This is just laughable – the right-wing World Net Daily, which boasts of “over 200 exclusive reports on the eligibility issue”, has issued a breathless report that Obama’s actual year of birth was 1957, not 1961 as was previously thought – based on a typo on the President’s MySpace page. They breathlessly point out that Hawai’i was not a state in 1957, just a territory. Of course the implication is that Obama’s claim to citizenship is somehow invalidated by this – but as they surely were too thick to realize, being born in a US territory still confers citizenship rights (See: the 14th Amendment and this summary as pertains to Territories). So in a sense they are now admitting that Obama is actually a citizen, if they are going to claim that he was born in Hawai’i in 1957. Of course as far as Birther logic goes, this is irrelevant – all that matters if OMG OBAMA LIED MUSLIM MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE!
It pains me to disagree with Daniel, but I still see no evidence that this silliness is the product of merely hyper-nationalistic Americanism. This is Obama Derangement Syndrome, and it’s racism, and it’s the muslim smear v3.6b. To reject racism as a primary motivating factor in all this is to lend far more credibility to their reasoning abilities than they deserve.
UPDATE: As previously noted, the Birther meme is strongest among Republicans in the South. Since this latest Birther nonsense hinges upon the (irrelevant) status of Hawai’i as a state or a territory, it’s worth pointing out that there’s considirable confusion among Southern Republicans as the existence of Hawai’i, let alone it’s status. Last week, Rachel Maddow highlighted a poll about Birther attitudes which had a brilliant follow-up qestion to that effect:
Among Republicans in North Carolina-it’s worse. The percentage of Republican voters in North Carolina who say Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. or they’re not sure, 76 percent. More than three-quarters of North Carolina Republicans think Obama might not really be president-more than three-quarters, more than three-quarters, more than three-quarters of them.
But here’s the additional detail that might make your raised eyebrows turn into a furrowed brow. This huge majority of North Carolina Republicans say that Obama either wasn’t born in the U.S. or they’re not sure, right? The president, of course, was born in Hawaii. Well, whoever the genius is who put this poll together-I salute you because I never would have thought to ask this as the follow-up question-by the way, do you believe that Hawaii is part of the United States? They asked that question. And fully 12 percent of North Carolina self-identified conservatives said no, Hawaii is not part of the United States. Or they just don’t know whether it is.I mean, how could that ever be known?