Birtherism needs to get out of political dialogue in Georgia

In a guest editorial at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Loren Collins, a friend and fellow libertarian, takes issue with Georgia politicians pushing the ridiculous conspiracy theory surrounding Barack Obama’s citizenship.

Loren mentions the more well-known birthers, Nathan Deal and Paul Broun, but he takes aim at legislation introduced in the final days of the Georgia General Assembly by State Rep. Mark Hatfield (R-Waycross):

[S]tate Rep. Mark Hatfield (R-Waycross) recently introduced House Bill 1516. Had it passed, it would have required presidential candidates to provide evidence of their constitutional eligibility in order to appear on Georgia ballots. In the abstract, such a requirement is perfectly reasonable.

But Hatfield’s real intent shines through in the details. Hatfield does not propose that his fellow General Assembly members should prove their eligibility under the Georgia Constitution, nor that our statewide elected officials, such as the governor, should do so. Nor does he propose the same standard of proof for our federal representatives and senators.

Hatfield’s bill does not even demand documentation from vice presidential candidates, who have the same eligibility standards as the president. Most astonishingly, Hatfield proposes nothing to ensure the constitutional eligibility of any third-party presidential candidates; his bill covers only Republicans and Democrats.

In other words, if Hatfield’s bill passed, the only candidates in the November 2012 election whose eligibility it would scrutinize would be Barack Obama and his Republican challenger. Hatfield has written a bill so narrow that the only way it could be narrower would be for it to identify Obama by name.

Hatfield even admits his bill is targeted at Obama. He says, “I don’t think that the American people have been given any adequate documentation of the president’s citizenship.” This, even though he already has a birth certification, birth announcements and a state official’s confirmation. And to whom did he give his first public interview about his bill? Joseph Farah, the Internet’s leading birther propagandist.

Birtherism is denialist claptrap wrapped in a veil of patriotic constitutionalism. Just as Georgia voters did not ignore McKinney’s conspiracism in 2002, Georgia voters in 2010 should not turn a blind eye to the indulging of birthers by our elected officials of today. Their actions are a boon to conspiracy theorists but an embarrassment to our state.

Well said.

102 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    Birthers are sore losers, plain and simple.

    There was a time when such behavior was ridiculed, but mow it’s the basis of cults.

    Maybe give voters more to vote for than John McCain, Huckabee or Romney and we’ll win more elections.

  2. ByteMe says:

    Reality check: only 41% of self-identified Tea Partiers think Obama was born in the USA. Noisy stupid people are God’s gift to TV News.

  3. John Konop says:

    The conservative movement used to embrace intelligent debate from leaders like William F Buckley. It seems now the movement has been taking over by gut-level politics which is more about firing up the base than engaging in real solutions. This issue symbolizes how far off base it has gotten.

  4. Red Phillips says:

    There is really nothing more absurd, and I mean nothing, than an anti-fringe, “taint phobic” third party member. Jason, I have a news flash for you. You belong to a third party. You are fringe by definition. Learn to embrace your inner fringe, or you are going to continue to be one conflicted individual.

    I say this not to discount third parties that I have great respect for and think should have automatic ballot access. Nor do I say it to dis the “fringe,” which because I want to follow the Constitution as originally intended, I am apparently a member of myself according to the centrist Gestapo here at PP. I say this because I don’t know what Jason thinks he is going to accomplish by being on the “right” side of all these “I’m oh so rational” litmus test issues. You can be anti-birther, anti-flag, anti-racism or whatever other anti you want to be, and you are still a fringe Libertarian third party member, and no amount of your “Oh look at me; I’m not one of thooo…se types of libertarians” protestations is ever going to change that.

    I am not now and haven’t been from the beginning a birther if that means I believe Obama was born in Kenya. That has never made logistical or any other kind of sense. But I am definitely an anti-anti-birther. Now that the issue has been raised there is no rational reason why Obama shouldn’t authorize the release of his long form birth certificate and no rational reason why any normal person who isn’t obsessed with proving their “I’m oh so reasonable” credentials wouldn’t be at least a little curious as to why he hasn’t released it. Being curious about a withheld document is the natural response and has to be actively suppressed.

