Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Birther Movement Won’t Go Away, and for Good Reason



Earl Ofari Hutchinson


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs got it right when he bluntly said that the deal is that the legions who are adamant that President Obama is an illegal alien and should be dumped from the White House will never go away. Not only won’t they go away but in recent weeks they’ve gained even more steam, and they’ve got it ironically with the unintended help of birther opponents. Every newspaper, magazine, talk show host that damns the birthers as a bunch of wacky, paranoid, Obama haters stirs the pot even more. They do it simply by acknowledging the issue with a column or a show. The birthers revel in that, and they should because there’s a canny, calculated,and politically cynical motive behind their Obama birth certificate agitation.

The clamor for Obama to produce his original birth document gained a noisy following long before the final presidential vote tally was in last November. It started the instant that he declared his presidential candidacy in February 2007. Take your pick: He was too black. He was not patriotic enough. He was too liberal, too effete, too untested. He was a Muslim, terrorist fellow traveler, and a closet black radical. The shock of an Obama in the White House was simply too much for many to bear. Obama defied the stereotypical textbook look and definition of what an American president was supposed to look like, and be like; namely a wooden image middle-aged, or older, white male.

Obama inadvertently gave ammunition to the incipient birthers during a campaign stop in late July 2007 when he quipped that he did not look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills. Obama got torched for saying the obvious and that was that his candidacy was different. Obama later admitted that it was a racial reference. The off the cuff remark simply reinforced the point that he and his candidacy marked a turning point in U.S. presidential politics and by extension race relations.

The Obama birth certificate hounders kicked their rumor mongering campaign against him into even higher gear when some mainstream papers found the birth certificate controversy good copy and grist to get the tongues wagging. The birthers spotted the opening and crudely cloaked themselves in the mantle of public spirited citizens and legal experts with no personal, political, let alone racial, ax to grind with Obama. Their sole goal they claimed was to insure electoral truth and accuracy, to make sure that all the legal requirements for holding a presidential office are met, and to head off a constitutional crisis. They even promised that they would put the matter to rest if Obama simply produced the original.

That was a lie. The birthers with an open boost from GOP ultra conservatives led by House Rep John Campbell and other House members who are pushing a bill that requires all future presidential candidates to produce their original birth certificates. That, of course, would apply to Obama as well when he presumably runs for reelection in 2012. The real value of the Birther movement is that it’s a tailored back door movement that can be used to destabilize, or at the least keep the Obama administration off balance on policy initiatives he’s pushing on health care, the economy, and a softer foreign policy outreach. They are fierce opponents of them.

Since Obama’s inauguration dozens of You Tube clips have been churned out on the controversy, legions of websites continue to recycle the rumor line about his certificate, and a mountain size stack of articles rehash the issue of whether the birth certificate that Hawaii produced is legit. More than two dozen lawsuits or petitions have been filed in various state courts contesting Obama’s U.S. citizenship (one of them was filed by political gadfly Alan Keyes). The Supreme’s Court’s refusal to demand that Obama pony up his birth certificate has done absolutely nothing to take any steam out of the movement. If anything, it probably added some vapor to it, by convincing more that the Courts or in cahoots with the Obama White House to keep the real “truth” about his imagined foreign birth secret from the American people.

The worst thing about the controversy over Obama’s birth certificate is not that CNN’s Lou Dobbs has latched onto the issue for ratings and to make mischief against Obama. Or that others in the media have even dignified the controversy by treating it as if it’s a legitimate issue. The worst thing is that none have connected the dots and seen the birthers as the shock troops to torpedo Obama’s political agenda. Their hope is that by sowing enough conspiracy paranoia about him they can do just that.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report” can be heard on weekly in Los Angeles at 9:30 AM Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and live streamed nationally on ktym.com

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good article, but one question: Where's the birth certificate?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hutchinson,

Did you really say this about the Obama Socialist posters popping up in LA?

"Depicting the president as demonic and a socialist goes beyond political spoofery," says Hutchinson, "it is mean-spirited and dangerous."

http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-obama-posters,0,940643.story

Surely you jest. There's nothing wrong with pointing out that Obama is making the United States look like a bunch of fools while taking us on the path to socialism.

Furthermore, this poster is far less offensive than the posters put out by liberals depicting Bush as Hitler.

Billy said...

I agree 100% with the above statement.

Anonymous said...

Your points would hit home better if you actually used proper punctuation and syntax in your writing. This is coming off as high-school sophomore-level stuff, and smacks of stream-of-consciousness passion. You assert that the "birthers" lied about their willingness to cease their clamor for a birth certificate if provided one, but you never DELIVER on that claim.

Regardless of the merits the birthers might have in demanding a valid document, the case you build is flimsy, petty, and very much in concert with your silly attribution of the perpetrators of the "Obama-Joker" posters in LA.

