I’m going to state what I think has become obvious to many of us over the last few weeks. The recent decision by those in the media to bring the “birther” controversy to the forefront of national discussion is not because the Right somehow wishes it so because of the Left’s continuing obsession with it.
There are numerous reasons why the Left is obsessed with it. The first one is because it allows them to discredit their opponents on the Right as mere extremists who are not worthy of listening to. They know that they cannot win in an honest debate, so they assault our intellectual integrity instead. It matter not that we do not actually believe such a conspiracy, we are guilty by association.
James Kircher has written an absolutely superb opinion piece on this subject at the NY Daily News. He points out:
It is not Obama's right-wing opponents, however, who are devoting the most attention to this obscure, Internet-driven "movement," if one can even use that label to describe such a paranoid groupuscule. Rather, it's liberals, bent on portraying their conservative opponents as extremists - and changing the subject to help a President under increasing scrutiny for the substance of his policies - who are driving this story.
They are scared that we conservatives are actually winning the debate, so they bring this previously obscure and internet-confined issue to the forefront because it is much easier to call your opponent crazy than it is to actually debate them.
The other reason why they are trumpeting this issue so loudly is because it can be used to divide us. They know that those of us on the right who do not believe such a conspiracy theory would rather it merely go away quietly. They are hoping to exploit this by distracting the Right with its own internal quarrels so that we will be too busy to counter their agenda.
The next lie the left is trying to spread about the birther movement is that officials in the Republican party are somehow behold to it. As Kircher points out, the Left has tried numerous times to get Republican congressmen to say they believe in the theory, and each time, they have no success. He says:
Making the rounds in the propagation of this meme is a deceptively edited video produced by far-left Web site FireDogLake, in which an interviewer chases Republican congressmen around the Capitol asking if they believe Obama is a natural-born citizen. Some respond in the affirmative while others ignore the questioner, and it is this latter handful that liberals have proffered as evidence that the GOP is "fearful" of disparaging its "birther base."
But the refusal of Republican congressmen to answer questions from a Michael Moore wanna-be is understandable; public figures are frequently accosted on the street by crazy people and amateur propagandists wielding cameras. In fact, it was later revealed that one of the supposedly fearful Republicans running from the camera's glare was a Democrat late for a vote.
Don't tell that to the birther-obsessed left. "The video makes clear that the Republican Party is captive to their conspiracy theory-mongering base all the way up to the top," wrote left-wing blogger Jane Hamsher. It shows no such thing of course…
Later on, Kircher goes on to point out something I said earlier, calling your opponent names is much easier than actually debating them:
Far from seeing these charges as any sort of real threat to Obama's legitimacy, liberals report every outburst of the birther brigades with glee - because they derive maximum political benefit from stirring up the story as long as possible. Why debate the intricacies of a massive overhaul of the nation's health care system when you can conflate principled conservative critics of the program with a bunch of nutty conspiracy theorists?
They understand as well as we do that this, in truth, has no real chance of discrediting Obama or his legacy, but they propagate it because it serves their Machiavellian purposes, namely by intellectually discrediting and dividing us when we have better things to focus on.