Wingnut on Wingnut Crime: Farah vs Commentary Mag.

Wingnut on Wingnut Crime: Farah vs Commentary Mag. February 10, 2012

Pop the popcorn, kids, it’s wingnut-on-wingnut crime time again. Jonathan Tobin of Commentary magazine is taking Joseph Farah of the Worldnutdaily to task for claiming that Sen. Marco Rubio could not be president because, while he was born in the United States, his parents weren’t both citizens. This is the exchange that Farah recently had with Sean Hannity:

“[Sen. Marco] Rubio’s not eligible,” Farah said.

“What do you mean?” host Sean Hannity asked.

“You’re going to lose 10% of the Republican vote because he is not a natural born citizen. We’ve been through this with Obama now for four years,” Farah explained.

“I don’t believe that. I don’t think that’s going to work,” Hannity said.

Of course, Tobin manages to say some dumb things even while blasting Farah:

Hannity is, of course, right. This bizarre attack on Rubio won’t work because Rubio was born in Miami and therefore is a natural born citizen of the United States and ten percent of Republican voters aren’t nuts. But this exchange illustrates just how deep-seated the virus of conspiracy mongering is in our political culture. After eight years of crackpot lies about George W. Bush and 9/11 that was followed by three plus years of Obama birth certificate lunacy, we have now arrived at a point where “birtherism” is a bipartisan form of insanity.

Well, no. Birtherism is not bipartisan, it’s almost entirely confined to the wingnut spectrum of things. There are a few people who are both birthers and 911 truthers, like Phillip Berg, but they are very rare. 911 trutherism can be found on both the extreme right and left, but birtherism is pretty much exclusive to the extreme right. But yes, Farah is utterly full of shit about Rubio.

Farah ought to know. He’s spent much of the last few years promoting myths about Barack Obama not being an American citizen though there was never any rational reason to doubt he was born in Hawaii. Even after the Obama birth certificate was produced, Farah stuck to his wacko guns and predictably claimed it was a forgery.

But though Farah is a conservative of a sort, his “birtherism” is bipartisan as he is now backing the notion that both Rubio and fellow Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal are not eligible for the presidency or vice presidency.

The fact that a nut like Farah is willing to apply his birtherism in a bipartisan manner doesn’t make that insanity bipartisan in nature. Being a consistent lunatic doesn’t mean his lunacy is shared by lots of others on both sides of the left/right divide.

Farah, naturally, responds to this by accusing them of wanting to censor him:

What’s the magazine’s solution for people like me – who disagree?

Ban them from the airwaves.

“Farah’s attempt to cast doubt on Rubio ought to be a warning to responsible media figures to be wary of inviting him or any other birther onto their shows,” the article suggests. “Along with the 9/11 truthers, the birthers need to be quarantined and confined to the fever swamps of political insanity, where they belong.”

I guess there are just some things Americans can’t talk about openly and honestly any more in America – without getting viciously attacked from the right, the left and the center.

It’s the exact same strategy used by every internet troll who ever got banned from a forum or blog — “You’re just so afraid of my Eternal Truth that you want to censor me!” But the reality remains, in both cases, that the First Amendment doesn’t mean others have to give you a platform to express your idiocy, it only requires that the government doesn’t prevent you from expressing it.

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  • Zinc Avenger

    …ten percent of Republican voters aren’t nuts.

    Sounds about right to me.

  • Chiroptera

    Well, to be fair, I would have expected people like Farah to come up with some ad hoc excuse why their birtherism shouldn’t apply to their favored candidates.

    Or maybe there’s something in Rubio’s or Jindal’s overall “agendas” that Farah takes with?

  • d cwilson

    But though Farah is a conservative of a sort,

    This makes think about something, especially since it’s CPACmas right now. I really have to wonder how the 10% of republicans/conservatives who aren’t nuts are thinking when they find themselves in a conference where the vast majority of people in it are barking mad.

    It’d be like a dentist accidentally walking into the wrong conference room at the hotel and instead of a presentation about a new root canal technique, everyone is talking about their experience being anal-probed by the Roswell aliens.

  • d cwilson

    Or maybe there’s something in Rubio’s or Jindal’s overall “agendas” that Farah takes with?

    Rubio is still a teaparty darling and Jindal was considered an up-and-comer among social conservatives until he floundered in his SOFTU response.

    In Farah’s case, I’m willing to attribute his motives to pure, naked racism.