That you're even regarded as a learned or credible voice is a stunner.

Ryder said...

So what do you have against the Constitution, where it clearly states the requirements for being president?

And finally... HAVE YOU EVER CRITICIZED THOSE WHO ATTACKED BUSH AS MEAN-SPIRITED and DANGEROUS?

If so... WHEN? Because you sure had PLENTY of opportunity to do so.

You know what is dangerous? Jerks that say that free speech is "dangerous". Imagine what you and Obama would be doing "for a living" if free speech was too "dangerous" when slavery was being questioned?

The fact is, you are a partisan hack, and are unable to learn the simplist lessons from history.

Anonymous said...

The birth certificate crap is over the top. His birth announcement was in the local press, difficult, if not impossible to make up. On the other hand, the dangerous comment regarding "Obama=Joker & Socialism" is ludicrous. Mr. Hutchinson: Do ten minutes of research on Google the next time you open your trap. There were plenty of posters equating Bush with Hitler, Evil, and the Devil (AND MORE!), and not once did you open your pie hole and whine for everyone to cease and desist their dangerous activities. They are ALL FAIR and GAME in our political system....

Anonymous said...

Wow - what a ton of whine ! We can't say ANYTHING negative about obama? He's an inexperienced bs artist who somehow convinced 60 million idiots to vote for him. Time will bring him down because he is in WAY over his head. And he IS a socialist, so the poster speaks for itself. You are WAY too sensitive to be in the public arena. Obama is just as much my president (the office of the Presidency) as he is yours - so i'll criticize him all I want, whenever I want. That is my Constitutional right. So, basically Hutch, shut the f**k up!

Anonymous said...

I think it was wrong of the guy who ripped off the AP photo to draw the 'HOPE' posters posted during the campaign and make Obama look like a saint.

Lindsey said...

Earl, What I like best about you is that your not a hypocrite. When Demonstrators at UCLA were comparing Bush to Hitler you came out swinging against them demanding for an apology. Oh Wait, you didn't where the hell were you then. You COWARD

Anonymous said...

Hey Hutchinson,

Are you going to condemn all of the pejorative illustrations of George W. Bush while you are ranting and raving about the new Obama-Joker-Socialism posters making their rounds to America's street poles and underpasses? Probably not because you lack any sense of dignity, balance, respect, morality, and ethics. In short, go f**king play in traffic, scumbag.

Anonymous said...

You state it is 'a lie' that people promised to put the matter to rest if Obama simply produced the original. For your statement to hold any validity, the original would first have to be produced, second, it would have to be presented to these so called 'birthers', and third, they would have to keep this up... why can't you just focus on taking care of point one? And don't suggest the one from his website was real, that is the whole reason why people started questioning this in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I put those posters of the Obamanation up! I am V!

Anonymous said...

I didnt put those posters up.

But I am putting the next batch up.

Gunny G said...

Earl,

I find it hilarious that you're whining about the posters of Obummer in LA. I hope it continues and Comrade Barry gets impeached.

Fraud. Socialist. Idiot. Punk.

BTW, I posted a blog on your bleat about Comrade Absolute Zero.

Anonymous said...

No more controversy re:Birth certificate. The Kenyan BC has been found. And now our dangerous socialist wanna be dictator can be dethroned.
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=105764

Anonymous said...

I see the day coming soon when at least half of America is wearing this image on a T shirt. Hallelujah!

Anonymous said...

I mean the Joker Obama image!

Anonymous said...

Where's the outrage here?

Talk about a joker.

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2008/07/bush-as-joker.html

Anonymous said...

George W. Bush: Comic-Book Villain?

Why didn't you weigh in on that?

"Calling the depiction, politically mean spirited and dangerous."

Anonymous said...

"why so serious?"

Anonymous said...

Is this also "mean spirited and dangerous"? http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2008/07/bush-as-joker.html

Anonymous said...

Biased Racist same same. Why don't you do research before you act or speak. A little time looking into Bush would have showed you that he has been treated far worse. Although, at this pace Obama will soon be the butt of many jokes.

billy396 said...

B. Hussein Obama has earned that image as he is the definition of corruption and Socialism all in one. He has a deep-seated need for ultimate power over ALL things to reside in Washington, D.C., in direct violation of his sworn oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United Staes of America. He has NO Constitutional authority to embark on ANY of his major power grabs, i.e. taking over (nationalizing)auto companies, insurance companies, and banks. The Constitution gives him NO right to twist arms to push bills through the system without even giving the Senators and Congressmen a chance to read what they're voting for. Obama IS corruption and lies.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see your comments about the attached whne this was published in Jule 2008?

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2008/07/bush-as-joker.html

Anonymous said...

Please - if the media had done their job instead of fawning all over the empty suited wonder this wouldn't be a question at all, presuming he is natural born. The American people now KNOW they cannot trust the media and they're quickly finding out they can't trust Obama either.

