Yes, But Who Is He?

While driving back to LA from Las Vegas after Thanksgiving, a process which took a lot longer than usual due to the holiday, we tried listening to the local AM stations for traffic news. Along with sparse info along the lines of “This traffic is normal for Thanksgiving Weekend, suck it up” we also heard a right-wing phone-in show getting themselves in a right froth about Obama, and how his right to be President is in question. The host and her guest were both blithering on about how they had read all the information, educated themselves about the situation, and were still not happy about the validity of an Obama Presidency. They claimed that if the evidence they wanted could be shown to them, they would be happy, and would shut up and go away.

Sure you would.

This article from David Weigel in Slate describes the extent of the conspiracy about Obama’s citizenship. This fringe movement, based around earnestly hysterical blogs, petitions and talk radio shows, has all the hallmarks of the other dumb conspiracy theories*, including the classic “Despite all the talk, some questions still remain unanswered.” Answer these questions, and ten more will spring up, usually at a tangent to logical discourse. And on it goes, like a child asking “Why? Why? Why?”

In the radio show, caller after caller came on to ask some weird question or make some crazy observation, to the enthusiastic interruptions of the hosts. Once, a guy came on to dispute what was being said, and was effectively told he wasn’t welcome because he didn’t agree. The host cut him off before saying smugly, “I have the button”. It was like the old James Whale late-night TV show, only marginally less sickening.

Philip J. Berg, who filed the first lawsuit asking for Obama to be ruled ineligible, also ran cases for 9/11 Truthers (this is true). He also has a case pending in the US Supreme Court about the Earth being flat. The globe we see in pictures from space is just effect of a fisheye lens, apparently, and the oceans are kept in place with magnets (this is not true, sadly).