Truthers, Birthers…and Racers


I think it’s time to introduce a new word into our political discourse to designate a very real, and dangerous, group of fringe wingnuts.  We’ve got the “Truthers”, crazies who think that the U.S. government was behind 9/11.  Incidentally, Glenn Beck did the citizens of Texas a real service this past week when he exposed a gubernatorial candidate–a Tea Partier, of all folks–as a “Truther”.  Debra Medina, who has about pulled even in the polls with the sinking Kay Bailey Hutchison (thankfully, trailing Governor Rick Perry by a significant margin), told Glenn that, effectively, she hasn’t really weighed all the evidence, and thus hasn’t reached a conclusion, about whether or not the government was behind 9/11. Thanks for playing, Ms. Medina, but you’re a kook–even if you and I agree on a lot of Tea Party issues.  If you are a “Truther”, or even if you entertain the possibility that they’re onto something, you scare Americans with a brain.

On the other side of the coin, politically, are the “Birthers”, folks who continue to press the idea that Comrade Obama wasn’t born in the United States.  They produce “evidence”–equally spurious to that produced by the “Truthers”–to supposedly buttress their claims.  They deserve to be dismissed as kooks as well.

But there’s a third category of people that ought to be placed alongside “Truthers” and “Birthers”; let’s call them “Racers”.  Keith Olbermann goes to the top of the list of “Racers”, continuing to find racist motives behind the Tea Party movement, for instance, fabricating evidence from his own fertile imagination in the absence of anything approximating proof.  I referred in a recent post to a professor at Atlanta’s Spellman College, who protested a pro-life ad (an ad condemning the genocide of African-American babies) as “racist”.  Chris Mathews “forgot that Barack Obama was a black man” during the State of the Union.  These folks find race in everything; these folks are convinced that racism underlies everything that people (well, conservative people) do.  And so, to Olberclown and his ilk, the Tea Party has to be racist at root–ignoring mounds of evidence to the contrary and choosing to look through their pink-colored glasses and find what’s not there.  Are there racists in the Tea Party movement?  Certainly–just as there are racists in groups right and left all across American society.  Is racism a genuine evil, a terrible scourge on this country?  Absolutely.  Is racism an issue in which America has made leaps and bounds of progress?  Only a fool oblivious to the evidence would argue otherwise.  But is the fact that many Americans are fed up with the economic agenda of the Bush/Obama administration (yes, you heard me) evidence that, because Comrade Obama is a black man, we’re racist?  Preposterous–but not to the “Racers”.  I propose we add that term to our political jargon, because “Racers” deserve exactly as much attention and credibility as “Truthers” and “Birthers”.


  1. Joey on February 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Scientific Polls:

    CBS/Angus Reid, Oct 2006
    53% say that gov’t officials are “lying” in the 9/11 Commission Report – only 16% say they are telling the truth when asked the question “When it comes to what they knew prior to September 11th, 2001, about possible terrorist attacks against the United States, do you think members of the Bush Administration are telling the truth, are mostly telling the truth but hiding something, or are they mostly lying?”
    (LIHOP theory)

    ZOGBY, Feb 2006
    49.3% of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders “knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act”.
    (LIHOP theory)

    SCRIPPS/HOWARD, July 2006
    36% of respondents overall said it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them “because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.”
    (Covers both LIHOP and MIHOP theories)

    911INQUIRY.ORG, May 2004
    63% of Canadians agreed that “Individuals within the U.S. Government including the White House had prior knowledge of the plans for the events of September 11th, and failed to take appropriate action to stop them”. Additionally, 16% of Canadians believe that individuals within the U.S. Government were involved in the planning and execution of the events of September 11th. (47% LIHOP, 16% MIHOP, 63% combined)

    Non-Scientific Poll:

    MSNBC, Sept 2006 up to present
    “Do you believe any of the conspiracy theories suggesting the U.S. government was somehow involved in 9/11?”
    (Covers both LIHOP and MIHOP theories)
    YES: 67%

