Obama Blames Media (And A Certain “Carnival Barker”) For Birther Nonsense

President Obama chided the media for paying too much attention to the birther issue, but his criticism was unwarranted.

American politics took another turn on it’s trip toward utter absurdity this morning when President Obama, after having made his original “long form” birth certificate available to the world, walked into the White House Press Room and talked about his birth certificate, an issue that had been resolved three years ago. It was bizarre on many levels, not the least of them being the fact that the press conference was covered not only by all three cable networks, but by all four broadcast networks, who broke into morning programming with a “Special Report.”   All of this caused the President to address the reason why he felt it necessary to address what is, at it’s base, a conspiracy theory about as crazy as the idea that JFK was assassinated to cover up the existence of extraterrestrials:

Obama, appearing in the White House briefing room shortly after senior administration officials distributed the document to reporters, blasted the “sideshows and carnival barkers” who have pushed the birther conspiracy instead of focusing on important issues.

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” Obama said. “We’ve got better things to do. I’ve got better things to do.”

Obama said that “normally I would not comment on something like this.” But he said he was bothered that the bigger news stories were about his birthplace even after House Republicans released their budget and he gave his own speech about his plans for reducing the deficit.

Obama did not mention businessman and television personality Donald Trump by name, but his comment about “carnival barkers” seemed directed at the real estate developer, who has jumped to the top of presidential preference polls among GOP voters largely by raising his doubts about where Obama was born.

“I have watched with bemusement,” Obama said. “I’ve been puzzled by the degree to which this has just kept going.”

Video:

The President also remarked, half-jokingly, at how amazing it was that this issue was getting “Special Report” level attention from the broadcast networks:

Hello, everybody. Now, let me just comment, first of all, on the fact that I can’t get the networks to break in on all kinds of other discussions — (laughter.) I was just back there listening to Chuck — he was saying, it’s amazing that he’s not going to be talking about national security. I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about that, Chuck, and you know it.

Obama is probably right there. Tomorrow, the President is expected to announce a major shakeup of his national security team, which includes a change in command in Afghanistan. The press conference will likely be covered by the cable networks, but there’s little chance that ABC, CBS, NBC, or Fox Broadcasting will interrupt the daily programming to cover the announcement the way they did this morning.

So is Obama correct to blame the media for covering the birther issue while ignoring other stories? Not really. For one thing, it simply isn’t true that birther coverage was drowning out other issues:

According to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, that week the dominant news story was without question the economy.

The ridiculous claims about the president’s birth certificate actually was the No. 4 story for the week – receiving about one tenth of the coverage devoted to stories about the economy.

According to Pew’s PEJ: “Hardly dipping from the previous week’s level of 40%, news about the economy was the top story in all media sectors studied, from cable TV to the Internet. And the particularly high level of coverage in cable (53%) and radio (52%), two politics-heavy platforms, indicated just how politically loaded the debate about federal spending was.

“Much of the coverage consisted of analysis of the speech Wednesday by President Obama, one that based on listening to many press accounts renewed support for the President among much of his liberal base. Obama was also the dominant newsmaker in 13% of stories—double that of the previous week—a bigger share than any week since January 24-30, when Obama gave the State of the Union. (To be a dominant newsmaker, someone must be featured in at least 50% of a story.)

“The jockeying for message control between an Obama-led rally to protect entitlement programs versus a Republican attempt to privatize them underscored the key subtext of last week’s federal spending debate—the 2012 presidential election.

“The week was also marked by another sign that the media are gearing up for the campaign—rumors about Obama’s national origin resurfaced, this time from tycoon Donald Trump, a potential GOP contender for the presidential nomination. These questions made up much of the coverage that focused on the Obama administration, a topic that accounted for another 4% of the newshole.”

Of course, the White House may have felt as if the birther story was stepping on their message and, if they spent much time watching MSNBC or any of the network’s coverage of Donald Trump, it certainly might have seemed that way. Nonetheless, to say that the media was ignoring other issues to talk about the President’s birth certificate just isn’t true.

Additionally, I don’t think its fair to say that the media just should have ignored this story. For the most part, they treated it like the ridiculous claim that it was when it first came out. There would be the occasional story when Orly Taitz filed one of her ridiculous lawsuits, of course, but it wasn’t until Donald Trump started talking about the issue that the media really started paying attention to it. Even then, I doubt that the Trump thing would have lasted very long but for the fact that polling started to show Trump rising in the GOP 2012 field, and other polls showed an alarmingly large plurality of Republicans holding the belief that the President was not born in the United States. At that point, it would have been irresponsible for the media to not report on the story and, as several reporters tried to do, challenge Trump’s bizarre claims about the President.

