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Sunday, February 22, 2009

This is what happens when lies get "out there" and become part of mainstream discourse
Posted by Jill | 1:22 PM
We're all familiar with the various smear e-mails about Barack Obama that circulated prior to the election. We're even now familiar with the kind of hysterical ranting to which Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have been resorting in an effort to keep their frothing minions whipped into a frenzy. The problem with this is that once an idea gets "out there", even if it's utterly false, it becomes part of the mainstream discourse and becomes simply "an alternate view." It doesn't matter if it's an outright lie or fabrication, it's "an alternate view." This kind of factual relativism is a cancer on the body politic. We all have friends who have whispered to us "I heard that he's not really a citizen" or "He's a Muslim." They've gotten the e-mails and chosen to believe them.

The other day we were treated to the lunatic ravings of Alan Keyes, picking up the kind of crap we saw in these e-mails, claiming that Barack Obama was born in Nairobi to a mother who was "too young to transmit American citizenship" -- a statement that is not only utter horseshit, but also laughably implies that American citizenship is some kind of virus, like AIDS, that is "transmitted" from mother to child:

It's one thing when a known nutjob like Keyes spouts crap like this, but once it is "out there", it becomes "truthiness" -- believed by those who want to believe it whether or not it is true.

And so we have the "Obama is a Kenyan" meme coming up again, repeated now not just by Alan Keyes, but by a United States Senator, Richard Shelby:
nother local resident asked Shelby if there was any truth to a rumor that appeared during the presidential campaign concerning Obama’s U.S. citizenship, or lack thereof.

“Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven’t seen any birth certificate,” Shelby said. “You have to be born in America to be president.”

The birth certificate has been produced and verified, but that is not enough for these people. Because they learned under George W. Bush that facts don't matter, truth is what's in your gut. That's why Bush is able to believe that his presidency was a success and that whatever problems there are now are not because of his policies, but because of mistakes of his predecessors. They learned that if you call someone a terrorist, that means he is a terrorist, regardless of whether there is any evidence.

The Republican Party now gets its marching orders from right-wing talk radio, and the insatiable maw of the talk radio audience must be constantly filled with swill, lest the genre perish. And when a Senator gives voice to that swill, it gives it a legitimacy that swill does not deserve.

I'm with Aravosis on this one. I won't be convinced that Richard Shelby isn't a pedophile until I see something proving that he isn't.


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Blogger LonewackoDotCom said...
The birth certificate has been produced and verified

The only group that's "verified" that cert is FactCheck, and they aren't document experts. Nor are they a government agency. And, they aren't a reputable source.

In fact, as outlined here, the same FactCheck page containing pictures of a cert contains a blatant lie.

If you disagree:

1. Cite an *original source* at a government agency verifying the cert. Note: only original sources count.

2. Give us a *quote* from the 10/31 statement from HI where they verify where he was born. Once again: only the original source counts.

Blogger Bob said...
Kerry was taken out by "proving" he wasn't a courageous naval officer. How hard would it have been to "prove" Obama isn't a citizen?

Blogger Susan Blake said...
When will all this insanity stop? Frothy mouths usually have ego's out of whack. I stay away from negative energy - and that's all this is.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Fact check website in fact says

“When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.

Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982.”

View the Birth certifcate here...


'noof said.

Blogger Mark Salditch said...
RE: LonewackoDotCom
President Obama has a passport. To get a US passport, you must produce a legal birth certificate to the State Department. Ergo: President Obama has a birth certificate that is certified by the United States Department of State.

See passport requirements here:

"*A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes. "

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Big Melvin,

Yes but you are overlooking the fact that there is a vast liberal conspiracy within the State Department that has worked for years in collusion with the secret remnants of the Black Panthers to hide the truth about Obama's shady and exotic origins. Please produce some evidence disproving this now.

(Satire alert for the ironically challenged)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
LonewackoDotCom: "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...."

You lost. Get over it.