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Birthers, Deathers and silly summer of ‘09

American politics seem to never run out of energy lately. It was once the case that summers in D.C. were the quiet time of politics, the “off season.”

No more. Between the confirmation hearings for Judge Sotomayor and the wrangling over health care this summer, Washington has keep the headlines flowing.

But none of the headlines, with the possible exception of Sarah Palin updates, have been as fascinating, and as silly, as those of the “Birthers” and the “Deathers,” two Republican antics not for serious thinkers.

The Birthers are those who insist that Barack Obama is not legally the U.S. President because, they insist, he was not born in America. And yes, they do know, most of them, that Hawaii is in America.

But they see a conspiracy underlying the 2008 election, one insidious enough to overturn the vote of the people.

They believe, including at least one conservative talk show host, several Republican House members, and endless Internet bloggers, that Obama may have been born somewhere other than US soil, possibly Kenya.

What defense does Obama have against these charges?

Well, he has his certificate of live birth from Hawaii, the only affirmation of birth the state releases.

Ah, but the critics know that this document is not a Birth Certificate.

Apparently a birth certificate certifies an authentic birth, while a certificate of live birth only certifies a birth of a live baby. Having trouble distinguishing the difference? Of course, but that means you cannot be a Birther.

Then there is the Republican Governor of Hawaii who affirms that the original birth certificate is real and does exist.

And there is state Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino who states that Obama was born in Hawaii and is an American citizen.

Convincing? Hardly if you are a Birther.

The conspiracy that the Birthers have “uncovered” must also include the almost genius of Obama’s parents.

They must have known he might someday run for president and need to be an American citizen, so they carefully planted two birth announcements in Hawaiian newspaper to make the birth in Hawaii seem real.

How could they know you ask, that this baby, perhaps born in Kenya would need an American birth certificate to run for the American presidency? Genius, pure genius, thus the foresight to plant the fake birth announcements.

And all Obama has is government documents to prove his birth. Those documents are no more believable, as comedian Stephen Colbert notes, than our fake currency that, nowhere on it, says the word “money,” proving it is fraudulent basis.

The Birthers may be doing double duty as the “Deathers,” a group including at least one Republican congressman, who claim the health care program being discussed will result in your grandmother being told she has to pick her death in an interview with health care deciders.

Charlotte Allen, a conservative commentator says, “Obama is not going to say ‘Let’s kill them’, but he seems perfectly comfortable with the idea that a lot of old people are going to die a lot sooner.”

Republican Representative Louis Gohmert (TX) said “They’ll (seniors) be put on lists and (sic) force them to die early.”

Yes, the Deathers are claiming your Momma will be killed by the government if we accept a new health care plan in America.

It is easy to understand that Republicans, currently fallen from power, seek to find voters to support their causes and vote for them in 2010 and 2012.

But exactly what kind of voter are they seeking with Birthers and Deathers?

Aren’t most of those voters institutionalized?

Jim Crawford is a contributing columnist for The Tribune and a former educator at Ohio University Southern.