The birther myth existed long before the media started covering and it spread without much help from CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel. Blaming them for the the fact that there are a substantial number of people who hate the President enough to believe something completely nuts about him misses the point entirely.

 

 

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    Nonetheless, to say that the media was ignoring other issues to talk about the President’s birth certificate just isn’t true.

    Sure it is. All the time they spent on this stupidity is time they could have spent reporting real news. Or do you really think they have reported on everything that has happened lately?

  2. TG Chicago says:

    I wonder if Franklin Graham’s comments over the weekend were part of the impetus. It’s easy to dismiss Trump, but Graham probably has a certain gravitas to a lot of people (undeserved, but whatever). They might have feared some sort of snowball effect once allegedly “respectable” people start coming out about it.

  3. TG Chicago says:

    Oh, just saw that the first letter was sent by Obama’s people on April 22. So unless the Graham interview was taped previous to that date and Obama got tipped off about it (an unlikely scenario), Graham’s comments on This Week were not part of the decision.

  4. hey norm says:

    in a sensible world the media would have totally ignored the story. but in this world they had to cover it because the so-called republican party was consumed with it and the media’s idea of fair and balanced is to air whatever nonsense the so-called republican party spews no matter how nonsensical. tax cuts pay for themselves? we’ll air it. dinosaurs walked with humans? we’ll air it. death panels? we’ll air it. birtherism? we’ll air it. 100% of climate change science is faked? we’ll air it. evolution is a hoax? we’ll air it.
    at least we see who the adults in the room are. not that it will matter.

  5. jwest says:

    Naturally, Obama failed to mention why he waited 2 years to release the document when all it took was his signature at the bottom of a short note.

    It must have been a “Blackadder” style “clever plan”. However, as his ratings plummeted and Trump’s rose, he probably reconsidered his strategy.

  6. Axel Edgren says:

    If Obama’s only reason was to spite people obviously inferior to him, I’d respect him more for it.

  7. mantis says:

    Naturally, Obama failed to mention why he waited 2 years to release the document when all it took was his signature at the bottom of a short note.

    Actually, he did, and the reason is he did everything any reasonable person could ask:

    And I have to say that over the last two and a half years I have watched with bemusement, I’ve been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going. We’ve had every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this, confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii, August 4, 1961, in Kapiolani Hospital.

    We’ve posted the certification that is given by the state of Hawaii on the Internet for everybody to see. People have provided affidavits that they, in fact, have seen this birth certificate. And yet this thing just keeps on going.

    Now, normally I would not comment on something like this, because obviously there’s a lot of stuff swirling in the press on at any given day and I’ve got other things to do. But two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we’re going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.

    His earlier efforts weren’t good enough for a disturbingly large portion of the population, which includes all of the huge rightwing media complex and many elected Republicans, who have managed to get their lunatic birtherism in the news constantly of late, distracting and embarrassing the country. So he had to jump through hoops to get special extra documentation to shut you idiots up. It won’t work, but at least he can say he tried.

  8. Kylopod says:

    >Additionally, I don’t think its fair to say that the media just should have ignored this story. For the most part, they treated it like the ridiculous claim that it was when it first came out.

    Yes and no. It’s clear that most MSM reporters–apart from a couple of oddballs like Lou Dobbs–had nothing but scorn for the birthers, and it came out in their coverage of them. But their usual approach was to bring a birther on and allow him or her to spout the nonsense, without doing much to answer the specific arguments. There were a few exceptions, such as Anderson Cooper’s devastating interview of Leo Berman, but most of the time they just gave the birthers free reign to plod their theories on TV, pushing back against them only with eye rolls and condescending questions. It was a great way to help these theories flourish, even though that wasn’t the media’s intention. (Or maybe it was, if I’m going to be cynical about it.)

  9. Eric Florack says:

    sO, what of all the people in here who screamed loud and long about how he had ALREADY released his birth cert?

    and, just what was that he tried to foist off as such?
    Why the delay?

  10. Modulo Myself says:

    Reading the august missives of jwest, I’m beginning to think that it’s totally unfair to Truthers to have been lumped in with Birthers. At least Truthers seem to have an actual conspiracy going on in their heads. It takes effort, after all, to connect all of those dots.

    Birthers are more like drifty old women peering through blinds, snooping on their neighbors, and worrying about the takeover of the local PTA and how Wheel of Fortune has too gotten too sexy ‘of recent’. Just the type of people, actually, who fantasize about being swept off their feet by a cheesy Fabio-like Donald Trump and taken away from the drabness of it all.

  11. john personna says:

    jwest, how many days do you think you can believe the evidence?

    Come on, a little “group consensus(*)” and you can go the other way. I know you can.

