A Philosopher's Blog

Birthers, Again

Posted in Politics by Michael LaBossiere on October 30, 2009

In yet another act of the theater of the absurd, the birthers brought a case  to the federal court claiming that Obama is not eligible to be president .

The judge, David Carter, issued a 30 page ruling that can be summed up in a single sentence: his court lacks the jurisdiction to rule on such a case. This seems to be quite accurate-the constitution specifies the legal procedures for the removal of a president from office and a U.S. District Court lacks the legal power to do this.


Carter is not the first judge to have dismiss the claim presented by the birthers. In response, the birthers have “have attacked the judiciary, including every prior court that has dismissed their claim, as unpatriotic and even treasonous for refusing to grant their requests and for adhering to the terms of the Constitution.”

The  birthers do have a right to express their views and even a legal right to bring up spurious law suits that waste time and resources. However, the fact that they can bring up such wasteful suits does not mean that they should be doing so. While they clearly do not agree with Obama, their lawsuits have no basis whatsoever. As such, they are merely wasting valuable court time and hence taxpayer money and this is hardly patriotic.

Now, if Obama was truly not eligible to be president or had committed some act worthy of removal, then proper action should be taken. However, he is clearly a natural born American citizen and has done nothing that would provide a legitimate basis for his removal. While people do disagree with his views and actions, doing things that some folks disagree with is not grounds for removal.

Finally, the attacks made by the birthers upon the judiciary are indeed ironic. The birthers are basing the attack on a legal point about citizenship and yet they call the judiciary unpatriotic and treasonous for following what is specified in the Constitution. In short, the birthers are calling on the judiciary to break the law so as to rule that Obama broke the law. Obviously, the birthers seem to lack a clear grasp of the notion of consistency (or irony).

While there are good grounds on which to be critical of Obama, the birthers’ nonsense merely provides ammunition with which to dismiss critics as suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome. The birthers would better serve their cause by dropping their absurd claims and focusing on presenting legitimate criticism and getting ready for 2012. Then again, perhaps they could join up with the Flat-Earthers, Hollow-Earthers, 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists, and other such folks and start their own political party.


8 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on October 30, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    If the birthers are trying to weaken Obama, they are accomplishing the exact opposite.

    Perhaps they are secretly funded by the DNC?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm

      The Democrats engaging in something clever and effective? Inconceivable. 🙂 Then again, maybe their dis-organization and general bumbling are all part of the conspiracy…

  2. magus71 said, on October 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    The birthers are wrong, and it should be left to the evident wrongness of his policies to ensure that he will not be elected a second time.

    I believe there is more than enough reality to overcome his cult status.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm

      I don’t think “evident wrongness” entails that a president won’t get re-elected. At this point, 2012 looks like it will be another Democrat win, unless the Republicans can get together and field a serious candidate with broad appeal. And no, that is not Sarah.

      • magus71 said, on October 30, 2009 at 2:15 pm

        Nope, not Sarah.

        But I believe that Obama will have to reconsider some of his positions to get re-elected. If he does so, I’ll tip my hat to him.

  3. biomass2 said, on October 30, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Michael: I just took a brief stroll down memory lane and read through the comments on your original “Birthers” article (beginning of August).

    Twenty-five comments on that one. A heated debate. I wonder what the overall reaction to your article will be this time around. . .

  4. Robert Feeley said, on January 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Here is new information on Obama:


  5. erik said, on January 23, 2011 at 11:51 am

    To avoid hi-jacking, I had to travel waaay back in your archives to find an article about birthers. Given the nature of the topic, and the broad variety of topics you cover here, I knew there had to be one. For a good laugh, watch David Gregory’s interview with Eric Cantor on this week’s Meet the Press (1/23/2011). Watch in amazement as Gregory presses Cantor to deny the legitimacy of birther claims.

    What results is like a mini-episode of Lie to Me. Follow Cantor’s eyes to the sky as he evades Gregory’s question in every way possible. Then observe his eyes when he’s talking about something he really believes in, like policy.

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