Red-herring birther movement dogging GOP officials

Six months into Obama’s presidency, after scores of embarrassing legal defeats, and even after tussles between the attoneys who’ve turned frivolous lawsuits about the president’s citizenship into full-time jobs, the cottage industry of conspiracy theories about the president’s birth shows no signs of disappearing. The theories have found a home in talk radio and on conservative web sites such as Free Republic and WorldNetDaily. Conspiracy theorists are increasingly sending letters to their local papers, embarrassing members of Congress at town hall meetings, and hounding Capitol Hill staffers about challenges to the president’s citizenship.

Kicker: Ten members of Congress have signed on to a Presidential Birth Certificate bill. It’s true.

Ironically, the ‘birther’ movement began in response to Obama’s own efforts to debunk rumors. One year ago this week, the presidential campaign of then-Sen. Barack Obama launched FightTheSmears.com, a web site designed to push back against false rumors about the first African-American presidential nominee. To push back against rumors that he was not born in Hawaii, the campaign reproduced a Certificate of Live Birth from the state’s Health Department. Instead of terminating the conspiracy theories, that inspired new theories — that the certificate had been forged or that even if it hadn’t been forged it was the sort of certificate that could be given to someone born outside of the United States. But the certificate is specific about Obama’s birth in Honolulu, down to the 7:24 p.m. time.

“It’s crazy,” said Janice Okubo, director of communications for the Hawaii Department of Health. “I don’t think anything is ever going to satisfy them.”

Read more at The Washington Independent, The Colorado Independent’s sister site in D.C.

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