Suffice it to say, you're opinion is clearly tainted and has as much credibility as any far right bomb thrower. You are clearly a race baiter and, despite how wrong it was - part of you was glad Obama made his idiotic comment about the cop. Of course the American people were against it - JUST LIKE MOST OTHER TIMES IT WAS BS!

And now you come out and say the Obama Joker poster is dangerous, et al? Really, so stating the fact that Obama is a socialist (this isn't an opinion - his name was removed from the YS website AFTER he became a viable candidate) and the depiction? Funny, did it bother you when Bush was depicted as Hitler, the Devil or any number of hundreds of attacks? No, of course it didn't because you're a hypocrite, race baiting, liberal hack who would rather destroy someones credibility than to take a chance on getting destroyed in a legitimate debate - just like Obama.

I'm sure you have a following - like the so called 'birthers' but that doesn't make you right, honorable or even a man - it just shows ignorance is easily fooled and led.

bdcochran said...

Guerrilla art and tagging have no appropriate place in society.

Did the owner of this blog protest guerrilla art when it attacked Bush. If not, he is a hypocrite.

billy396 said...

BTW, why has he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to make this birth certificate thing go away? Previous presidents have had to produce many documents, and with Obama, all we have is his word that he was likes pot and cocaine (when he can afford it). We also have his word that he went to Harvard, and that he NEVER worked with ACORN, yet he wants to give that openly corrupt (proven in more than one court of law)organization hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and power over the census. I think most people know how good and pure Chicago politicians and lawyers are. Why does Obama refuse to provide proof of any of these statements? Previous presidents have done so, what's he got to hide? No (real) birth certificate, no proof of his grades or even his presence at Harvard. And 20 years going to a church where his "mentor" (his words) would openly chant G.D. America from his tax-free pulpit.
Glenn Beck was right. Obama is a racist, in addition to being a Socialist, a liar, and he's in way over his head. He can obfuscate and act like he's a rock star, but he can't give one straight answer unless he's behind his bulletproof glass reading from a teleprompter.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the poster of Obama as the Joker: I don't recall you displaying any umbrage when Vanity Fair did a magazine cover with George W. Bush as the same Joker. Where was your comment abi\out this being "politically mean spirited and dangerous" when that cover was in print? Yet another example of left wing hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

The LA poster is poignant social commentary. I've never seen any reaction to over the top commentary about Bush 43. Political art can be very biting and strike a raw nerve, good art does that.

Of course you want to know the name of the artist so you can attack him and have the FBI and IRS investigate him.

I expect to see "0-Joker" in a Museum someday. Very striking piece of art.

Mike said...

Why didn't you say something when Vanity Fair posted a similar poster of Bush last year? Oh, that was different?

Anonymous said...

Respectfully, I disagree with any notion that there isn't any legs to the story on President Obama's long-form birth certificate because I have been researching this issue for a year now. I heard the story two years ago and initially dismissed it, but everywhere I turn, I cannot get any answers. It appears to me that the only tactic most of the media uses is to dismiss the claim rather than investigate it and I find it also interesting that the word "birther" and "conspiracy" and other statements made by the media to pigeon-hole or discredit people who have valid concerns about this issue.

The main question I ask people who are skeptical (which I am still skeptical) is why would President Obama spend $950K+ defending the release of these records when all he has to do is release an image copy of the long-form birth certificate and/or college records and so forth to put this question at rest? If there is nothing to hide, it is far easier and cheaper just to release the documents and move on.

However, I also find the question to be very confusing as President Obama promised us that we are in an era of responsibility and that he will provide us the transparency that's needed to restore faith in the government.

Where is the transparency?

I personally do wish and hope that President Obama does the right thing as it is in all of our best interests that our President stands up for the rule of law (Constitution) and adheres to his oath of office. Anyone who says otherwise is divisive and counter productive and I oftentimes dismiss them as being part of the problem.

Also, I dismiss anyone who uses the color of one's skin as a means to diminish anyone as President as it is repulsive to think that people play by ignorance rather than looking at one's character and it also marginalizes the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Dream" where we all can be judged according to our character. Like many others, I found President Obama's statements about the arrest of his Harvard professor friend to be quite disturbing as it is the same race baiting nonsense that must end for all people. I speak to this because my family is integrated between many nationalities with Hispanic, Irish, English, German, Polish, Russian, African, and God knows how many other races. You might as well call me a "mut" for skin color to me is such a ridiculous concern that I think people forget that we are all part of one race...the human race.

As far as the "socialism/joker" poster goes, sure it is mean-spirited for it does diminish President Obama and I find the word socialist to be rather inaccurate for President Obama's policies match more of the Communist-Fascist ideology than a simple tasting of socialism. I did not invent these words, I only explain the process by the definition of the words to the actions of the person and thus if President Obama wants to clean the slate of this perception, he must start walking the walk through his very actions.

