Today’s opining on the public discourse.
It’s a holiday weekend, but stupid never sleeps. And there are few things more stupid in today’s political landscape than the birthers:
The electoral system has failed to satisfy lingering questions about Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as president.
The press has failed to satisfy those questions. The courts have failed to satisfy those questions. The Congress has failed to satisfy those questions.
But the people are still asking.
That’s how Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, explains the petition he initiated several months ago that has collected nearly 400,000 names of Americans demanding answers as to Obama’s elidibility [sic] as well as the outpouring of financial support for his new campaign to erect billboards around the country asking the simple question: “Where’s the birth certificate?”
In just five days, the billboard campaign has been backed by about $45,000 in donations.
Obviously, the Birthers’ argument is nuts. But the fact that they’re still at it, seven months after the election, is extraordinary.
The birth certificate, for their information, is in Hawaii, where it’s always been. But if they want to tilt at windmills, that’s fine. Maybe it’ll keep them out of other kinds of trouble.
On Thursday, Vets for Freedom Chairman Pete Hegseth went onto the Corner to criticize President Obama for his speech on national security. Not surprisingly, he praised Vice President Cheney’s address, calling it a “gutsy, straightforward, and yet sophisticated approach.” To underscore his point, he wrote, “Laying aside the debate over what is and what isn’t ‘torture,’ it’s hard to argue with 8+ years of safety since 9/11.” The problem, as the site Best of Both Worlds points out, is that it hasn’t been eight years since 9/11:
9/11 happened on 9/11/2001. We’re in 5/22/2009. That’s less than 8 years. In his mind, George Bush kept the country safe for 2 presidential terms. Some other dude was President right up till 9/11.
Atrios adds, “NRO contributor attempts to count to 8, fails.”
In case you were wondering if the age-old question “Would Jesus torture?” has been answered, it has:
Here’s a Red State comment, via John Cole:
It’s likely even Jesus would have OK’d water boarding if it would have saved his Mom. He would’ve done the same to save his Dad, or any one of His disciples. For that matter, He even died to save all humans.
I wonder where Jesus stood on crucifixion? Was he for it in the case of a ticking time bomb?
We breathlessly anticipate the answer.
I do believe it’s time for Ben Nelson to make it official. He’s Con through and through:
This morning, Fox News Sunday hosted a debate on national security between Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), but it turned out that the two senators agreed on most issues. Nelson declared that trials of Guantanamo detainees should not take place in the United States and detainees should not be imprisoned here. He distinguished between terrorists like the Blind Sheikh — who “committed violations of American law” — and those at Guantanamo to say the latter should be kept out of the U.S.:
NELSON: I think the tribunals can occur anywhere, and I prefer not to see them occur in America, within the continental United States. Once they’re convicted, I’m assuming they will be, then I think we need to work out with their countries an arrangement where they’re incarcerated there. […]
But for those detainees who have violated the rules of war, we don’t have to worry about bringing them here. I think they need to be kept elsewhere, wherever that is. I don’t want to see them come on American soil.
Nelson also seemed to suggest that torture — or “enhanced techniques,” as he called it — could be used in the future:
NELSON: What we need to do is make sure that the intelligence information that’s gathered is accurate, that we do everything within our power to get good intelligence, and it may or may not consist of coming from enhanced techniques.
Maybe we could trade him for Colin Powell.
And, finally, if you want to get an understanding of what’s behind the gun frenzy, this Daily Kos post has a pretty good idea. Here’s a teaser:
There is no impending bill before Congress that would increase taxes on ammunition or guns. There’s been no suggestion from the President of such a move. So why would people believe it?
This weekend, NRA leaders were keen to lay out in stark terms the threat they see in the Obama administration. Gun owners face “the slickest, most aggressive anti-gun White House in history,” said CEO Wayne Lapierre.
Other NRA brass predict that the Second Amendment could be repealed within the next five years.
Starting well before the election, the NRA has waged a campaign designed to instill fear in the heart of any gun owner. Throughout the campaign, President Obama made it clear that he was a supporter of individual gun rights. There has been no move to restrict access to guns. In fact, the passage of the new rule allowing loaded weapons into National Parks — reversing a rule signed by Ronald Reagan — demonstrates that the gun lobby has the power in Washington not just to hold the line, but extend gun rights in nearly any way they can imagine. Not only that, recent Supreme Court rulings have put gun ownership on more solid Constitutional ground than, well, ever.
The NRA should be celebrating. Instead…
Despite these successes, Mr. Lapierre, the NRA CEO, spoke almost in doomsday terms this weekend about opponents of the Second Amendment. “The bomb is armed and the fuse is lit,” he said. “They are going to come at us with everything they’ve got, and we are going to be ready for them. If they want to fight, we will fight.”
As gun rights are victorious in court, as gun ownership clears every hurdle in Congr
ess, and with no pro
spect of restrictions on the horizon, the NRA is still screaming that the end is nigh.
As the post title says, “You have the right to be played for a fool.” And, alas, there are plenty of fools to be played.