What Really Happens When You Demand the President Produce His Birth Certificate?
You get a bunch of outrageous people — very nice people, mind you, but frustrated enough to believe anything about Obama — storming the offices of the attorney general, the secretary of state, and the FBI. At the center of it all was Esquire.com's political columnist, bearing witness to the "birthers" for the conclusion of a two-part series.
Suddenly it's in the air, crackling like heat lightning on a summer day. Maybe it's the big one — the punishment at last, the prophecy fulfilled, the final battle, the covenant broken, all the sermons and scary movies coming true. The years of war and terror have entered America's bones, the economic crash a confirmation, and a decade of increasing polarization a trigger for the most outrageous thoughts, suddenly speakable:
On the left, it's Naomi Wolf calling President Bush a fascist bent on setting up a "gulag," Amiri Baraka asking "who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers to stay home," Katha Pollit writing the American flag "stands for jingoism and vengeance and war."
On the right, it's Rush Limbaugh joking that we shouldn't kill all the liberals because we need a few to remind us what they stand for, Ann Coulter saying her only regret was that Timothy McVeigh didn't bomb the New York Times building, Sarah Palin accusing Obama of "palling around with terrorists."
Then there's Orly Taitz, queen of the "birthers," who brings outrageous thinking to a whole new level. This was her at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot in Kentucky, which I touched on here last week, well before the town-hall tirades took over the airwaves. This was her four months ago, shouting over the gunfire in a thin, shrill voice:
"I am extremely concerned about Obama specifically because I was born in Soviet Union, so I can tell that he is extremely dangerous. I believe he is the most dangerous thing one can imagine, in that he represents radical communism and radical Islam: He was born and raised in radical Islam, all of his associations are with radical Islam, and he was groomed in the environment of the dirty Chicago mafia. Can there be anything scarier than that?"
At the "birther" booth, Taitz greeted her fans.
"I'm so thrilled to meet you," said an Air Force vet named Thomas Fehring, a go-kart engine builder from Cincinnati.
A man named Bill Steiner shook her hand eagerly. "I drove 500 miles from Pennsylvania to meet you." Then suddenly he turned and shouted at the crowd. "If you do not believe that the free-enterprise system is the best possible way to raise the standard of living for everyone, then you're not an American."
I made a date to accompany Taitz and a group of "birthers" on a trip the next day to the state capital, where they were going to meet the attorney general and demand an investigation into Obama's birth certificate. A few minutes later, the man standing in the booth and passing out flyers — Carl Swennson, a computer store owner from Georgia — addressed the gathering crowd. "All right, everybody! If you are from Kentucky and you would like to be a part of a common-law jury to try and indict the usurper, Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama, all you need to do is step forward and we will hold court here today, right now!"
"Speaking truth, brother."
Three people stepped forward.
"Anybody else from Kentucky? All you gotta be is citizens of the state, eligible to vote."
A militia leader named Mark Koernke came forward with a group of his followers, bearded men in camouflage. They fell quickly into an animated conversation. "They got tent cities. It's 1929 all over again."
"Our sales are way down. People ain't buying."
"DHL is shutting down all its air freight. That's like 9,000 people gone."
One of the men edged closer to read what I was writing down on my pad. "Who do you work for?"
"You're from New York City?"
"He's FBI," another said.
The men were also worried about a ban on assault weapons and microstamps on shell casings and a plot by "the globalists" to cut the world population to one billion people. But here's the odd thing: they seemed very cheerful about it — downright thrilled, even, especially when Koernke launched into a speech about guerrilla warfare and when a heavy-metal band called Poker Face struck up a set of songs with titles like "The Illuminati" and "Revolution" (I am the watchman out on patrol / I see the nation crumbling right out of control).
It's like Dostoevsky said: "A man can take pleasure even in a toothache."
And an aching nation is a fine occasion for a party.
Let me be clear: I have no problem with guns (that's me with the M-4), and I love blowing stuff up — as long as we agree to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals and crazies. And Jesus is just fine with me — as long as you keep the Morality Police out of my bedroom.