    * – or “consensual reality”

  12. mantis says:

    sO, what of all the people in here who screamed loud and long about how he had ALREADY released his birth cert?

    He did. In 2008. Moron.

    and, just what was that he tried to foist off as such?

    See my comment above.

  13. rodney dill says:

    sO, what of all the people in here who screamed loud and long about how he had ALREADY released his birth cert?

    They lied… but that doesn’t count… just ask them.

  14. john personna says:

    Eric. Take it slow:

    There was already plenty of evidence for sane people.

    Now what, the insane get to ask why it wasn’t made even more clear to them?

    Well, there was always a chance that the Obama camp was leaving it where the sane could get it, and the crazy could make asses of themselves.

  15. john personna says:

    They lied… but that doesn’t count… just ask them.

    I don’t think I was ever one of those. I mean, I believed the “short form(?)” birth certificate, but the newspapers were always the clincher for me.

    And the lengths gone to disbelieve the newspapers were amazing!

  16. I think the best explanation for not releasing his birth certificate earlier is just a case of a politician taking Oscar Wilde literally — the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

    Anyway, it’s a moot point and I’ve never understood the distraction of the birther arguments. The cult of personality built around Obama successfully used the birthers to dismiss other more legitimate complaints about his governance with guilt by association.

  17. john personna says:

    The cult of personality built around Obama successfully used the birthers to dismiss other more legitimate complaints about his governance with guilt by association.

    Heh. Too bad there was the actually association, eh?

  18. PD Shaw says:

    TG Chicago “Oh, just saw that the first letter was sent by Obama’s people on April 22.”

    Two dates leap to mind. April 7, there was a poll showing four out of ten voters thought there was reason to doubt Obama was born in the U.S. April 14, the Arizona legislature passes the birther bill.

  19. mattb says:

    Following through to the actual Pew Link, one can see some truth in the comment:

    [Speaking of the #4 story of the week] But it was another potential Republican candidate—real estate tycoon and television personality Donald Trump—who made the rounds, and the news, by stirring up widely debunked rumors about Obama’s real place of birth. Those rumors accounted for much of the attention directly on the Obama administration, at 4% of the newshole. [emphasis mine]

    http://www.journalism.org/index_report/pej_news_coverage_index_april_1117_2011

    To the degree that his comment was about the administrations inability to get their direct message out about the Economy in the face of reporting about Birtherism, this makes a bit of sense. Additionally one could argue that in addition to coverage there’s also discussion — and in this respect, Birther stuff again surfaces. That this “issue” was given equal weight to economic issues is part of the complaint.

    Ultimately, this still remains a Rorschach test of sorts — including how one positions the idea of “he didn’t release” the certificate (which will become the new mainstream fight of the moment).

  20. anjin-san says:

    and, just what was that he tried to foist off as such?
    Why the delay?

    The right is like an industrious family of squirrels. They have an endless supply of nuts…

  21. Drew says:

    “Well, there was always a chance that the Obama camp was leaving it where the sane could get it, and the crazy could make asses of themselves.”

    Yes, there’s that chance. There’s also the chance that Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Anniston and Cindy Crawford will break into my house tonight and hold me as their sex slave for the next month. Yep, there’s that chance. And then there is a more reality based view. Lifted from another post:

    As always, I have a different take. I’ve never thought Obama not a citizen, but rather simply thought it a petty and irresponsible act on the part of the leader of the United States to not release sensible and commonly released documents.

    Yes, the birthers are crazy, and ought to shut up. But the slobbering of his supporters, giving him a pass, is weird. This isn’t the midnight clerk at a 7-11, this is the President of the United States. These are very perfunctory diligence items – birth certificates, academic or work records etc. I sit, at any point in time, on 3-10 corporate Boards. We wouldn’t dream – out of basic fiduciary concerns – not examining basic documents. In fact, we’d be sued if things didn’t work out with a senior officer hire and hadn’t done basic diligence.

    And yet, Obama’s sycophants declare such issues off limits. From where I sit, yes, the birthers are bizarre. But those defending Obama’s actions, and preening around scoffing at the birthers really need to look in the mirror and ask themselves “how am I tempermentally and intellectually any different?”

    And we all need to ask ourselves how is it the case that such a simple disclosure comes so easily at this time? Why now? Why not 3 years ago? Why in conjunction with the faux concerns about “real” issues?

    jp – this is pure politics, and you know it. But these are the tactics of a kindergartener. By the way -they may be effective politics, look at neanderthal comments by sycophants like mantis – but kindergarten just the same.

    Perhaps you have different standards, but I expect more from the POTUS.