Sincerely,

Truth

DJK said...

Notice Obari Hutchinson is too afraid to respond to anyone. What a coward race baiter.

Anonymous said...

Earl, congrats on your new book... I am sure that the two people that actually buy it will enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Hypocrite.

I find the Obama joker poster in bad taste, but also found the enormous volume of more vulgar Bush posters in even poorer taste.

As for the Socialist label, OF COURSE, unless you don't have a dictionary to look it up. Not that Republicans haven't also led the country down the Socialistic path, but Obama is on track to do far more damage to this nation than anything Bush ever tripped into.

Who is John Galt? said...

I did not create and post the Obama fliers but I wish I did. He is the most liberal, out-of-touch president we've ever had and his corrupt policies would destroy all that is good in America. He is the embodiment of the racism of Hoover, the failed social policies of FDR, the impotence of Jimmy Carter and the corruption of Bill Clinton. Saying Obama is socialist is an understatement.

Also, you are completely wrong in stating that Obama's comment about him "not looking like the rest of the guys" on the currency was an off-the-cuff statement. Do you homework before blindly backing him. Obama used that line dozens of times at tour-stops.

Why don't you stop blindly following him and do some digging on the corrupt organizations like ACORN or Apollo? These groups formed his Socialist beliefs.

Mike said...

Once again. Why didn't you say something when the same poster was printed last year in Vanity Fair of President Bush? Is it because he was NOT black? It's okay to be demeaning to Bush, a white person, but not to Obama a black person? Same old song and we're getting tired of it.

Anonymous said...

"We have issued a public challenge to the person or group that put up the poster to come forth and publicly tell why they have used this offensive depiction to ridicule President Obama."

I would gladly take the blame for the person or group that put up the poster. I am an American. And I am a Capitalist. We are America, our voice will be heard!

Anonymous said...

Shirts with this logo and the phrase "why so socialist?" underneath can be bought at antiobamastore.com, I saw the drawing there a couple days before the posters in LA.

Anonymous said...

We're not rooting for Obama to fail. We want a good government. Obama said he would change things for the better. He is not. He is a socialist. The majority of the people do not want the socialist programs he wants to do. They don't want the outrageous spending he does. They want the transparency he said he would give and lied about. They want to campaign promises he made to get done. They want to see some documents that they aare entitled to see. They want the lying and deceitfulness to stop. We're not rooting for him to fail, he is failing all by himself.

st0rm1n said...

Obama is the joker! Where is the change? The troops are still dying, the deficit is still soaring, and the health care bill should be called the depopulation bill. Shame on you Mr. Hutchinson, you're a political myrmidon.

BTW - If Obama as the joker is bad why was Bush as the joker not bad?

Here it is:

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2008/07/bush-as-joker.html

Anonymous said...

st0rm1n. That's simple. Bush was white. Obama said we have a long way to go on race relations. No, we don't, they do. I don't have any problems at all with blacks except the ones that think they have something coming to them because there were slaves in the USA 160 years ago. I'm getting tired of the double standard. Do you think for one minute that Obama would have said the cops acted stupidly if the home owner were white and the cop was black? Not a snowball's chance in hell would he. I have lots of black friends and we talk to each other as friends, not whites and blacks.

Anonymous said...

We are a WVU professor family and we are being targeted by the Government. We have two children. We do not know why we were targeted. We are being stalked, our home entered, and we can get no help from police or the FBI. We think the FBI knows about it, or they are doing it. We are being tortured with electronic weapons, and we think we are being used as human test subjects testing gamma radiation. We are going to die if no one can help us. Someone please help us. Call (304) 777-6300 if you know anyone who can help us.

Anonymous said...

earl ofari hutchinson is trying to get his 15 minutes of fame trying to connect himself to the ‘messiah’ and playing politics with the media… hutchinson was contacted by the artist (ME) and made comments to the effect of “no, i have no comment, and i’ve already moved on from the subject… no i’m not interested in pursuing this further.” and from this we know this is a media scam… hutchinson had no intention of doing anything but getting his free pub/opt. i am here to tell los angeles and i’m making public notice EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON you are a LIAR! i call you out… you want to debate me about the obama joker poster? well i called your office, you spoke to me over the phone and yes cell phone documentation can prove that call took place, you denied this whole subject and played off the media and the public in general. i am publicly calling you out sir… whenever you’re ready and you’ve got the guts… my name is edward przydzial.

Buffalo Soldier 9 said...

How do you keep a people down? You 'never' let them 'know' their history.

The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn incident, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn't for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry. Read, and visit site/history, rescue at pine ridge. com

Anonymous said...

http://artistsagainstobama.blogspot.com/