THE PRESIDENT…IS A…N(*RINGING BELL*)

(Warning: post contains language that may be cause for offense. More so than usual.)

It has been a two year exercise in frustration attempting to figure out what is going on inside Barack Obama's head, and few of his decisions have been more puzzling than the one to release his "long form" birth certificate more than three years after Wingnuttia started drumming up conspiracy theories about his birthplace and citizenship status. Despite the clear legal validity of his short form birth certificate (which is all most of us have, and which in Hawaii loudly states, "This document serves as prima facie evidence of birth in any court proceeding"), a large segment of the American population remained skeptical that such a black potential secret Muslim could really have been born in the U.S. of A.

The release of the "long form" accomplishes very little for Obama with the possible exception of making Donald Trump look like a jackass (although he and his supporters are declaring "victory" for making Obama release the document, irrespective of the fact that said document proves conclusively that he and all of his supporters are all fucking morons). It accomplishes so little because Birtherism is not and never has been about Obama's birth certificate, and it certainly hasn't been about facts. "Not a natural-born citizen" is little more than gussied up Newspeak for "nigger", and there is no practical distinction between "Where's the birth certificate?" and "Go back to Africa, you black SOB."

Though he has been dead for many years, Lee Atwater offers us one of the best explanations of Birtherism in a nutshell in describing the use of coded racial language in the 1980s:

You start out in 1954 by saying, 'Nigger, nigger, nigger.' By 1968 you can’t say (that)—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

The Teabaggers and Birthers have been fighting this accusation vociferously since the moment the conspiracy theory emerged, yet the release of the long-demanded Long Form certificate provides some of the most damning evidence against their feeble claims. IF this is really about a birth certificate, then the birth certificate should bring the "controversy" to an end. Instead, we see that Birtherism has no intention of being derailed by something as trivial as the document that its supporters have been demanding for three goddamn years. It will have no effect because the underlying cause of the phenomenon remains: to paraphrase the legendary scene from Blazing Saddles, the President is a n(*DING*). But of course Birthers don't think they're racists. A dog doesn't know what a "dog whistle" is; to them, it's just a whistle (much as to people in Cleveland, it is simply called a Steamer).

Why would Obama expect this new information to have any impact on his opponents? The more mainstream, non-lunatic conservatives have already rejected the issue (Birtherism appears to embarrass them, in fact) and the lunatics will simply trot out predictable excuses – "It's fake!" or any number of similar Moving Goalposts arguments. Rather than being satisfied, they will simply demand additional "evidence" which, if received, they will similarly discount in their haste to demand even more.

World Nut Daily, which has been unofficial Birther HQ for the last two years, has taken a different approach. After receiving the birth certificate they've been demanding for all this time, they have now decided that the birth certificate is irrelevant because even if Obama was born in Hawaii, his father was not a U.S. citizen and thus he cannot be "natural born" (according to the definition of "natural born" devised by WND legal scholars like Jerome Corsi and a collection of regular commenters in Freeper forums). Check out their new "headlines", noting that the "author" repeatedly referenced is Corsi, whose books are published exclusively on WND Press.

-Obama document still doesn't answer all questions
-Authors: Even Hawaii birth won't make Obama eligible
-President still has major legal issues following release of 'birth certificate'
-Author suggests disputed presidency won't survive publication of book
-Verdict: Birthers are (mainly) right: 'Sufficient evidence to reasonably conclude' Obama probably not eligibile
-Obama's day of reckoning could end his presidency

Translation, with deference Mr. Atwater: "Despite release of certificate, Obama fails to answer allegations of negritude."

WND honcho Joseph Farah humiliates himself further in the Washington Post, telling Steve Levingston that Corsi's book Where's the Birth Certificate?, which comes out in three weeks, has been vindicated. But he's not humiliated, nor is the cause he champions really set back by the new document. Once again, none of this has anything to do with a birth certificate. It has everything to do with a black president who has a furreign-soundin' name and a father from Kenya. This is about the politics of tribalism and blood, about how he is one of Them and not one of Us.

I fail to see what Obama has to gain from addressing these claims at face value. They can say "not natural born" or "secret Muslim" all they want – they know, just as we know, exactly what they really mean. And since the real, underlying issue can never be addressed in any way that will placate Birthers, what does it accomplish to respond to the coded language they use to make their racism sound acceptable in polite society?

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143 Responses to “THE PRESIDENT…IS A…N(*RINGING BELL*)”

  1. Geds Says:

    Since DMB refused to fucking shut up about it…

    In 2004, a grand total of 121,069,054 votes were cast in the Presidential election. Of those, 11% were cast by black voters at an 88% rate in favor of John Kerry. In 2008, a grand total of 129,391,711 votes were cast in the Presidential election. Of those, 13% were cast by black voters at a 95% rate in favor of Barack Obama.

