A reader pointed me to a Salon.com story on Sarah Palin’s comments (an effort to bring the stupid birther conspiracy movement back into the public spotlight). Since she burst onto the national scene with a well-delivered speech at the Republican convention last year, the former governor of Alaska has been using the politics of fear to spark all kinds of conversations about people palling around with terrorists, the birther movement and the deather movements. Losing on the issues, right-wing extremists were left to scare white people (constantly bringing up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright), scare old people (that they will be put to death), scare parents (your Down Syndrome baby could face a death panel), scare Americans (constantly bringing up William Ayers) and more. Here is a good excerpt from the Salon.com story that brings some interesting points to light:
Palin is, of course, wrong to say that the public is still “rightfully” bringing up the issue — it’s been answered again and again at this point, and there’s no doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii. But she is right about a couple things: For one, whoever the Republican nominee is in 2012, they won’t “have to bother to make it an issue.” It already will be, if not one discussed explicitly by the campaign and its surrogates, because so many Republicans already have doubts about the president’s birthplace. The fact that Palin and other mainstream figures, like Lou Dobbs and Tom DeLay, have indulged the Birthers doesn’t help matters.
Palin’s also right to draw a parallel between the conspiracy theories that surround Obama’s birth and the one about her son. The two are equally nutty. You’d hope, however, that going through that experience would teach her that it’s an awful thing to happen to anyone, regardless of political party. Instead, her attitude seems to be that the two wrongs somehow make a right.
That is a great point. All kinds of ugly rumors were spread during the campaign about her as they were about President Obama and his family. Yet, it seems Palin has not learned much from the ugliness that has targeted her own family. Palin continues to help the effort to mainstream the idiotic and already-debunked birther movement by pretty much irresponsibly endorsing it as an issue worthy of discussion.