  22. hey norm says:

    again you whack jobs…he released his legal birth certificate in 2008 during the campaign. so the question is really why have you nut jobs not accepted the truth for 3 friggin years, to the point that someone has to go to these extreme steps to shut you the f*** up.
    so now jwest, and eric, and rodney, and austin, and drew – tell us about how dinosaurs and humans roamed the planet earth together just 6000 years ago.

  23. The Q says:

    “This document is a forgery” screed by idiot dolts like jwest and Eric F. will begin in 5…4…3…2…

    You can bet on it……

  24. PJ says:

    @charles

    The cult of personality built around Obama successfully used the birthers to dismiss other more legitimate complaints about his governance with guilt by association.

    If that was a problem then the GOP, Fox News, the conservative superstars; Limbaugh, Palin, etc could have fixed that easily. For some reason they instead went and lied down with the dogs and got the fleas…

  25. Davebo says:

    The usual subjects yet again prove themselves to be completely predictable.

    SHOW ME THE PLACENTA!

  26. Ben Wolf says:

    Drew,

    I know you think you’re making sense, but you really aren’t. Really.

    Unless the point of your last post was that you hate Barak Obama, in which case you might want to familiarize yourself with the terms Narcissistic Rage and Secondary Delusion.

    The irony is that crazy people like yourself believe your thinking is perfectly fine and refuse to seek help.

  27. mantis says:

    look at neanderthal comments by sycophants like mantis

    Did you look at them? Because you certainly didn’t respond. You just keep asking the same stupid questions that have already been answered.

  28. john personna says:

    Drew, you aren’t shy coming down on people who you think are off base …

    Did you ever do that with the birthers? Did you try to clean your own house?

    Or each time did you put it on the Left, and their President, to do what any sane person should have done?

    WTF didn’t you call out the first birth certificate and newspaper birth announcements as sufficient?

  29. Ben Wolf says:

    He’s not going to respond, Mantis. Drew has constructed a model wherebye he and those like him are the Last White Hope for preserving American exceptionalism. They stand against a Dirty Brown Tide which seeks to destroy that exceptionalism and screw all Aryans until their skin turns cafe latte.

    You can’t reason with the unreasonable.

  30. Not Drew, but sorry, the birthers aren’t my problem and they aren’t in my house. I have no responsibility to clean them up, denounce them, encourage them or anything else. I’m always astounded that the members of the self-proclaimed nuanced reality-based community can’t quite comprehend that everyone that dislikes Obama’s policies aren’t all moving on the same plane of existence.

    Hey Hey Norm, perhaps you can find and quote an instance of me supporting the birthers or their birther arguments. Or you can retract your comment and apologize. Your choice.

  31. Davebo, I think you have us confused with Andrew Sullivan and the other birther lunacy.

  32. Moosebreath says:

    Per Steve Benen, the So-Called Liberal Media then goes out and proves him right, by showing Trump’s press conference live in full, and about 3 minutes of Bernanke’s. In any same universe, the remarks of the Chair of the Fed are far more important than Trump’s, and yet…

  33. anjin-san says:

    I’ve never thought Obama not a citizen, but rather simply thought it a petty and irresponsible act on the part of the leader of the United States to not release sensible and commonly released documents.

    How many other Presidents have released their long form birth certificates?

  34. Ben Wolf — not Drew, again, but your specious accusations and imputations of racism are despicable and unreasonable. But then you would seem to know all about being unreasonable. Projection’s a bitch.

  35. jwest says:

    There certainly were people who revealed themselves as idiots during this episode, but I don’t remember any on the right side of the aisle.

    My position has always been that Obama was a U.S. citizen regardless of the place of his birth. Check back and see. The crazed leftists on this site argued that the long form certificate didn’t exist and that no one, even the president, could possibly obtain a copy. We’ll be kind and only refer to that position as less-than-bright.

    The liberal brain trust here also kept insisting that all the birther talk was damaging to republicans and beneficial to democrats, all polling to the contrary. Now that Obama has folded under pressure, as he has done repeatedly throughout his administration, he’s left with the legacy that someone as unserious as Trump can force him into doing his bidding. Quite a leader.

    Now the focus shifts to Obama’s academic records. As he drags out the process, he will only prolong the pain. By the time we get to the election, most Americans won’t believe he can spell his own name.

  36. mantis says:

    There certainly were people who revealed themselves as idiots during this episode, but I don’t remember any on the right side of the aisle.

    What a crack up! Tell another one.

  37. Ben Wolf says:

    Charles, your defense of Drew’s blatant racism makes you an enabler, and therefore as guilty as he. I won’t say for shame, because people like you have none.

    You’re disgusting.

  38. john personna says:

    @jwest, spin it son!

    (Not that it will help)

  39. Ben Wolf says:

    The cult of personality built around Obama successfully used the birthers to dismiss other more legitimate complaints about his governance with guilt by association.

