Let me finish tonight with the defining issue on the American right.
The American right is represented in politics and government today by a coalition of the Republican party and the Tea Party movement. They work together on the general goal of opposing government spending.
It’s interesting where they disagree. It is on this extraordinary discussion of whether the president somehow tricked his birth announcement, forged the newspaper accounts, got the state of Hawaii to issue a certificate of live birth and state officials to insist that he was born on the day and in the city, Honolulu, where he says he was.
Some on the right believe this is a matter of dispute, a matter to be raised in the public and kept there until the President joins them there in a debate on whether or not he is an imposter.
It is hard to know what Donald Trump, the chief provocateur on this topic, believes. In defending his magnificent obsession with the matter, he told Talking Points Memo “people love this issue” and “there’s something to what we’re saying.”
Look, the only essential question here is whether Obama is a natural born American and therefore eligible to serve as President. If you believe there’s a significant question there, count yourself a “birther.”
Trump goes much further. He questions whether the President actually earned admission to the schools he attended, questions why, as he puts it, no one knew him growing up, accuses him of having his best-selling book ghosted by Sixties radical Bill Ayers. To Trump, Barack Obama doesn’t actually exist. His entire biography is a sham, a creation of unknown forces.
Michele Bachmann, whose notions about history - the belief that the Founding Fathers fought slavery, the Lexington and Concord are towns in New Hampshire - suggest a lack of rigorous study - offers a “thumbs up” to Trump’s demand for more documents from Obama.
Sarah Palin, who said once that Ronald Reagan, her hero, went to college in California - certainly a new look at a fellow famous for his mid-western roots - now says “more power to” the man - she - in tabloid talk - calls “the Donald.” She said she appreciates that he’s spending his time on “something that so interests him and so many Americans.”
What an odd world. Trump defends his obsession by saying “people love” this stuff. Palin says “more power to him” because he’s pushing something - quote - “that interests him.”
Is this grown-ups talk? It sounds like kids in a daycare center talking about why they like different games.