Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cenk Uygur to The Birthers: "Shut the Fuck Up"


  1. Interesting. I always said Obama was eligible to run, just as was McCain. Cruz appears to be equally eligible, unless he's missing the documents named. Of course, he's renouncing his Canadian citizenship, so that could leave him as a man without a country.

    But perhaps he can prove that he was born a Republican. Isn't that good enough?

  2. Like Greg says, the birthers were after McCain before they were after Obama. If it weren't for this history, and the fact that some of them have already been going after Rubio and Cruz in the conservative parts of the net, Cenk might sway me with his argument. And I'll gladly join him in condemning anyone who jumped on the bandwagon with Obama and doesn't care about the others.

    However, the core group are truly concerned with this issue and have been consistent in going after Republican candidates as well.

    As for Cruz, Go ahead and demand to see these documents. If he can show them, great. If not, then he should step aside and get his paperwork together.

    Finally, Cenk makes a big deal about Obama having a U.S. Citizen mother just like Cruz. This is true, but it misses one potential difference: supposedly, according to Birthers, the statutory requirements in '61 were different from now. I haven't verified this, or when changes were made, but if they were made before 1970, Ted Cruz may be in a different statutory boat. Either way, my understanding is that under previous versions of the law, you either needed both parents to be citizens, or you needed to be born within the US or its territories--hence all of the concern over Hawaii vs. Kenya.

    As Cenk pointed out, the statutes at the time of birth are what we have to look at. We may think they're stupid and need to be changed, but they've got to be followed. So feel free to check Cruz. We've checked Obama's certificate and it seems he was born in Hawaii, so he qualifies under the relevant statutes. And yes, there are conspiracy theories (and always will be) but that's just the nature of our fractious world. Deal with it like everyone had to deal with 8 years of bellyaching about W stealing an election.

    1. "the birthers were after McCain before they were after Obama."

      That is the biggest bunch of bullshit you guys have ever come up with. The birther movement against Obama was gigantic and still lives. McCain was mentioned as an aside, nothing more. And you can bet your ass there will be no attempt to discredit Cruz by those nuts. Why? He's the right color and the right party.

    2. Since when is someone who is mixed race the "right color" to a racist?

    3. Deny it and call me a liar all you want. I got sick and tired of Birther Bullshit replacing real news on some conservative sites that I still don't bother reading even now that they toned it down.

      I know what I saw. Birtherism about McCain. Birtherism about Obama, Birtherism about Rubio and now Cruz. Yes, there will be attempts to discredit either of them that runs. No, those attempts probably won't gather too much steam, not because of racial issues, but because of political parties since some of the bandwagon jumpers on the Obama case will support anyone who runs on the Republican ticket and oppose anyone who runs on the Democratic one.

      As I said before, for the core group that starts the talking every time, this isn't a racial issue. For the others who jump on in varying numbers each time, it's primarily an issue of politics.

    4. Greg,

      Didn't you know--Mike announced that White Supremacists would consider someone like GZ white so long as he'd killed a black person, and would happily accept him into their number.

      The same happens here: As long as you're opposing the black guy, white supremacists will accept you as white and give up their ugly slurs about "mulattoes" and "mongrels."

      What is interesting how these racists accept people like Alan Keyes as white when he opposes mixed race people like the president.

    5. Racial politics gets confusing. I prefer to treat everyone by the same standard.

    6. T., skip the lawyerly bullshit and tell us if you really believe the birther movement against McCain was comparable to that against Obama?

    7. Mike,

      I don't know how I can simplify it much more, but I'll try.

      There's a core group of Birthers who will bring the issue up every time because it is a Constitutional requirement of the office.

      For an example, take Joseph Farah who runs World Net Daily--the Conservative news aggregator and editorial site (lets avoid discussions of the value or bias of the site--that part isn't germane to our discussion here). Farah is of Syrian and Lebanese descent, so white supremacy is out as far as motives. Also, he likes Rubio, yet he was the first person who I heard bring up the Birther issue with regards to him. I don't know if he's on the Cruz thing because I don't visit his site anymore, but it would fit his attempts at consistency.

