Appeasement: Obama Accommodates Racist Conspiracy Theorists

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Obama Kowtows to Racists, Conspiracy Theorists

    President Obama has finally bowed to the political pressure generated by racist conspiracy theorists and released his long-form birth certificate:

    Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire, like the controlled burns firefighters conduct out west to remove the underbrush and tinder that could fuel a wildfire.

    So President Obama started a controlled burn of his own Wednesday meant in part to persuade the news media from paying so much attention to the so-called birthers who persist in doubting the president was born in Hawaii.

    Those doubts have been rekindled recently, of course, by the publicity seeking New York City developer Donald Trump who's been making noises about running for the Republican presidential nomination.

    The president decided to make public a copy of his "long-form" birth certificate Wednesday since many birthers were dissatisfied with the "certificate of live birth" the president made available during the 2008 campaign.

    Obama acknowledged that some hardcore birthers wouldn't be satisfied even with the long form version but said he was really speaking to everyone else.

    He said:

    I know that there's going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest. But I'm speaking to the vast majority of the American people, as well as to the press. We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We've got better stuff to do. I've got better stuff to do. We've got big problems to solve. And I'm confident we can solve them, but we're going to have to focus on them—not on this.​


    (James)

    The controversial political move comes on the heels of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) acknowledging that if only someone had asserted for the record what was asserted for the record over two years ago, the issue could have been settled:

    Stephanopoulos noted that Bachmann's Iowa supporter Kent Sorenson has put forward a bill saying candidates should file "a copy of the candidate's birth certificate certified by the appropriate official in the candidate's state of birth." Bachmann said she believed that proof of birth could be asserted only by county clerks. Stephanopoulos then showed her Obama's certification of live birth, which Team Obama got from Hawaiian officials during the 2008 campaign. Skeptics have taken issue with that document, but it is the legal equivalent to a birth certificate in Hawaii.

    "I have the president's certificate right here," he said. "It's certified, it's got a certification number. It's got the registrar of the state signed. It's got a seal on it. And it says 'this copy serves as prima facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding.'"

    Bachmann replied, "Well, then that should settle it."

    "So it's over?" the host asked.

    "That's what should settle it," she said. "I take the president at his word and I think — again I would have no problem and apparently the president wouldn't either. Introduce that, we're done. Move on."

    "Well this has been introduced. So this story is over?" Stephanopoulos pressed.

    "Well as long as someone introduces it I guess it's over," she said, adding later, "That is not the main issue facing the United States right now."


    (Haberman)

    These are the kind of absolute morons the president is trying to appease, since Republicans seem perfectly happy to hold up the genuinely pressing business of the nation over this. That is, between 45-51% of Republicans seem to believe that President Obama was born in another country.

    And, yes, we are expected to take those pathetic people seriously.

    There is no defense for conservative conduct over the last couple years, and this issue is perhaps the sharpest iteration of that sad reality. The Republican Party and its mindless minions are a disgrace to the United States of America.

    But at least they have their way: What is good enough for everybody else in the nation is not good enough for the black man with the funny sounding name.

    Congratulations, Republicans. This is your greatest victory yet. And now the whole world can see just how low your intellects and morals hope to be.

    My applause to all you pathetic, stupid, Republican racists.

    Congratulations.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    James, Frank. "Obama Tries Shaming News Media Into Ignoring Birthers". It's All Politics. April 27, 2011. NPR.org. April 27, 2011. http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpoli...ies-shaming-news-media-into-ignoring-birthers

    Haberman, Maggie. "Michele Bachmann ready to 'move on' from birther issue". 2012 Live. April 20, 2011. Politico.com. April 27, 2011. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53468.html

    Terbush, Jon. "Polls Show About Half Of GOPers Think Obama Wasn't Born In U.S.". Talking Points Memo DC. April 27, 2011. TPMDC.TalkingPointsMemo.com. April 27, 2011. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/...lf-of-gopers-think-obama-wasnt-born-in-us.php
     
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  3. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    He should have done it long ago, but it's not appeasement, please don't call it that.
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Please don't advocate racism

    It's appeasement. Period. Appeasement for racists.

