Monday, September 19, 2016


Birtherism, the notion that Barack Obama was born outside the US, has become a hot topic recently. Trump, a birther since 2011, finally agreed that President Obama was born in Hawaii, as claimed.

There are a few interesting things about the media coverage. The first is the blanket denial that Hillary Clinton's campaign was responsible for birtherism in the first place. Politifact gave it a false ruling. While I used to have a lot of respect for this site, they've been getting more and more partisan over the years. While it is true that there is no record of Hillary Clinton ever questioning Obama's birthplace, there is no question that this was part of a general campaign against Obama when the two were competing for the 2008 nomination. The Clinton campaign's surrogates quietly suggested that Obama was a secret Muslim. When asked to deny it, Hillary always said things like "Obama's a Christian... as far as I know."

Two reporters have come forward saying that Clinton campaign operative Sidney Blumenthal pushed stories about Obama's birthplace and his religion.

Remember, this was early 2008. The Republicans were still a long way from settling the nomination and Obama was still the underdog. No one but the Clinton campaign had any reason for spreading doubt about Obama's qualifications to be president. Even if the Clinton campaign didn't start the rumor they were the reason it spread.

Politifact's ruling rests on the construction that there is no evidence that Clinton's supporters invented the claim while admitting that they spread it. They also accept Hillary's statement that this was unauthorized. The statement they were fact checking said, "Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy." Even Politifact admits that people in the Clinton campaign were involved in spreading birtherism. It takes no stretch of the imagination to picture Hillary approving this. It's in keeping with her treatment of the women Bill had affairs with.

Everyone in the news media in 2008 knows this. Hillary covered her tracks (on a private email server?) but there were no other suspects.

So the news media is covering for Hillary.

Even worse, they are insisting that birtherism is racist and that Trump should apologize for it. This is my second point. The media knows full well that birtherism began with Hillary but rather than admitting it and calling her a racist, they are throwing that insult at birther-come-laty, Trump.

For the record - birtherism was always a dumb idea. It required foreknowledge that the newborn Barack would need to claim American citizenship at a time that a black president seemed inconceivable. Regardless of where he was born, Obama's mother was an American citizen, just as McCain's and Cruze's so he'd be a citizen regardless.

One thing that makes me leery of Trump is that he revived this silly idea after it died out.

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