    So we have Drew who argues Obama wasn’t really smart enough to get into Harvard (because he’s black), and we have Charles who insists the President is so brilliant he was able to coopt the relatively harmless, well-meaning birther “movement” and use it to play his dirty political games.

    Of course in the Drew/Austin continuum, mean and black are the same thing anyway.

  40. Jay Tea says:

    Anyone else entertained by Obama’s Freudian slip? The Man Too Smart To Be President said he’s been “bemused” by the whole thing.

    It’s been a long time since he said something that honest, probably since “energy prices will necessarily skyrocket” under his plan and “I think it’s better when you spread the wealth around.”

    J.

  41. mantis says:

    Anyone else entertained by Obama’s Freudian slip? The Man Too Smart To Be President said he’s been “bemused” by the whole thing.

    How is that a Freudian slip? He used the word “bemused” correctly.

    Man you’re dumb.

  42. rodney dill says:

    tell us about how dinosaurs and humans roamed the planet earth together just 6000 years ago.

    You’re the only whack job here that I’m aware has made this claim.

  43. Davebo says:

    You’re the only whack job here that I’m aware has made this claim.

    Well Rodney, when all you contribute are silly caption contests plausible deniability is pretty secure.

  44. Ignacio says:

    The question now is whether the Right thinks Obama should be as glorified and studied as Einstein was, even post-mortem one day.

  45. MM says:

    They lied… but that doesn’t count… just ask them.

    Add “provincial” to the list of adjectives that describe Rodney Dill. We already knew Bithead was.

  46. michael reynolds says:

    Yeah, see it’s the black guy’s fault that racist morons like Drew and jwest had to spend their time doubting his Americanness. I don’t know why you people can’t see that.

  47. michael reynolds says:

    Charles:

    Racists always think if they yell “race card!” they’re safe. Like it’s a get out of jail free card.

    Drew is a racist. Period. So is Jwest. And maybe you should think about whether you want to crawl under that rock with them.

  48. tom p says:

    Let me see if I have this right: It is Obama’s fault they would not listen to reason. Right????

    How stupid can you be.

  49. Ben Wolf, you would benefit from ceasing to call people racists. Your call. Also, I haven’t claimed Obama to be brilliant at all, in fact, I am still waiting for much evidence of the supposed brilliance. I think his political handlers have done very well.

    Michael Reynolds, I don’t think what Drew said was in the least bit racist. I even have trouble understanding how you get that from what he wrote. Happy to be enlightened should you choose to do so. Haven’t read what jwest wrote, so I have no opinion. No offense, just limited time.

  50. tom p says:

    “I think it’s better when you spread the wealth around.”

    J… you have a problem with getting your fair share?

  51. tom p says:

    They lied… but that doesn’t count… just ask them.

    Rodney, arguing with you, is beside the point.

  52. john personna says:

    I didn’t get anything racist off Drew. I just got that he wanted to blame the left somehow, because without their “guilt” the whole birther saga looks pretty bad for the right.

  53. sam says:

    @Drew

    Yes, the birthers are crazy, and ought to shut up. But the slobbering of his supporters, giving him a pass, is weird. This isn’t the midnight clerk at a 7-11, this is the President of the United States. These are very perfunctory diligence items – birth certificates, academic or work records etc. I sit, at any point in time, on 3-10 corporate Boards. We wouldn’t dream – out of basic fiduciary concerns – not examining basic documents. In fact, we’d be sued if things didn’t work out with a senior officer hire and hadn’t done basic diligence

    Hmmm. Well, lawdy, I guess y’all didn’t exercise this here due diligence thing when George was running for president. I mean, I don’t recall anyone demanding to see his academic records and such. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a presidential candidate being asked for his academic records. Why this one, I wonder? Maybe via Dave Weigel we can begin to see the answer:

    Michelle Goldberg sort-of-predicts, based on Donald Trump’s most recent comments, that racially-tinged questions about Barack Obama’s college records are America’s Next Top Conspiracy Theory.

    It’s easy enough to see why this particular narrative has endured. Not only does it position the president as a Muslim Manchurian candidate with longtime ties to agents of the caliphate, but it also assures resentful whites that this seemingly brilliant black man isn’t so smart after all. In that sense, it’s of a piece with the right-wing obsession with Obama’s use of a teleprompter, and with the widespread suspicion that he didn’t really write the eloquent Dreams From My Father, a claim Trump recently made at a Tea Party rally. Obama, in this view, is both sinister and stupid, canny enough to perpetrate one of the biggest frauds in American history but still the ultimate affirmative-action baby.

    Is this racism?

