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The Day After: ‘Birthers’ Regroup With Crazed Claims of Fraud

By Ryan Lenz on April 28, 2011 - 4:25 pm, Posted in Anti-Black

The foaming-at-the-mouth “birthers” are hardly the type to lay down their rhetorical arms and admit defeat even when forced to see the very document they’ve been demanding from President Obama.

The clamor surrounding Obama’s citizenship status has only intensified in the aftermath of the White House releasing, for the second time, documented proof he was born in Hawaii. For the most part, birthers refused to accept Obama’s “long-form” birth certificate at face value. Some even insisted the document they had sought for years — and claimed didn’t exist — offered more proof that Obama is not constitutionally eligible to be president.

Within hours of the White House releasing the document Wednesday — a political token Obama hoped would curtain the “sideshows” and muzzle the “carnival barkers” — lead barker Donald Trump held a news conference to offer self-congratulations for helping the country move past the issue. (Of course, for more than a month Trump has led the charge to delegitimize the president — and energize a possible campaign of his own.) Trump then moved on to question Obama’s intelligence, wondering how this “terrible student” got into Harvard and Columbia.

Not everyone would be as … ahem … gracious as The Donald.

Orly Taitz, often described as the “Queen of the Birthers” found herself in a surreal yelling match with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC, demanding the camera zoom in on a copy of Obama’s draft records — new proof, she claimed, of a fraudulent presidency. The interview quickly devolved into shouting, and O’Donnell cut her feed. “I invited a crazy person on the show to see if a crazy person faced with the thing that the crazy person was trying to get for two and a half years could say something responsive, something human,” he said. In the end, she couldn’t.

The Council of Conservative Citizens, a white nationalist group that argues black people are “a retrograde species of humanity,” accused the White House of doctoring Obama’s birth certificate, claiming to have uncovered computer coding that suggests it had been digitally altered. Meanwhile, over at the far-right World Net Daily, Joseph Farah — who has sponsored billboards with the text “Where’s the birth certificate?” — called for a “skeptical public” to press Obama on his parentage and why he “continues to cultivate a culture of secrecy around his life.”

“It would be a big mistake for everyone to jump to a conclusion now based on the release of this document, which raises as many questions as it answers,” Farah said.

In what The New York Times called “a profoundly low and debasing moment in American political life,” Obama released the missing piece of the “birther” conspiracy puzzle — his “long-form” birth certificate. It confirms that Barack Hussein Obama II was born on Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961. His parents are identified as Stanley Ann Dunham, born in Wichita, Kan., and Barack Hussein Obama, born in Kenya — precisely what the president has said clearly for his entire life.

The questions Farah says remain are ludicrous, but they’re part and parcel of the loony conspiracy theories surrounding Obama’s presidency: He’s a Manchurian candidate, a sleeper agent placed here years ago by mysterious foreign — perhaps “Islamic” — interests bent on seizing control of the nation’s highest office to steer the country toward socialism. Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, reacting with typical chicanery, even suggested the president might not even be human.

What does he find shocking? “That Obama was born at all,” Limbaugh said. “I mean, here they have presented this guy as ‘the Messiah,’ as ‘the One,’ and those people aren’t born. They just descend from the heavens.”

The birther claims were first introduced during the 2008 campaign. They quickly spread from the conspiracy-laden dens of the radical right into the talking points of conservative media pundits and politicians, many of whom lent the idea credence. Sarah Palin said questions about Obama’s citizenship were “fair game.” U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) questioned the president’s nationality, too, though she has backed off slightly in recent days. Arizona state Sen. Carl Seel introduced legislation that would require every presidential candidate appearing on that state’s presidential ballot to produce a birth certificate. (Gov. Jan Brewer ultimately vetoed the bill.)

Most recently, right-wing attack dog Jerome Corsi — best known for his “Swift Boat” twisting of the Vietnam war record of then-presidential candidate John Kerry — wrote two books questioning the Obama story. In what must produce chuckles in the White House, one of them goes on sale on May 17. Upon publication, Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President will be saddled with an untimely title.

