Tuesday, January 04, 2011

"Birther King" to challenge Obama (and America's patience) in 2012

The self-described "king of the birthers," Andy Martin, has announced he will run for president in 2012 and campaign on a mostly symbolic platform aimed more at shaping the debate of the election than actually garnering votes.

Four decades of unabashed anti-Semitism, homophobia, and conspiratorial lunacy have convinced voters a grand total of 15 times not to elect Martin to public office – the most recent attempt being his failed bid for Barack Obama's vacated Illinois Senate seat, a race in which Martin managed to garner a whopping five percent in the primary.

But the "king of the birthers" seems to have finally accepted his fate and learned from his past mistakes. In anticipation of his 2012 presidential run, he has successfully re-crafted his argument, reconstructed his platform and re-packaged his traditionally ignored presence in the national political sphere. In short, he has admitted that the conspiracies about Obama not being born in the United States are illegitimate – even if he hasn't gone so far as to recant his claims that Obama is a Muslim.

"I'm going to have a tremendous impact on the presidential election, not because I'm the frontrunner. Clearly I'm not," he admitted, according to the L.A. Times. "But I'll be driving the agenda in the Republican Party."

Martin doesn't plan to run a strict birther campaign. He plans to run a redefined birther campaign. Acknowledging his change in position since 2004, Martin said he now believes Obama was in fact born in Hawaii. "But," according to news reports, "he believes the White House is blocking the release of the president's full birth certificate because it could contain embarrassing information."

The key term here is "could contain." He's not claiming that President Obama's birth certificate does contain embarrassing information. After failing to convince the American public that Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim Manchurian Candidate bent on destroying the United States by instituting Sharia Law across the nation, Martin is now stepping back and making a more generalized statement about what could be true.

And that is ingenious. He has created an argument that cannot be refuted.

It's like arguing that the world is flat by refuting naysayers who have not personally piloted an aircraft around the globe to verify its alleged spherical shape.

It's like claiming the Holocaust was a hoax because no scientist has yet disproven the theory that Jewish people are born with a genetic disease that makes them keel over dead at the sight of Swastika arm bands.

It's like saying that dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark. Without the evidence, who's to say they weren't?

The reason Martin can make such claims is that the copy made public, and posted on the president's website, is a short-form "certification of birth," not the long-form "birth certificate." The state of Hawaii, Obama's birth place, does not give access to long-form certificates, according to FactCheck.Org, similar to most other states in the union.

Because Martin believes that the officials who verified the authenticity of Obama's original birth certificate are lying, he has therefore opened up the possibility that they are hiding potentially "embarrassing information" from the public.

And that could mean anything.

It could mean Obama was born with webbed feet, that he had extra digits, that he was born with only one eyeball, or that he has an evil twin. Perhaps the real, non-fudged version of the certificate says that Obama's father is actually Frank Marshall Davis, a black activist and alleged Communist, as Martin claimed in 2008.

Or, perhaps the original document reveals that Obama was born at 7:06 PM, instead of the 7:24 PM time listed on the public copy (7:06 is really 6:66 – the mark of the beast and proof that Obama is the anti-Christ).

It sounds ridiculous, but when you establish a frame for an issue that cannot be confirmed or disconfirmed, there is really no way of silencing such insane theories.

If Martin is correct in claiming that he will be "driving the Republican Party's agenda" in 2012, I look forward to an entertaining year – and a landslide victory for Obama.

The Republican Party would be suicidal to run a smear campaign based on some webbed-foot/evil-twin conspiracy theory. That said, I wouldn't put it past 'em.

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