      In so far as the Birthers want to make sure that the Constitution is adhered to, I agree with them. Frankly, going forward, I think we could benefit from an amendment that would clarify the Citizenship requirements (i.e. Require American citizenship only, dual citizenship must be renounced, require citizenship by one or both parents at the time of birth, or something of that nature), though we have many bigger fish to fry before we spend time on that.

      You asked why the Obama Birther movement was so much bigger. Well, as I said, it was due to politics. Lots of Republicans did not like him because of his policies (some due to principle, some due to him being a Democrat, some probably due to him being black, though I have met few of this last group) and they wanted to get him out by any means necessary, so they pushed the issue. As I said, they're hypocrites if they wanted to see his certificate and don't want to see Cruz' documents. They're not the birther group proper, they're the temporary hangers on--some of the same people joined the tea party movement and appropriated it for themselves--hence Palin's Tea Party connection. (If you went to the early Tea Party gatherings, you would have seen most of the crowd with Libertarian signs that insulted Bush as much as Obama, but the media called them "Conservative Republicans" and reported that they hated Obama. By the second or third round, they were being taken over by establishment Republicans with "Miss Me Yet" bumper stickers.)

      The Obama movement was also swelled by the delay in producing Obama's birth certificate. Now, this delay seems more like the result of a haughty administration saying, "How dare you ask us for that." However, at the time, I even began to question whether it was such haughtiness or if there was something to the conspiracy. No, I didn't become a birther conspiracy theorist, but I toned down the insults at the hypocrites and hangers on because I wondered why they wouldn't just produce the certificate--it seemed like such a simple way to tell the people, "See! Nothing to see here! Go soak your heads!"

      And so, I'd say that the Obama movement was exacerbated by a combination of mishandling in the form of their delay and simple political animus.


    8. Maybe, if Cruz is nominated, we'll see a similar, politically motivated push by the left to check into his documents. I would guess that we won't, however, mostly because of the different approach to the Constitution. What I mean by that is that those on the left typically buy into a "living, evolving document" interpretation that would allow them to view the "Natural Born Citizen" requirement as being less set in stone because it's "a historical anachronism" and that as long as the candidate isn't someone who immigrated as an adult, like the Governator, they're close enough for government work.

      As an example to back up my thinking on this prediction, I'd put forth the above video and Cenk's "who gives a shit" attitude. I don't know that he's thought it through as I laid it out, but I'd guess that his lack of interest in the subject is an outworking of his view of the Constitution just as my view of it says that it's good that Obama showed his Birth Certificate and it would be good for Cruz to show his documents or rectify any paperwork problems (If Cenk's evaluation of the law from 71 is correct then Cruz should be a citizen, but he might need to retroactively deal with any paperwork that wasn't done over 40 years ago--Good luck dealing with USCIS--I deal with them plenty and it can be a real bitch).

      I know this is long for a "simplification," but does it explain my thinking a little better, Mike?

    9. No, that didn't help much.

      The Obama birthers are motivated by racism. Nothing brings out racism like a half-black guy becoming president. That's why the McCain and Cruz birther movements are nothing in comparison and never will be.

    10. Because a half Hispanic is so much better in the eyes of a racist!

      But no, I'm sure you're right and racism can be the ONLY possible motivation for all of the Obama Birthers including the Arab ones, the ones who get their news from an Arab and a part East Asian woman, the birthers I've known who had been Alan Keyes supporters, etc. All Desperate white supremacists!

    11. Your insistence that it MUST be racism and that nothing else I'm saying can be true is the height of pigheadedness, Mike. You insist that YOUR perception of how people on our side think Must be the truth, and no amount of explanation of our thought processes will convince you.

      It's like if I sat here and tried to reinterpret everything you say by filtering it through the idea that you are a Stalinist only pretending to be a modern progressive as cover for your real goal. I'd look like an idiot, I'd be horribly wrong, and I wouldn't be able to predict your reactions or your positions on issues.