    By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, that means that 16,820,920 votes were cast by black voters in 2008, of which 15,979,874 went to Obama. If we reduce those percentages to 2004 levels, it means that 14,233,090 votes would have been cast, with 12,525,119 going to Barack Obama. That means a net loss of 3,454,755 votes for Barack Obama.

    This means that Obama's margin of victory would have slid from 9,522,083 to 6,067,328. So, in other words, your anecdote is not the same as data and your assertion does not hold water.

  2. Geds Says:

    For the record, if you want to see the key demographic shifts:

    2004 for Kerry:

    56% of Hispanic voters
    54% of Asian voters
    51% of women
    54% of voters between 18 and 29

    2008 for Obama:

    67% of Hispanic voters
    62% of Asian voters
    56% of women
    66% of voters between 18 and 29

    As a voting bloc all of those groups held roughly the same from 2004 to 2008. So if you really want to blame some non-whites, I can make a suggestion. Or you can blame women. Or you can blame the damn kids who just won't get off your lawn. Have fun.

  3. RE Hayes Says:

    @ Johnny F and others
    Additionally, I am not making assumptition of why they voted for the President, I have heard many black voters make the statement that they did and would even go so far as to shun a black that would not vote for a black man. The sad part is that it has been by far a majority of those that have expressed why that voted for the President vs his stance on a particular issue.

    As for the numbers game, just remember that the stats are wrong 50% of the time, it's the probability that we must understand.

  4. Geds Says:

    As for the numbers game, just remember that the stats are wrong 50% of the time, it's the probability that we must understand.

    Funny how stats are only wrong when they prove a pet theory false…

  5. RE Hayes Says:

    No, not at all…the fact is that unless you understand what you are measuring, the stats are just numbers. It is the probability of the action or outcome that you must understand…That is the beauty of statistics.

    And I have no pet theories, only pet dogs and peeves.

  6. Geds Says:

    the fact is that unless you understand what you are measuring, the stats are just numbers

    True enough.

    I was just skimming after my original post, so I didn't really know who was saying what. The line about statistics being wrong just looked like a sour grapes shot after being presented with actual statistics that disproved a theory. Sorry.

  7. jwm Says:

    I wrote a long email to some friends who were saying the same things. I'll try to summarize.

    Obama has ignored this stuff for some time.

    Now the presidential election is about to kick off. Candidates are positioning themselves for a run. Trump is kind of a joke, but Obama is far from safe. His base is disaffected and disillusioned by the man of hope and peace's reign of war and a shattered economy.

    Then Trump said he would go independent if he didn't win Republican nomination and started in with the birther stuff. As a rich, white, asshole with a reality show, Trump is basically a more traditional Palin like figure to the crazified tea party base of the Republican party.

    So what does Obama do? Respond to Trump directly, producing his birth certificate. Why? Its almost like Obama is trying to inflate Trump's viability as an outside candidate to split the conservative vote. Ross Perot ring any bells?

  8. RE Hayes Says:

    @ jmw

    "Then Trump said he would go independent if he didn't win Republican nomination"

    I am sure you got this from some leading, authoritative source. But I listened to Trump say quite clearly in an interview that there is no way that he would run as an Independent…That defeating the President was paramount and he would not split the party vote under any circumstance.

  9. jwm Says:

    Hayes
    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/04/11/trump-will-probably-run-as-independent-if-he-doesnt-win-gop-nomination/

    Regardless, its not unheard of for someone to backtrack on a promise not to run.

  10. jwm Says:

    Here is the authoritative source for the link lazy.
    "“I am very conservative,” said Mr. Trump. “The concern is if I don’t win [the GOP primary] will I run as an independent, and I think the answer is probably yes.” Mr. Trump said he thought he “could possibly win as an independent,” adding, “I’m not doing it for any other reason. I like winning.”"

  11. RE Hayes Says:

    That is too bad…He was asked in an interview with Hannity on 4/25 (i believe), 2 weeks after the link you provided.
    So now we have conflicting information as to what his position really is. Kinda like Obama and too many others inside the loop where common sense lays cold, limp, and lifeless — if their lips are moving, the probability is high that they are telling the current crowd what they want to hear or what they need to say for the next sound bite.