      • Red Phillips says:

        “Now that the issue has been raised there is no rational reason why Obama shouldn’t authorize the release of his long form birth certificate and no rational reason why any normal person who isn’t obsessed with proving their “I’m oh so reasonable” credentials wouldn’t be at least a little curious as to why he hasn’t released it. Being curious about a withheld document is the natural response and has to be actively suppressed.”

        Perhaps you would like to rationally dispute that comment. And “Hey look at me. I’m an oh so reasonable anti-birther, and not one of those silly birthers” doesn’t count as rationally disputing. Perhaps the reason someone was bound to bring it up is because it is intuitively obvious to anyone not blinded by his own reasonableness.

        But the main thrust of my comment was not about the merits of birtherism. It was about the absurdity of a Libertarian trying to establish his “I’m part of the reasonable and rational crowd” credentials by picking on people he sees as more fringe than himself. As Ick will be glad to tell him, its all about establishing coalitions and garnering 50%+1 of the vote, and Jason’s Libertarians ain’t doing any better a job at that than are conservative constitutionalists like me.

    • Romegaguy says:

      Is “taintphobic” someone that is afraid of that area between their anus and their genitals?

      • Red Phillips says:

        Huh?

        To clarify, a taint-phobic is someone who is afraid of being “tainted” by “fringe” elements on their side. The most obsessive taint phobics are those who seem more concerned with weeding out the taint on their own side than they are fighting the other side. Jason and Erick are museum quality specimens.

          • Romegaguy says:

            next he will use the phrase “teabagger party” to describe a gathering of some of his likeminded acquaintances

        • Haha… the word “taint” has taken on a very peculiar anatomical meaning in popular slang over the past decade or so (see Romegaguy’s comment above). I understand what you’re trying to say with this new buzzword that you’re promoting here, but I suggest that you come up with a different buzzword for it.

        • Game Fan says:

          Well again looks like the anti-birthers can’t resist in biting off more than they can chew. The whole debate of whether birtherism should be part of the political debate in GA would have made an interesting debate on it’s own. We could have a great debate including facts, figures, empirical data, the “numbers” so to speak, as well as the interesting twist as to the positive or negative effect that any legislation in Ga would have on Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, outsiders, ect… especially if they narrowed the definition of birtherism. Because apparently from the article, it’s sort of a mysterious, twisty, snake like contagion of evilness which encompasses Georgia legislation as well as the grassroots on the national scene as it pertains to Obama. See, even “birtherism” is overly broad to have a reasoned debate. Then of course the pseudo-editorial from the pro-Obama/anti-birther side to boot. It’s like the shotgun approach to political issues. WOW.

    • Doug Deal says:

      Your friend Ray McBerry seem to have no use for birth certificates when prowling middle schools, why do you care in reference to Obama?

      • Red Phillips says:

        Doug, you are simply incapable of making a rational argument so instead you resort to snide smart a** comments. Why do you continue to embarrass yourself this way?

        • Doug Deal says:

          You are a first class tool, Red. Nothing you say is worth the time to read, but it is certainly worth the time to demonstrate your total lack of credibility.

          • Red Phillips says:

            Doug, at least I make arguments. You should try it sometime. You might like it. Of course it requires more mental effort than just making snide comments.

            There are several issues on the table here.

            That a third party member trying to demonstrate his reasonableness credentials by going after birthers is pretty silly.

            That normal people should be curious to see Obama’s long form birth certificate.

            That Buckley purged thoughtful people and left his magazine in the hands of a bunch of hacks thereby contributing to the intellectual malaise of the modern conservative movement.

            Perhaps you might want to take a stab at addressing one of them.

            • Doug Deal says:

              You don’t make any arguments you simply roll a die and select a random statement from the list of prepared statements out of your little red book.

              It is the likes of you who has enabled McBerry with your incapability to think and reason for yourself, so it is completely reasonable for you to be buried with it.

              • Red Phillips says:

                “You don’t make any arguments you simply roll a die and select a random statement from the list of prepared statements out of your little red book.”

                Doug you have zero self awareness. For you to say I don’t make arguments is laughable.

                • Doug Deal says:

                  Excercises in communication with you are like the old children’s song…

                  All around the mulberry bush,
                  The monkey chased the weasel,
                  The monkey thought ’twas all in fun,
                  POP! goes the weasel.

