Maybe you heard that top conservative magazine National Review dissed the birthers — that is, the folks who believe Obama is not really President because he was born in Kenya or somewhere like it. But it’s going to take more than that to bring this patriotic movement down! According to a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll, only 42 percent of Republicans are sure Obama was born in the United States. 28 percent are sure he was born elsewhere; 30 “don’t know.”
While overt birtherism remains a vital force in what’s left of the GOP coalition, the current style among the conservative intellectuals of the blogosphere is to proclaim oneself solidly anti-birther — then demand Obama release his real birth certificate, not the one Hawaii keeps trying to fob off on us. Confederate Yankee, for example, says “I truly believe that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii,” but as “the controversy — for reasons I simply cannot fathom — has expanded to alarming proportions,” he finds it incumbent upon Obama to squelch this unfathomable controversy by releasing the One True BC. His commenters get the message (“This is why so many illegals cross the border to have the baby in the US.”).
Meanwhile even National Review has given Andrew McCarthy space to play out his own not-that-I-believe-it-but-questions-remain scenario. Bottom line: in the days to come you can expect a lot of simultaneous denunciation and propagation of the birther story — sometimes in the same place.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 31, 2009