  12. jwm Says:

    If Trump becomes a hero to the base though, he could well win the Republican nomination. The more likely scenario is he bombs out of the primaries, because his campaign is almost certainly going to be amateur hour compared to the experienced pros like Romney. But if he bombs out with enough support from the crazy base, then he may go ahead with an independent run if he thinks he has a chance.

    I could be wrong, but its obvious that Obama responded to Trump the way he did, after ignoring the Gingrichs and all the other high and low profile public figures for three years right as the election cycle heats up, because of a careful political calculation. Remember how smartly he ran his nomination campaign, outmaneuvering and outsmarting what was at the time considered the well oiled machine of Hillary Clinton's campaign. I may be wrong about what I think the reason Obama did what he did is, but there is no way I am wrong that this was just something he did for the hell of it, or something that accomplishes very little for him. Trump may still bomb out, but Obama has made him look far more credible now than he was on his own.

    The Rove led campaign in 2004 performed a similar tactic, selecting Kerry as the weak horse in the Democrats field and responding to him as though he was a strong one, thereby influencing the public perception of him and helping him win the nomination and lose the general.

  13. Geds Says:

    I could be wrong, but its obvious that Obama responded to Trump the way he did, after ignoring the Gingrichs and all the other high and low profile public figures for three years right as the election cycle heats up, because of a careful political calculation.

    My belief on this one is that the political calculus is really quite simple:

    Trump is, ultimately, not a serious candidate. But he is a blowhard with a massive PR machine and the willingness to spend copious amounts of money on really, really stupid things. So the longer Trump stays in and appears to be a viable candidate, the more money the rest of the field has to spend simply to get face time. That, then, is money they won't have in the general.

    And if Trump stays in long enough and gets his ego inflated enough but doesn't actually win the nomination he may well go the independent route. It looks, at least early on, like Trump's standing with the Tea Party is high enough that he could make Perot's spoiler look like a statistical aberration.

  14. bb in GA Says:

    Applying Statistical Process Control to the Process of Black Americans voting for Democratic Presidential Candidates with the data as given above:

    The data since 1976 thru 2004

    83 83 91 89 83 84 90 88

    Xbar = 86.4 Rbar = 3.6

    Upper Control Limit = Xbar + [ 3 * (Rbar/ D2) D2 = 1.128 (applicable constant)

    UCL = 86.4 + [ 3 * (3.6/1.128))

    UCL = 96

    Recalculating this while respecting the precision of the original data (2 significant figures) does not change the result.

    The 'run' rules say that if you have a single datapoint greater than the UCL (or less than the LCL) then the process is "unstable" or "out of control."

    Mr Obama's percentage in 2008 was 96

    We are mighty close…

    If he gets a greater than 96% in 2012 that would indicate "out of control.".

    The next run rule that would come into play is that if you have two out of three consecutive datapoints that exceed two sigma (which in this case is about 93%) then the process would be unstable.

    If President Obama gets more than 93% in 2012, we can declare the process "out of control." There can't be a third consecutive datapoint because of Constitutional constraints so if he falls below 93% we will never know.

    So speculating that the 96% Black vote for President O is unusual has some reational basis.

    Obviously the data can't give us the reason the process may go out of control.

    //bb

  15. Trailer Trash Says:

    Facts about Trailer Trash (me):
    1. I live in a double-wide in California.
    2. I have multiple graduate degrees.
    3. I am left-wing.
    4. I always sort of wince when reading all of the derogatory things about trailer inhabitants on this site…

  16. Major Kong Says:

    “I’m not doing it for any other reason. I like winning.”

    Nice to see you're so committed to the welfare of the Republic, Mr. Trump.

  17. leftwingforester Says:

    @ Hayes

    "What it is -is just stupid to vote for someone solely because they are the same color as you! There are so many issues that must be considered by the voter…that to just vote based or race"

    Change "race" to "woman" and tell me McCain didn't cynically nominate Palin to pull off the pissed off Hilary supporters.

  18. RE Hayes Says:

    @ leftwing
    Regardless of what McCain did or did not do it does not change the fact that to vote for skin color, or gender, or height, or hair color, etc… is still stupid.

  19. RE Hayes Says:

    @jwm

    Trump has some good ideas and some from the past that are not so good. But he certainly forces the conversation…and i think that is a good thing. But those comments attributed to him on 4/11 leave me wondering if it was some tongue-in-cheek or other silliness. But he should have never uttered those words that he may consider running as an Ind.

  20. acer Says:

    0/10 on the trolling today. Really obvious stawmen followed by backpedaling and whiny faux-folksiness.

    Way to disgrace Boortz.

  21. RT Butte Says:

    @Trailer Trash:

    There's a difference between living in a trailer and being trailer trash. I live in rural Louisiana, so it's mostly the latter around here, but occasionally you meet people who live in trailers without being trailer trash.