    There is no reason he should have done jack shit long ago. The form he introduced in 2008—you know, the one Rep. Bachmann said would have settled it if only someone would introduce it—is sufficient for any one of us.

    But not for the black guy with the funny sounding name. What's good enough for everyone else isn't enough for him. He needs to go one better than anyone else.

    Yeah. Appeasement.

    He should not have done it. He should have left those racists to fester in their sickness until they either figured out how to get some help or simply died off.

    They aren't good people, Spidergoat. The country would be better off if they never existed in the first place. As it is, we have to suffer their miserable existence until they do us the kind favor of going away forever.

    Now, maybe you think black folks should have to bend over backwards for the satisfaction of a bunch of white supremacists, but that would be your problem to get over. Don't make it anyone else's.
     
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  7. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Doesn't matter, he should have produced it to shut them up. If anything not producing it until now was a political move to make the cons and teapers look dumb (dumb-er). That's the opposite of appeasement.
     
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    It's the only fair thing to do, or something like that

    I'm of the opinion that there is actually more to politics than mere politics. You know, like principles, and the fact that one takes a sacred oath in defense of the Constitution when he becomes president.

    He never should have released it. He should have stood on equality under the law.

    But that's his art of domestic political compromise: Appease evil, because that's the only fair thing to do. It's a hallmark of Obama's presidency.
     
  9. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    "Fair" has nothing to do with it; this is politics. He's going for effectiveness - as you point out, the GOP is quite happy to stonewall and generally cripple Obama's presidency through distraction and inaction. Caving in to that on the principle that you shouldn't have to take birthers seriously might feel good, for a little while, but what's the point?

    Of course, it's an open question whether this move will really increase effectiveness. But the point is that there are plenty of other, more important principles that one might advance with a windfall of political capital. So as far as picking one's battles goes, I have a hard time really complaining about this particular bit of tactics. It isn't like he didn't give the principled approach a good, long effort before making this decision.
     
  10. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    Also this one is pretty interesting. I have to wonder in what sense they truly "believe" this premise. At some level, it's got to be more a matter of codewords than genuine belief - Obama is held to be "unlike us" or "unAmerican," and since everyone born here is, by definition, "an American," it follows immediately that Obama must have been born elsewhere. Damn the "facts:" the point is to exhibit loyalty to the group. And it's pretty clear that expressing such a belief sends exactly that message to the group in question.
     
  11. siphra Registered Senior Member

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    Look the issue that many birthers have is stupid, however; there is one thing that is important that everyone has forgotten that actually started this BS, that is that his Kenyan relative said that he was born in Kenya, and that he was there.
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The Republican Party Is An American Disease

    I don't think it will make a difference.

    See, the thing is that, historically speaking, if anyone happened to be keeping score, Obama won the Birther controversy a week ago, when Rep. Bachmann offered up that brilliant explanation of the argument.

    He should have just stood on that, and not given over.

    There are so many times the constitutional scholar who pledged to preserve and protect the constitution could have made a stand on constitutional grounds, but chose not to because it would be too politically divisive, and as a result ended up giving over to an irrational, even violative argument. This is the crowning achievement of the GOP: The black man must necessarily be held to a separate and unequal standard.

    And Obama agreed. Because Republicans were being silly, and it would be impolite to ask them to stop being silly.

    But he waited until he won. That's what I don't get. It isn't just that he gave over, but that the point was made, and a week later he made a deliberate decision to erase that point from history. That's the confounding thing about this.

    Well, one of our conservative neighbors has argued before along the lines that the use of racist rhetoric means people aren't racist. Rather, it means Obama is such a bad person that good people have been moved to throw the book at him, including the racist chapters. It's Obama's fault, after all.

