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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Truthers vs. birthers.

Jonah Goldberg asks,which is more probable:

Scenario A: The supposedly inept president of the United States carefully planned and orchestrated the worst terrorist attack on American soil in our history. Though “only” 3,000 people died, the plan was to kill many more by simultaneously attacking the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and either the U.S. Capitol or the White House itself on Sept. 11, 2001.


Then there’s Scenario B: An ambitious and extremely clever politician, who has at best been selectively forthcoming about large chunks of his youth, lied about his place of birth so he could be eligible for the presidency.

Now, which one is more believable? For the record, I don’t believe either. But it seems to me the “birther” hypothesis is vastly more plausible than the “truther” hypothesis. Politicians lie to advance their careers. You can look it up. Whole governments rarely orchestrate incredibly complex acts of physics, logistics, and mass murder all the while pinning guilt on others (who boast that they acted alone).

Just for clarification: “Truthers” believe Scenario A. “Birthers” believe Scenario B.

...In July, the popular left-wing website FiredogLake couldn’t let go of the birther bit. One post — titled “The Republican Party is the Birther Party, and it’s dragging them down” — made much of the fact that 28 percent of Republicans, according to one poll, do not believe that Obama is a natural-born citizen. This week, the site’s founder, Jane Hamsher, was disgusted that Jones was “thrown under the bus,” even though he subscribed to trutherism, a view that “35 (percent) of Democrats believed as of 2007.”

Got that? Belief in an implausible conspiracy is a cancer on the GOP. Even greater belief in an even more implausible conspiracy is proof that it’s mainstream.


Anonymous said...

You make a good point, although I'd like to see those polls. Jones did say he did not ascribe to the "truther" hyp. Still others have had to quit past admins for less.

Anonymous said...

I found the poll data:

"22% Believe Bush Knew About 9/11 Attacks in Advance." And yes 35% of Dems. Nutty though this is, it is not the same as your "Scenario A," that Bush "carefully planned and orchestrated the worst terrorist attack on American soil in our history." So, I think you over stated your case.

However, your main point, that there are nuts in both parties and both parties minimize their own nuts while exploiting the other's is correct.

Moneyrunner said...


Look, you have to think this thing through. Assume for the sake of argument that Bush knew of the attacks and could have stopped them. That is the premise of the “truthers.” So they must believe that he had something to gain from allowing an attack to succeed and kill thousands of people to what end? You see, the “Truthers” believe that Bush is a war criminal who was complicit with the Jihadists in killing thousands of Americans and destroying the twin towers, the Pentagon and the Capital.

In other words, he was an accomplice of the Jihadists who carried out the attack.

That is not an overstatement of the case.