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Getting Away With It

So. Y’all know about this birther business? You know, this thing where lots of people believe that Our Only President is Constitutionally ineligible to be Our Only President, because he was not, in fact, born in Hawaii, as all available public and private records indicate, but was in fact born on the mooooooooon?

I read David Bernstein’s politics blog in the Phoenix, mostly because I know the guy from way back, but also because he seems to be one of the people who gets things right about national politics, as evidenced by his often predicting things which later happen. And he doesn’t write all that often, so it’s not that big a deal to keep up with him. And (although I don’t generally read his commenters anyway), he generally gets very few comments. Until he wrote about Birthers In The Mainstream, and got umpty-’leven comments, not all of them entirely whatsit. You know?

And I started to think: Really, there are only two possibilities. (One) The man was born in Hawaii. (Bee) He got away with it.

That’s it, right? I mean, there is no chance—zero chance—that any evidence now produced is going to remove the man from office before the end of his term. If this really is a conspiracy big enough to fiddle with the records that would have to have been fiddled with, and hush up the people who would have to have been hushed up, then he got away with it. End of story. If you suddenly discover a film of his birth, in Guayana, together with the attending midwife’s sworn affidavit, his fingerprints, a lock of his hair (for DNA sample) and the Archangel Gabriel willing to witness that when he tapped him on the upper lip, it was not in US territory, then all you are going to get yourself is an unmarked grave, my friend, because if this guy is that good, then he’s better than you are.

What do these guys expect to happen? I mean, is there any possibility that a court, any court, is going to exercise some sort of jurisdiction over this in such a way to get the man out of office? The US Supreme Court have already looked at the matter, you know. Or do you think he’s going to sit still for an impeachment based on this? After the last twenty years of American politics, do these guys really expect that the US House is going to impeach, and the US Senate convict, because there is doubt that the President was born in the US? And if there is evidence, do you think the President of the United States has insufficient power to hush it up? When it has already been hushed up during a year-long presidential campaign?

I am, in some ways, serious. Most of my friends on the left believe that the Presidential Election in 2000 was stolen (at least in the will of the electorate of Florida was, in the majority, for Al Gore, and that therefore the electors from that state should have cast their ballots for him, and thus he should have been sworn in as President, and not that other guy). On the other hand, by January 20 or so, most of us, almost all of us, I think, had accepted that it was over. That he got away with it. That there was no evidence, obtainable at that time, that would cause him to step down, or would cause his removal from office on that basis. We may still have been outraged, some more than others, but it’s not like we thought anything would come of it.

And insofar as it’s conservative media titans (to use Mr. Bernstein’s phrase) that are talking about this, they don’t think anything will come of it. They can make money off of it, they can whip up their people with it, they can take some focus off other issues by talking about it, and that’s good enough for them. But I have the sense (perhaps wrongly, of course) that the Vardibidians of the Right, the bloggers-and-bullshitters who care about politics but don’t make a career out of it, they really think they are on to something here.

My point is not that the whole thing is egregious nonsense. It is. Obviously. To me. My point is that even it is all terribly, terribly true, so what? It’s over. He got away with it. All the more reason (from their point of view) to distrust the man, but do they need any more reasons? There are plenty of them for sale, I tell you what.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


"watson, that man is not in truth the president. no man at all: in fact it is the giant sumatran rat!"

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