    Eventually, we have to admit that not all things are equal. That the Republicans are evil doesn't mean the Democrats are their pious opposite. But we need to step out of this dualistic comparison to look at what's really going on. Sure, the Democrats are a bunch of useless twats, but that's hardly the equal of the GOP, for whom one must be a raving, lunatic racist in order to earn your credentials.

    This is why American conservatism is simply evil. We see what you have to do in order to be part of the club.

    These people are a blight on America.

    Think about the song for a moment:

    America, America!
    God shed His Grace on thee!
    And crown thy good
    With brotherhood

    From sea to shining sea!

    Where, exactly, does prerequisite racism occur in the spectrum of "brotherhood"?

    The Republican Party is an American disease.
     
  13. YoYoPapaya Trump/Norris - 2012 Registered Senior Member

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    He did make them look dumb(er) and unreasonable. Like they are interfering with him, when he's trying to do important things.
    I hope you're right Spider. If you are, there is still hope.
     
  14. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    How long before people on the right claim that it's not a "real" birth certificate? I imagine some will say that it is a forgery and others that a "Certificate of Live Birth" is not the same thing as a "Birth Certificate".
     
  15. Bells Staff Member

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    Last Friday, the president himself wrote Loretta J. Fuddy, the director of health at the State of Hawaii, requesting "two certified copies of my original certificate of live birth." Fuddy complied. Shortly thereafter, the president's counsel, Judith Corley of the firm Perkins Coie, flew to Hawaii to pick up two copies of the form. The trip was not taxpayer funded but, rather, paid out of the president's personal account. Corley returned on Tuesday at roughly 4 p.m. with the copies. The White House announced a "morning gaggle" for reporters shortly thereafter. One aide explained that they did not want to "hold" on to the documents for release on a later date.

    (Source)


    I actually think it was an interesting move.

    He effectively slapped down Republicans who had joined the popular "birther" movement and the gentle reminder that he and the Government has better things to do than to cater for what he called the fringe element, put those Republicans who were pushing the "birther" line squarely into the fringe. And many of those are thinking of running for President.

    I don't see it as an appeasement. I see it as a form of pointing to the Republicans and calling them dumbarses.. He has pretty much reminded the country that they, the Republicans, are entrenching themselves in "silliness" by carrying on and on about his birth certificate. And he has also put further focus on the divide within the Republican party amongst those who are trying to distance themselves from it within the Republican establishment and those Republicans pushing for it while considering running for Presidency.
     
  16. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, in rethinking it, this is brilliant. First, it will silence some of the critics and protects him from the annoying "why won't he release it?" question that could easily plague weak-minded voters..

    Second, though, this gives added credibility to Trump, who would be a terrible and divisive candidate for the GOP. Now, he can claim he "forced" the President to release this, and the hardcore birthers will continue to gravitate to him. The best news Obama could have is that Trump's candidacy was being strengthened, imo.
     
  17. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Now they want him to release his school records. They are just insane.
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Appeasement Doesn't Work

    Wasn't it reasonably demonstrated, seventy or so years ago, that appeasement doesn't work?

    In order for this sort of accommodation to have reasonable effect, the people accommodated must, themselves, in the first place, be reasonable.

    Now that President Obama has released his long-form birth certificate, the birthers can all rest easy that the president of the United States is in fact a "natural born citizen" and thus qualified for his job. Right?

    Wrong. Basically, they're still not completely convinced.

    The questions keep coming. Like this: "Why did Obama spend millions of dollars to keep this document secret?" writes Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, on his group's website.

    Or this: "I'm sure someone will investigate this BC and prove it to be a fraud, like what they have tried to pass off in the past," writes Worried Grammie on the Tea Party Nation site.

    Orly Taitz, an original champion of birtherism, told New York Magazine after Wednesday's big "reveal" that she's willing to let the birth certificate issue go. Really?! Well, sort of. She called the newly released long-form document "a step in the right direction."