    Wow, there’s a lot of crazy people out there… Sarah Palin included, since she openly admits that there needs to be an new investigation into 911. I’m sure Glenn Beck won’t ask her about that though.
    I think Debra Medina compared to Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchinson is the better choice as far as the issues that Texans are concerned about. This is a true “David and Goliath” type of gubinatorial race. She’s going up against two career politician Goliaths. I could care less about truthers, birthers, and racers. Those people are entitled to their opinions. I definitely don’t like Perry for his outrageous spending and for his massive land grabs for the TTC and for his Gardisil debacle, and Senator Hutchinson isn’t any better with her votes for the bailout and more liberal views. Debra Medina, despite her views of 911, is the better choice for me.

    God bless

    • Byron on February 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks, Joey, for visiting and commenting, but I hope that most Texans aren’t in your camp. There are things that a person can believe (or fail to believe) that disqualify them from serious consideration as candidates. I wouldn’t vote for a Holocaust denier no matter if that person agreed with everything else I did, because only a certifiable loon denies the Holocaust. And a person running for the office Ms. Medina is disqualifies herself by virtue of that nutty belief, in my book.

      As to the polls, I wouldn’t trust anything MSNBC did–ever. But beyond that, I’m reminded of a attributed to the late Will Rogers: no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

      Finally, there is, I think, a bit of lack of clarity as to the polls; I wouldn’t count nearly every positive respondent as a “truther”. I think there is a decent chance that in a vague way, our intelligence community might have suspected something was up, and that it could have been more diligent in figuring out what, where, and when. That, though, is a far, far cry from the idea that the federal government was complicit in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks; to take that position is to earn the ridicule of decent people, and for a person such as Ms. Medina not to categorically reject that foolishness tells us far, far more about how she thinks and who she is than a mountain of position papers or an iPod full of stump speeches.

  2. Graham on February 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    The funniest birther story is the idea that Mr Obama is Malcolm X’s son:

    Although, it has to be said that once I read that the detective was from the local police, I could immediately guess that the “investigation” into Mr Obama’s birth would be shoddy and its conclusions inaccurate.

  3. Preston on February 19, 2010 at 12:35 am

    So maybe the Brit, Neil Sankey can succeed where the Russian immigrant (from the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic) has failed, bring it on.

    Poor little Birthers (still in denial about their losses), Judge Land and now judge Carter, smack down the crazies (case dismissed).

    Not even “Fake News” Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly believes the crazies, how funny.

    To all the birthers in La, La Land, it is on you to prove to all of us that your assertion is true (TOUGH WHEN YOU KEEP LOSING CASES), if there are people who were there and support your position then show us the video (everyone has a price), either put up or frankly shut-up. I heard Orly Taitz, is selling a tape (I think it’s called “Money, Lies and Video tape”). She is from Orange County, CA, now I know what the mean when they say “behind the Orange Curtain”, when they talk about Orange County, the captial of Conspiracy Theories. You know Obama has a passport, he travel abroad before he was a Senator, but I guess they were in on it.

    In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over the most extreme religious right (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away the rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”.

    I wonder if she is a mail order bride, just like her law degree? She is perfect reporter material for “Fake News”, where unfounded rumors and innuendo reign supreme , unlike a our US courts of law. The way our courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked lies, then, and only then, you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with their so called facts that they present. Let’s face it no one will go along with you until you guys win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. Keep plucking that chicken.

    A lawyer, dentist, realtor and black belt, WOW I must say a JACK of all trades master of none

    I heard that she now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC). She wants to re-establish a family values party.

    I can only hope that Taitz will resist the state collectors that will be hounding her like the “ruff ruff” that she is to collect the $20K.

    We won the election and now these sore losers will continue to spew your hate with lies.

    • Byron on February 23, 2010 at 10:23 am

      Preston, if you’re there, sorry that your comment got stuck into the “spam” box; not sure how/why, but I noticed I had one “spam”, and so I quickly approved your comment. Though I disagree with some of what you say, we are certainly in agreement on the birther loonies. Would you agree with me on the “racers” as well, people like Keith Olbermann who seem to find race in everything?

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