Too bad the Weekly World News was killed off; that is where this belongs}

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  5. Southern Hoosier says:

    So, henceforth, anyone who insists upon holding onto their conviction that opposition to Obama is purely motivated by his race will find themselves joining Birthers as personae non grata. At this point it’s at least as irrational.

    I think you have a few people on here who are irrational.

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  6. Tano says:

    better proof was available

    How the hell can anyone claim that the “long form” is “better proof” than the short form? They are issued by the same government bureaucracy, based on the same original documentation, with almost the exact same information.

    The only way that one can claim that the short form was not conclusive would be to claim that there is/was some conspiracy to fabricate evidence – and the conspiracy necessarily must include the Hawaii state government. But these are the same people who have produced the “long form”.

    If you suspect that they perpetrated a fraud with the short form, how on earth can you be convinced by the fact that they produce now a slightly longer form? If you do not claim that there is fraud with the short form, then there never was any basis for the doubt.

    As Prof. Jacobson put it, “what is clear is that the evidence mattered, much more so than skin color.”

    That is a mindless conclusion. No one has claimed that racism was a simple substitute for evidence. Racism is the underlying attitude that causes the racist to grab on any possible argument that could possibly undermine the legitimacy of the president. They worked very hard on the birther issue, but that issue, like many others, are simply the means to their end.

    If something happens in the larger society that makes one particular issue much harder to advance (like the release of the long form), then the racists will simply take up a different issue. How on earth is that evidence that racism was not at play in the first place?

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  7. michael reynolds says:

    Yeah, what Rick said.

    There was never a legitimate question about Obama’s place of birth.

    The attacks on him as “not American,” “Kenyan,” “Muslim” etc… were and are coded racism.

    The fact that the racists left themselves vulnerable to a conclusive counterpunch in no way alters their core motivation. It just makes it harder for them to maintain with a straight face.

    Nice try, Dodd. But it’s your usual superficial, lazy, self-satisfied b.s.

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  8. Dodd says:

    No one has claimed that racism was a simple substitute for evidence.

    Well, that assertion lasted all of 3 minutes until the very self-identified persona non grata I expected to do so squashed it like a bug.

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  9. Southern Hoosier says:

    Richard Gardner says: Friday, May 6, 2011 at 21:10
    (And exactly who knows how Hawaiian state birth records were numbered back in 1961?

    In 1961, the birth certificate numbers were not assigned by the hospitals.

    Instead, the numbers were stamped to the birth record by the Hawaii Department of Health at the main office in Honolulu.

    This is the only place birth certificate numbers were assigned.

    The birth certificate number was stamped on the form by a rubber stamp that automatically increased by one each time a birth certificate was stamped.

    Read more: What is it about twin girls born day after Obama? http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=292457#ixzz1Lcvfx7rS

    Just by asking that question, you will be accused of being a birther.

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  10. Southern Hoosier says:

    @Tano
    Your starting to sound irrational. You can’t let go of birther/racism, can you?

    So, henceforth, anyone who insists upon holding onto their conviction that opposition to Obama is purely motivated by his race will find themselves joining Birthers as personae non grata. At this point it’s at least as irrational.

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  11. Tano says:

    SH,

    I do not follow your logic here.

    So, henceforth, anyone who insists upon holding onto their conviction that opposition to Obama is purely motivated by his race

    No one. Got that? No one, has claimed that the opposition to Obama is solely, or “purely: motivated by his race.
    No one has even ever claimed that the particular birther issue is soley, or necessarily an expression of racism.
    But it remains pretty obvious that some of the core driving elements of the birther movement are motivated by race, and some part of those who irrationally latch onto birther beliefs do so because they are driven by their racial animus.

    You seem to think that if you can point to one non-racist who toys with birther beliefs then you have absolved the whole movement of any taint of racism.

    And I really wonder. What is your motivation here, to be such an apologist for these people?

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  12. But it’s a relief that, once the hard proof was out there, only the truly wacky fringe are holding onto it.

    Dodd: I thought you rejected birtherism. Yet the notion that the COLB was not “hard proof” is part of the basic birther mythos. Why are you propagating it?

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  13. An Interested Party says:

    Interesting that Southern Hoosier, who gets defensive when called a birther, links to a site that is all about the birther meme, as illustrated by the picture that accompanies this post…

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  14. Schisma Tism says:

    There’s a hell of a lot of false equivalency here and by Ben Smith. The most clear and obvious difference is that the short birth certificate is THE official document from the Hawaiian and it was accepted by the FEC and the states at the time as proof Obama was a natural born citizen (before some legislators found it politically appealing to go birther). Any suggestion that Obama was not born in the US, was a Kenyan, was a foreigner, was a Muslim, etc. are all a priori arguments – that is, they’re made without prior experience or empirical evidence. People had to conjure up every reason imaginable to falsely promulgate their fantasy. The origin of Obama birtherism doesn’t come from anywhere but fantasy.

    In contrast, the truthers had a spark to work from. The administration was warned that attacks were eminent and it was rather convenient that there was a lull in security on that very same day. Every argument that came after that was pure manure but the origin wasn’t simply and only due to the hatred of a president they didn’t like – the unfortunate and purely coincidental circumstances were the origin of that species of stupid.