  22. A.B.A.B.D Says:

    Does the fact that so many poor to middle class white people identify with and vote Republican–a party whose "free market uber alles" policies over the past 30 years have wreaked so much havoc in their lives–have any relevance to this whole "Republicans are smarter than Democrats" issue?

    Nah, I didn't think so…

  23. Mike Says:

    @DMG: I'm sorry, but if you think it was "reverse racist" for African-Americans to be excited about being able to vote for the first African-American presidential candidate (of a major party) in 218 years … then you are very naive about America.

  24. Mike Says:

    Also: I don't think Obama was trying to convince the birthers. It's not like they would ever support him any way.

    I think he was trying (a) to shame the media into doing their fucking jobs [unlikely to work] and (b) put a wedge between the GOP nutjobs and low-information "moderate" (non-crazy) voters. Because now the birthers are reduced to muttering about forgeries and/or making up new rules about "native born" citizens, which apparently means "no Kenyan fathers."

  25. Dogsbody Says:

    @DMB: Regarding your comment at 11:40 am, I feel quite comfortable in saying "Bullshit, you are a liar."

  26. Shane Says:

    Trailer Trash wins my award for best comment of the day. Though to be fair, your trailer in CA could very likely have cost much more than a nice house in most other parts of the country. I remember briefly looking at housing in the Monterey area in 2007 and the cheapest place we could find was a single wide in a trailer park….listed for $600,000.

  27. Screamin' Demon Says:

    "I can almost promise you that I've spent my entire life in much closer relationships with black people than most of you have"

    Yeah. And some of my friends are black. Dude, when you gotta go to such length to try to convince people you're not a racist…you're a fuckin' racist.

  28. FC Says:

    Wow, people making distasteful remarks about other people that do not agree with them with a VERY Nazi like background picture. Makes sense to me

  29. FC Says:

    A.B.A.B.D,

    When you start to make sense, others will listen to you. Unfortunately, most here do not know the difference between being intelligent and smart.

  30. Scott Says:

    @FC – It's a very Soviet background, not a Nazi background. It makes sense to me that someone Boortz sent here wouldn't know the difference.

    Crack a book and think for yourself once in a while. You'll be amazed at the results.

  31. eau Says:

    Well, if Obama's aim IS to split the crazies from the stupids, and it works… genius. If not, I am just as bemused as ed. Why acknowledge this bullshit? Why now?

    And as for the Right calling Clinton and Obama names… Well, what can we expect after all these years of calling Nixon a shameless crook, Regan a doddering, clueless puppet and Dubya a draft-dodging, coke-snorting moron?

    And don't go pointing to evidence of any of these claims (typical Lefty shim-shamery!). As has been pointed out above, facts have a pronounced liberal bias and figures are mostly meaningless when they disagree with right wing talking points.

  32. Josh Rosen Says:

    Yeah, the president IS a N(*RINGING BELL*)…and it got him into Yale. You don't hear him complaining about it, do you?

  33. Arslan Amirkhanov Says:

    "FC Says:
    April 29th, 2011 at 6:03 pm
    Wow, people making distasteful remarks about other people that do not agree with them with a VERY Nazi like background picture. Makes sense to me"

    Congratulations, you arre the dumbest motherfucker on the planet for the time being.

    Then again, liberals ought to think twice before they get upset about conservatives conflating Nazism and Communism. After all, the modern concept of totalitarianism, so handy for severing Nazism from capitalism and excusing crimes of liberal "democratic" states, was developed by a wannabe Marxist of the Frankfurt school. If one deliberately tries to lump two very different systems together it is only natural before some ignorant folks like FC here to think they were the same.

  34. David R Says:

    Guess I'm shuffling in a little late. I read the whole thread, because I rearely see this blog get so many posts so quickly, and I had to see what it was about. I have this to add:

    @DMG— Both the Democratic voter base and Republican voter base articles on Wikipedia claim that each respective party has the most support form educated professionals. The articles contradict each other.

    Is this why, when you had to choose one article to link, you chose the Republican article? Either way, could we see a better external source than wikipedia, since this is one case where Wikipedia is obviously very inadequate?

  35. David Gurney Says:

    What an idiot you are;The idea is to get rid of Sotomayor and Kagan.Obama's laws can be repealed,but they can't.

  36. David Gurney Says:

    NEWS FLASH-The former Gov.of California has just announced that he is also a love child,the product of an Austrian hooker an american GI,making him a natural born citizen.

    This story has just as much credibility as does Obama's.