Birthers Melt Down
Who’s most qualified to float anti-Obama conspiracy theories?
Last week, we explained the rise of Orly Taitz, a Soviet Jewish emigre living in Orange County, California, and the de facto leader of the “birthers”—those increasingly marginalized people who continue to insist, without a shred of evidence, that Barack Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii and is therefore ineligible to be president. Now, we may be watching her fall: earlier this week, she put in a shrill performance on MSNBC (live, incidentally, from Tel Aviv, where she’d previously lived en route to the United States from her native Moldova) to defend her release of a hoax document purporting to be Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate. She wound up calling the host, David Shuster, a “brownshirt.” (This, only days after she cheerfully compared Obama to both Hitler and Stalin during an appearance on The Colbert Report.)
Then yesterday, Andy Martin, the self-described “Internet powerhouse” who was largely responsible, way back in 2004, for originating the crypto-Muslim smear against Obama, issued a press release with the following headline:
ANDY MARTIN SAYS THE MEATHEAD MEDIA (FORMERLY MAINSTREAM MEDIA) LOVE ORLY TAITZ AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BIRTHER MOVEMENT BECAUSE TAITZ IS AN OBVIOUS CRACKPOT
TAITZ’ LATEST OUTBURST ON MSNBC DISQUALIFIES HER AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF ANYONE, MARTIN SUGGESTS
In his press release, he explained that, while he assumes Taitz must be an excellent dentist “because she was trained in Israel,” she “is not professionally competent” to handle the lawsuits she has filed on behalf of other birthers and “has become an impediment to reasoned discussion concerning the gaps in Obama’s family and personal history.” It does not, of course, follow that Martin is any more capable of lending reason to the birthers’ cause. As The New York Times reported last year, he’s a trained lawyer whose bar admission was blocked after a psychiatrist diagnosed him as having moderately severe character defects manifested by paranoia. He ran for president in 1988 and 2000, and has also made a name for himself as a prodigious filer of frivolous lawsuits, some of which included fairly nasty language about Jews. (“I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did,” he wrote in one.)
We can’t wait to see who joins the circus next week!
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