                  You say a lot of things, but for it to be an arguement, it has to be something more than self referential nonsense.

                  • Red Phillips says:

                    First of all, what does Ray McBerry have to do with the subject of this thread? Even if every word alleged against Ray is true, that wouldn’t discredit constitutionalism and states rights. Just as if there was some scandal involving Karen Handel it wouldn’t discredit centrism.

                    But you are using the allegations against Ray as if they were an indictment of what he stands for. So you are using snide drive by remarks about Ray in lieu of making a real argument. Why else would you drag Ray into this totally unrelated thread?

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      You didn’t like Ray McBerry because of his positions on the issues long before you knew of any allegations. You are taking particular glee in the allegations because you hope they will discredit the cause as well.

                      As is common with many mainstreamers, you can’t fathom that any thoughtful person would arrive at any conclusion other than the mainstream. So if someone arrives at some non-mainstream “fringe” opinion such as constitutionalism and states rights they must either be a little kooky or under some Svengali’s spell, in this case Ray. Well I was a “fringe” constitutionalist long before I met Ray and long before being a Ron Paul supporter was cool. I wrote a letter to the editor that was published by Human Events in support of Ron Paul IN 1996. Far from rolling the dice and picking canned opinions out of some red book (whatever that was supposed to mean) I know where from I speak unlike you who just regurgitates mainstream opinions. (Nullification? We can’t have that! Oh yeah? Then prove it is illegitimate from history.) I have forgotten more about conservatism and the history of conservatism than you know. That is why I argue circles around your uninformed ignorant self.

    • Game Fan says:

      Red
      I’d have to agree. I mean, just look at how few “fringe” issues that many so-called Libertarians fail to chime in on in general, but, what’s more surprising is how willing so many “Libertarians” are more than willing to join the “control” camp on any given issue, as if “what gets people elected” had any relationship whatsoever to the myriad of issues discussed on a daily basis by real people in the real world. What’s really sad is how so many “Libertarians” have actually been convinced that the best bet (for the Libertarian party) would be to join with Dem and Republican insiders and somehow distance themselves publicly over and over again from the “fringe” on any given issue. If this is what reading Ayn Rand does for the brain, I’d have to say “no thanks”. Yeah, we get it. You folks who have no debating skills whatsoever, who resort to calling names, ect, who won’t discuss facts and issues, and opinions WITHOUT running it first through the political filter should be taken seriously. Uh huh.

      • Red Phillips says:

        Jason and Loren should form a club: Libertarians Against Intellectual Dissent and for the Default Acceptance of Conventional Wisdom. Then they would have to kick themselves out when they stumbled upon the unpleasant fact that libertarianism is not the conventional wisdom either.

  5. Birthers are the intellectual epicenter of the modern Republican party. As our country grows more diverse, those who think rationally will be fleeing it in droves, leaving nothing but a diminishing number of angry white men. The days of cerebral conservative thought are gone. Neither Reagan nor William F. Buckley would recognize the modern conservative movement. Today, ranting, raving, insanity and inanity are the core beliefs of the modern GOP. Enjoy your Becks, your Hannitys, your Palins and your Savages. They are your brain trust. They are your future, leading you down the path to irrelevance. Have a nice trip.

    • BuckheadConservative says:

      Oh, you understand the Republican Party so well…..

      You don’t even believe that nonsense you just wrote.

  6. Red Phillips says:

    BTW, what is the likelihood that the AJC would print a guest editorial in support of the pro-birther side? Hmmm….?

    “nor William F. Buckley would recognize the modern conservative movement”

    PP, William F. Buckley turned his magazine over to the bunch of mindless neocon hack children who now run it and purged thoughtful talent like Joe Sobran, Peter Brimlow, and John O’Sullivan. Buckley is actually partially responsible for the sorry intellectual state of modern movement conservatism, and his purges were actually motivated by the same taint phobic dare not be un-PC mindset that I am decrying.

      • Game Fan says:

        Some of these folks can still be found out in the cold wilderness still writing articles. (that is, on the internet) I’d say, for anyone who wants some real conservatism, to do a search for practically any columnist who used to write for the “conservative Chronicle” back in the ’90s before they were purged from practically every source in the corporate media.