    The key difference is that birtherism is pure fantasy and sophistry, an a priori argument conjured up from the ether – inspired by the fact Obama’s an “other” and we’re thankful for Hillary’s campaign for being the ugly wretches they are to start the mess. How odd that it’s the groups that are traditionally seen as distrustful of non-whites picked up the idea from the desperate candidate of the opposing party. It’s not very often those who disagree with Democrats pick up their ideas and run with it unless they’ve got something to gain, or it quenches a thirst or scratches an itch that’s never healed since the civil war.

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  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    No one. Got that? No one, has claimed that the opposition to Obama is solely, or “purely: motivated by his race.

    lol…..

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  16. Schisma Tism says:

    I’d rather argue it’s more nationalist white culture than simple racism.

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  17. matt says:

    This always felt like what Clinton went through but boosted by the breadth of conservative media and to a lesser extent by good ol fashioned racism.

    Not all birthers are racist and neither are all racists birthers lol..

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  18. Boyd says:

    Since nobody argues that “opposition to Obama is purely motivated by his race “, this is either a vacuous or a dishonest post.

    You obviously haven’t been paying attention to OTB, Rick. One of the most prolific posters here at OTB has argued vehemently that birtherism is incontrovertibly based in racism. I argued long and hard with him over that very point last week.

    Your point is devastatingly refuted with the facts.

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  19. @Boyd,

    It takes a bit of a stretch, IMHO, to turn “First the birther bit, and now the academic record bit:  this all seems aimed at casting Obama as “the other” and it has a clear racial component to it” into a claim that opposition to Obama is purely motivated by race.

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  20. Tano says:

    One of the most prolific posters here at OTB has argued vehemently that birtherism is incontrovertibly based in racism.

    Why are you unable to see that birtherism can be based in racism, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who becomes a birther is necessarily a racist? The people who conceive of the meme, who argue it endlessly and obsessively, who are the drivers of the movement almost certainly are driven by an antagonism toward Obama that derives in significant part from his race/. And they certainly craft their arguments in such a manner as to exploit whatever racial discomforts exist in their target audience. That doesn’t mean that everyone who gets caught up in the arguments is necessarily a racist themselves. Seems pretty obvious….

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  21. Boyd says:

    That’s not what you said, Steven. At least, that’s not all that you said.

    For example:

    Further, while I tried for a while to dismiss the notion that the birther business was motivated by something other than racial discomfort and a little xenophobia, it is getting difficult to continue to do so.

    …how else do you explain (beyond racism) Trump asserting out of thin air that Obama was a “bad student” and yet got into Columbia and Harvard?

    If Obama was (sic) white and named John Smith, we would not be having this conversation about birth certificates or wondering how in the world he got into the Ivies.

    Quite frankly, this strikes me as a not especially subtle racial jab.

    You’ve made it quite clear that you believe that birtherism is inseparable from racism.

    NB: I am not now, nor have I ever been a birther.

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  22. Eric says:

    It could be that conservative-leaning people are nitpicking at Obama because they just like the fact he’s a Democratic president. I would say that’s more likely than inherent racism. If Hillary had become president, I know there would be some fringe group trying to find dirt on her.

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  23. Eric says:

    It could be that conservative-leaning people are nitpicking at Obama because they just don’t like the fact he’s a Democratic president. I would say that’s more likely than inherent racism. If Hillary had become president, I know there would be some fringe group trying to find dirt on her.

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  24. Andy says:

    Well, this is the trouble with trying to get into people’s head and trying to figure out their intentions.

    Although racism undoubtedly plays some role in the birther movement, there are other reasons besides race for people to believe such nonsense. For one to simply declare that racism is the cause as a self-evident fact does not make it so.

    On the other side, I don’t think Dodd’s position is tenable either – the decline in support for the birther position does not demonstrate that those people aren’t racist. A person can grudgingly concede that the President was born in the US and still oppose him because of his race.

    And really, do the motivations really matter except in terms of political point scoring? The birthers are wrong no matter what their reasons and it should be enough to demonstrate that with facts and not speculation about motive.

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  25. @Boyd,

    None of the quotes provided equate to “opposition to Obama is purely motivated by his race” which is what you claim the post and discussion prove in your comment above.

    Heck, not even all of the quotes you cite are about birtherism. Indeed, the post itself wasn’t specifically about birtherism.

    I find you comment above to be not only incorrect, but dishonest.

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  26. Boyd says:

    @Tano:

    And yet, Steven can conceive of no reason for birtherism beyond racism.

    Now, just to be clear, I have absolutely zero doubt that racism is the motivating force behind birtherism for some people. I simply argue against blanket statements, such as Steven’s, that racism is the only possible rationale behind it, or that a particular birther (Trump, at least at the time), who has made precisely zero racist statements, must be motivated by racism, simply because he makes birther statements (I put it that way because I have my doubts that Trump believes anything he says).

