The odd “right-wing obsession” with President Obama’s birth certificate is spreading, said Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle. First, Rep. Mike Castle (R, Del.) had to fend off an angry “birther” at a town hall meeting (watch video), then “border-obsessed” CNN host Lou Dobbs jumped on the “birther” train. Thankfully, Rep. John Campbell (R, Calif.) got “a beat-down” from Hardball’s Chris Matthews for pandering to the GOP’s “wacko wing.” (watch video)
The “birthers” are both “a fringe movement and something greater,” said Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic. No “important Republicans” believe this “extremely thoroughly debunked” conspiracy theory (although Rush Limbaugh is flirting with it), but some local lawmakers and an unknown number of GOP voters do. As midterm elections approach, Republicans have a tough choice: alienate the “birthers” or reveal the “narrowness of their base.”
Given the “momentum conservatives are building against ObamaCare,” this “blather” about the birth certificate is foolish, said Allahpundit in Hot Air. It also obscures an important point: “the natural-born requirement is probably the single dumbest operative provision in the Constitution.” Perhaps after Obama leaves office we can finally abolish it.
Look, this isn’t “just some conspiracy theory along the lines of 9/11 truthers and alien cover-ups,” said Larry Amon in Examiner.com, and it isn’t going away until Obama produces his long-form birth certificate. Personally, I’ve let this “very important” issue go, but only because Obama will never release the information, so we’ll never know.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: September 30, 2014
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Are hedge funds doomed?
- 11 surprisingly apt lessons from Machiavelli's The Prince
Subscribe to the Week