Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birth Pangs

National Review has an almost sane editorial today that, although enshrouded in a multitude of caveats meant to dispel any possible momentary belief that they may be approving of any of his actions, makes clear that they recognize that he, indeed, was "Born in the U.S.A."

The unsigned op-ed, which still manages to impute questions about his biography, letting the faithful know that even in that realm, their not giving away all of their cards, manages to get one good line in among the protective bombast (which even attempts to normalize the Birthers through citation of questions about Chester Alan Arthur's putative Canadian birth):

The director of Hawaii’s health department and the registrar of records each has personally verified that the information on Obama’s birth certificate is identical to that in the state’s records, the so-called vault copy. Given that fact, we are loath even to engage the fanciful notion that President Obama was born elsewhere, contrary to the information on his birth certificate, but we note for the record that his mother was a native of Kansas, whose residents have been citizens of the United States for a very long time, and whose children are citizens of the United States as well

In any event, the Review's action is only politically wise, as the patent iron clad conspiracy theories of the Birthers prevents their only slightly less distorted usual positions from being visible. This is a case of a typical technique (factual distortion that incites and draws the masses) done both too poorly--too easily seen as absurd even by the analytically unskilled--and too well, drawing attention away from the mischaracterizations and inaccuracies that can be more easily passed over on the public.

There's health care to distort and mischaracterize--let's not muddy the waters with the more obvious fallacies of the Birthers.