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  27. Boyd says:

    @Steven:

    Three out of the four quotes I provided were explicitly about birtherism (and in one case, the silly college transcript issue as well), as was the post that generated them. Please, call me wrong, but dishonest? Not even close.

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  28. @Boyd,

    When you suggest, as you did above, that I am starting that all opposition to Obama is based in race, I find that not only incorrect (as I have never said anything of the sort) but it strikes me as dishonest (because, again, I have not said such a thing).

    I also never said that I could not conceive of any reason for birtherism aside from racism. I do think that race is a major component of the discussion. Indeed, since the argument of the Birther is that Obama was born in Africa, it seems fairly axiomatic that race is a rather major factor.

    There is, by the way, a rather significant difference between noting the obvious, that race is a key factor, and reducing everything to racism.

    I do not understand why you feel the need to misrepresent what I have written.

    What point are you trying to make?

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  29. Boyd says:

    Further, while I tried for a while to dismiss the notion that the birther business was motivated by something other than racial discomfort and a little xenophobia, it is getting difficult to continue to do so.

    That, plus you attribute racial motivation to a man who has made no overtly racist statements about President Obama. Every supposedly racial motivation you have attributed to Trump has been through extrapolation, and not due to a single racist statement the man has made. I reject your claim that I have misrepresented a single jot of what you’ve said. I’ve merely quoted you.

    And once again, I feel like I have to go take a shower after defending anything The Donald has ever said, but at the same time, I feel strongly that you have attributed racism to him without a single shred of evidence.

    Here’s my basic point, and I apologize if the difference is merely between absolutism and “well, there may be something else to it, but racism is the real motivator here,” but too many people facilely leap to racism as the explanation for opposition to President Obama when there are many other reasons for that opposition. I have never felt that your attribution of racism to Donald Trump was supported by anything beyond “I can’t think of another explanation.”

    Bah! I have to go to bed.

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  30. @Boyd,

    I remain ready for you to demonstrate where I said that all opposition to Obama is based in race.

    Until you can do so,I willl stick with both incorrect and dishonest.

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  31. michael reynolds says:

    Yes, there can be reasons other than race: sheer stupidity.

    But race is at the bottom of this. And race is precisely the reason for Trump and other Republicans to embrace this. Is it because they themselves are racists? Not necessarily. You can be a Klansman without even caring about race — you just have to know that exploiting someone else’s racism is a path to power. Do you think every Nazi really hated Jews? Most did. Some just used it to gain power.

    The GOP deliberately absorbed white racists into the party in 1968. It was a choice they made. Which is how the south turned Republican. And to this day racists provide the winning margin to the GOP.

    The GOP loves its dog whistle racism, loves its coded appeals to white tribalism. Birtherism is the direct descendent of the Southern Strategy. Intolerance has been profitable for the GOP — intolerance of blacks, gays, immigrants. The closer-to-decency Republicans have been trying to at very least mute the racist voices, but birtherism blew that open. The mask is off.

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  32. Scott O. says:

    I wonder if the public humiliation of Trump was more of a factor in reducing birtherism than the production of the “long form” bc.

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  33. michael reynolds says:

    By the way, the history of wealthy whites exploiting race to get poor whites to vote against their own interests goes back at least as far as slave times. Wealthy plantation owners got a few hundred thousand poor white southerners to die to defend their “right” to treat black people as property. This con game has been going on for a long time. How do you get some working class guy to vote with the billionaires? Create a feeling of identification by race that is so powerful it transcends self-interest. Trump is just the latest plantation owner and his birther supporters are sharecroppers too stupid to see through the game.

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  34. anjin-san says:

    Boyd… of.course there are other motivations for being a birther. Such as being a raging idiot.

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  35. Rick Almeida says:

    @Boyd:

    Your point is devastatingly refuted with the facts.

    “[I]ncontrovertibly based in” and “purely” are very different ideas.

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  36. jwest says:

    The poll numbers confirm that the vast majority of people who liberals classified erroneously as “birthers” were, in fact, motivated by logic and reason.

    Weak minded, submissive leftists blindly accepted whatever was put in front of them while an impressive number of those on the right maintained that although they were willing to accept that Obama was born in the U.S., they wanted to see the LFBC. This desire to see the original certificate was rooted in the fact that rational people believe that when someone goes to great lengths to hide something, there is most likely something to hide.

    Liberals, unable to posit any explanation of why Obama wouldn’t simply release the document, conflated the majority who only wished to see what he was hiding with those on the extreme fringe who claimed a Kenyan birth. Although there were those on the left who had the capacity to understand the real issue – that an American president was concealing something – they embarrassed themselves constructing straw men and arguing around the point.

    Are there a small number who still believe Obama was born elsewhere? Of course. The right has their share of people who will believe irrational things, although it is a tiny fraction in comparison to the lunatic-filled left whose majority still believe Bush and Cheney either knew or participated in the 9/11 attack. In the end, polls prove that the only people who were acting logically were the ones accepting Obama’s claim but demanding the original document.

