Back in May, I noted that some in the Republican party had found the victory of Barack Obama in the Presidential Election of late 2008 so hard to stomach, that they had taken to trying to prove that Obama was not a natural born citizen of the USA. There had been a series of lawsuits filed in an attempt to press the issue, and all had been thrown out. The authorities in Hawaii have repeatedly confirmed that Obama was indeed born there in 1961. Case closed?
Not a bit of it. Now, as the Guardian has reported, there is a move from some members of Congress to demand that future Presidential candidates show their birth certificates. The state of Hawaii long ago went digital, so nowadays provides not a copy certificate, but a computer printout. That printout is clearly not enough to satisfy the conspiracy theorists, who hold that Obama was born in Kenya (as his father was Kenyan) and somehow smuggled into the USA – but, no surprise there, we don’t get to know how the Obamas accomplished this.
The lawsuits may have been thrown out, but the deluge of propaganda, with the band of usual suspects fronted by the deeply unpleasant Rush Limbaugh, has begun to take hold within the Republican party grassroots. This should be no surprise to those in the UK: the continuously negative publicity of the EU has set off much anti-EU sentiment, while the red top diet of scare stories about immigration has spooked many into believing that the immigrant population of the UK is two or three times larger than it really is.
And not everyone in the broadcast media has moved to stop the so called “birther movement” propaganda. But, fortunately, over at MSNBC, President Phil Griffin has been able to state the obvious: “It’s racist. Just call it for what it is”.
[As a follow up to my post on the Republican opposition to Sandra Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, I’m glad to see that this nomination has now been endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee]