Banning the Birthers
Jon Henke thinks it’s time for the Right to throw out the lunatics:
In the 1960’s, William F. Buckley denounced the John Birch Society leadership for being “so far removed from common sense” and later said “We cannot allow the emblem of irresponsibility to attach to the conservative banner.”
The Birthers are the Birchers of our time, and WorldNetDaily is their pamphlet. The Right has mostly ignored these embarrassing people and organizations, but some people and organizations inexplicably choose to support WND through advertising and email list rental or other collaboration.
Several of us — notably Melissa Clouthier, Doug Mataconis, and Matt Sheffield — bandied this about on Twitter yesterday. And while I’m still inclined to agree with Jon that the Republican Party and organized conservative movement should distance itself from the yahoos, I’m not sure how much energy it’s worth. Aren’t we better off, as Melissa suggests, in focusing “on a positive message all can unite around?”
Casting out the infidels will likely not have much benefit and comes with quite a bit of cost.
As Steve Benen notes, the RNC is among those advertising on WND. And, while I’d love to see them not legitimate the loons by sponsoring their websites, it’s true that loons vote. And they’re not going to go away just because the RNC doesn’t give them any money. Indeed, it may well just prove to them that both parties are corrupt.
The more important criticism is that Jerome Corsi, the loon that sparked Jon to say “Enough” is the yahoo who was behind the Swift Boat Veterans slime group that attacked John Kerry so successfully in 2004. While some of us on the Right denounced them at the time, most sat by and figured the ends justified the means.
At this point, I’d just be happy if the GOP can find leaders who rise above the Birther and Death Panels fray and put forth principled alternatives to the Obama-Reid-Pelosi programs. Aside from continuing the status quo, what’s the Republican plan for solving the impending financial collapse of our health care system? What’s the Republican vision of American security policy? Does it envision continuing nation-building in every country where Islamist terrorists might live? How do we pay down the national debt and get back on the road to fiscal sanity?
Ultimately, focusing on that might take the spotlight off the crazies.