  54. ponce says:

    “However, as his ratings plummeted and Trump’s rose, he probably reconsidered his strategy.”

    JWest must have missed the poll posted here yesterday that said 64% of registered voters said the definitely wouldn’t vote for Trump.

  55. Steve Anthony says:

    Birthers are ticked because they think Obama played them by delaying the long-form birth certificate. Don’t give yourselves too much credit. You played yourselves into exposure — as racists.

  56. michael reynolds says:

    Racists always think they’re brilliant because they avoid using the n-word. They think they’re clever enough not to “get caught.” But they still want to deliver their racist message. So on top of everything else, they’re cowards.

    And rather stupid, too. Because they imagine their coded racism will be decipherable by their fellow racists, but somehow impenetrable to normal people. This is particularly wrong-headed given that their fellow racists are the dumber of the two cohorts. So the code they use to speak to each other and to express their racial contempt is usually quite obvious to brighter people.

    Birtherism is and always has been racism. Drew’s one-off birtherism is every bit as racist. He’s not sayin’ Obama’s a Kenyan, he’s just sayin’ that boy ain’t ready, that boy is in over his head, probably an affirmative action case, maybe he’s American – technically – but why didn’t he prove it twenty different ways? Why can’t that ni**er just admit he didn’t write no book, and didn’t get no grades, and shouldn’t ever have been at Harvard with white folk?

    No, Drew says, Birthers are crazy. But hey, what they say makes some sense, right? Drew can see where they’re coming from. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Right? And hey, their conclusions are right.

    And in Drew’s world there is no racism. And when I’ve asked Drew where all the racists went? No answer. And when I ask on what date they all disappeared? No answer. And when I ask, well, did they ever exist? No answer. Just a shout of “Race card!” and he scurries away.

    A racist. And like most of them, too much a coward to admit it.

    So, here’s for you Drew: Obama is smarter than you. By a lot. He’s wiser than you. By a lot. He’s braver than you. By miles. But that doesn’t make Obama unique. Most people are smarter, wiser and braver than you.

  57. Jay Tea says:

    tom p, I got a big problem with “getting my fair share.” I want what I earn, not what some arbitrary authority thinks I “deserve” — usually at the expense of someone else.

    I’m a freak. I have several significant genetic defects. Among them, it seems, are the genes for faith and jealousy. I don’t feel diminished or resentful over others’ successes. So I don’t feel the need to punish those who have more by taking from them.

    mantis — it looks like I was a bit hasty on the “bemused” thing. I had prior been busted for using it as a synonym for “amused,” and in this context it at first appeared that Obama had made the same mistake. In its meaning “to cause to be engrossed in thought,” it certainly would apply — he’s had this as a useful tool for years, and now he’s decided to give up that very useful tool.

    But in its secondary meaning, “to cause to be bewildered,” it fits the context of his statement just as well as “amused” would, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt that that is what he meant.

    And I learn that the word I had misused for some time has a second correct meaning. Makes it worthwhile.

    J.

  58. G.A.Phillips says:

    tell us about how dinosaurs and humans roamed the planet earth together just 6000 years ago.

    You’re the only whack job here that I’m aware has made this claim.

    2nd:)

  59. G.A.Phillips says:

    Who started birtherism? Who prolonged it?Who came up with different races of human?Who’s prolonging it?I am willing to bet all of them have D’s in their names or political party affiliations or after thePH’s….

    sigh….

    sigh…

  60. jukeboxgrad says:

    Drew:

    [I] simply thought it a petty and irresponsible act on the part of the leader of the United States to not release sensible and commonly released documents.

    I realize that by “commonly released” you mean ‘never released.’

    Prior to Obama, this many presidents (or even major candidates) released a birth certificate: zero. Not a long form. Not a short form. Not even a little itty-bitty form. Zero. None. Nada.

    Reagan released his, but it was after he left office.

    GWB’s was supposedly once obtained and shown by a political rival, but no one knows if that thing was authentic, and no one knows where it is today. And it was certainly not released by GWB.

    Ike’s became available at one point, but it was obtained and produced by a supporter, not him.

    A long time ago, Chester Arthur was challenged to prove that he wasn’t born in Canada. But I believe that challenge ended before he took office, and in any case he never released any birth records.

    Prior to Obama, Arthur is the only instance, ever, of a president or candidate being challenged to prove their place of birth.

    With the possible exception of Arthur (and I say “possible” because I’m not sure the challenge against him ended when he took office), Obama is the only president, ever, who has faced demands that he show his birth certificate. And he is the only president who did show his birth certificate.

    One more time: prior to Obama, this many presidents (or even major candidates) released a birth certificate: zero. Not a long form. Not a short form. Not even a little itty-bitty form. Zero. None. Nada.

