[A] new study from Fairleigh Dickinson University suggests that so-called birthers are far more numerous than previously thought. Sixty four percent of Republicans polled by the university’s PublicMind project said that it was “probably true” that Obama is hiding details of his personal history, including possibly his birth place. Also polled were the conspiracy theories that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job (25 percent of all respondents said that was “probably true”), that President Bush stole the 2004 election (23 percent), and that Obama stole the 2012 election (20 percent).

How did [birtherism] grow to the point where half of Republican primary voters believed it? It wasn’t just the silence of Republican leaders, it was the failure of people like Tom Brokaw to just dismiss it as racism from the beginning,” Maher wrote.

"People like him are always championing ‘balance’ over objectivity," he continued. "They have to bring everything back to a discussion about how ‘both sides’ are guilty, instead of doing his job as a referee. If every single journalist just simply labeled birtherism what it obviously is — racism — the cancer wouldn’t have infected half the party. Maybe 25% or so, but most would be like, ‘Okay, this isn’t socially respectable.’"

"Every journalist knows [birtherism] comes from a racist place, so why can’t they all be as no-bullshit about it as Chris Matthews?" Maher wrote.

After Sununu said “Donald Trump is wrong” about Obama’s being born outside the United States, CNN’s O’Brien said it might be the first time she had heard someone in the Romney campaign say as much.

“No it isn’t,” Sununu shot back. “It’s just because you don’t read enough… [CNN has] a fixation. You did it last night with Wolf Blitzer, and you opened the show today with Donald Trump.”
theatlantic

theatlantic:

Why Is There A Resurgence of Congressional Birtherism?

There is no serious debate over whether Barack Obama is an American citizen. He is.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped people from saying otherwise. For example, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican representing Missouri’s 4th district. Following the standard template for these things, she was asked by a constituent at a town hall about the president’s birth certificate. And following the template, she failed to denounce or even disagree with this disproven idea:

I don’t know, I haven’t seen it. I’m just at the same place you are on that. You read this, you read that. But I don’t understand why he didn’t show that right away. I mean, if someone asked for my birth certificate, I’d get my baby book and hand it out and say ‘Here it is,’ so I don’t know …. I have doubts that it is really his real birth certificate, and I think a lot of Americans do, but they claim it is, so we are just going to go with that.

A spokesman clarified her comments to Politico today, but the explanation neither addressed her statement nor her actual views; after all, she repeated the statements to a reporter immediately following the original meeting.

Crazy, right? But not isolated. In March, Rep. Cliff Stearns — the man whose questions about Planned Parenthood led to the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to cut off funding for the organization — made similar comments. “All I can tell you is that the general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate,” he said. “The question is, is it legitimate? That’s where we stand now.” […]

If members of Congress truly believe that the president isn’t an American citizen, then they surely have the obligation to single-mindedly focus on proving that and ejecting him from office. But since they almost certainly don’t believe it and just as certainly can’t prove it (since it’s false), they instead have an obligation to speak out against birtherism. Unfortunately, as members of Congress spend more time mixing with constituents as they campaign, we’re only likely to hear more incidents along these lines.

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