Charles Johnson’s Character Problem, Exhibit #6,174

Andrew Breitbart recently got into a fight with WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah over WND’s idiotic obsession with Barack Obama’s birth certificate.  Now, one would imagine this would be reassuring to those who devote considerable attention to the problem of “extremism” and “bad craziness” on the Right, and that perhaps someone like that would give credit to Breitbart for standing up to Farah.

Unless, of course, that someone happens to be slanderous knuckle-dragger Charles Johnson.

To him, the story is – despite having quoted absolutely nothing to imply anything of the sort – that Breitbart somehow “want[s] us to think [he] didn’t see it coming” that Birtherism would come up at the Tea Party Convention.

There’s no reasoning with you.  The only real flaw with Dennis Prager’s takedown of your lies is that he seems to think you still have a modicum of conscience to which he could appeal.

Healthcare, Hatred & Hypocrisy

The Reporter has published my latest flagrant act of speech.  Here’s the Director’s Cut:

*          *          *

Barack Obama’s national healthcare plan [PDF link] has met tremendous opposition—polls show ObamaCare becoming less popular the more America learns about it, and townhall protests have many politicians cowering under their desks.

It’s easy to see why—the Congressional Budget Office contradicts Obama’s cost predictions almost as soon as he makes them. His promise that you can keep your current plan contradicts his campaign-trail desires to use a public option as a bridge to single-payer.  Despite claims to the contrary, FactCheck.org says ObamaCare will cover abortions, and the Congressional Research Service says it’ll likely end up covering illegal immigrants.  Countries like Canada are moving away from government and towards the free market to remedy their disastrous nationalized systems.

The Left is retaliating as they always do: demagoguery.  House leaders Nancy Pelosi & Steny Hoyer call the protesters “un-American.”  Pelosi makes blanket statements about protesters “carrying swastikas.”  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls them “evil-mongers.”  The media routinely insinuates that anti-Obama sentiment is really just anger over a black man in the White House.

As usual, liberals are lying—most of the Obama-Hitler comparisons have come not from conservatives, but from followers of Lyndon LaRouche, a fringe figure who supports a single-payer healthcare plan even more extreme than ObamaCare.  MSNBC pondered the racism of those bringing guns to townhalls—while running selective footage hiding the black skin of the armed person in their video.

And lest you think their anti-hatred sentiment is sincere, recall the antiwar protests of 2002 onward, where Bush-Hitler comparisons (plus plenty of anti-Semitism) were all the rage (no pun intended).  Pelosi felt differently about “shouting down” opponents then—she told a group of Code Pink extremists: “I’m a fan of disrupters.”  As the Sweetness & Light weblog recently noted, there are over 16 million Hitler references at the liberal weblog Daily Kos—an organization embraced by Obama, Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Barney Frank.  Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Robert Byrd, Rep. Keith Ellison, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann have all compared Republicans to Nazis.

Indeed, it was the “Lion of the Senate,” the late liberal icon Ted Kennedy, who arguably did more to debase modern political discourse than anyone in recent memory, with his famous screed that ““Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of the government.”

Former Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe endorsed Michael Moore’s fanatic, lie-filled Fahrenheit 9/11, whose DC premiere was attended by “Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, Montana Sen. Max Baucus, South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, New York Rep. Charles Rangel, Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, and others.”  Moore also attended the 2004 Democratic National Convention as the personal guest of President Jimmy Carter, who called Fahrenheit 9/11 one of his favorite movies.

Obama himself saw no problem exposing his children to the bigoted Rev. Jeremiah Wright for years, or numerous relations with unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Will Ayers, including a 1995 political “coming-out” party, a favorable review of one of Ayers’ books in 1997, and more.  In 2008 he routinely said his opponents would say Obama “doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency.’”

Have some protesters acted badly?  Sure, every movement has its loons.  But so what?  It’s ridiculous to think the conduct of some conservative in Vermont should reflect on another in Wisconsin, and as anyone who’s ever tried to calm down Crazy Uncle Billy at Thanksgiving dinner should realize, it’s insane to expect that Michael Steele or Rush Limbaugh can somehow enforce behavioral lockstep among every member of a movement comprised of millions of people.

Indeed, if you think only bad movements have extremists, look up abolitionist John Brown sometime.

What matters is the character of the majority and the responsibility of the leadership, and here conservatism leaves liberalism in the dust.  For instance, a few fringe conservatives embrace the Obama birth certificate conspiracy, but most—the Republican National Committee, National Review, Human Events, the American Spectator, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, John Hawkins, and more—have rejected it.  Can the Left say the same about “blood for oil” in Iraq, or President Bush’s National Guard service?

Savagery is at the Left’s core (as a stroll through the comment threads on fdlreporter.com can confirm).  It’s all about intimidating dissenters into silence.  Yesterday’s cherished hallmark of democracy is today’s intolerable act of treason.  Don’t fall for their lies—and don’t let them get away with their own sins.

