One More Round for the Conspiracy Theorists

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 27 2011 12:02 PM

One More Round for the Conspiracy Theorists

There is, believe it or not, something of a mad dash to get quotes today from the discredited conspiracy theorists who originated the "birther" stuff in the first place. Suzy Khimm talked to Andy Martin , the perennial candidate and serial litigator whom I can't think of without thinking of this.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Advertisement

Martin... says that the birth certificate doesn't put to rest other questions about Obama's past and rise to power. Echoing Donald Trump's recent demands to see Obama's college grades, Martin said he wants to see the "admission files and the transcripts" of Obama’s college years. "The pressure for his college records is going to become relentless," he vows.

Martin says that he also has questions about Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour, whom fringe activists claim is a black Muslim nationalist who paid for Obama's law degree.

Of course, those are not issues that would disqualify Obama from the presidency, as the natural born "issue" threatened to. (It seemed to threaten that, at least, for the people in states introducing birther legislation.)

Byron Tau finds that Phil Berg and Orly Taitz , two of the first birther attorneys are similarly unmoved.

"I think the issue is that he's not any more natural born. I don't care if he releases his birth certificate or whatever," said Berg. "Let's see his records coming back through immigration."

Orly Taitz, once called 'Queen of the birthers' and who was responsible for a number of lawsuits, is verifying the document's authenticity and now believes that the president is using a false social security number.

"In Obama's Selective Service [document], his social security is listed as a Connecticut Social Security number," said Taitz, who has tried to have forgeries introduced into court filings before.

Taitz's 15 minutes of fame basically ended when she crashed and burned in a campaign for California Secretary of State. Berg's ended when he held a much-delayed, poorly attended rally in Washington about this "issue." It's tempting to ignore them again, and I'm certainly going to try. But the crazy, false stuff they said in 2008 and 2009 eventually found its way into the minds of some pundits and legislators, and a lot of voters. They're opinion leaders, in the loosest sense of the term.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 9:19 PM The Phone Call Is Twenty Minutes of Pitch-Perfect, Wrenching Cinema
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.