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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 2, 2011 / 28 Nisan, 5771

Birthers, buffoonery and a sad discourse

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you really, really dislike Barack Obama, his long-form birth certificate, finally proffered in exasperation, is quite simply a counterfeit.

If you are a fan of the president — or even a respectful critic — you are relieved finally to have rid the country of the plague of “birtherism,” the rabid belief that Obama wasn’t born in this country and isn’t constitutionally qualified to be president.

To whichever group one claims membership, one can’t help wondering when exactly we lost our minds.

What are we to make of these crazed factions that become obsessed with conspiracies, unconvinced by facts? Perhaps most important, what is the rest of the world to think of us? Will even third world countries someday (soon) look at the United States and say, “Oh, well, those Americans, they’re crazy, you know”?

(If at this point anyone is offended, please feel free to take full possession of the insult.)

Unfortunately, the plague is not quite spent or conquered. Since Obama issued his “real” birth certificate, which has more information than the shorter “certificate of live birth,” reactions have run the usual gamut. Meaning that many of those who disbelieved still disbelieve.

This is beyond depressing. But also depressing is the cynicism that reportedly prompted the president’s decision to finally address the issue. Why did Obama give in to the charges that he wasn’t a proper citizen?

It is also fair to wonder why he didn’t do it sooner. Perhaps it was a simple matter of not wanting to dignify what was so clearly an accusation of “otherness” that had dogged him since he began running for president. It may have been a simple matter of pride.

Perhaps, too, he felt protective toward his mother, who was only 18 when he was born and probably not quite 18 when she conceived. Even though this was known, seeing it on the birth certificate was yet another reminder. No decent man wants to subject his mother to the kind of scrutiny that was bound to follow by people who do not wish him or her well.

The official reason was that the birth question had become an intolerable distraction. This is surely true, but it has been true for more than two years. Why now? Was it the Trump factor? Did Donald Trump’s trumpeting of the birther issue — loudly and ceaselessly — provide the final impetus?

Yes, obviously. Trump resurrected the birther cause and breathed new life into it. But it wasn’t only to end the debate that Obama sent for his certificate. According to the vineyard, it was also to prevent other Republican candidates from looking sane by comparison to Trump.

How does one make Mitt Romney look like a fringe candidate with the fire-eating, cartwheeling Trump creating the sort of sideshow that makes any other candidate look Rushmorian?

In a saner time, Trump would be dismissed as the carnival barker Obama implied he is. People would have recognized Trump as a self-aggrandizing megalomaniac and put a period at the end of the sentence. Not remotely would his name be followed with this phrase: “who is leading other Republican candidates in polls.”

Which, at the moment, happens to be true. Indeed, Trump is enjoying a resurgence of self-regard, awarding himself accolades for forcing Obama’s hand.

To answer my own question, I honestly don’t know what to make of Trump’s popularity nor of the continuing belief that Obama wasn’t born in the 50th state. Yet even otherwise rational people continue to carry on and react as though facts were irrelevant. Even as the president spoke at a news conference to dispel remaining suspicions, the Twitterverse confirmed that nothing had changed. The conspirators conspired; the rueful rued.

Alas, there is no reasoning with the unreasonable, too many of whom these days seem to self-identify as Republicans or conservatives. This is as Democrats would have it, needless to say, but no one is served by our national descent into silliness. Sadly missing on the Republican side is the leveling voice of the grown-up who will say not only that he takes Obama’s word (and the clear evidence), but that the Republican Party won’t tolerate further discussion. Case closed.

Instead, too many seem satisfied to let the fringe inform the base. We dwell in a time when buffoons are elevated and presidents are compelled to respond to the jester. These circumstances cannot bode well for the republic.

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