    Same thing with college transcripts and test scores. No president or major candidate has ever released their grades. Zero. None. Lots of people think Bush and Gore did, but that’s wrong. That information was leaked, not released by Bush and Gore. Kerry released his transcript, but only after he was no longer a candidate.

    So your concept of “commonly released documents” is entirely divorced from reality. Maybe “commonly” in some other situation. Not “commonly” with regard to US presidents. The reality is “never,” not “commonly.”

    Now, you may not like that, or you might think that’s wrong, but you need to explain why you started feeling this way only after you woke up one day and discovered that your president was covered with black skin.

    Perhaps you have different standards, but I expect more from the POTUS.

    No. You only expect more from this POTUS. And if you think the reason for that isn’t obvious, the only one you’re kidding is yourself.

  61. Eric Florack says:

    His earlier efforts weren’t good enough for a disturbingly large portion of the population

    And why did it take two years for the most transparent administration in history to finally answer the question?

    Of course getting a straight answer on much of anything from this administration is nigh on impossible anyway…

  62. Janis Gore says:

    The most interesting upshot to the whole conversation is the current attitude toward admissions to highly-selective schools.

    There weren’t as many students aiming for top schools in the seventies as there are now. There weren’t as many students going to college, period.

    Students didn’t break their necks cramming extracurriculars into their resumes, didn’t hire SAT tutors, didn’t take the tests two or three times.

    It didn’t cost $40,000 a year to attend one.

  63. jukeboxgrad says:

    why did it take two years for the most transparent administration in history to finally answer the question?

    Hmm, let’s see. It’s quite a puzzle. Let’s see if we can sleuth this out together.

    For years we’ve been hearing people like Corsi say things like this (10/26/08):

    the Obama campaign could immediately put an end to all the challenges by simply producing the candidate’s original birth certificate

    http://bit.ly/gELqxj

    So have you heard the news? Yesterday, Obama produced his “original birth certificate.” And this is great news, because this will “immediately put an end to all the challenges.” That’s wonderful, right?

    One small problem, though. Did you notice what Corsi said yesterday? Here:

    “Public pressure finally forced Obama to do what he did today. Now the game begins … Nixon thought he could stop the Watergate scandal from unfolding by releasing a few tapes. All that did was fuel the fire.”

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=292213

    In other words, when Corsi said on 10/26/08 that “the Obama campaign could immediately put an end to all the challenges by simply producing the candidate’s original birth certificate,” what he was really saying was that “producing the candidate’s original birth certificate” would be the point at which “the game begins,” because “all that [would do] was fuel the fire.”

    Are you beginning to get a clue? All the birthers who have been claiming all along that they would sit down and shut up if they could only see the long form were completely full of shit. So there was no need to be in a hurry to “finally answer the question” because you and the other nuts don’t understand the concept of “finally.”

    And here’s another reason why he didn’t do it before: because he knew that he would be criticized for the very act of doing it. From the chairman of the RNC:

    The president ought to spend his time getting serious about repairing our economy, working with Republicans and focusing on the long-term sustainability of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Unfortunately his campaign politics and talk about birth certificates is distracting him from our No. 1 priority — our economy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/us/politics/28obama.html

    In other words, he was condemned for not releasing it, and now that he released it he’s being condemned for releasing it.

    Here’s the name of the game the GOP is trying to play: heads I win, tails you lose. Here’s another way to say it: damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

    Sane people are not fooled, and are not impressed.

    why did it take two years for the most transparent administration in history to finally answer the question?

    By the way, you are being inadvertently ironic when you say “the most transparent administration in history.” With regard to the president’s birth certificate, this is indeed “the most transparent administration in history.” Do you know many times before a president has released a birth certificate? Zero.

    And I have already said that this in this thread. But I’m sure you’re not paying attention to any facts you find inconvenient.

  64. mantis says:

    And why did it take two years for the most transparent administration in history to finally answer the question?

    You’ve been told the answer multiple times, moron. Are you playing stupid, or is it not an act?

  65. mantis says:

    As the sane among us have predicted all along, the release of the long form document from the State of Hawaii has done nothing to convince the birthers. They will continue on in their (largely) racist quest regardless.

    After-Birthers: How Conspiracy Theorists Reacted To Obama’s Long-Form Birth Certificate

    Birtherism Is Dead. Long Live Birtherism.

    For those of you who complained all along that Obama is the president, and he could get the document from Hawaii even though regular citizens can’t. You were right, but what was our response to those claims? “Maybe he could, but it would make no difference to crazy ass birthers. Guess what? We were right. You will never stop.