    Then Ms. Taitz elaborates: "As long as the experts are saying, ‘Yes, this is a genuine document that was created at the time [of Obama's birth],' I would say that that would put this issue to rest."

    But wait, there's more. Turns out when she says "this issue" she's referring to place of birth, not eligibility to be president. According to New York Magazine, Taitz still questions whether Mr. Obama is a "natural-born citizen," as required by the Constitution – despite his Hawaiian birth and American mother – because his father was a British subject.

    "Nobody knows, because the courts never took it upon themselves to provide a determination on this issue," Taitz says.


    (Feldmann)

    Indeed, from Orly Taitz on up to Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, it seems all President Obama has done by releasing the long-form certificate is strengthen their suspicions, and encourage their bad behavior.

    Gaye Haehnel, writing on the Tea Party Nation website, takes the questions much further, and lists 23 areas ripe for inquiry, including his parents' marriage license; his high school, college, and law school records; even his Illinois state Senate schedule.

    As for college, one piece of "evidence" that Obama had been born abroad was that he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he began his college career, as a "foreign student." Now the Obama skeptics want all the schools the president ever attended to throw open the books and show us everything they've got.

    Appeasement doesn't work.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Feldmann, Linda. "Obama releases birth certificate: Will that stop birthers?". The Christian Science Monitor. April 27, 2011. CSMonitor.com. April 27, 2011. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politi...ses-birth-certificate-Will-that-stop-birthers
     
  19. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    It may not. Certainly birtherism won't disappear entirely - but if it's reduced to total cranks going on about conspiracies to forge this document, it'll cease to have any traction to speak of.

    We'll find out the hard way. If they move on to something else next week, we'll know this trick worked. If they find a way to just bulldoze right through this document, we'll know that nothing ever will.

    In what sense is that "winning?"

    The sense he needs to "win" in is to marginalize the issue in terms of political saliency. And that has a lot more to do with what your average, ahistorical voter wants to talk about and listen to. It doesn't really matter what Bachmann will or won't publicly state, provided Trump is still getting airtime going on about it.

    I don't see how that would have worked, politically. I mean, sure, as a statement of principle it's great. But how does it lessen the salience of the issue as a GOP talking point/rallying cry?

    I don't think it's a matter of polite. Taking the alternative route plays into their hands - "Obama is afraid to just release the document!" "He belittles our valid concerns as silly!" "Balance the budget by cutting taxes on billionaires!"

    Again, not that we can be particularly assured that this approach is going to pay off, but it seems that the alternative was tried thoroughly and failed. Better to get out from under this question and focus on getting some accomplishments between now and re-election. If he were doing this in his second term, I'd go in for your reading more. But I expect to see a more assertive, independent Obama once he's no longer concerned about reelection.

    Again, I don't think the point was "made" in the relevant way.

    Between white people. Think "brotherhood" in terms of "Aryan Brotherhood" if you like. Bear in mind that "My Country (Tis of Thee)" was written back when slavery was still legal, after all.
     
  20. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    I'm thinking he might have done well to leave it until right before the next election. He could either have an opponent who strenuously argues against the birthers amongst the opponent's own supporters, or he could make that opponent look stupid and petty by releasing his certificate, say, 2 weeks before the vote (early enough so it affects advance polls).

    Already happening. Nutjobs are just too easy to predict. I've been reading comments from the far right saying things like how the certificate supposedly lacks a seal of authenticity which other states have, thus this one is "probably fake", yet none of them bothered to check what the standard Hawaiian document is "supposed" to look like.

    I would make that trade, in exchange for W. Bush's complete military service and medical records.
     
  21. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Before or after they were replaced with forged copies?
     
  22. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Are you kidding? He's white and conservative. Obviously I'm referring to the forged copies.
     
  23. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Oh BTW I really hope the standards on Trump are raised, now that he opened Pandora's box. I'd love to get a look at his financial records and past/present bankruptcy history.
     

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