There’s a part of me that says, ignore the birthers. There’s a part of me that says, slap the birthers. There’s a part of me that says, imprison the birthers. The part of me that prevails is the part of me that says, like sexual offenders forced to register in a national sex offender registry, birthers should be highlighted front and center as a danger to society and a danger to President Obama. It was funny – for about the first minute. Then it became, in rapid succession, annoying, distracting, alarming and, now, dangerous. Their tenacity is breathtaking, and their zealotry poses an overt threat to our President.
This threat is highlighted by the military faction of the “birther” movement, those who, because they believe President Obama is not qualified to be president based on what they delusionally believe is his birthplace off U.S. soil, won’t recognize him as their Commander in Chief. That makes for a lot of people who are locked and loaded and hatin’ on the President. Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, a birther, refused to deploy under orders from President Obama; he was court-martialed and sentenced to six months in military prison. His guru, Orly Taitz, considered his sentence a “win” for the birther movement, because Lakin would become “a martyr, a political dissident” for the cause. People with that sort of zealotry for a cause are not easily swayed from the course; in fact, we have to look no further than the Jihadists for a demonstration of that type of willing martyrdom.
Orly Taitz, the dentist/real estate agent/lawyer and Queen of the Birthers, had her day in the sun but shows no sign of waning. She did the talk show circuit (Fox, where O’Reilly called her a “nut,” and MSNBC, where she was kicked off the show by Lawrence O’Donnell), filed her lawsuits, got slapped down by U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land with a fine of $20,000 for filing frivolous lawsuits, appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals – and lost. She claimed she had no intention of paying the fine, and in fact set out on a quest to force President Obama to pay her fine since, in her mind, it’s all his fault anyway. She appealed the fine twice to the Supreme Court: First, Justice Clarence Thomas slapped her down and upheld the fine, and on the second round, Justice Samuel Alito did the same. She claimed her worshipful public would help her pay the fine, boasting she’d already received about $3,500 in increments of $20-25 bucks. In the meantime, the feds slapped a lien on her property.
And now . . . Orly Taitz for Senate? Rumor is she’s considering a primary challenge against U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. May sound nutty, but don’t write her off so quickly; after all, Michele Bachmann was elected in Minnesota, Sarah Palin in Alaska. Somebody must have voted for Rand Paul, too.
Orly Taitz represented Stefan F. Cook, a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve who challenged orders to deply. The lawsuit was dismissed when the military revoked his deployment orders.
Orly Taitz represented Captain Connie Rhodes, a U.S. Army physician who was seeking a restraining order to prevent her upcoming deployment. It was this case that gave rise to Taitz’ fine – Land “upbraided Taitz for using military officers as pawns to further her claims that Obama was not qualified to be President. He also expressed astonishment at Taitz’s apparent misunderstanding of American judicial fundamentals, saying that she was trying to make Obama ‘prove his innocence’ to ‘charges’ that are based upon conjecture and speculation.”
Despite the President’s release of his long form birth certificate and the widespread “birther” debunking, Taitz has had support from Donald Trump, the nation’s most famous “birther,” who resurrected the “birther” question before President Obama released his long firm birth certificate, and hasn’t let it drop since. Missouri’s Speaker of the House, Republican Tim Jones, an unapologetic birther, was a plaintiff in one of Taitz’ birther lawsuits. Missouri Republican Rep. Cynthia Davis (the same whackjob who, while voting to eliminate the summer lunch program for children, said that childrens’ hunger can be a powerful motivator) was hoping to join Jones. The Missouri House of Representatives boasts 15 who are on the “birther bandwagon.”
On the national level, Republican Senator David Vitter has supported the “birther” cause; Republican Senator Jim Inhofe said the birthers “have a point;” nine New Hamphire Republican Reps have joined the “birther” cause.
Earlier this year, half of all Republicans did not believe President Obama was born in the U.S., and another segment had doubts. Most of us, of course, see the birther movement as a not-very-well-coded racial attack on the President. As Bill Maher noted, “If 51 percent think he was not born in America, I don’t know where that else is coming from except race. What more could [Obama] do to be the perfect family man?…There is nothing about this man that is un-American, except, to them, his color. I gotta think it’s coming from that place.”
It is coming from “that place,” and “that place” is the home of bunker mentality extremists who – such as with the recent arrest of birther Walter F. Fitzpatrick, a retired Navy veteran who doesn’t mind breaking the law to accomplish his birther-driven goals – pose a clear and present danger to President Obama. The birther movement, like any other fringe movement with a singular target, bears watching. Closely. And conspicuously.
The Republican crazy train, driven in large part by the birther movement and tea party, will no doubt help Democrats steer President Obama back to the White House for a second term. But the birthers won’t be going away soon, and they may finally be forced to give up on the court system and look for other means to accomplish their goals. They’re way past crazy.
As Paul Harris guardian.co.uk wrote of, in part, the birther movement, “It is going to be an easy task for Democrats to paint the Republicans as extremists with little grasp of reality and many Republicans will have only themselves to blame.”