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You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Aug 4, 2009
Memo to the True Birthers: YOU HAVE ACHIEVED ULTIMATE DUMB.
I'm sure, by now, you know about the Obama "birther' movement. On the off chance you don't, they're people who, to put it kindly, question whether Barack Obama is legally eligible to be president because they don't believe he was born in the United States. To put it less kindly, they are a bunch of racist nutjobs with steaming piles of shit in the place where a brain should have evolved. But did you know there are essentially two kinds of birthers? There are opportunistic birthers, and true birthers.
An opportunistic birther is someone who has a vested political, financial, cultural, or career-enhancing motivation to, shall we say, ensure that the continued questioning of Barack Obama's legitimacy is a part of the current political landscape. You can always tell an opportunistic birther because they hedge their bets and maintain plausible deniability. Bill Posey, for example. Opportunistic birther. He repeatedly says he's not questioning Barack Obama's place of birth, he's merely putting forth legislation to require presidents to submit proof of birth so that this question can be settled, and never come up in the future. Of course, it's just a coincidence that he feels the need for this legislation now.
Lou Dobbs is another O-B. He's been trying to have it both ways for weeks - actively courting the birthers on his considerably-more-extreme radio show, while engaging in a bit more subtlety on CNN, and then lying about the less subtle parts when he's called on it. Odds are, of course, that both Posey and Dobbs believe that Obama is a natural-born citizen. But it's in their best interests that the question remain "out there", undermining Obama and appealing to the Crazy Third that, in a recent poll, does in fact truly believe that Obama is not a citizen.
These are the True Birthers, the committed, the fervent, the fucked in the head. And their leader, the all-high queen of being fucked in the head, is Orly Taitz, a combination lawyer and dentist with what I suspect is a deep-seated hatred of birth certificates due to the fact that the name "Orly Taitz" on her own is incontrovertible proof that her parents didn't love her. And the chief tenet of the True Birthers is that President Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate is a fraud. They have a number of very bad reasons to believe this - there is something fishy about the scanned image available on the Internet, Hawaii state officials are lying, and my favorite, that a "Certification of Live Birth" is not the same as a "birth certificate". These are awesome crazy things to believe, but what's important to note for future reference is that they all show one thing - that the birther movement has very high standards for official documentation, want to see physical originals of precisely the correct forms, and will not settle for anything less.
Which is why, predictably, they have seized upon the digital image of a Kenyan birth certificate for Barack Hussein Obama like it was the fulfillment of their wildest fantasies. Which it would be, if it weren't for a few pesky details. Like the name of the hospital being wrong. Like the certificate being from the "Republic of Kenya", but dated from the year before Kenya became a republic. Like the certificate being issued on a Saturday. Like a bit of obvious code (47O44, Obama's age, initial, and number president he is) dropped into the form's "number" field. Like a 47 year old form being crisp and white after being on file in Kenya for nearly five decades. You know, little things like that. Oh, and as the famous detective says, ONE MORE THING.
The Republic of Kenya's FORM TITLE HERE was signed by "EF Lavender". EF Lavender is, as the Internet handily pointed out within minutes of Taitz posting her triumph on her web site, a top-selling brand of Kenyan laundry detergent. I shit you not. I don't know who slipped this fake to Taitz and her crew, but whoever it is deserves a medal. It's a work of pure, unmitigated beauty, and appears to be designed specifically to trick a bunch of uneducated, insane morons who pretend to be document experts into signing onto an obvious forgery because it appears to support their demented worldview. A worldview expressed gloriously by Taitz herself: ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"Before, they said, 'You don't have anything backing your claims,' Now I have something. In fact, I have posted on the Internet more than Obama has. My birth certificate actually has signatures." - Taitz, speaking to World Net Daily.
Yes, but you have the signatures of laundry detergent, you crazy bimbo. And unless A.T. Cheer, Tide W. Bleach, and Arm N. Hammer are all part of the conspiracy, I'm pretty sure Taitz is busted. Not that being completely and embarrassingly wrong will discredit or stop the birthers, but at least we have one more reason to laugh at them.