But that night, back at my motel, the TV news was all about a man named Richard Poplawski, a gun collector who had just killed three police officers because he believed that the cops were no longer able to protect society as a result of the economic collapse. Later it came out that he was also a regular visitor to the Stormfront white-power site, where he posted a clip of Glenn Beck raving about the "FEMA camps" that Obama was supposedly building to lock up patriots come the revolution.
This drove home a scary truth: Ideas can have a body count.
The next morning, I met Taitz in a Cracker Barrel parking lot outside of Louisville. She was joined by a small group of Kentucky citizens, and they were the nicest people you could imagine — warm and welcoming, quiet and modest, dressed as if they were going to church: a tweed jacket for the homeschooler teaching six children, a flowered shirt for the woman who was a delegate to the last Republican convention, a row of medals for the small white-haired man who once commanded a Navy submarine, a white cowboy hat for the pastor of a Children of God church.
"It gets worse and worse and worse," one said. "Did you see Obama bowing to the Saudi Prince yesterday?"
"They financed his Harvard education," said another.
"That's his sugar daddy right there," said a third.
We set off in a flotilla of cars. When we got to the state office complex an hour later, it took less than ten minutes for us to get badges and pass through security. A man named George Wilding, the manager of Kentucky's Public Corruption Unit, led us to a conference room. A few minutes later, we were joined by Bob Foster, Kentucky's Commissioner of Criminal Investigations.
Then Taitz began to talk, and she did not stop for 15 solid minutes: Obama forged this and his campaign forged that and these are his false addresses and here's something very strange that Justice Scalia told her at a book signing and here are the 500,000 signatures collected by WorldNetDaily magazine demanding an investigation...
Finally Wilding held up a hand. "Let me just stop you right there. What applies to Kentucky?"
One of the citizens starts showing him documents. "This is clearly his school record that shows that he was a citizen of Indonesia..."
"I don't understand what that has to do with the Kentucky attorney general's office," Wilding repeated.
"He was on the ballot here in Kentucky," Taitz said.
"That was a federal election. There are federal-election laws. The FBI investigates those. So I believe that your best venue and jurisdiction lies with the U.S. district court and the FBI."
That's when Taitz lost it. "I can see that you are hell-bent on doing absolutely nothing," she said, eyes flaring. "You want to pass the buck."
"No ma'am. I'm trying to follow the law."
"I'm going to the FBI and not only reporting Obama, I'm going to report you for refusing to investigate crimes. You have a duty to investigate those crimes! Why are people paying salary for this whole office of attorney general of Kentucky? To do nothing?"
"I think we're finished," Foster said.
But Taitz wasn't finished. She marched her troops straight over to the secretary of state's office and did the exact same presentation all over again. Then she headed to the FBI to do it a third time. And the whole time, she never stopped talking:
Goldman Sachs runs the treasury.
Obama is a puppet.
There's a cemetery somewhere in Arizona where they just dug 30,000 fresh graves, which wait now for the revolution.
Baxter International — a major Obama contributor — developed a vaccine for bird flu that actually kills people.
Google Congressman Alcee Hastings and House Bill 684 and you'll see that they're planning at least six civilian labor camps.
Google an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about train cars with shackles.
The communist dictator Hugo Chavez way back in 2004 purchased the Sequoia software that runs our voting machines and the mainstream media won't report any of it — not even Fox because Saudi Arabia bought a percentage of Fox in 2007.
This is the stuff that the media never gives Taitz a chance to say because it's so focused on the news hook of the "birther" issue. (And, believe me, this has been merely a tiny sample of what I saw on my road trip this spring.) But this is the stuff that reveals who she really is, and what this movement really is. It's no coincidence, for example, that when Bernard Goldberg told Bill O'Reilly that the real force pushing the birth certificate controversy was Obama, he used the exact same language as Taitz:
But like I said — and this is important to emphasize — all of Taitz's followers seemed like very nice people. Even Taitz had her good side on the rare occasions when she stopped talking for long enough that it could come out. I saw it when she talked about her three sons, or joked about how glad her husband was to get her out of the house. But there was fear and sadness in all of the "birthers," and a sense that things were surely coming to an end. And they were willing to believe anything bad that anybody said about Obama, no matter how or implausible or unfair.
It was pus exploding from a wound.