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Birtherism is all over. There's the true believers -- mainly from the South, and nearly entirely from the Republican base. There's the politicians trying to dodge that base. And there's the strategists and hangers-on trying to milk that base while giving themselves a thin bit of plausible deniability themselves.

I was linked to this post from the arch-conservative National Review's Mark Steyn. Quoting the majority of it:

Re: Andy on the Birth-Certificate Business

Kevin, you're right re the Kenyan citizenship. At the time of his birth, Barack Obama was the son of a British subject — like every American president up to Martin van Buren. I believe, under certain interpretations of Britain's revised nationality law, President Obama would qualify as a "British Overseas Citizen" — for whatever that's worth (unlike most other countries, where it's merely a rhetorical term, Britain has literal and official categories of third-class citizenship). [...]

Do I think he was born in Hawaii? Yes — if only because the alternative is way too audacious (to use an Obama-ism) to contemplate.

But do I think there's something on the long-form birth certificate he doesn't want us to see? Yes. That would seem entirely likely — and consistent with his modus operandi.

As for the alleged "kookiness" of birthers, a true conspiracy theorist would surely believe that Obama deliberately started the birth-certificate business in order to make it easier to dismiss his opponents as deranged.

So if I'm reading this right -- a challenge, since reading NRO is like trying decipher ancient hieroglyphs -- Mark Steyn thinks he's definitely a citizen, but his secret, "real" birth certificate might have potentially embarrassing information on it, like that he changed his middle name to "Hussein" but it was originally something far more unappealing, like "Hitlerpenis". So he should still release this other, "secret" version, just to prove he's not hiding something.

And I presume if he doesn't, we'll have to hire Ken Starr to launch a multiyear investigation into what this terrible secret thing is that Obama's been hiding since he was five minutes old. Because, you know, that's just the sort of thing that gets Republicans all hot and bothered.

As for the "son of a British subject" stuff, I'm not even getting into that. That sounds like the world's biggest wankers reaching way down in the idea barrel for stuff to wank about.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 02:00 PM PDT.

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