For once in my life I actually agree with Bill Maher. In a July 31st Op-Ed piece with the L.A. Times, Bill reminds readers why we need to stop the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Obviously, Bill’s who schtick is to hate all things conservative republican and conservative Christian… so it’s a little odd that I’d be with him on this one.
But we live in America, and in America, if you don’t immediately kill arrant nonsense, no matter how ridiculous, it can grow and thrive and eventually take over, like crab grass or reality shows about fat people.
This flap might be a deluded right-wing obsession that is a total waste of time, but so was Whitewater, and look where that ended up. A handful of Republican operatives, enraged at Bill Clinton’s unprecedented economic growth and budget surpluses, found a woman named Paula Jones, which led to a woman named Monica Lewinsky, which gave me enough material to eventually be able to buy a big house in Bel-Air. Which I’m still conflicted about.
Reality #1 for the far right.
In November 2008, Barack Obama won the Presidential election in a landslide. It wasn’t even close. Consequently, in January 2009 Barack Obama became President of the United States. I know this will shock some people, but it really did happen. The Republicans also lost the House and the Senate. The will of the people was to politically swing from the far right to the far left. It wasn’t a conspiracy. Only the Minnesota senatorial election was markedly close. The 8 year conservative dream [in which very little was done, by the way.] died in November 2008.
Reality #2 for the far right.
The American people, in a landslide, elected a man who was born in Hawaii. Hawaii is a state. I know that for many people Hawaii is halfway to Asia so we don’t consider this a state in our country. But it is. You don’t need a passport to travel from Hawaii to the mainland United States. And people born there are considered United States citizens. Just like George W. Bush, Barack Obama lived outside of the United States for a significant amount of time. This doesn’t mean he’s not a natural born citizen of our country. It means that his mother took him to another country.
Reality #3 for the far right.
Barack Obama, legally elected and legally born in this country…. is the President of the United States for this term. It doesn’t mean we can’t question him. It doesn’t mean we have to like all of his decisions. But it does mean that we need to stop questioning if he really can be President. It makes conservative conspiracy theorists look stupid, petty, and… I’ll say it… racist. It reminds the general public about the Monica Lewinski scandal. You know the one where the conservatives were so worried about Bill Clinton’s private life that they allowed genocide in Rwanda to go uncovered by the media. You know, the incident where they kept the media so distracted by Bill Clinton’s private life that they forgot that their leaders were also sleeping around and that their media king, Rush Limbaugh, was jacked up on drugs and completely out of his mind.
So, my hope is that conservatives will join with crazy, whacked-out, left-of-liberal, Christian-hating, Bill Maher in killing the rumor that Barack Obama isn’t really a United States natural born citizen. Conspiracy theorists need to plan vacations to Roswell and Oregon where they can hunt for aliens and big foot. Instead of trying to destroy the President with a silly theory, lets focus our attention on things that matter. Maybe if we’re disenfranchised with the current administration we should invest our time in changing our neighborhood? Maybe we should help the powerless among us seek justice? Maybe we should volunteer at a crisis-pregnancy center?