In today’s American Thinker, James Lewis says Americans have to stop being so polite and start calling crazy ideas by their true name. Alan Keyes manifestly agrees:
Regarding Keyes’ points, I have a couple of my own. Keyes is 1000% (yes, I meant 1000) right about the economic and border insanity that Obama is trying to foist on the American people. He’s right about the fact that, even for a pro-abortion type, Obama exists on the extreme, brutal edges. He’s right that this way lies madness and that we have to speak out about this craziness.
But then there’s the birther issue, which occupies the middle third of Keyes’ talk. Certainly Keyes has something of a point. While we all know that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, Obama’s unwillingness to make available substantive documentary evidence about his birth, childhood or education is stubborn verging on weird.* The absence of smoke here is so unnatural that it almost seems to prove that there was a fire.
As for me, while I’m perfectly willing to accept that Obama was born on Hawaii in 1961, I’d just like him to be more forthcoming about his past. It’s Obama’s reticence, not his mysterious place of birth, that bugs me.
Having said all of that about Obama’s closely kept secrets, however, I absolutely do not want conservatives to go down the birther path. I don’t mind that various committed individuals are working in a low key way to discover what’s going on. First of all, there’s nothing in a free country I can or should do to stop them. Second of all, if they turn up nothing, there’s no harm and no foul as to the larger conservative movement, while if they turn up something . . . well, that would certainly make things interesting.
The problem remains, however, that for the conservative movement as a whole being a birther looks insane. And sadly, while we conservatives are too polite to call the ideas animating the Democrats crazy, they have no such constraints. Every media outlet will cheerfully use the birther issue as proof positive that we’re mad as March Hares — and that being the case, all of our ideas must be discounted.
Nor will anyone out there be amenable to the concept, well known in probate law, that a monomania, even a patently ridiculous one, is not an indicator of insanity. In probate, even if a man is convinced that all dogs are actually agents from Venus who are planning an attack on earth, that isolated fact is irrelevant if it can be shown that he understands the nature of his estate and the identity of his heirs.
Being tetched as to one thing does not necessarily mean being tetched as to all things. Once conservatives look insane, though, no one will take seriously their sane views on the economy, national security, immigration, etc. Giving the birthers free rein will consign conservatives to that part of the dust bin of history in which the crazy people live.
Giving up on this point is not just a matter of placating the press. There are real virtues to appearing sane on the issues of imminent importance — the ones that affect voters’ pocketbooks. Our manifest rationality will highlight the fact that Democratic policies function effectively only in an alternate university, one in which (a) a broke government can spend its way out of debt; (b) government control of health care doesn’t mean that citizens abandon privacy and quality, and are instead subject instead to scary rationing and personal control; and (c) the bad guys of the world, rather than having their blood lust inflamed by groveling weakness, are instead assuaged and pacified by that same submissiveness.
One other pragmatic points is the fact that, even if Obama is kicked out, we still have Biden, Pelosi, Reid and Al Franken to contend with. Nothing changes, but the insanity increases. How much better, then, to focus on the rational world where the outcomes are real, and the effect on the American people profound.
That’s all, except that I have to end with an appropriate song:
*As I understand it, although I’m very willing to be educated, the Hawaii short form birth certificate Obama has made available is not an original document showing his birth. Instead, it is a contemporary document (the type face alone proves that it is a modern, not a historic document, not to mention the code at the bottom, showing it to be an official form created in 2001) reflecting a bureaucratic reality: In 1972, Hawaii did away with its former practice of issuing two types of birth certificates, one of which reflected actual births and one of which retrofitted off-island births. In other words, the current document does not tell us what the facts were on the ground in 1961. As of 1972, all those birth certificates were merged into a single on-island category.
(Click on image to enlarge)