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  37. Ben R says:

    Why the confusion?
    Obama could have been born in any country and he still would be a natural born citizen of the United States. His mother was a citizen…her offspring are natural born citizens no matter where they are born.
    He did not have to go through the “naturalization process” that citizens of other countries have to follow to become citizens.
    (McCain was not born in a U.S. state either)

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  38. jwest says:

    Ben R,

    That was exactly my position from the start.

    Obama’s mother was undeniably a U.S. citizen, so it didn’t matter where he was born.

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  39. sam says:

    “The right has their share of people who will believe irrational things”

    Heh.

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  40. george says:

    Yes, there can be reasons other than race: sheer stupidity.

    Actually, though you think race was the determining factor, I think you are actually named the most significant factor above. Racism is secondary; intelligent racists (and yes, there are and always have been some – and from all cultures and races) did not jump on the birther wagon.

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  41. Dodd says:

    I thought you rejected birtherism. Yet the notion that the COLB was not “hard proof” is part of the basic birther mythos. Why are you propagating it?

    I guess wasn’t sufficiently clear. As I said, the COLB was more than sufficient proof for most of us. I was speaking merely of the POV of those who changed their minds after the LFBC was released; I did not mean to “propagate” the silly notion that it was somehow more legitimate in reality.

    The poll numbers confirm that the vast majority of people who liberals classified erroneously as “birthers” were, in fact, motivated by logic and reason.

    Let’s not go overboard. Birtherism has always been grounded in refusal to exercise reason reasonably.

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  42. Herb says:

    “The poll numbers confirm that the vast majority of people who liberals classified erroneously as “birthers” were, in fact, motivated by logic and reason.”

    Actually, if you used “logic and reason” to game out the possible false birth certificate scenarios, poll numbers confirm you weren’t using it right.

    And Dodd, you missed the forest for the trees. Of course, not all opposition to Obama is based on race. Of course, much of birtherism is just “trash talk about a president you hate.” (Here’s the “of course” you missed.) And of course, race is going to be a factor in that trash talk.

    But do your Stalinist sorting if you must….

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  43. rodney dill says:

    Birtherism has always been grounded in refusal to exercise reason reasonably.

    Much as “Carderism,” apparently.

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  44. jwest says:

    Dodd,

    You’re reading like a liberal. The actual text of what I wrote holds the clues to what I was saying…

    “This desire to see the original certificate was rooted in the fact that rational people believe that when someone goes to great lengths to hide something, there is most likely something to hide.”

    Regardless of how many times I wrote:

    “Obama’s mother was undeniably a U.S. citizen, so it didn’t matter where he was born.”

    Always making the point that Obama was absolutely a U.S. citizen, liberals (and apparently you) insisted that I (and tens of millions of others like me) were “birthers” – attributing every aspect of every conspiracy theory to us. What we were really doing was exercising basic logic and reasoning insisting that the Obama release the document he worked so hard to hide.

    The question that should be asked is why this egomaniac withheld it for so long. Once he saw that his poll numbers were dropping precipitously, in a panic he took the ten seconds to sign the request. What competent person would have taken so long to make an obvious decision?

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  45. Scott O. says:

    people believe that when someone goes to great lengths to hide something, there is most likely something to hide

    The idea that something was being hidden is irrational

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  46. Eric Florack says:

    The idea that the charge of racism being leveled against those opposing or even questioning Obama on ANYTHING, is pure illusion. The reason is that Obama nd his supporters have no other defense to employ.

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  47. An Interested Party says:

    The idea that the charge of racism being leveled against those opposing or even questioning Obama on ANYTHING, is pure illusion.

    Not to mention a lie spread by people like you…

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  48. Eric Florack says:

    I see my editing is lacking. It should read:

    The idea that the charge of racism being leveled against those opposing or even questioning Obama on ANYTHING will ever, ever stop, is pure illusion. Its all his defenders have. They cant defend him on policy issues s they try the shift the blame tactic.

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  49. An Interested Party says:

    Its all his defenders have.

    Yet another lie…

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  50. anjin-san says:

    I see my editing is lacking.

    Most of us are thinking it is your reasoning that is lacking, but you must, of course, play the rather weak hand you hold as best you can…

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  51. Eric Florack says:

    So why is the charge of racism tye knee jerk reaction, AIP?

    And maybe you could shock us, break the trend and actually offer a viable defense of the man and his policies?

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  52. anjin-san says:

    actually offer a viable defense of the man and his policies?

    Perhaps we feel the man and his polices have no great need of defense, especially against a bottom feeder such as yourself…

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  53. Eric Florack says:

    Interesting dodge, yet totally ineffective, Anjin.
    Do try again.

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  54. TG Chicago says:

    @jwest

    Obama’s mother was undeniably a U.S. citizen

    Undeniably, eh?

    How do you know that? Have you seen her long-form birth certificate? Have you seen her parents’?

    Seems like you’re getting a bit weak and submissive. Keep pressing for the truth!

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  55. john personna says:

    Add me as another amused by the “purely by race” construction.

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  56. c.red says:

    Perhaps this has been pointed out, but this post does not make any sense.

    The poll makes no suggestion of why birthers questioned Obama’s citizenship in the first place or what their motivation is in no longer questioning it. All it shows is that most Americans are smart enough to accept reality when their nose is rubbed in it and/or don’t like to look entirely foolish(which is actually a relief, I was beginning to wonder.)