  • Chiroptera, Farah only supports candidates who have a mustache that can defeat his in one-on-one combat.

    He hasn’t supported a candidate since Doug Henning passed away.

  • anandine

    ten percent of Republican voters aren’t nuts.

    I’d like to see the evidence for this. It seems like many fewer than 10% are not nuts. It seems to me that voting Republican is a character fault, and voting Republican enthusiastically is a personality disorder.

  • Bipartisan birtherism: Falsely accusing all non-white people of both parties of not being natural born citizens.

  • fastlane

    anandine @6: I guess that depends on how you define ‘republican voters’. I know a lot of people (myself included) that are registered as republicans, but rarely vote for them. I’ve maintained the registration while living in KS, since even the candidates whose platform would make them a democrat in every sense would often run as a republican. (I suspect this often had to do with the general ignorance of the voting population, and trying to take advantage of that by hoping they’d get enough votes from the people who vote a straight party ticket and just guess on the names with an R next to them…).

    Now that I’m living in WA, I might just finally register as a D. =) Or maybe an independent. I don’t know if WA has open primaries.

  • spamamander, hellmart survivor


    Sadly, we don’t. You have to be registered to a party and only vote in their primary, which is a big reason I’m not registered with either. The mail-in ballots are nice though, no worrying about getting to the polls on time!

  • a miasma of incandescent plasma

    getting viciously attacked from the right, the left and the center.

    OK, let me try to explain this very slowly.

    If you get attacked by only the left, or only the right, then you have probably found a common-ground with others, let’s say the side that ISN’T attacking you. Same with being attacked from both extremes but supported by the middle, let’s then call you a moderate.

    But if left, right, and the middle are all attacking you for something, you might want to re-examine your beliefs.

    That’s not indicative of a poisionous political culture, it just means you’re proposing something that’s really dumb.

    I call it the “Let’s Re-establish Slavery” test. If what you are proposing is met with the same reaction that a re-establishment of slavery proposal would be, you should probably just stop and sit down. Seriously. Just stop.

  • Ace of Sevens

    General rule: conspiracy theories about corporations are left-wing. Conspiracy theories about foreigners (immigrants and the UN, mostly) are right-wing. Conspiracy theories about the government or specific religious organizations are bipartisan. Birtherism is pretty solidly about immigrants.

  • Midnight Rambler

    In Farah’s case, I’m willing to attribute his motives to pure, naked racism.

    I don’t think it’s just racism. Though that’s the main root of their hatred of Obama, the thing about Rubio and Jindal is that in their desperation to find some way that Obama can’t possibly be a citizen, Farah and the remaining birthers have fallen back heavily on the argument that a “natural born citizen” means someone with two citizen parents, which they claim as distinct from a “native born citizen” who was simply born in the country. Having invested in that, even they recognize that they can’t claim it applies to Obama and not everyone else. The thread on this at has several thousand posts and is still going on, like an everlasting turd of stupid.

  • John Hinkle

    I guess there are just some things Americans can’t talk about openly and honestly any more in America – without getting viciously attacked from the right, the left and the center.

    Well yeah, “Americans” can talk about those things. Especially on that popular bastion of righteousness, the place where no other media outlet prints the ultimate truth, the shining star on the hill, the Delphi of Oracle, the Cross of the uh, Roads, the um prophet of um the foreskin fathers – I mean the forefathers… of America… well, supplies are limited to North America… where was I?

    Oh yeah! You can talk “openly and honestly” all you want on WND! Don’t you own that place, Herr Farah?

  • exdrone

    There are a few people who are both birthers and 911 truthers

    What’s wrong with that? After all, it is a fact that people all across the US on their way to work on 9/11 were diverted to holding camps and replaced by look-alike illegal immigrants. Think about it. Have you ever seen your neighbor’s birth certificate? Huh? Huh? Enough said. … Good news. As the last “provable” natural born US citizen, you may end up being the next POTUS by acclamation.

  • longstreet63

    Hmm. I just noticed that this business is just the old Jim Crow Grandfather Clause dressed up in new duds.

    If you aren’t eligible if both parents were not citizens, then no African-American can ever be president, because they can never have been natural born citizens–because their fathers cannot have been, because their fathers cannot have been, etc.

    Of course, it actually would apply to everyone whose direct line of ancestry did not include two residents of the United States at the adoption of the Constitution.