The Birther Movement: Anything's Possible

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julie marshLast week, much to my surprise, I received a Birther propaganda email. Because, really? Someone besides Orly Taitz is still banging the Birther drum?

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised since the Truthers are still out there speculating. Different side of the political aisle, same brand of batshit crazy.

Birthers, allow me to introduce you to two very helpful sites: FactCheck.org and Snopes.com. Actually, the population at large -- especially folks who are prone to forwarding ridiculous emails to their entire address book -- ought to familiarize themselves with these sites. Because if you are technologically savvy enough to electronically spread misinformation, you ought to be smart enough to do your homework beforehand. Otherwise the rest of us will just start marking your emails as spam.

I find the Birther movement entertaining for a variety of reasons, more so than the Truthers. Alleging that our government was behind (or had any knowledge of) such a tragedy is infuriating. But suggesting that a presidential candidate would tell an easily debunked whopper in his pursuit of the White House is really just laughable.

Evidence abounds of Barack Obama's birth on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu. None of it has been exposed as a forgery; in fact, FactCheck.org analyzed the document in person and in detail, refuting all the objections raised by the Birthers. On the other hand, the Birther movement has unearthed Kenyan birth certificates that have been easily identified as fakes. The comparison of one of these fakes to the Australian birth certificate after which it was modeled is especially telling.

Earlier this year, a photograph of a Kenyan border sign, proclaiming the country to be "Birthplace of Barack Obama," was circulated via email. Snopes.com handily exposed it as a fake -- the sign and surrounding landscape are at the border of an Omani territory, the Arabic words on the sign are spelled backwards, and the translation is completely off.

Finally, Orly Taitz herself is hilarious -- at least if you're not the judge who's hearing her latest frivolous lawsuit. As the de facto face of the Birther movement, she's the icing on the "you've got to be kidding me" cake.

Birthers accuse Obama of thinking that the rest of us are stupid, but in light of evidence against them and the mistakes in the evidence they've presented, I have to wonder how stupid the Birthers think we are.

I understand how it feels to dislike the president. I harbored a visceral distaste for Bill Clinton for eight years, even as I served in the military while he was commander in chief. I felt for the Democrats who believed the presidency was unfairly handed to George W. Bush; at the time I was a Bush supporter, and I would have felt the same way if Al Gore had been declared the winner.

We've all observed lies by our presidents -- lies of omission, lies of commission. Is it possible that President Obama has orchestrated a lie that's broader and deeper than any Truther conspiracy theory? Sure, it's possible. But I've yet to see any rational, factual reason to believe it's actually so.