Even though Obama provided exactly what Corsi has been asking for, he wrote Thursday on World Net Daily that the president has more to prove. “Obama’s presidency now depends upon the White House being able to support the veracity of all the information contained in the birth document released yesterday morning.” He even claimed the document presents new proof to discredit the president. (Critics spuriously claim that because of his father’s Kenyan citizenship, the Constitution disqualifies him for the office of the president.)

During yesterday’s White House briefing, Obama said the time has come for the nation to move on and address the real challenges facing the nation.

“We’re not going to be able to do it if we are distracted,” Obama said. “We’re not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts.”

Maybe, just maybe, the Trumps, the Taitzs, the Farahs and the Corsis of the world aren’t really interested in that at all.

  • http://www.randi.org Cedric Katesby

    RLavigueur said,

    on April 30th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Cedric,

    I apologize for missing the sarcasm which is, in retrospect, obvious in your post. I guess this just further shows that over the past couple of days I’ve seen the birthers making such ridiculous arguments that I’m starting to have trouble telling them apart from those satirizing them.

    No problem. I should have used sarc tags just to make it perfectly clear :)

  • Jordan

    April,
    Well, since you already admitted to being mentally unstable (i.e. incapable of connecting with the consensus reality), there is probably no point in me posting this. But I soldier on,
    “…whether by genetics (race)…” Race is fabricated, genetic differences between individuals (even of the same group) are far greater than the differences between the averages of whole groups.
    Hope your illness (and make no mistake, mental trauma is as much an illness as cancer or influenza) can be treated, good luck.

  • April Scheller

    Mr. Potok,
    I for one didn’t care and will never care where a person is actually or supposed to be from to be from so long as the heart is true to the ideals of equality. Any good person can do you some good. What I am upset about is the anti-immigrant bills obviously targeting Hispanics and the profiling by our own government against Islamic faiths. I was saddened to have one of our own elected officials come to tears in office due to the profiling of his ethnic heritage. I am horrified that human rights have been violated and even mocked with decapitated trophies from the war in Afghanistan. I’m horrified that more drones are heading into still more civilian areas after the collateral damage video, and that babies are getting molested when their parents try to fly. I am stunned at the neo-Nazis running around boldly while the government ignores it. I am still trying to swallow that the government can hold any normal person without trial indefinitely for accusations of terrorist agendas even after I elected someone who should have understood and rejected the concept of the danger contained in punishment and torture without trial. Where the heck is that so called sensitive president I thought we would get? I voted for Obama absolutely thrilled, I’m just not sure that in good conscience I can again. At heart I am still a loyalist to the King, M.L.K. Jr. So I am a person that wants to see equality for all people and not simply one little poster child selling his own line of iconic products while offering only lip service to a reality that does not support it. By the way I’m proudly one of those that are not ‘sane’. I do not like this status quo bigoted world and am thrilled I don’t fit in presently. But I would like to ask you to correct the Sanist grammar creeping into this editorial by ceasing this improper equating of one ethnicity with bigotry and hate. That would be hate speech that did not belong at a site supposedly devoted to equality. Madness is my ethnicity frequently I’m segregated as are my whole diverse people whether by genetics (race), by nonconformity (culture), or by things that has been done to us as victims (caste). I do not like the segregate laws on my ethnicity and I did not appreciate what I do hope was unintentional segregated themes in this. How are you to change the world for the better this way when every fifth person despite their appearance is considered mentally disordered by the Surgeon G. since 1999 and you as much as shout that any considered a ‘nut’ has no right to join here? By the very definition of insanity pleas we had no say in it because our minds and genes and ethnicity was said to be inferior by a court that wasn’t us. Please be aware that Abraham Lincoln, Henry D. Thoreau, Maya Angelo and Nelson Mandela have all been said to have a mental problem. We Mad are certainly not new comers to a human rights agenda of equality though we still do not have it under segregate disability laws if we are openly out of our closet or should I say quiet room? I have worn human bondage devices specifically made for my ethnicity just for complaining about my treatment and I can tell you first hand I have been in bondage. My chains of PVC and Nylon meant to punish my desire to speak peacefully of justice and of my need to be freed from the hospital were as real and unbreakable I can assure you as the ones the African tribes wore in European ships. I have firsthand accounts of slavery and saw the government blithely pay some of those expenses. You play into the hands of those evil bigots in the court system of slap a bigot on the wrist by lumping with hate with disability to make sure that those you traditionally already recognize as bigots are never prosecuted and hate groups stay open to commit the real terrorism going on in America. I on the other hand am going to the 2011 Psychout Conference in NY this June even though big cities make me nervous because I got invited by my peers to speak against that particular segregate law that harms both my multiracial Mad ethnicity and all the rest of you: the insanity defense. I would be there if I had to walk and am definitely hoping they don’t cage me in a hospital yet again for speaking up around here about things I don’t like hateful people to do to the rest of us. So please do your part here to help all people fight bigotry for if the Sanist bigot conquers tongues how can you realize true equality? I, unlike all other minorities did not need to wait around for a modern false patriot to legalize torturing me, because shocks and lobotomies are still legal in my state, they are the shadow we all live under and we are daily institutionalized for free speech like this. So if your ranks are thin here at the Sovereign Poverty Law Center, the mentally disordered do make up 20% of America. We walk around in all skin colors and that is likely why you haven’t noticed that the crazies and retards exist equal in proportion to the Hispanic population.
    Sincerely,
    April Scheller

