Jonah Goldberg lands some solid blows against the Left’s knee-jerk defense of Van Jones here, but contrasting the travails of our dearly-departed green jobs czar with the conservative establishment’s response to the “Birther” movement is not a flattering comparison. Goldberg’s own magazine published this error-filled, birther-inspired screed that cites, among other things, the guy who circulated the Michelle Obama “whitey tape” rumors last fall. Several prominent Republican lawmakers also seem to have bought into the “Birther” fantasy, and the party’s major organs continue to cynically use sites like World Net Daily for fundraising instead of straightforwardly disavowing this nonsense. Nuts like Joseph Farah are, of course, kept well out of sight around the cameras, but when it comes to shaking down donors, the “Birthers” are fair game.
Look: we can play “gotcha” every time some high-ranking guy on the other team is exposed as a closet nutcase or another poll reveals that about a third of each party believes some seriously crazy stuff. Alternatively, both political establishments can take some responsibility for policing their own crazies and disavow conspiracist nuts on both sides of aisle. If this means enduring cries of “elitism” from the likes of The Other McCain, so be it; I can think of few other mutually-agreed upon cease-fires that would have a similarly uplifting effect on the public discourse.
On a more trivial note, Goldberg argues that “Birther” beliefs are inherently more plausible the any 9/11 conspiracy theory. I think I’d agree with this if not for the number public smack-downs the Birthers have managed to ignore. I mean, how many forged Kenyan birth certificates do we have to debunk before the World Net Daily crowd gives up and goes home?
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