Friday, December 24, 2010

Birth of a Notion

On the one hand, one understands the administration's reluctance to directly engage the foaming retards demanding that the Kenyan Moooslim produce his papers. On the other hand, it's nice to see someone finally willing to stand up and call "bullshit" on these chumps.

Mr. Abercrombie, who represented Honolulu in Congress until leaving Washington to run for governor, said he has initiated conversations with his attorney general and his health secretary about how he can make public more explicit documentation of Mr. Obama’s birth on Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapi’olani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

Good luck with that, but of course the real problem is that the actual document could be brought out at a press conference, and the birther goons would still find something hinky with it. Empirical evidence won't convince them, because they are never evidence-based about any issue, this particular one is just a convenient cover for their baser impulses.

Still, ignoring them hasn't made them go away or shut up, so maybe sunlight penetrating the edges might encourage them to scuttle back under the rocks whence they emerged. At the very least, to stand up and stop taking shit from these bozos on even one (1) issue might prove contagious. It is, after all, the season of hope, n'est-ce pas?

1 comment:

The Vile Scribbler said...

I think it was in Spanking the Donkey where Taibbi said:

"The problem not only with fundamentalist Christians but with Republicans in general is not that they act on blind faith, without thinking. The problem is that they are incorrigible doubters with an insatiable appetite for Evidence. What they get off on is not Believing, but in having their beliefs tested. That's why their conversations and their media are so completely dominated by implacable bogeymen: marrying gays, liberals, the ACLU, Sean Penn, Europeans and so on. Their faith both in God and in their political convictions is too weak to survive without an unceasing string of real and imaginary confrontations with those people -- and for those confrontations, they are constantly assembling evidence and facts to make their case.

But here's the twist. They are not looking for facts with which to defeat opponents. They are looking for facts that ensure them an ever-expanding roster of opponents. They can be correct facts, incorrect facts, irrelevant facts, it doesn't matter. The point is not to win the argument, the point is to make sure the argument never stops. Permanent war isn't a policy imposed from above; it's an emotional imperative that rises from the bottom. In a way, it actually helps if the fact is dubious or untrue (like the Swift-boat business), because that guarantees an argument. You're arguing the particulars, where you're right, while they're arguing the underlying generalities, where they are.

Once you grasp this fact, you're a long way to understanding what the Hannitys and Limbaughs figured out long ago: These people will swallow anything you feed them, so long as it leaves them with a demon to wrestle with in their dreams."

I think he actually worded that a little clumsily in the sense that they're actually not interested in evidence or having their beliefs tested no matter how you define it. It's a perfect cult mentality, where only other cult members can be trusted, and anything from outside the bunker is, by definition, enemy propaganda.

My brother, who isn't clinically insane, has nonetheless allowed sheer gravity to drag him down the slope to the sea level of insanity -- he's now a believer that Obama is a Kenyan socialist usurper, whereas I like to think he would have been a little more lucid than that only a short couple of years ago. I tried to make the point to him: Look, even if they trotted out a piece of paper tomorrow purporting to be his official birth certificate, you know damn well you guys would claim the typesetting, the ink, the paper itself were wrong, that it was an obvious forgery, and off we'd go again. You made up your mind in advance what you wanted to believe, and the rest is just confirmation bias. The fun of any conspiracy theory is that you can always find something to keep it going.

Taibbi and Hitchens have both recently pinpointed it as a sort of mythological issue; the myth in question being that of the aggrieved white Christian who realizes that there are other people in the world who think and act differently and need to be acknowledged. They can't unthinkingly act as if they're all that matters anymore, and thus we have one big pity-party as they look for anything factual or fictional to express their fear of becoming a minority in "their" own country. All of their bizarre complaints are ways of expressing this feeling.