  • Jordan

    Michael,
    Hmm, well you know if you would just post a link to a high-definition scan of your photography credentials, along with several pictures, a drivers license to varify and samples of the paper your credentials are printed for lab tests, I MIGHT just maybe almost not really believe you. At one point in time, documented proof of something was accepted, but between the ‘global warming isn happening’ crowd, the ‘racism is dead’ crowd, and the birthers, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone restarts the whole debate over whether or not the planet is flat and if we orbit the sun or vice versa.

  • skinnyminny

    Micheal,
    Wow! Is that the correct spelling of your name? I’m asking because most Americans spell it as Michael! Is it pronounced the way Americans pronounce this name?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Tell me Michael, are you able to sit down yet?

  • Leslie

    @michael
    All birth certificates have type and handwritten elements. The handwritten elements are more commonly referred to as signatures of the parents. The type does not look computer generated in this case and it was done before the post script language was invented.

  • Micheal

    The fact the image of the Birth Certificate has both computer generated type and hand written type and also has many layers (used in editing) means it’s a total fake. I’m not a birther, but I know graphics and that’s a 100% fake. They didn’t even try to make it look real or to cover the editing tracks. Who ever created the long form left the errors in to show anyone who’s not an idiot that it was a fabrication.

  • Linnea

    @Robert,

    Well said. I agree. It boggles the mind to see how lame-brained the birthers are… they *never* considered any of this??

  • RLavigueur

    Cedric,

    I apologize for missing the sarcasm which is, in retrospect, obvious in your post. I guess this just further shows that over the past couple of days I’ve seen the birthers making such ridiculous arguments that I’m starting to have trouble telling them apart from those satirizing them.

  • skinnyminny

    Yes, now they are saying that because only one parent was American, it doesn’t meet the definition of American. Okay, Trump had better watch out for his kids sake, they just may not be American!

    Another thing, I love that the tea party has allowed Trump to join and possibly lead their ranks. One thing I’ve noticed about Trump, he will turn on you in a heartbeat by publicly embarassing you. So go teas – when he have used you to his advantage maybe we will know everything about you. LOL! As far as coverage, Trump is using to media to his advantage, why should he pay for advertising when he can get free advertising? That’s why I canceled cable and don’t have television, it’s only junk now, and I refuse to pay for something I don’t want!

  • skinnyminny

    Here’s a little satire, interesting how some in the GOP continues to talk about the Prez and his MAD Skills (mad, meaning good), then they say that Latino immigrants should learn english – well, just a little side joke (not knowing if they are all GOP), imagine having a round table talk with boxer Mike Tyson, the Terminator/Predator and Stallone – come on folks (GOP), would you really understand every word they say? Oh, I forgot, you probably would! LOL!