*          *          *

Once again, the comment section is a merry menagerie of missives from morons & malcontents (with a couple much-appreciated exceptions)—you’ve got the inability to distinguish between sweeping generalization and specific statement of fact, or between ordinary expression of disagreement and genuine hate speech; the standard-issue big business boogeyman (sorry, guys, but not quite), blurring the distinction between “reform” and a specific plan of “reform,” a groundless insult toward Hillsdale College (a conservative school, yes, but I daresay you’ll find more ideological diversity—both among faculty and students—here than the average state school) and my personal favorite, Marvin49’s suggestion that I’m a plagiarist.  Again we see that Internet anonymity does wonders for the dissemination of slander.

Birthers Go Home

This week, it came out that John McCain’s campaign conducted an internal investigation into the rumors that Barack Obama was not really born in Hawaii, and is therefore ineligible for the presidency:

While they ruled out any chance of the ‘birther’ lawsuits holding up in court, lawyers for the McCain campaign did check into the rumors about Obama’s birth and the assertions made by Berg and others. “To the extent that we could, we looked into the substantive side of these allegations,” said Potter. “We never saw any evidence that then-Senator Obama had been born outside of the United States. We saw rumors, but nothing that could be sourced to evidence. There were no statements and no documents that suggested he was born somewhere else. On the other side, there was proof that he was born in Hawaii. There was a certificate issued by the state’s Department of Health, and the responsible official in the state saying that he had personally seen the original certificate. There was a birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser, which would be very difficult to invent or plant 47 years in advance.”

Granted, McCain hardly had the best judgment when it came to attacking Obama, but they were right to skip this foolishness.  As John Hawkins has pointed out, it’s got no legs:

The people at FactCheck.org have seen the certificate of live birth provided from the state of Hawaii to the Obama campaign and it is genuine.

Although Hawaii “state law prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record,” the director of Hawaii’s Department of Health [a Republican appointee] has certified that Obama does have a legitimate birth certificate on file in Hawaii.

In a print copy of the 1961 Honolulu Advertiser, there’s a notice that Barack Obama was born. In and of itself, this is a game, set, match conversation-ender on this subject unless people want to argue that this isn’t genuine or that there was a conspiracy going all the way back to the day of Obama’s birth to make him President.

Unfortunately, this isn’t enough for the Birther crowd, spearheaded by WorldNetDaily.  When you point this stuff out to them, they posit all sorts of hypothetical scenarios about how a birth certificate or newspaper clipping could have been issued to a non-resident, and so forth.  But that doesn’t cut it.  We could talk all day about how the moon landing might have been faked, or how World Trade Center Seven could have been destroyed by controlled demolition, but since the magnitude of the allegation is so severe—that the President of the United States is constitutionally illegitimate—it is morally irresponsible to give them serious consideration in the absence of affirmative reasons to believe Obama was born somewhere other than Hawaii.

Birthers claim to have such evidence, in the form of testimony from Obama’s grandmother that he was born in Kenya.  But that claim doesn’t withstand scrutiny either:

During the interview, which was conducted through a translator by a street preacher named Ron McRae, Sarah Obama does in fact say she was present. But it’s clear that there was a mistranslation, because as soon as McRae very excitedly starts to try to get additional details, the people on the other end of the line realize what’s happened and say, over and over again, that Obama was born in the U.S.

For some reason, the transcripts of the interview that have been posted on various right-wing Web sites all seem to cut off right after Sarah Obama says she was there when her grandson was born. So does this YouTube video with the audio of the interview. But as The Economist points out, McRae also released the full audio, in which the key parts of the conversation can be heard. Here’s part of it. (The other person speaking is translator Vitalis Akech Ogombe.)

MCRAE: When I come in December. I would like to come by the place, the hospital, where he was born. Could you tell me where he was born? Was he born in Mombasa?

OGOMBE: No, Obama was not born in Mombasa. He was born in America.

MCRAE: Whereabouts was he born? I thought he was born in Kenya.

OGOMBE: No, he was born in America, not in Mombasa.

MCRAE: Do you know where he was born? I thought he was born in Kenya. I was going to go by and see where he was born.

OGOMBE: Hawaii. Hawaii. Sir, she says he was born in Hawaii. In the state of Hawaii, where his father was also learning, there. The state of Hawaii.

When the house of cards all but collapses, the Birthers play their trump: “All Obama would have to do to satisfy us is release his original birth certificate.  Why doesn’t he?  That proves he’s hiding something!”  Hawkins gives the answer, which should be obvious:

Well, why would he at this point? He has a significant number of conservatives wasting enormous amounts of time on a side issue that can never bear any fruit and, as an added bonus, it makes them look somewhat unhinged to many Americans. When your political enemies are making fools of themselves, why stop them?

Heck, that’s what I’d do in this situation if I were Obama!  The Birthers undermine the Right’s credentials on honesty, intellectual rigor, and moral seriousness, which we need to maintain if we are to stand up to the Left’s real lies.