  66. G.A.Phillips says:

    Now, you may not like that, or you might think that’s wrong, but you need to explain why you started feeling this way only after you woke up one day and discovered that your president was covered with black skin.

    Who started birtherism? Who prolonged it? sigh..

    As the sane among us have predicted all along, the release of the long form document from the State of Hawaii has done nothing to convince the birthers. They will continue on in their (largely) racist quest regardless.

    ok, using this nonsense as reason no.7787882380457562704 to call someone who disagrees with you a racist because you have nothing else to do does not make you sane.

  67. mantis says:

    ok, using this nonsense as reason no.7787882380457562704 to call someone who disagrees with you a racist because you have nothing else to do does not make you sane.

    I call birthers racists (most of them, anyway), not people who disagree with me. I do so because they are obviously, blatantly racist or appealing to racists. There is no other explanation.

    Also, kindly don’t lecture me on sanity. You don’t have enough knowledge of that particular topic.

  68. jukeboxgrad says:

    G.A.Phillips:

    Who started birtherism?

    Consider these two things:

    A) Asking to see Obama’s birth certificate at a moment in history when he had not yet released his birth certificate.

    B) Asking Obama to release his birth certificate even though he has already released his birth certificate.

    A is what some Hillary supporters did. B is what you clowns have been doing for years, and are still doing. Are you really not able to comprehend that A and B are quite different?

    By the way, it may come as a shock to you to hear me say that there are racists in the D party. But there are. And they are part of the reason that A happened. But B is much worse, and more durable, and it is related to the fact that racists generally vote R. Some facts to support that claim are here:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/campaigning-like-its-2008/#comment-1400212

    Who prolonged it?

    Yup, it was quite clever of Obama to prolong it by doing what no president has ever done: release his birth certificate in 2008. Just a few days after he was nominated. Exactly what you would expect him to do if wanted to ‘prolong it.’ Makes perfect sense.

    reason no.7787882380457562704 to call someone who disagrees with you a racist

    I notice that Drew has responded to the question I asked him by making the sound of crickets. Maybe you’d like to take a stab at it.

    Drew said this:

    [I] simply thought it a petty and irresponsible act on the part of the leader of the United States to not release sensible and commonly released documents.

    Drew is saying that a POTUS should release his birth certificate. You know what’s interesting? Can you name the first president to release a birth certificate? Here’s the name: Obama.

    I asked Drew if he ever felt this way prior to 1/20/09.

    Would you like to answer for him? Would you like to explain if there is something unfair or inappropriate about the question? Or are you just going to cut and run, like he did?

  69. G.A.Phillips says:

    I call birthers racists (most of them, anyway), not people who disagree with me. I do so because they are obviously, blatantly racist or appealing to racists. There is no other explanation.

    every single birther I know, and I know a lot of them, not one of them is even close to being a racist, some of them are black and brown. I am sure there are some., but I would not hang out with them.
    Also, kindly don’t lecture anyone on racism. You don’t have enough knowledge of that particular topic. Your indoctrinated to see only one hardly real kind.

    jukeboxgrad come on man, Im from the streets bro, if you think more republicans cast their votes because of racism then democrats, oh well.

    and I’ll stick to this,

    ok, using this nonsense as reason no.7787882380457562704 to call someone who disagrees with you a racist because you have nothing else to do does not make you sane.

    Who started birtherism? Who prolonged it? Who came up with different races of human?Who’s prolonging it?I am willing to bet all of them have D’s in their names or political party affiliations or after thePH’s….

    sigh….

    .

    Also, kindly don’t lecture me on sanity. You don’t have enough knowledge of that particular topic.

    lol I study that crap every single day!!!!

  70. mantis says:

    every single birther I know, and I know a lot of them, not one of them is even close to being a racist, some of them are black and brown.

    I totally believe you. Really, I do.

    Also, kindly don’t lecture anyone on racism. You don’t have enough knowledge of that particular topic.

    I have a lot of knowledge of this topic. I imagine you do too, but from a different perspective (cough).

    Your indoctrinated to see only one hardly real kind.

    You mean like this? Is that “hardly real?”

  71. jukeboxgrad says:

    G.A.Phillips:

    every single birther I know, and I know a lot of them, not one of them is even close to being a racist

    Let me know if you can find any who have the guts to answer the question I asked. I realize that this excludes Drew and you.

    Also, the plural of anecdote is not data.

    if you think more republicans cast their votes because of racism then democrats, oh well.

    It’s not a question of what I “think.” It’s something that’s been demonstrated:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/campaigning-like-its-2008/#comment-1400212

    Although I realize the whole concept of proof is foreign to you.

    I’ll stick to this

    English translation: ‘I’m not going to even make a pretense of dealing with the arguments you raised, because I simply can’t.’