Friday, August 17, 2012

BirtherFest '12 with Pat Boone and Sheriff Joe Arpaio!

Let's just get this out of the way: "Birthers" are gullible, very likely racist fools, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio is King Moron. I don't say this because I don't like them (for the record, I don't) or from a place of ignorance and supposition. I've been following the birther phenomenon since its infancy, and have personally interacted with them both in their spaces and in mine.  They are tremendously argumentative, but don't argue logically. If you squash one of their (many, varied and often self-contradictory) parts to their theories, they change the subject. They have no problem with ignoring things that don't fit their narrative, and experts at hammering in puzzle pieces that don't really fit. They're insulting when you get a lick in, and falsely inquisitive and "concern trollish" if you manage to calm them down.
Image from Phoenix New Times
Click to embiggen.

The difference between a birther and any other conspiracy theorist is that in other conspiracies: 9/11 truthers, JFK conspiracy believers, moon landing deniers; all have at least semi-plausible reasons for their beliefs, at least at their beginnings. The moon landing was pivotal in the space race, and in the Cold War, making people wonder if it was faked in order to win that battle. The "magic bullet" theory in the JFK assassination is seemingly impossible. The events of 9/11 are difficult to explain, such as how it is that our military was unable to intercept four hijacked planes, how WTC 7 collapsed, and several other issues. All of those theories snowballed to ridiculous lengths, and all have those nagging self-contradictory (and implausible) elements. But all of them have parts that can make an otherwise sane, rational person go, hmmmmm. . . 

Birtherism isn't much like that. Oh, maybe for a minute, when the President's long-form birth certificate was found to have (gasp!) layers!!!1!!11! you might do a Scooby-Doo "HUNH?!?" Until you figure out that it is merely due to the scanning process (debunked myself, here). But there was no reason to suspect that Barack Obama was born anywhere other than Hawaii, as he has always maintained. There is no plausible storyline or evidence that puts Mrs. Obama in Kenya in August of 1961. None. Zero. Zip. Remember, this was a time of much more limited (and expensive) air travel and communications technology. The fact that two different papers had birth announcements proclaiming (in 1961!) Obama's birth puts a nail squarely in the birther coffin. Except, that birtherism is sort of undead, impervious to truthy wooden stakes and rational silver bullets. They are basically now, after-birthers, and they cling to their multiple theories even though they've all been disproved. If you don't believe me, you can check out virtually every birther nugget--all debunked--at, as I've said several times before.

Still, amazingly enough, though their numbers have thinned, the after-birthers have got some heavy hitters on their side. Well, such as they are. There's a BirtherCon coming up in September, and the average age of its two biggest stars, one-time singer Pat Boone and Arizona's batshit crazy Sheriff Joe Arpaio--is 79 years old. I don't know if these men and the others appearing at the event are so stupid and/or gullible to believe in what they're saying. They may just be in it for the acclaim and the paycheck. But the swarm that attends is going to be made up of some very scary dudes.


Joe Arpaio, Pat Boone and Teabaggers Galore Hold BirtherFest September 22 at Celebrity Theatre

. . .The flier for the event promises that the 78 year-old Christian crooner will sing as well as speak. Wonder if he'll do any tunes from his 1997 album In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy. Always loved his cover of "Smoke on the Water." Not sure who the old biddies will be swoonin' for more, Boone, or geriatric heartthrob Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who'll be presiding at the event as Birther-in-Chief. . .

Read more at: Phoenix New Times

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