  7. rugby says:

    “Buckley is actually partially responsible for the sorry intellectual state of modern movement conservatism”

    This proves you are an idiot. Just in case any doubt remained.

    • Red Phillips says:

      So it is factually inaccurate that Buckley left the current crop of neocon hacks in charge of National Review and that he purged Sobran, Brimlow and O’Sullivan among others for straying too far from the approved neocon agenda? Well that would be news to everybody who knows anything about movement conservative history, which apparently doesn’t include you.

  8. Loren says:

    “BTW, what is the likelihood that the AJC would print a guest editorial in support of the pro-birther side?”

    I’d say, roughly on par with the likelihood that the AJC would print a guest editorial claiming that gold fringe on courtroom flag puts that courtroom under maritime law.

    Or a guest editorial claiming that federal law doesn’t require individuals to pay income taxes.

    Or a guest editorial claiming that there’s substantial doubt as to whether Americans ever landed on the moon, and that NASA has not adequately proven that the lunar missions were real.

    But, of course, I’m sure you feel that your silly denialist position has nothing in common with *those* silly denialist positions. Just like I’m sure your YouTube guy claiming the shadows look wrong on the photos of Obama’s birth certificate is much, much more credible than the YouTube guy claiming the shadows look wrong on the photos of the moon landing.

    • Red Phillips says:

      As I said, I am not now and never have been a birther. I have just become over time an anti-anti-birther. It is entirely reasonable, now that the issue is out there, to expect Obama to do the really simple thing of authorizing the release of his “long form” and it is entirely reasonable for normal people to be curious as to why he hasn’t. In fact, curiosity as to why he hasn’t is the natural intuitive response that has to be actively suppressed by the anti-birthers. Perhaps you could address that instead of carrying on about other conspiracies I have never once opined on.

    • griftdrift says:

      “I’d say, roughly on par with the likelihood that the AJC would print a guest editorial claiming that gold fringe on courtroom flag puts that courtroom under maritime law.”

      HAH! Good one, Loren.

  9. rightofcenter says:

    You’re right. Calling someone an idiot is generally not a good way to make an argument. By the way, I disagree with most of Red’s posts on this subject, but I think there is some merit to his comments on Buckley. Afterall, it was Buckley’s magazine and it certainly doesn’t have the intellectual heft it had in the past.

  10. Jane says:

    The Neo-Cons were foreign policy hawks who left the Peace at all costs Democrats to help elected Reagan. I do not trust their social agenda, but on issues of foreign policy, there are as loyal to the Reagan ideas as anyone.

  11. jm says:

    1. McCain wasn’t born in America. I would defend his right to run again.

    2. Obama wasn’t either; Hawaii was a territory then. I would defend his right to run as well. He hasn’t produced a birth certificate; the state of Hawaii has. The nation of Kenya has not. Good enough for me.

    I wasn’t born in the USA, but I have been an American citizen since the day I was born. I have a passport, and I think Obama does, too. I was born in a hospital overseas to American parents (well, one American parent). I’m not sure if I qualify as a “natural born citizen” because the term, as with many Constitutional terms, is vague. My birth certificate? No idea, but I’m not planning any trips to Arizona soon, so no worries there.

    The reality is this: Barack Obama won.

    John Roberts issued the oath of office (twice), and that’s good enough for me. You can disagree with his positions, you can question his motives; that’s in the Constitution, but you cannot argue against his legitimacy.

      • jm says:

        Whoops, thought it was the other way ’round. Double checked my facts and you are correct – Hawaii in ’59, Obama in ’61. Good catch. So he is a citizen from the day he was born, via 14th Amendment.

