UPDATE: I owe Daniel an apology for my unintentional implication below. Also, I lay out my argument for why Birthers are primarily racist in that post as well.

President Obama is 48 years old today, and the lunatic “Birther” movement is taking advantage of the occassion to get some non-deserved media exposure for their claims that he is not an American citizen by birth and thus ineligible for the office of President. To which the only sane response is, “suck it.”

I don’t have much to offer in terms of other commentary, since the whole thing is so profoundly a case study of Obama Derangement Syndrome, that even Ann Coulter labeled Birther-in-Chief Orly Taitz as a wacko, which to be honest is either a stinging rebuke indeed or high praise, considering the source. Taitz is a one-woman shriek fest, for whom the word “shrill” was obviously invented but then utterly obsoleted – watch this video segment on MSNBC and marvel at the spectacle.

Ultimately the penetration of the Birther meme into what matoko calls the “low-information conservative base” is going to accelerate the decline of the GOP as a mainstream party – the damage being done to the Republican brand by this foolishness is severe (which is one reason why I’m not all that upset that genuine fruitcakes like Orly Taitz are getting airtime on MSNBC). GOP strategists are belatedly realizing that this is a bad thing and making impotent attempts to distance themselves, but when you have conservative celebrities like Chuck Norris demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate too, you’ve lost the messaging on this one, folks. As Steve Benen observed, the Birther movement is gaining most traction in the South, which is where the GOP has been shrinking into pure regional-party status since 2006. Daniel Larison tries to put as positive a spin on this as possible, noting that part of it is simple political tribalism, but the simple fact that the Birther meme is nothing more than a sanitized outlet for pure unadulterated racism at its heart seems impossible to deny. As Daniel notes, we wouldn’t be seeing this movement if John McCain were elected (even though McCain’s birth in Panama could theoretically be subjectedd to teh same conspiracy mongering) – but neither would we be seeing it were it John Kerry who had won in 2004 and had a similar asterisk next to his birth credentials.

The bottom line: The GOP is damaged goods, and the Birthers are the crop reaped from two decades’ sowing of prejudice and fear. Until conservatives realize this and make the courageous decision to start fresh, they are weeding themselves out of the political gene pool.

Related video: CNN’s Lou Dobbs is an utter disgrace – he’s Dan Rather-ed himself on the Birther issue. Jon Stewart takes on the Birthers (and Dobbs in particular) on The Daily Show segment, “The Born Identity“.

Incidentally, for the record, Obama has indeed released his birth certificate. You can see it yourself at FactCheck.org. Not that the Birthers, Lou Dobbs, or Chuck Norris will ever concede this irrefutable fact.

UPDATE: OK, fine, just for the sake of Mr Hypothetical Moderate and Independent Minded Reasonable Guy, who agrees that Obama is “probably” a citizen but still thinks it’s reasonable to demand Obama release his “long form certificate” anyway, I’m going to spell it out for you anyway. Obama HAS released his birth certificate. In Hawai’i, it’s called a “certification of live birth” but its the same legal document as a birth certificate. Hawai’i digitized its archives years ago and they probably dont have “long form” paper copies of the older certs around n file, but that DOESNT MATTER because what Obama has produced upon demand, and what FactCheck.org has taken high-resolution photos of, is indeed the valid legal document which suffices for any and all proof of identity in the UNited States just like any other BC from any other state.

This means if you, Mr Hypothetical Moderate and Independent Minded Reasonable Guy, claim Obama hasnt released his certificate yet, youre a Birther tool. If you argue he should release a “long form” cerificate, then you’re a Birther tool. And here’s final, unalduterated and irrefutable proof: a birth announcement published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday, Aug. 13, 1961:

oh sure, you COULD claim that was faked somehow. As FactCheck.org says quite reasonably, “Of course, it’s distantly possible that Obama’s grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case their grandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president someday.” In the meantime, console yourself with the thought that you are this crazed lunatic woman‘s poodle.

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