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Birtherism was almost in the grave, but only three weeks into his term, Hawaii’s newly elected Democrat governor Neil Abercrombie is scheming to resurrect it. Birthers, who claim Barack Obama was not born in the US and is therefore ineligible to be president, work entirely to President Obama’s benefit, diverting his opponents into dead-end conspiracy mongering. While publicly distancing himself from Abercrombie’s efforts, President Obama can only be thrilled at the opportunity to portray his opponents as tin foil hat-wearing lunatics.
As Obama’s hero Saul Alinsky once wrote: “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.” And Abercrombie’s Alinskyite maneuver is already working: popular Internet site Mediaite cheers, “When Hawaiian governor Neil Abercrombie rekindled the dying embers of the birther fire today, the media leapt up like starved piranhas to nip at the scrap.”
Governor Abercrombie was part of the same early 1960s University of Hawaii Marxist student clique as Obama’s parents, Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham. As he likes to say, “I was here when that baby was born.” Abercrombie’s wife, UH Prof. Nancie Caraway, was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America National Feminist Commission in the mid-1980s. Caraway’s 1991 book, Segregated Sisterhood, is dedicated to Abercrombie and to former Communist Party member Bettina Aptheker, among others. Abercrombie denies ever having been a member of the DSA, but several editions of the DSA organ, the Democratic Left, describe Abercrombie as a “DSAer Democrat.” Former Abercrombie aide George “Skip” Roberts is the long-time DSA representative to the Socialist International. In Congress, Abercrombie was for 20 years an ineffectual backbench member of the DSA-allied Congressional Progressive Caucus. For much of his career, he co-chaired the House Gym Committee. Now he is the Governor of Hawaii.
Perhaps hoping, Abercrombie implies Birtherism could be the end of America, telling one reporter: “More than demonization — this is self-evisceration of politics. Empires fall and countries fall when that takes the place of discourse.”
But contrary to appearances, Abercrombie is a birther’s dream come true. With Hawaii governed by Abercrombie–someone who is cast in a key role in their conspiracy theory–birthers no longer have to explain how it is the previous Republican Lingle/Aiona administration insists that Obama’s birth certificate is accurate. The loop is closed and now Abercrombie is portrayed as covering up his UH-Manoa comrades’ 50-year conspiracy to hide Obama’s “true origins.”
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