  • church

    I forgot to say—Trump is a fool and a joke—his claims of running for President would NEVER have been taken seriously even five years ago, let alone entertained in the first place—I’m sorry, being a good real estate businessman does NOT automatically qualify you to be a presidential candidate,or that you even KNOW how to run the country. The problem with Trump is that the media have kissed his behind for so long, he’s started to truly believe his own hype, and they have yet to call him out on his BS. Since he’s making all these unsubstantiated claims about Obama’s school records, why can’t we see Trump’s own school records to see if he even graduated, whether he made decent grades, or if he got into college because of his daddy’s connections, which would make HIM an affirmative action baby, since that’s the accusation he’s leveling at Obama! He seems to have completely forgotten that ALL of his business is going to be put out there now that he’s throw his hat in the proverbial ring, so he better be prepared for it, and he probably won’t be!

  • church

    @Braidfute

    C’mon now—the birthers have had their question of his legitimacy answered—our government and the State of Hawaii have verified as much as you can possible verify someone,yet they are STILL screaming that his birth certificate is a fraud? Can I ask you why this issue has NEVER been brought up with any OTHER sitting President? Yes, I’m willing to concede that some of them don’t like him because they don’t agree with his policies or how he is running the country (I think he’s been doing as much as he possibly can,considering the total chaos and mass confusion he inherited from Bush) but let’s be real here—a lot of these birthers have been pushing this issue because they STILL have not accepted and will never accept the fact that our sitting President is a black man—it’s racism pure and simple, on their part–it’s not THAT complicated.

    How come NONE of these birthers ever point out or bring up the fact that Sen. John McCain WASN’T even born here in the U.S., yet rarely have they ever questioned him on it/put him through the wringer the way they are doing Obama now? Funny how HIS–I mean McCain’s—right to run for President back in 2008 was NEVER questioned on that basis. The bottom line is, it has been proven that they don’t have a leg to stand on since the release of the President’s BC, and that it’s legit, but they want him out of office and they don’t care how many ridiculous rumors or conspiracy theories they throw out there to try and supposedly discredit him.

    So,Braidfute, don’t even try to legitimize these birther fools’ allegations—they have already been addressed and found to be a bunch of hype over nothing at all. As long as President Obama is black, they are going to keep this stupid s%$# up!

  • http://splcenter.org Robert Steinback

    Picking up on a point raised by Ian, I’ve long been fascinated by how none of these birthers think it odd that a diabolical conspiracy stretching back to 1961 intending to plant a “Manchurian candidate” in the White House, would choose a mixed-race baby (right — THERE’s a likely future presidential candidate viewed from 1961), give him a name like Barack Hussein Obama (THAT would NEVER attract attention to the conspiracy), have the shrewdness to position him both as a suspected Muslim and a Christian attending a church pastored by a man given to racist pronouncements (neither of which would EVER alarm the white Christians in the electorate), all while knowing, even as a baby, that he would develop the intellectual and oratorical skills (not to mention a nifty three-point shot) to actually pull off such an unlikely campaign. Whoever proposed such a plan would have been laughed out of the smoke-filled conspiracy room, if not committed to an asylum. And yet, millions of Americans who have jobs, kids, drivers licenses and the Constitutional freedom to use their brains to the fullest, are willing to consider this plausible. THAT is what worries me most. In my view, people who believe such things are distressed not that America has been compromised, but that America worked as designed. Interesting that they claim the mantle of “patriots.”

    Robert Steinback
    Deputy Editor, Hatewatch blog

  • Ian

    Mitch,

    I’ll do you one better. Obama IS “Baby Doc” Duvalier.

  • Mitch Beales

    Ian how about this for “more extraordinary?” Obama was murdered by the Clinton’s. “Baby Doc” Duvalier brought him back as a zombie to run him against Hillary so that Haiti could invade the US.

  • Mitch Beales

    “Swampfox” Braidfute I suggest you arrange a trip to Hawaii to view the president’s “original long form birth certificate.” You might want to hire a team of forensic scientists to take along so that they can “prove” that allegations about the falsification of the president’s birth certificate are true.

