Salon’s Guide To Refuting The Birthers

As I discussed yesterday, the degree to which the conservative movement has become a delusional cult can be seen by the manner in which they fall for conspiracy theories claiming that Barack Obama is not an American citizen. Noting that, “A recent poll showed that 11 percent of Americans — including 28 percent of Republicans — don’t believe President Obama was born in the U.S.,” Alex Koppelman has compiled Salon’s handy-dandy guide to refuting the Birthers. The article debunks the following myths being spread by the Birthers. (Some of them have a kernel of truth, but only enough truth to allow the Birthers to believe they have evidence for claims which do not hold up to any degree of rational evaluation).

  • Myth 1: Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.
  • Myth 2: Obama can’t be president because his father was a British citizen
  • Myth 3: A Kenyan birth certificate for Obama, showing he was born in Mombasa, has been discovered
  • Myth 4: Obama’s grandmother said he was born in Kenya
  • Myth 5: Hawaii allows parents to get birth certificates for their foreign-born children
  • Myth 6: Obama traveled to Pakistan using an Indonesian passport
  • Myth 7: Obama hasn’t released his birth certificate
  • Myth 8: If Obama would just release his birth certificate, he could end all this

You can check out the original argument for the details but if you are talking to a Birther don’t waste your time. The facts will make absolutely no difference with them.

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9 Comments

  1. 1
    Rob says:

    What could one possibly stand to gain by repudiating the President’s citizenship?  The descent of contemporary conservatives into the realm of baseless conspiracy theories is really quite unfortunate; conservatism could make positive contributions to the nation if it would legitimately join the dialog of reform.  But instead we hear nothing but denial.

  2. 2
    Simmer says:

    There is no doubt that there are too many people out there that believe this birth certificate nonsense. For some reason, conspiracy theories captivate a lot of people in this country. However, the belief that Barack Obama faked his birth certificate is far less loony than many of the conspiracy we have endured for the last 16 years.
    First there was all the Clinton conspiracy including the charge that he was behind murders as governor of Arkansas. That claim was just a warm up for the 8 years of Bush. Many people on the left jumped at the chance to blame Bush for 9/11 and Katrina.
    If you remember correctly, Spike Lee claimed that the levies were blown up to rid New Orleans of African Americans. Was that a Democratic talking point? Absolutely not, but I must point out the Ted Kennedy suggested that Bush sat around in Texas and planned the Iraq War for personal gain, and Madeline Albright suggested we had Osama Bin Laden captured while George Bush waited until the election to announce it. That is some pretty crazy talk from high profile, party big-wigs.
    This left wing consiracy list could go on for quite some time. The idea that conservatives have a monopoly on “baseless conspiracy” is laughable.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Madeline Albright did not believe we had bin Laden captured and Kennedy did not say Bush sat around in Texas planning the war for personal gain. Such claims are common on far right wing sites and are as fictitious as the Birther claims. Your repetition of these false right wing claims actually verifies what I am saying here. That is not to say that conservatives have a monopoly on this, but that belief in such misinformation has become the basis of the beliefs of the current conservative movement.

  4. 4
    Mr. Jeffersonian says:

    “Many people on the left jumped at the chance to blame Bush for 9/11 and Katrina.”
     
    What do you mean “Jumped at the chance”? Bush was responsible for 9/11 and Katrina. He ignored all the early warning signs about Al Qaeda attacking the U.S. because he considered it old baggage from the Clinton Administration. All the information was there for him and he did nothing! The Levies in New Orleans were in decay for decades from neglect from both parties (Why that idiot Spike Lee would suggest that  someone would need to blow them up is beyond me) and when the worst happened  was Fema even ready? No because apparently Bush appointed an equestrian judge to head that department. Thousands of people (white as well as black) who could have been helped were literally left to fend for themselves many of them died needlessly. For you to suggest that these disasters were just opportune moments for the left to attack G.W. Bush is insulting at best. Truth is there’s  no need for anyone to come up with conspiracies by the Bush administration, because his own incompetence practically speaks for itself.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mr. Jeffersonian,

    Yes, it is difficult to make any equivalency between criticizing Bush for his errors in handling both warnings about al Qaeda and Katrina with right wing conspiracy theories. Believing in such false equivalencies is yet another delusion which is common on the right.

  6. 6
    Wil says:

    I have a question.  Let’s just say Obama was born in Kenya.  His mother was a U.S. Citizen. Obama would still be a U.S. Citizen correct?  Wouldn’t he still be eligible to be President or am I missing something here?

    Wil

  7. 7
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Wil,
     
    “I have a question.  Let’s just say Obama was born in Kenya.  His mother was a U.S. Citizen. Obama would still be a U.S. Citizen correct?  Wouldn’t he still be eligible to be President or am I missing something here?”
     
    This is a tricky mess. If Obama were born in Kenya today, to an American mother, he would automatically be eligible for American citizenship and, if he (or his mother) had him enrolled has a citizen he would be a ‘natural born American citizen’ because of the citizenship status of his mother. Regardless of the citizenship status of his father.
     
    At the time of his actual birth, his mother would have to be 21 for him to eligible for American citizenship at all and the ‘natural born’ status of his citizenship would be up for vigorous debate. This is what all ‘legitimate’ (if such a word can be used for something as stupid as the Birther garbage) arguments about his citizenship status rest upon… his mother was too young for him to be a US citizen if he was born in Kenya and his father was a non-citizen.
     
    So it would theoretically make a big difference if the core element of the conspiracy theory were true.
     
    It is worth noting that, while this is a pretty ridiculous slander, such slanders about presidents are not true. Lincoln was frequently said to have had a black father, Washington was accused of stealing his stepsons’ inheritance, John Adams was accused of wanting to be king and to create an American nobility, and it was feared that Al Smith (and John F. Kennedy) would take orders from the pope if elected president. Andrew Jackson, like Clinton, was accused of being a murderer.
     
    The ‘horrific but entirely bullshit’ slander has been part of American politics as long as there has been American politics. A minority rabid partisans believing said slanders in their entirety is also nothing new. What is disturbing is that it increasingly seems that many of the people making the decisions on the right beleive their own lies, which is very new.
     

  8. 8
    Wil says:

    Thanks Eclectic Radical for answering my question. Now I understand why my line of thought wasn’t being used to justify Obama’s citizenship.  I was indeed missing something.  

    ” What is disturbing is that it increasingly seems that many of the people making the decisions on the right beleive their own lies, which is very new.”

    What is becoming even more disturbing to me is the speed in which these lies spread and how adamant some people are in believing  and promoting them and how radical some people are becoming in spreading them.

  9. 9
    nomoreGOP says:

    “What is becoming even more disturbing to me is the speed in which these lies spread and how adamant some people are in believing and promoting them and how radical some people are becoming in spreading them.”

    This is due to the sensationalist popularity of the MSM currently.. If it doesnt have sex, drugs, conspiracy or racism, its not going to make the news.. And when people like Orly Taitz get airtime where there is a threeway yell fest, it just legitimizes the outrageous claims..

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