Friday, April 15, 2011

Birtherism And The Death Of Decency

Why did Michele Bachmann take the birther pledger in February? Donald Trump in March? Sarah Palin in April? Here's one possible reason:
Only 38% of Republican primary voters say they're willing to support a candidate for President next year who firmly rejects the birther theory and those folks want Mitt Romney to be their nominee for President next year.
Being a birther isn't like disagreeing with Barack Obama on the budget or even calling him a Muslim or socialist. These prospective candidates are accusing him of stealing the presidency by means of felonious fraud. Do they really believe it? If not, they've demonstrated their own unfitness for the job. The stability of the presidency is a vital U.S. interest. Proclaiming to the world that our president holds his office illegitimately strikes me as an unpatriotic act if the accusers don't believe it and are just saying it to seize power themselves.

So I'll be interested in what reporters can learn about how and when Bachmann, Trump, and Palin decided to take the pledge. Here's one hint. Trump's friend and adviser Roger Stone attributes the tycoon's recent success in the polls to his tilt to the birthers and pro-lifers:
The strength Trump is showing in horse race polls is less a function of Republicans admiring him due to him being a prominent successful businessman and job creator - qualifications Trump has not yet exploited - and much more a positive reaction to all his conservative rhetoric in just the last few months.

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