Birthers and Truthers: Equally Moronic, But Not Equally Pernicious
Jonah Goldberg wrote yesterday:
As I wrote last year, I find it amazing that the "Birthers" are considered more dangerous and evil than the "Truthers." The Birthers believe that an ambitious man who travelled a lot as a kid has concealed the circumstances of his birth so he could be eligible for the presidency. I don't think they've made their case. And, frankly, I'm not sure I'd want them to at this point. Aside from the horror of a Biden presidency, I for one don't yearn for a constitutional crisis. And while I am sure there are more elaborate and crazier versions of Birtherism, the basic allegation isn't that crazy, at least in the abstract.
He's wrong there; Birtherism is crazy, just as crazy as Trutherism. They have a lot in common, including waving away all evidence that contradicts them as evidence of the coverup.
But I agree that the Truthers are more dangerous and evil than the Birthers, which statement came under attack from Eric Boelert and Kevin Drum (who, to their credit, dismiss the Truthers as "whackjobs (sic) and bombthrowers"):
Compare that to the birthers. It's bad enough that prominent conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Liz Cheney, and Sean Hannity have flirted with the birthers. But what's worse is that birtherism seems to be a perfectly acceptable belief among actual Republican leaders. Sarah Palin thinks it's a question well worth asking. Roy Blunt isn't sure Obama is a citizen. Dick Shelby thinks it's curious that we haven't seen Obama's birth certificate. Michele Bachmann recently showed up at a tea party event and palled around with birther queen Orly Taitz.
I'm in agreement that both the Truthers and the Birthers are crazy. And I'm even in agreement that Birtherism appears to be more widespread among Republicans than Trutherism ever was among rank and file Democrats, and even more acceptable. And I'm appalled at those on the right who've embraced the Birther nuttery.
But for chrissakes, let's not forget the magnitude of the charges. On the one hand, you have a supposed conspiracy involving huge segments of the government, military and other professions in America to kill 3000 people.
And on the other you have a supposed conspiracy of a few people (most dead) to conceal the real circumstances of birth of a man who later grew up and was elected President.
Suppose both theories turned out to be true; which would result in executions? Nobody (well, nobody sane) would suggest the death penalty for those covering up Obama's birth, whereas I'd probably be among those recommending execution for Bush if it were proven to my satisfaction that he ordered or knew in any detail of the impending terrorist attacks.
Let me repeat this: Both conspiracy theories are retarded. Both share Phil Berg, too. But 9-11 Troof is pernicious in a way that the Birther nonsense isn't.