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  57. TG Chicago says:

    Piggybacking on c.red: it’s possible that a racist could be motivated to be a birther largely by their racism, then — finally at long last — be dissuaded from birtherism, but still remain a racist. Not that complicated.

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  58. Rock says:

    I thought that the election of Obama ushered in the post-racial era for the US of A. But no. Democrats and their ilk use the race card now more than ever. Everyone knew that would be the case prior to his election, but not how bad it would actually become. Now the charge of racism against the opposition is routine and has lost a lot of its former sting. Obviously they didn’t hear Obama’s call for civility either.

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  59. anjin-san says:

    Bit… there is nothing to dodge. You are vaporware, and everyone knows it.

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  60. An Interested Party says:

    Obviously they didn’t hear Obama’s call for civility either.

    A call for civility does not mean the same thing as denying reality…the fact of the matter is that racism still exists, no matter who sits in the White House…

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  61. Eric Florack says:

    I disagree. That’s the very essence of it. Proof acceptable to most of us has indeed been around for years. And those who wouldn’t just accept it were a serious source of annoyance. But, as we now know… better proof was available but (for whatever reason) Obama chose not to put the matter to rest permanently years ago (it’s not like the existence of this better evidence wasn’t known until recently).

    Yeah, after promising the most transparent administration ever.

    Bit… there is nothing to dodge. You are vaporware, and everyone knows it.

    Anjin, you’re pathetic.

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  62. john personna says:

    @c.red

    The poll makes no suggestion of why birthers questioned Obama’s citizenship in the first place or what their motivation is in no longer questioning it. All it shows is that most Americans are smart enough to accept reality when their nose is rubbed in it and/or don’t like to look entirely foolish(which is actually a relief, I was beginning to wonder.

    As I mentioned in one of the other threads, it may be worse than that. There is this thing called the “recency effect,” part of the “serial position effect,” which says people tend to believe the last thing you told them.

    For years the last thing people were told (by wingers) was that there was no birth certificate.

    Now they’ve been told there is.

    If birthers are on to recency, they’ll just say again that there is no certificate :-\

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  63. john personna says:

    @Rock

    I thought that the election of Obama ushered in the post-racial era for the US of A. But no. Democrats and their ilk …

    Sick argument. It says “let birhters and nut jobs do their thing, ignore the bizarre convulsion following the election of a black President.”

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  64. john personna says:

    Oh, I forgot. We are also supposed to ignore the guys who showed up at Tea Party rallies with racist signs because, hey, they weren’t many. And everyone knows that every single racist showed up with such a sign to be counted. No one say, showed up being a racist, but decided to go with the “show the birth certificate” sign.

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  65. anjin-san says:

    Gotta admit, I sort of feel sorry for bit. bin laden dead, his computers in our hands. The economy recovering from the ’08 disaster, Trump humiliated, Palin sliding into C list celebrity irrelevance, not a single serious Republican candidate for 2012.

    Pretty much all he has left is praying for 12% unemployment and/or $6.00 gas.

    Remember kids, Republicans can only win if America loses…

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  66. Rock says:

    Oh, I forgot. We are also supposed to ignore the guys who showed up at Tea Party rallies with racist signs because, hey, they weren’t many.

    Hahaha! John, you are really funny. Just keep sipping that Kool-Aid . . . and have a couple bowls of rainbow stew while you are at it. Maybe that will slake your hatred for a while.

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  67. Wiley Stoner says:

    There are some really sick minds at work here. Do any of you know what it took to get a Certification of Live Birth in Hawaii? If so, quote the law. If you accept that as proof, I am one person who is glad you are not an officer of the Court. Read chapter 18, page 212 of Vattel: The law of nations, which was used as a reference by our founding fathers then tell me your crack smoking hero is a Natural Born Citizen. That being with a Brithish Citizen father.

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  68. rodney dill says:

    As I mentioned in one of the other threads, it may be worse than that. There is this thing called the “recency effect,” part of the “serial position effect,” which says people tend to believe the last thing you told them.

    Which virtually guarantees that the remaining ‘birthers’ will continue to say that Obama isn’t an American citizen and ‘carders’ will continue to say that birtherism equates to racism.

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  69. wonkie says:

    I ever thought that birthism was motivated “purely” by racism–or anything else. Birthers are a diverse group, the common factor being a tendency to be credulous in a paranoid way toward Democrats. Remember all the ridiculous stuff curculated about Clinton? That wasn’t motivated by racism.

    I have a sort of friend who is a birther. We volunteer together at a dog rescue and share a common interest in promoting the humane treatment of animals. She says, “Obama is not my President.” She’s a authoritarian persoality type who can’t ackowledge the legitimacy of any views but her own. Obama is a challege to her conception of America as a nation of people like herself: white, rightwing. People who aren’t white and rightwing just aren’t real Americans like she is. It’s a broader prejudice than racism.

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  70. john personna says:

    Interesting. Birthers refuse actual evidence, carders refuse to dismiss actual evidence.

