Yesterday afternoon former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin went where even Glenn Beck wouldn't, claiming that the American public is "rightfully" concerned about Obama's birth certificate. And her Facebook friends are loving it!
On his talk radio show, conservative host Rusty Humphries asked Palin, "Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?" She replied,
I think the public rightfully is still making it an issue. I don't have a problem with that. I don't know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think that members of the electorate still want answers.
Palin later said the question about Obama's birth was fair because of "the weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about that Trig isn't my real son — 'You need to produce his birth certificate, you need to prove that he's your kid,' which we have done." Of course, Palin has said in her book and elsewhere that questions about her family aren't fair game, and to go back on this in order to protect a group of racism-tinged conspiracy theorists is both inconsistent and disingenuous. But that doesn't stop Palin from expanding on the argument on Facebook. Here she writes,
Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I've pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask... which they have repeatedly. But at no point – not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews – have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States.
Which is an awesome example of defending idiots while sort of claiming to be smarter than them (her note is titled "Stupid Conspiracies"). Gawker's Azaria Jagger explains this strategy:
She is encouraging birthers, despite knowing that they are wrong. Listen to the way Palin stalls and diverts, starting with a protracted "Umm... I think..." She is careful to point to the public's fascination with the story, and to note that she herself couldn't care less, but supports their efforts. She sounds like an adult child placating her senile mother: Of course you get can your driver's license back, even though you crashed into a tree. Many people get their driver's licenses back, and I will certainly help you try. She knows the birthers are wrong, yet she congratulates their efforts and calls Obama's nationality "fair game." This is pandering in its barest, most transparent form, and the fact that Sarah thinks she can get away with it testifies to how stupid, directionless, and desperate she knows her followers are.
Much of Palin's rhetoric — from "real America" to "death panels" to this latest ludicrosity — basically involves throwing red meat to enraged fans who will then say all the insulting things Palin can't quite allow herself to say. Like, for instance, this Facebook comment:
Keep up the good work Sarah. You are a good trooper in my book to put up with all the b____ll. I don't even think Obama, Nancy P. or Harry Reid even know what is in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence maybe they had better rush up on these. That is if they can read.
But perhaps saddest are the comments by Birthers who ignore the fact that Palin just called the conspiracy "stupid." To whit:
RIGHT ON SARAH!!! He could supply his birth certificate ... but can't ... if you know what I mean.
Or, at greater length:
You See —— I think you should have asked him to produce his birth certificate, health records and college records.
No Birth Certificate - Shouldn't be President (Constitution)
No Health Records - Could still be on drugs (put that finger on the launch button)
No College Records - Might show where the money for his college came from, and what citizenship was declaired.... See More
Why tiptoe around the true issues?
As far as I'm concerned; He is an Un-vetted Foreign Born "Acting" President - with the emphasis on "Acting".
Call him out —- this is no time to be PC
The above is far from the only comment alleging that Obama is hiding multiple types of malfeasance from the American people, an idea Palin encouraged during the campaign by harping on Bill Ayers and is now encouraging again — even as she gives herself plausible deniability by reminding her non-mouth-foaming readers that she never asked Obama to show his birth certificate. No, she's letting her base to her dirty work for her — just like she let them do racism for her when she reposted a letter calling Obama "son."
Sarah Palin has never been very strong on actual issues, so she has to resort to the politics of fear and loathing in order to gain any traction. But she's smart enough to know that she can't come out and call Obama "an Un-vetted Foreign Born 'Acting' President," so she just feeds ammo to those who do. If her Facebook comments (or her book signings, where one fan recently said, "B.O. scares me") are any indication, Palin country has become a land of hate, prejudice, and misdirected rage. It's fitting punishment for Palin that she has to live there.
Palin Becomes A Birther As Revenge Unto Those Who Doubted Trig [Gawker]
Palin: Obama Birth Certificate 'A Fair Question' [Politico]
Sarah Palin's Fans Push For 2012 Presidential Run [AP, via Yahoo News]
Sarah Palin: Stupid Conspiracies [Facebook]