  12. drjay says:

    this whole thing is so absurd!!! as mentioned above, “natural born” is a little vague, i think if this ever gets to the supremes their is precedent, esp. going back to english law that would make natural born citizen simply meaning citizen upon birth, as opposed to being naturalized and a citizen of some other nation upon birth. the way i understand olden times, if you were born to a subject of the crown, you were a subject of the crown, regardless of where said birth took place…thus mccain was fine, and george romney was fine and even if obama was born on the moon, he would be fine b/c his mama was a citizen of our fair land thus making him one as well…of course thankfully, i am not a lawyer so this is a very layman attempt to interpret what i believe i have read and share my opinion…

    • Red Phillips says:

      Dr. Jay, I agree with you that “natural born” probably was intended to mean something more like citizen at birth or not naturalized instead of the simplistic born on American soil. I have argued this with the birthers from the beginning. But this statement “even if Obama was born on the moon, he would be fine b/c his mama was a citizen of our fair land thus making him one as well” is factually inaccurate. According to the law that governed at the time, his mother, who was 17, was not old enough to confer automatic citizenship on Obama. I have followed this debate pretty closely from the beginning and have read many people make this point about the law at the time, and have not seen anyone dispute this point.

            • Icarus says:

              According to the specific law that governed at the time, women’s ages weren’t counted for the first year she was alive, so she was only 17.

              I’ll find the link proving that when I can get around to it. It’s probably on Georgiafirst.org, or on one of those gold standard chat rooms.

              • Red Phillips says:

                Actually she was 18. I just looked it up. Doesn’t change the point.

                Ick, are you disputing the accuracy of my statement regarding the law at the time?

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      The author, Zmirak, is a Catholic who pines for the days of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. So you can go ahead and read it. No Rockwell anarcho-capitalist taint will rub off on you, I promise.

                    • Icarus says:

                      So now we’re not just trying to return to 1854, but also to an Austrio-Hungarian Monarchy?

                      Still not sold. Or interested.

                    • Red Phillips says:

                      Don’t be afraid Ick. The article doesn’t actually describe you all that well. You are not a self-loathing conservative (or libertarian) seeking to purge unclean elements least you be tainted. I think you are pretty up front about your centrism. (Although the dynamic would fit you better if you are viewed as a Republican seeking to purge unclean elements from your party.) But the article describes poor pitiful little Jason desperately seeking a place among the mainstream to a t.

                      And since a consensus seems to be forming that my reading of the nationality laws is correct, you can go ahead and apologize to me now. Thanks.

              • Red Phillips says:

                Here is an item from snopes.com, a pristine upholder of the conventional wisdom. It is the first thing that popped up when I Googled it.

                Keep in mind that what is at issue here is if Obama would have been a citizen IF he was born in Kenya, which I don’t believe.

                The law in question at the time stated, “If only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least ten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.”

                Notice that snopes does not question this reading of the law. They just say since he was born in Hawaii it doesn’t matter.

                So the statement that Dr. Jay made where he said Obama would automatically be an American citizen EVEN IF he was born on the Moon is factually inaccurate as I stated.

                If you would like to dispute this with facts then be my guest. Otherwise, you should probably apologize and admit I was correct.

                • benevolus says:

                  I think it appears you are correct about the law at the time. If he hadn’t been born in the US, there might be an issue.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_nationality_law

                  Therefore, I think you should continue to pursue this angle. I think if you could show that those old newspaper articles announcing the birth were fake, that would go a long way to establishing the claim.

                  • Red Phillips says:

                    benevolus, try to keep up. Several times I have said I do not think Obama was born in Kenya. I said I am not a birther, I’m just an anti-anti-birther. I made the point about the law at the time because I was correcting a factual error made by Dr Jay. Thank you for confirming my point.

                    Birtherism should be judged by both sides on its merits just like any other issues. Birthers shouldn’t accept every pro-birther argument (some of which have been flat wrong such as the date Hawaii became a state) at face value, and anti-birthers shouldn’t hysterically reject every birther argument because they are afraid of being tainted by conspiracy.

                    • drjay says:

                      as i mentioned before, i am , thankfully, not a lawyer–the statute was what it was from 52 to 86, apparently, i was blissfully unaware of it and was basing my statement soley on the constitution–i have my guess as to how it would hold up to a constitutional challenge (again if it ever came up, which it basically hasn’t) but i will ammend to say that generally speaking a person could be born on the moon to an american parent and not have to worry about their citizenship as ar esult…

              • Red Phillips says:

                You should join us in one of our gold standard chat rooms. That is if you can pull yourself away from your William Jennings Bryan “Cross of Gold” chat room, ragging populist defender of the little man that you are.