    (If I correctly interpret “carder” as a placard reader. )

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  71. @Rodney:

    Could you define “carder” please?

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  72. G.A.Phillips says:

    I don’t hate Obama, I also think he is UN American in many ways,lol,but I think his is American in many also.

    It’s fun when you have your own mind, to think…

    I don’t like him as President, because he supports abortion and funds it, is STILL an indoctrinated neo Marxist collage kid puppet,talks to much derisive crap,blames every one and his grandma for the evils of the world while having other indoctrinated neo Marxist collage kids do all of his work, creates conspiracy theories,is in the pockets of Marxist global unions and corporations, is a green neck planet worshiper,cant do poop on his own but read a teleprompter and bull$hit, and is an open and remorseless Bear fan!

    I could could go all day night, but not one thing has to do with his race which is human!!!!!
    if your what to go by skin color, your stupid and probably more than likely a product of some messed up parents or your an indoctrinated neo Marxist collage kid, and it don’t matter what color you are or if you vote for or against him.

    lol, you want a good conspiracy theory? I think he is using the MARXIST NFL unions and the liberal judges to keep the PACKERS from bringing him more jerseys!!!So he can live peacefully in more denial and illusion as he watches the Bulls and forgets about the reality of his Bears and his economy that still suck!!!

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  73. Eric Florack says:

    The economy recovering from the ’08 disaster,

    What planet are you on, anyway?

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  74. john personna says:

    I think you completely devalue the word Marxist there, Eric.

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  75. anjin-san says:

    What planet are you on, anyway?

    The one where we don’t say “everything I know, I learned from Fox news”…

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  76. An Interested Party says:

    The words Marxist, Socialist, and Communist constantly get devalued around here…but then again, so does the opinion of those who use these words incorrectly…

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  77. G.A.Phillips says:

    The words Marxist, Socialist, and Communist constantly get devalued around here…but then again, so does the opinion of those who use these words incorrectly…

    Hardly…refusal to except what is going on in this country is the problem not my not my humorous but truthful terminology.I am using words of true meaning and my free speech to create meaningful descriptions for those who have the will, the open mind, and the balls to understand.

    The liberals say not to talk about, Politics, Religion, Socialism, Communism, Marxism and oh, oh, oh Evolution.

    Let me know if you get anything at all out of this. :)

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  78. An Interested Party says:

    Let me know if you get anything at all out of this.

    Oh I got something out of it, but probably not what you intended…

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  79. Eric Florack says:

    The one where we don’t say “everything I know, I learned from Fox news”…

    And where have I even come close to such? Your fantasies are running away with what’s left of your mind, Anjin.
    The fact is, we’re not recovering, we’re getting worse.

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  80. @GA:

    The bottom line is that you (and many others) do use those terms incorrectly with some frequency.

    And that statement has nothing to do with ideology, partisan politics, or policy preferences. Rather, it is a statement based on knowing what the terms actually mean.

    Criticize all you like–but it would be nice if one used the words correctly and/or found the right words to express said criticism.

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  81. rodney dill says:

    Carder – Playing the Race Card for political reasons other than actual incidents of racism. I predict you’ll see a lot of carders who will only see racism as the reason someone else opposes Obama through the 2012 election. Of course, they will be right when the reason actually is racism, but most of the time they will be wrong.

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  82. @Rodney:

    Thanks for the definition.

    I will say this: it seems to me a lot of people are trying to dismiss the racial component of the conversation, which I think is real enough that it warrants discussion, by trying to oversimplify the discussion to “birtherism = racsism” or, worse “opposition to Obama equals racism.”

    I, for example, have never thought that birtherism simply equated to racism, but do think that much of birtherism is linked to the president’s race (along with his name, the fact that his father was foreign and so forth). This is a substantially different position than “birtherism”=”racism” and yet it still account for the racial component.

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  83. Barb Hartwell says:

    For some this issue will never end, and yes I believe most of these people who wish to keep this going are racist, some know he was born here but still want to do anything they can to discredited him. He has overcome so many obstacles mostly from far right nut jobs that can not stick to important issues plaguing our country. He is an American citizen get over it. Let`s talk about JOBS.

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  84. rodney dill says:

    @Steven L. Taylor, and I don’t disagree with any of your comments. There will always be some whose motivation for going after Obama will be racist in nature. Regardless of their previous political affiliation I would think most racists would align themselves with the party most likely to oust Obama. At least I can’t imagine how you could be both racist and pro-Obama, though statistically such an individual probably exists. Unfortunately I think playing the race card will continue to be used just because it works politically, and not just to expose actual racism that exists.

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  85. john personna says:

    Rodney ends with an amazing sentence – at once acknowledging that racism exists, but declaring any note of it will be political, and implying that it should not be discussed in polite society.

    What’s the first rule of ____?

    There is no ____.

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  86. anjin-san says:

    The fact is, we’re not recovering, we’re getting worse.

