Birth of the Birthers

Conservatives are taking a lot of flak for the so-called birther movement, which alledges that Barrack Obama was not born in the United States and hence is not legally able to be president. Presumably, if this were to be proven, Obama would be removed from the presidency and arrested, or at least spoken to harshly and given a copy of the home game or something.

Well, despite cries of falsified birth records and tales of anecdotes of Obama’s birth in [insert third world country here], Obama has presented a valid birth certificate, and is in fact the president. Birthers ignore this and demand higher standars of evidence, and the Left ridicules all conservatives as being birthers.

Apparently, however, the birther movement has its roots on the Left, not the Right. John Avalon, author of the book “”Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America” traces the origins of this hoax:

But there’s an inconvenient truth liberals are going to have to confront: The Birthers began not on the right, but on the left.

Investigations for my new book, Wingnuts, revealed that the Birther conspiracy theory was first concocted by renegade members of the original Obama haters, Party Unity My Ass, known more commonly by their acronym, the PUMAs. They were a splinter group of hard-core Hillary Clinton supporters who did not want to give up the ghost after the bitter 50-state Bataan Death March to the 2008 Democratic nomination.

Avalon names Clinton supporter Linda Star as generating the birther story.

After Clinton’s concession, Starr turned her attention to Obama. “I determined that I was going to start digging up every bit of dirt that I could find on him,” she told me after I hunted her down in late 2009, “and that hopefully that I would find something against him that would convince the Democratic Party to dump him and make Hillary the nominee.”

In the first week of August 2008, as the Democrats were getting ready for their convention in Denver, Starr called Philadelphia attorney Philip Berg and offered a challenge. Berg recalled the conversation for me: “She called me up and said, ‘Have you heard about Obama not being national born?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ She said, ‘Well, now it’s for real, and you’re the only attorney in the country with brass balls enough to sue Obama.'”

If the names of Star and Berg sound familiar, they should. Star was the source that provided Dan Rather with a fabricated document in 2004 involving Bush’s service in the National Guard. Berg is an attorney who attempted to sue president Bush for complicity in the 9/11 attacks.

So the worst that the Right has to offer, came from the Left. This shouldn’t really be a surprise, since apparently the claims that Obama is a Muslim that appeared before the 2008 election were also connected to the Clinton campaign.

Hat Tip to The Volokh Conspiracy Conspiracy and NewBusters

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