  13. Red Phillips says:

    I know people always post links and say “You need to read this,” but all the purge the fringe hysterics REALLY need to read this. It describes your psychology beautifully.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/zmirak2.html

    “… one of the most dominant motives in any socially stigmatized group – such as conservatives … – is self-purification. One tries to wash away the taint that your opponents have attached to you by finding someone within your own movement who is more distasteful, more extreme, more socially maladroit, then denouncing him. Best of all if you can lead the chorus of ostracism. That renders you yourself ritually pure, at least for a while – and joins you securely to the community that has now been purged. … As Justin Raimondo points out in Reclaiming the American Right, this liturgy of anathema has been the rite of choice for decades in “movement conservatism.” Self-hating conservatives conduct such a ritual every few years – are duly applauded for it.

    How easy to relieve one’s own anxieties, demonstrate one’s own “good will,” and win general approval by finding an alternate focus for opprobrium, then leading the mob that drives out the evildoer! … There’s a certain glee, a sense of cleanliness and virtue that arises when you discover that there is someone – anyone – in the world who’s further out on a limb, then you righteously saw it off. “I may be conservative (or liberal, or antiwar), but I’m not like…” Fill in the blank with your favorite extremist, the person with whom you’d least like to be associated. The gay writer David Sedaris described the phenomenon brilliantly in a radio essay, explaining how in high school he’d find someone more effeminate than he, and lead the chorus of taunts, to help redirect the social abuse from himself, and affirm his place in the mainstream

    Of course, there are ideas that must be refuted. But the unseemly eagerness with which today’s political police latch onto and denounce perceived dissidents betrays something dark at work. When you realize that someone in your own political camp has taken your own principles and perverted them beyond recognition, the appropriate emotional response is sadness, a grim sense of necessity, and a determination to be fair. That’s also the spirit in which sane men approach the prospect of starting a war.

    Instead, too often, the self-anointed members of a given “mainstream” movement (whatever it is) respond with an ugly glee. John Podhoretz boasted on NPR of the role warbloggers had played in bringing down Trent Lott. Podhoretz spoke with as much bravura as if he’d personally captured Osama bin Laden, and dragged the murderer to prison by his beard. …”

    • ByteMe says:

      Just because someone writes something you agree with doesn’t make them any more correct or prescient.

      • Red Phillips says:

        Doug, take a look at what I did above. I made a statement. (That drjay was wrong about the law.) I was questioned about the validity of my statement (and made fun of by Ick). I presented proof that my statement was correct. Other conceded I had in fact been correct. Where I was wrong (about Obama’s mother’s age), I admitted I was wrong, and had no problem accepting correction. This is how rational intelligent adults debate. They back up their statements with facts. And how did I know this obscure fact about our nationality law? Because I have been following this debate rather closely from the beginning. You see, that’s another part of adult conversation. I generally try to know at least a little something about what I’m talking about before I shoot off my mouth.

        And your use of “crazy cult followers” perfectly illustrates what I said in my post above. You can’t fathom that someone would arrive at an outside the mainstream opinion on their own. So I must be a “cult follower.” I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect that I was a constitutionalist and a states’ rights guy before Ray was. I supported Buchanan in the ’92 primary against Bush I. I started down the road from knee-jerk “movement conservative” Republican to authentic conservative sometime in college.

        • benevolus says:

          One small correction: You did not provide proof that your statement was correct. You gave a link to Snopes, from which you quoted the email that they were analyzing.

          It turns out the information in that email is probably correct, but that could not be determined from anything you provided.

      • Red Phillips says:

        Also, you wanted to purge Ray for wrongthink long before you were aware of any allegations. Now that you have the allegations you don’t have to worry yourself with actually backing up why you think it was wrongthink. Good to be rid of that heavy burden of thinking.

        • Doug Deal says:

          Red, unlike you, I am not a seditious treason conspirator. What’s worse, you are incompetent at even that.

          McBerry has a problem with his brain, and sadly you seem to share a number of traits with him.

          Interest in children as secual objects betrays the fact that something “not right” is going on in there. Having a pathological desire to make war with the United States when 90%+ of Georgians think of themselves as Americans first and Georgians second is insanity.

