Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Birther Wedge

More attention to the question of whether Obama was born in the United States probably helps Democrats and hurts Republicans. This is an issue where you've got controversy within the Republican Party, but everybody else knows what's going on, and elite media opinion is firmly on the right side. So Republican politicians have a choice: either reject the conspiracy theory, alienating some of their primary voters, or treat it as credible and look crazy to everyone else.

The effect of Obama's request for a birth certificate is to raise the salience of the issue nice and early in the Republican primary. I don't think it'll put any dent in the number of Birthers. The people who remain unconvinced right now are deep enough in a conspiracy theory (as Nick notes below in linking to my earlier post -- one they may accept for reasons that have little to do with evidence) that there's no way evidence is going to pull them out.


Charlene said...

I understand birtherism fine.

Any person with an unbiased attitude understands it.

Like a lot of things it cannot be justified. Continuing to single out 1 President with these continuing questions says more about those asking the questions than about the individual being singled out.

David said...

This is a positive thing because now the Republicans cant catapult Arnold into being prez because there are a lot of rumours that he's not from California but from Austria. But when Trump discovers that Obama is really from Red Deer, Alberta, we may be in trouble.