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Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The 27% Solution
There are some far-left elements in the Democratic Party who still question the legitimacy of George W. Bush's presidency in the wake of the Bush v. Gore decision. Discrediting the result allows you to question everything that the President subsequently does. "He wasn't really elected, so we do not need to listen to him or follow him." The not-so-far right has their own Bush v. Gore moment, embodied by the birther movement. The lemmings of the birther movement doubt Barack Obama's Constitutional right to hold the office of President, thereby justifying their rejection of any of his directives or leadership on the issues. The birthers expand the Bush v. Gore model of civil disobedience further by adding the hint of international sabotage to the mix. This storyline of the Manchurian Candidate has grown via bloggers and chain emails that seem to me to run a little light on facts and reality.
I don't watch CNN or Anderson Cooper, but I did watch this particular take-down of birther advocate, Rep. Leo Berman of Texas. It's worth the full 12 minutes of viewing time. I call this Fact v. Fiction:
The disheartening part for me comes at the end. According to a CNN poll that Cooper references, 27% of Americans question whether or not Barack Obama was born in this country. How today's Democrats planted a birth announcement for Obama in a Hawaiian newspaper in 1961 in anticipation of his ascent to the White House 47 years later is never fully explained. If nearly one-third of Americans question his citizenship in the face of facts that disprove birther conspiracy theories, then what hope is there for reasoned discussion on tax policy, entitlements, foreign policy, spending priorities, or the results of scientific inquiries?
Tom Tancredo has suggested literacy tests before allowing citizens to vote. Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips has recommended that only property owners be allowed to vote as the Constitution originally stated (renters need not apply). Here's a modest proposal: if you can't follow the facts in this ridiculous birther blather, you shouldn't be allowed to vote. That's my 27% solution.