          My hope is that this does great harm to you losers in the League of the South so that your membership drops significantly. You know, from 10 to say 5 or less.

          • Red Phillips says:

            Once again Doug, I respond by making my case, and you respond with name-calling. It seems like the more measured and thoughtful my responses are the more vitriolic yours are in reply. If you can’t shout me down with a little name-calling maybe more hysterical name-calling will do the trick. Why do you continue to embarrass yourself this way?

            “My hope is that this does great harm to you losers in the League of the South so that your membership drops significantly.”

            Of course this was obvious to anyone who is paying attention, but thanks for putting that in writing for all the world to see. Doug hopes to use the allegations against Ray to hurt the policies Ray believes in. As I said, it sure beats having to make actual arguments.

            “Having a pathological desire to make war with the United States”

            Nullification, interposition and secession are inherently peaceful acts. They would only result in violence if the Feds choice to initiate it. But people like you who misunderstand the fundamental nature of the Union can’t see it that way. For you any state resistance to the Cent Gov. is a treasonous act of aggression.

            Did you ever read the essay I sent you from Prof. Livingston? Your understanding of the nation state is fundamentally modernist. You see the US as a Hobbesian post-French Revolution style unitary nation state. That is why you equate a territory peacefully resisting or leaving with treason and sedition. But America was not founded as a Hobbesian post-French Revolution nation state. We didn’t become that until after Lincoln destroyed the Union as originally intended.

            But I’m wasting bandwidth making a high-minded philosophical and historical argument with you. You have repeatedly demonstrated that you have no desire to interact on that plane.

            “when 90%+ of Georgians think of themselves as Americans first and Georgians second”

            Are you a citizen of the world or a citizen of the United States? Do you root for the American Falcons or the Atlanta Falcons? Do you love your own kid more or the kid down the street? That people love the local and the particular more so than they love the distant and universal is the natural order of mankind. I don’t know the validity of your statistic, but people universally thought of themselves as citizens of their state before they were citizens of the US before Lincoln’s invasion. If that is not true today it is evidence of the modern day loss of place and the ubiquitous sameness brought about by consumption uber alles. It seems the Yankee merchant class who was going to drag us backward agrarian Southerners into modernity whether we liked it or not have partially succeeded in their Reconstruction. But any true authentic conservative would bemoan this loss of place and particularity, not celebrate it.

            Moderns like you Doug confuse patriotism with nationalism. Patriotism, which shares a root with our word paternal, indicates love of place. You are no patriot. You do not love place. You are a nationalist. You love a nation state. I want to restore my country to the political order we were founded with. You do not. The political order we were founded with horrifies and appalls you.

  14. Gerald says:

    I disagree. Quite the contrary, I am convinced that birtherism needs a long, protracted, analytical, intellectual, populist and legal debate. That is the only way to end the issue once and for all. Birthers betray a fundamental unwillingness to acknowledge how our legal system actually works. They believe that it is perfectly acceptable to require more documentation from Obama than has been required of other candidates in the past (illegal). They also believe that it is possible to change the documentation requirements now and hold Obama to it (illegal). They also believe that once they make an accusation against someone, it is on the burden of the accused to prove their innocence. Not only do they reject that they have to make their own legal case based on evidence as opposed to conjecture, but that they need some hard evidence before a court will even hear their claims.

    In other words, birthers need to acknowledge that their claims that Obama was born in Kenya will be subjected to the same scrutiny as would have an attempt to eject George W. Bush from office based on some claim that he was adopted from some Romanian orphanage. Until the birthers are forced to face reality, the movement will never die.

    And incidentally, people like Red Phillips need to understand that no one is obligated to make their private records public for any reason, and especially not to satisfy the curiosity of people who hate your guts and would use anything negative or damaging that they find in your records to either attack you or use it as the basis to demand still more of your private records and further violate your privacy and private property rights. Or to put it simply: Obama should provide his birth certificate to a court of law (and not the general public) when the birthers provide enough evidence to build a case in court, and he should provide his birth certificate to the general public when George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and the people with power of attorney for Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson etc. provide theirs. Or failing that, when Bill Clinton provides his medical records, and when Dick Cheney provides the proceedings from the private meetings with energy company executives and lobbyists that he used to write that energy legislation.

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