    The Constitution established who may or may not be president. The Constitution also established a judiciary which has ruled that Mr. Obama may be (in fact is) president. NOBODY gives a rat’s behind what Orly Taitz, the Council of Confederate Citizens, or you, swampfox, think about this. The only reason anyone is spending time or bandwidth on this non-issue is because it provides clear evidence that several Republican “contenders” for the presidency are mentally incompetent to serve as are many other Republican office holders.

  • Ian

    Braidfute,

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
    - Carl Sagan

    I can think of few claims more extraordinary than the idea that some international conspiracy picked a Kenyan kid to run the most powerful office in the world, forged not one but two documents, got the Hawaiian government to conspire with them, and took out a birthday ad decades earlier in a newspaper in order to gamble on a biracial guy with the middle name Hussein could become president.

  • Linnea

    RLavigueur, I think you miss Cedric’s point. He’s being sarcastic.

    As for what Francis says, what IS enough proof?? The president has released both forms of his birth certificate, both of which prove what he has said all along. It’s also been confirmed by more than one authority that both certificates are official, genuine, valid government documents. Enough is enough, already. This country has major problems to solve, and the birthers are making it worse by forcing the White House to keep responding to this non-issue. And why, pray tell, wasn’t this same question asked of John McCain? He was born in Panama, after all, and yet NO ONE questioned his U.S. citizenship!

    The “birthers” are motivated by racism, pure and simple.

  • RLavigueur

    Cedric,

    Unless Obama shows you a birth certificate from Kenya, you will deny that what he’s shown you is real. You have ignored and continue to ignore all evidence against your position while grasping at the thinnest straws if they seem to confirm, or even not deny, your conclusion. Forget that your insane hypothesis requires countless organizations throughout the man’s entire life to have committed a long conspiracy about hiding the truth of the man’s nationality with little in the way of evidence about how anyone save for the nefarrious “libruls” would benefit.

    You applaud Francis Marion Braidfute for her “courage”, the rest of us, I assure you, see instead desperate dissembling as a conspiracy that was never viable to begin with crumbles to the dust along with any semblance of respectability that the birther movement could claim.

    For a brief moment in history, a lot of us hoped that the release of the long form certificate (something birthers still don’t want to understand in the context of Hawaii) would make at least some of the movement wake up to the fact that they’ve been deceived. We were probably naive.

    Majii makes an excellent point above. Whether motivated by race, his perceived liberalism, or most likely some combination of the two, the birthers have never wanted to believe that Obama was actually an American. They have always wanted to believe that somehow, in some strange alternate universe to which their minds retreat, the man did not legitimately win the election. For whatever reason, and they insist that it has nothing to do with the colour of his skin, they demand that he constantly prove what they have required no other president in their history to prove.

    If only Braidfute and Katesby would be so courageous in asking questions of the leaders of this movement, but that might require dealing with even more answers that they won’t like receiving.

  • http://www.randi.org Cedric Katesby

    Francis Marion Braidfute has the courage to ask questions to protect the interest of real Americans.
    I’m sure that some of his best friends etc, etc, etc, right?
    Why, he’s no racist!
    He’s just asking questions.
    No harm in asking questions.

    Nobody is saying that Obama should go back to Africa.
    That would be racist.

    Concerned Americans just want Obama to go back to Kenya……..and show them his real birth certificate.
    Totally different thing.
    Not racist at all.
    Nosiree.
    Just asking questions, that’s all.

    Disgusting.

  • Sam Molloy

    Francis, Nixon earned the name “Tricky Dick” with the Checkers speech in the early ’50s. The Republicans still use basically the same speech any time someone gets too close to the truth. Obama by contrast has a reputation for being honest and staying on the subject.

