Something fun for a Saturday.
Obama's release of his long form birth certificate has gutted support for the Birthers. In conjunction with the one two punch that was Obama's order to successfully rid the world of Osama Bin Laden, the Tea Party New Right GOP is on their heels. While fun to watch, the Birthers will evolve and continue on to other silliness. Their party will continue the freak show as the Republicans try to select a challenger from a pitiable field of contenders for the 2012 election.
Some (if not most) of the Birthers will follow Trump's racist lead and become obsessed with the President's school records--you know the fix was in for that black guy to be voted head of the Harvard Law Review folks. Others, desperate to deny the President any success, will spin elaborate fictions where Osama is still alive and hidden away somewhere; Obama strategically waited to kill him as to find the most politically expedient moment to hurt the Republicans; and the most desperate and partisan will not rally around the flag, but instead will find a way to question Obama's leadership and role in the decision to send Seal Team 6 to double tap Bin Laden's melon.
The paranoid style is an old script in American politics. History tells us that the Birthers and the Deathers will eventually fold into the lunatic fringe--to the degree they do not already overlap. But, conspiracy-talk and the propensity of people to practice and believe in it, signals to important ebbs and flows in the collective political subconscious. Oftentimes, the root problem that breeds a belief in conspiracy theories is either a sense of powerlessness or a feeling that the world is changing. Thus there is something existentially "wrong" with it. Consequently, a need for explanations--however ridiculous--becomes necessary to resolve cognitive dissonance and to find parsimony in one's understanding of reality.
I love a good conspiracy theory (thank you Art Bell). For example, I am highly suspicious of the official accounts of the events on 9/11 (Operation Northwoods anyone?). The moon landings occurred, but I have not heard a compelling explanation for why we have not returned (perhaps we never left?). The National Security State is real: the panoptic moment occurred decades ago. Military technology is at least two to three generations ahead of that generally known to exist by the mass public (just what was the secret weapon alluded to by Bow Woodward on 60 Minutes a few years ago?)
In thinking about the Birthers and Deathers my thoughts returned to David Icke, one of my favorite practicioners of the conspiranoid craft. He melds the frightening truth of the global power elite with a carnival barker's style. There are aliens afoot, Planet X is coming, and the world is not as the common man understands it to be.
I wonder how how the Deathers will bend their worldview to fit into Icke's vision?