    Explain how, if you can…

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  87. An Interested Party says:

    @G.A.: Of course you are perfectly free to talk about politics, religion, Socialism, Communism, Marxism, evolution, and anything else your little heart desires…no one has told you not to talk about these things…on the contrary, if you could only talk about them in their proper context, rather than just throwing so much out there as simple, baseless attacks with no grounding in reality…funny how rodney dill laments how some people are supposedly using the race card…meanwhile, others, particularly those who whine about the race card, have no problem using the Socialist card, the Communist card, and/or the Marxist card whenever someone dares to do something that the accusers disagree with…

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  88. rodney dill says:

    @john personna, I beg to differ. I never said any note of racism would be only political. I said it would be most used as a political tool.

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  89. G.A.Phillips says:

    Criticize all you like–but it would be nice if one used the words correctly and/or found the right words to express said criticism.

    Green neck planet worshiper?

    :)

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  90. rodney dill says:

    have no problem using the Socialist card, the Communist card, and/or the Marxist card whenever someone dares to do something that the accusers disagree with…

    @An Interested Party, I agree, those are equally used as political ploys as much as the race card. I wouldn’t expect their use to discontinue either.

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  91. john personna says:

    That’s pretty shameless rodney, devaluing any actual racism below counting.

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  92. michael reynolds says:

    Rodney:

    You guys think yelling “race card!” works. It doesn’t. I think it worked for about six weeks in the 1980’s. Update your game.

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  93. Eric Florack says:

    Explain how, if you can…

    Already did.

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  94. michael reynolds says:

    The assumption behind “Race Card!” is that racism either:

    1) Never existed. Or,

    2) Disappeared.

    So someone tell me which it is. And tell me if it disappeared, when it did so.

    Simple questions.

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  95. anjin-san says:

    Already did.

    I meant explain it in a manner that would have meaning to someone a little more sophisticated than the bottom feeders at your blog. No one here is really interested in regurgitated right wing talking points…

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  96. rodney dill says:

    @michael reynolds, Neither of those assumptions are correct, please play again. I certainly believe racism is alive and well, and pervasive in society, yet that is not a reason to cry ‘racist’ where its not warranted.

    @john personna, Actually I would be the one not devaluing racism by not using it to cry ‘wolf.’

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  97. rodney dill says:

    @michael reynolds, in case I misread your statement. If you are talking about a specific case of claimed racism then, I agree, the simplistic litmus test of the race card could be either, that racism didn’t exist or disappeared. In a more general case, as birtherism, I don’t think its so clear. I believe some birthers were motivated by race and some were not, yet in many posts and comments here we’ve been told that commenters were convinced that race was a main cause, that there wasn’t any other reasonable explanation other than race, that to believe otherwise was just stupidity.

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  98. john personna says:

    @john personna, Actually I would be the one not devaluing racism by not using it to cry ‘wolf.’

    It’s pretty clear you are playing a contradiction. People on the right have moved in the last year. They now acknowledge racism within fringe groups. We see this above with Dodd’s “absurd notion that Birthers, asinine as they are, were motivated purely by racism” construction. “Purely.”

    And yet, you’d say that it devalues racism to address the real racism within these same institutions.

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  99. john personna says:

    I believe some birthers were motivated by race and some were not, yet in many posts and comments here we’ve been told that commenters were convinced that race was a main cause, that there wasn’t any other reasonable explanation other than race, that to believe otherwise was just stupidity.

    This almost sounds as if, for racism withing birtherism to be bad, it would have to be a majority belief! I’d think for racism to achieve such a visible minority position in 2011 is shocking, and worth calling out.

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  100. rodney dill says:

    And yet, you’d say that it devalues racism to address the real racism within these same institutions.

    I have no problem with addressing racism anywhere it exists, in the GOP, in the Tea Party, In the Democratic Party….

    for racism withing birtherism to be bad,

    WTF? I can’t parse your meaning here, even from the context of the rest of the comment.

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  101. rodney dill says:

    for racism WITHIN birtherism to be bad

    That was not my intent, racism is bad whether a motivation for birtherism or not.

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  102. Ben Wolf says:

    Look, you worthless liberals can put the whole racism thing to rest if you’d just vote for someone who’s pasty skin glows in the moonlight, and who’s name is culturally similar to “Gus Johnson”.

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  103. rodney dill says:

    …well that contributes to rational discussion…. not.

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  104. george says:

    The assumption behind “Race Card!” is that racism either:

    1) Never existed. Or,

    2) Disappeared.

    So someone tell me which it is. And tell me if it disappeared, when it did so.

    Simple questions.

    That’s an over simplification, as you’re no doubt quite aware. There is of course the possibility that racism

    1) Has existed in the past.
    2) Still exists.
    3) Is sometimes claimed even when inapplicable.

    People will lie and exaggerate, making false accusations for their own advantage in just about every human endeavor – its no more likely that people never falsely claim racism than it is that people never falsely claim assault or rape or theft. There’s a reason that the standard of proof is innocent until proven guilty rather than the other way around.

    Having said that, in this case I suspect a good portion of birtherism was based on racism, but as you’re no doubt aware as a writer, people are complex, and some people probably were drawn to birtherism for different reasons (just plain old “I hate the other party” for instance).

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  105. john personna says:

    3) Is sometimes claimed even when inapplicable.

