Monday, July 27, 2009

A Live Birther

The Twin Falls Times-News, hardly a haven of liberal thought, has sponsored a series of blogs for nearly a year. Initially, three blogs were created offering three distinct styles and ideologies, one for progressives, one for conservatives, and one for moderates, albeit moderate conservatives. As time has passed, the progressive blog has been, well, progressive and pro-Obama to the point that moderate progressives are turned off by it; the moderate blog has become a thought-provoking, well-written testament to the independent nature of Idahoans; and, the conservative blog has become the go-to for the conspiracy theory believing right-wingers otherwise known as birthers. Yes, those people you hear about and see on the news ranting at town hall meetings about the citizenship of our president really do exist.

Perhaps the political ideology of Tom Young, author of Conservative Corner, should have been immediately apparent when he stated in his blog bio that he isn't a Republican, he is a conservative. That is to say, Tom Young believes in conservative values that are more conservative than mainstream Republicans are willing to embrace. What kind of beliefs? The kind that boil down to believing that the President of the United States is not legitimately the President of the United States because he's not an actual citizen. Yes folks, we have ourselves a real, live birther.

Birthers, or those who believe as Mr. Young does, aren't being laughed-off as most conspiracy theorists traditionally are. Birthers are finding their views tolerated by conservatives, if not the Republican party and not only are their views being tolerated, they've found a voice that is leading their theories right into the mainstream. That voice happens to be a graduate from Minico High School, right here in Idaho, Rupert to be exact. Lou Dobbs, the anti-immigration, talking head on CNN, has long been a voice that has spread xenophobic fear on the national stage. His all out hatred for Hispanics may have been shaped right here in Idaho. And it is Lou Dobbs who is mainstreaming the likes of Jerome Corsi, G. Gordon Liddy (who was recently on Hardball with Chris Matthews and said that Obama was born in Mombasa), Liz Cheney, and the countless fringe-dwellers who continue to believe that President Obama is not an American citizen.

It may not just be Lou Dobbs at CNN who subscribes to this misguided belief that the birth certificate issued by the state of Hawaii is forged or otherwise illegitimate. And analysts at Fox News, including Glenn Beck (who has a show on Fox as well as Headline News) have outright accused the state of Hawaii of throwing out documents related to Obama's birth.

Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs have a substantial following in Idaho. Dobbs has the Idaho connection working for him as well as his blatantly hateful anti-immigration opinions that are shared by many rural Idahoans. Glenn Beck's conservatism and faith play well to audiences in Idaho, especially southern Idaho where the population is largely Mormon (a faith Beck, who was raised Catholic, converted to). About a year ago when Glenn Beck was in Pocatello for a book signing at Deseret Book in the Pine Ridge Mall, a lengthy line of people formed hours before Beck even arrived. He once spoke to the now defunct College Republicans at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg and just this month, Glenn Beck was the headliner at a fundraiser for Idaho Falls area police and firefighters. He is always well received here in Idaho, despite his growing instability and on-air antics. It should come as no surprise that Idahoans like Tom Young are just as gung-ho about Obama's birth as are Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck.

Two posts are currently atop the front page at Tom Young's Conservative Corner. "CNN vs. Hawaii" and "Fiboma" are simply the latest of Young's attempts to convince his readership that Obama was merely raised in Hawaii and was actually born in Kenya, therefore disqualifying him for the presidency. In the past, he has pointed to news from what he calls the "eligibility front" and only one area resident, Rudy Castro, has even attempted to take Young to task for facilitating this lie. Certainly Mr. Young has a right to his beliefs and has the same freedom of speech that all of us share, but the Times-News as the home of his blog, should have a responsibility to the truth and clearly by allowing Mr. Young to post article after article spreading these lies about Obama's citizenship, they are neglecting their responsibility to the public and the truth.

Tom Young isn't the only Idahoan with an outlet to share this birther paranoia, in fact he isn't the only resident of the Magic Valley spewing these falsehoods. Steve Mitton, a radio personality in the Magic Valley and a colleague of none other than Zeb Bell, has devoted a great deal of time and attention on his own blog to this birther nonsense. Surely he is devoting some of his radio show to the cause as well. Birthers are alive and well in southern Idaho and as long as the Times-News and Lee Family Broadcasting (owners of KBAR, the station that broadcasts Mitton's show) allow it, they are here to stay.


Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in the state of Hawaii. That was the week the Berlin Wall went up.

Coincidence? I wonder.

This evil, subversive plot has been in the making for damned near forty-eight years! By all evidence, since the moment of Obama's birth! Here is a question that all good and decent Americans should demand an immediate answer to: Was the newspaper, the Honolulu Advertiser, in on the scheme when they printed little Barack's bogus birth announcement on August 9, 1961? Just where the hell does that paper lean editorially? To the hard Left, I strongly suspect. Wouldn't that just figure!

The NAACP, in coercion with the American Communist Party, Democracy NOW and Ed Asner, concocted this evil plot deep in the basement of Norm Chomskey's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the midst of a week-long peyote mushroom binge. The elevation of this dangerous and subversive man to the highest office in this grand and glorious land of ours is only the first step in their dastardly plan. Their next objective will be to force our daughters - our little personifications of patriotism and purity - to court and co-mingle with NEGROES.

Before very long our children - your children - will be physically forced to memorize whole chapters of James Baldwin's "Native Son" and "The Autobiography Of Malcolm X". Trust me, it's only a matter of time.

They must be stopped. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the country that we all hold so dear to our freedom-loving hearts. America is falling; victimized by forces who would put a foreign-born A-Rab in the seat that was once held by the sainted Ronald Reagan - RONALD REAGAN, I TELL YOU!

My friends, now is not the time for the faint-of-heart. It a time for boldness and stoutness of mind and spirit. Only our collective intestinal fortitude will defeat the Liberal cabal - those nattering nabobs of negativism - who would burn our beloved country down. The time has come to give America back to the real Americans. My fellow citizens, you ignore me at your own peril....

And one more thing we must never ever forget: Barack and Michelle Obama named their two daughters, "Sasha" and "Malia". What's that all about?

Of course, what you just read is meant as satire. Only a complete and utter fool could possibly take any of it seriously. The really disturbing thing, however, is the fact that there are millions of people out there who would read those last eight paragraphs and wouldn't even come close to getting the joke. While there is plenty of satirical gold to be siphoned from the bottomless mine that these lunatics have provided us with, they have created a dangerous atmosphere that is enabling the nuttiest angels of the American nature. That is something that would do us all well to think about.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Anonymous said...

We ignore these fools at our own peril, and we can't abide their becoming mainstream and acceptable.

You write very thoughtful analysis and if there weren't currently a war against intelligent people in this country (why else would Sarah Palin be revered?) we'd have fewer people believing in the birthers...


Tom Young said...

Wow...attacked on the internet...I must be famous.

Your weak attempt to marginalize my position as an extremist is quite humorous. In a recent AOL poll, more than 50% of the respondents in every state thought Obama should release his Long Form Birth Certificate that he has been hiding.

Most people do not research the facts surrounding this issue, and as such, label those who do a "wackos"...or "birthers". There is a mountain of evidence to support the theory that Obama has something to hide.

Accusing me of "spreading a lie" is quite silly...YOU have to prove I am lying...which you cannot do until Obama proves otherwise. By calling me a liar, you are lying...quite a paradox, eh?

What you fail to grasp, is that the blogs are OPINIONS...I can say anything I want to...we still have the Freedom of Speech...just like you are using in your blog.

I am not a "Journalist" or a "Reporter"...I am expressing my opinion. Just because you disagree, and you sheepishly believe Obama is not hiding anything (except his birth certificate, kindergarden records, medical records, passport, adoption records, college scholarship information...the list goes on)...if you believe he is not hiding ANYTHING, pour yourself a glass of Koolaid, and enjoy.

Note to Tom Degan: When a Birth Certificate (Short Form or Long Form) is filed, from any hospital, the process is the same...they, the hospital, send the names to the newspapers. The issue is not whether Obama received a short-form certificate in Hawaii - we know he did - the issue is, where is the Long Form Certificate? Why can't we see it? Why are they hiding it? Why has Obama's team of lawyers spent 1.6 Million dollars hiding all his records?