  • majii

    @Francis Marion Braidfute

    There is no reason for the birther movement other than racism. President Obama gave them what they had been asking for, and they’re so hate-filled that they deny reality. I’ve had to deal with people like these my entire life. First, when I grew up under segregation, and second, when I was a high school teacher in the South for 33 years. Why should some of us have to “prove” anything to anyone when we’re citizens just as they are? Only a racist/bigot would demand to “see” a person’s “papers” of any type, or ask another person to “prove” that they’re qualified to do a job when the person took and passed the same certification tests they did. The reason they do this is to portray those unlike themselves as “different” in one way or another and as being “less” qualified because they are of a different race or practice a different religion. The thing that galls me about all of the BS is that they claim to be followers of Jesus while they practice hate, bigotry, racism, discrimination, etc. Jesus wouldn’t know them. I’m sick of having others who think they’re better than I am being suspicious of me because of what I look like. I follow the law, pay my taxes, and don’t ask them for anything, so they should leave me alone. Anyone who can’t see that this birther mess is a stain on America in the eyes of the world is no patriot and cares nothing about the Constitution. No wonder many people in other countries hate Americans. We’re a nation filled with hypocrites who talk about American exceptionalism but don’t practice it. Asking a sitting U.S. president to show his birth certificate to satisfy a group of loony fools is a new low for America. If the world is laughing at us, it should.

  • DrMJG

    James Mannig is so honorable that his Doctorate came from his own “divinity school” and he conferred it upon himself. He is NOT a person whose opinion is all that highly regarded within Harlem, except in his small community and by the right wing who need to find an “honorable black man” who dislikes Obama.

    The main reason he dislikes Obama, based on his sermons, is that the President’s mother was ” white trash who had a baby out of wedlock” and that the President does not endorse his central premise that all white owners should move out of Harlem and give it back to the legitimate owners: blacks.

    Interesting person elevated here.

    The so called “short form” and “long form” both indicate theta the President meets the criteria for election. The new accusations simply are ways to not admit that the so called “Stillbirthers” are indeed wrong, were wrong and will continue to be wrong.

  • Francis Marion Braidfute

    You don’t mention the opinions on the birth certificate of Pastor James Manning; probably one of, if not the most honourable honest black man in America!!

    The ‘foaming at the mouth birthers’ as you call them, may indeed be ‘racists’; depending on your definition of ‘racist’. I don’t generally accuse someone of being a racist; according to my definition, until I have spoken to them personally and verified that I interpreted their statements correctly. I am well aware of how the media sensationalise particular comments out of context.

    But lets assume you are correct and they are indeed ‘racists’. Were the ‘racists’ who accused Nixon of Fraud lying about their allegations, purely cause they were anti-white racists? Or can a broken clock (racist) tell the truth, irrespective of their motive.

    Sure their motive is important; but the most important issue is whether their facts are accurate. If their facts are accurate, and you are impartial and fair, then you have to confront the reality of thier facts.

    Why not address the issues of their allegations about the birth certificate, and prove those issues incorrect? Why not take the high ground? You cannot expect anyone to consider you have any moral authority, when you get in the gutter and avoid confronting the issues, and instead make allegations of racism. Are you attempting to avoid addressing their allegaitons and evidence for the birth certificate being fraudulent? Why???

  • Ian

    “Joseph Farah [...] called for a ‘skeptical public’ to press Obama on his parentage[...]”

    Wait a tic. I thought the raison d’etre of the whole movement was to show that Obama was not born in the United States, and thus is not eligible to be president. Parentage has zero to do with whether one can run for president or not.

    But silly me. Here I am attempting to apply logic to a movement with clear contempt for it. This was a bad move by this administration. History teaches us that giving conspiracy theorists information they ask for never shuts them up. There have been many government inquiries into every possible segment of the killing of John F. Kennedy, but most people still think either Oswald didn’t do or, or that he didn’t act alone. Millions of dollars poured into investigating the attacks of 9/11 have done nothing to silence the Truthers.

    I have no problem with private individuals or organizations responding to conspiracy theories, but this is a waste of taxpayers’ money. Besides that, I think birtherism was an actual opportunity for Obama. He can go to voters and say, “See, I’m the moderate one here. Even the GOP party leaders like Bachmann are crazy.” Sure, one could argue that more people would vote for him if they know he’s American-born, but does anyone honestly think those 25% who previously questioned if he was born in Hawai’i would vote for him otherwise?