    The irony for me is of course that it is claimed as applicable and inapplicable when discussing the same movement.

    Having said that, in this case I suspect a good portion of birtherism was based on racism, but as you’re no doubt aware as a writer, people are complex, and some people probably were drawn to birtherism for different reasons (just plain old “I hate the other party” for instance).

    Well, if michael (etc.) took it to them, claiming a “purely” racial motivation, and their answer has devolved to “no, not ‘purely’ racial” then that’s a net-win for michael.

    FWIW, I also think the answer is indefinite. I have no idea what fraction of the birther movement was racially motivated. What’s more, I doubt the birthers themselves can ever know. It gets into the “what is consciousness” weeds in short order.

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  106. jwest says:

    Let’s get back to basics.

    Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of racism:

    >Racism is the belief that there are inherent differences in people’s traits and capacities which are entirely due to their race, however defined, and which consequently justify those people being treated differently, both socially and legally. Alternatively, racism is the practice of certain group/s of people being treated differently, which is then justified by recourse to racial sterotyping or pseudo-science.

    Those who disagree with the proposition that there are races or that there are such inherent (ie. non-personal, social or cultural) differences regard any differences in treatment of people on the basis of those criteria as being racial discrimination. Some of those who argue that there are such inherent differences also argue that one race is inferior over another race.[1][2][3] In the case of institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or receive preferential treatment

    So, according to this definition, it would be correct to assume that there are a small number of “racists” in the republican party. However, it would also be correct to assume that all members of the democrat party and liberals in particular are racists.

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  107. G.A.Phillips says:

    So, according to this definition, it would be correct to assume that there are a small number of “racists” in the republican party. However, it would also be correct to assume that all members of the democrat party and liberals in particular are racists.

    *******A !Progressive Marxism via Evolution with a big splash of NAZI!!!!!!!

    ya ya ya, I know, I don’t know what these terms mean.

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  108. An Interested Party says:

    However, it would also be correct to assume that all members of the democrat party and liberals in particular are racists.

    Oh, look who’s playing the race card now…

    ya ya ya, I know, I don’t know what these terms mean.

    Ahh, some refreshing honesty…

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  109. george says:

    The irony for me is of course that it is claimed as applicable and inapplicable when discussing the same movement.

    Not sure its ironic – the movement is made up of millions of people. It’d be strange if they were all uniform in their reasons.

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  110. john personna says:

    The irony for me is of course that it is claimed as applicable and inapplicable when discussing the same movement.

    Not sure its ironic – the movement is made up of millions of people. It’d be strange if they were all uniform in their reasons.

    I think some are hoping that the non-racists within the movement effectively shield the whole movement from criticism. That is, if it isn’t “purely” (that word again) racist, it’s off the table.

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  111. Rock says:

    The race card, or the charge of racism, is a rhetorical device used mostly by Democrats and other nefarious liberals to shut down debate on almost any subject. When their vapid screeds fail, the card is used liberally as an attempt to destroy the opponent and get them to STFU. The race card is usually dealt from the bottom of the deck when least expected. Nowadays the card is often used first during a discussion to distract the opponent or change the subject. Its use is often devastating for which there is no defense.

    A word of caution to conservatives: You will be classified as a racist if you accuse anyone of using the race card.

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  112. john personna says:

    There you go, Rock’s response is perfect. It completely ignores all real racism, and just declares any criticism as an unfair attack on right thinking … racists. lol jk

    Seriously, if you want to make a reasonable response you have to acknowledge things like this:

    Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams kicked out over ‘Colored People’ letter

    The high ground is to say something like “sure, there have been a few racists attracted to the Tea Party (etc.) but that’s not what it’s about for me, and that’s not what it’s about for the people I know, etc. etc.” Then you go on to talk about the non-racial priorities you see for the movement.

    You shouldn’t really get stuck defending, or denying, the racists. It just makes you look bad.

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  113. mantis says:

    Wow. More than 100 comments and still going, all for an idiotic strawman Dodd created.

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  114. george says:

    I think some are hoping that the non-racists within the movement effectively shield the whole movement from criticism. That is, if it isn’t “purely” (that word again) racist, it’s off the table.

    I agree, they’re playing the same game: either every birther is racist or none are. Therefore if some aren’t racist, then none are.

    Whereas it seems pretty clear that many birthers are in fact racist; that isn’t changed by the observation that others just hate the opposition party and will throw whatever dirt they can find hoping it sticks, or that others just automatically distrust authority and assume every President must be hiding something.

    Humanity is rarely binary – people’s motives are complex. But that doesn’t mean that racism wasn’t the key element for many birthers, just that birthers aren’t likely any more uniform in their beliefs than any other group of millions of individuals.

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  115. john personna says:

    Not everyone is playing the “all or none” game. You and I agree that the fraction is unknown.

    And I think you and I agree that we shouldn’t be silent when racism, actual racism, appears (shockingly) in post millennial politics.

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  116. george says:

    And I think you and I agree that we shouldn’t be silent when racism, actual racism, appears (shockingly) in post millennial politics.

    Yup, it has to be called out … real examination is one of the main ways of changing hatred.

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