Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Daniel Larison, with what I think is the most cogent explanation for the persistence of the "birthers" movement:

The insistence that Obama was born outside America, or that he must be in some way foreign, may be the only way for extreme Americanists to account for how someone born here and raised for almost his entire life in the U.S. could come to have views that they regard as un-American and anti-American. Those who have elevated the nation into a sort of church or religion, and those who are most attached to this kind of national idolatry, cannot abide the idea that the President–the secular high priest of their religion–believes what Obama believes (or, just as important, what they imagine he believes). For the Americanist, this is something like the abomination of desolation.

Since the right-wingers who believe in this nonsense are also the kind to defame liberals as "anti-American" or outright traitors, it's only natural that their warped minds would seize on even the most implausible scenario in which a prominent liberal (in this case the President) could actually be un-American in the most literal way possible.

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