Is it just me or has a fresh wave of stupid washed over Republicans in this country since Obama was elected? First we had the infamous "Tea-Baggers," with their oddly self-humiliating moniker, signs, buttons, and Halloween-style Revolutionary War costumes. There they stood, waving empty teacups, wearing hats, coats, and baby carriers decorated with dangling tea bags, all to protest an economic stimulus plan that would actually lower their taxes and enact a more just taxation on wealthy corporations.
The Birthers. Their kooky claim is as simple as their minds: Barack Obama was not born in America, therefore he is not the legitimate President of the United States. This mindless meme seems an offshoot of the similarly ridiculous and patently false claim during the 2008 campaign that Obama should not become President because he was a Muslim. And a terrorist. And he and his wife hated white people (never mind that Obama's mother was white) and their assumption of the White House would spell doom and death to all Caucasians in America.
But perhaps the scariest thing about the Birthers is the growing acceptance of their racist and flaky theory by mainstream Republicans, some of whom are (shudder) elected officials.
Politico reports that nine congressmen have endorsed a bill in the House calling for future presidents to disclose more information to prove their birthplace. CNN television provocateur Lou Dobbs has questioned on the air whether Obama was indeed born in Hawaii.
Huffington Post reports that Dobbs hypothesized on his radio show that Obama may not be a properly documented American citizen and his presidency could be illegal. "I'm starting to think we have a document issue," Dobbs said. "You suppose he's un" no, I won't even use the word undocumented, it wouldn't be right."
Or the "Agers," who purport that Obama is actually only 27 years old and has fabricated his age on every document -- since birth -- and injects himself with a secret rapid-aging elixir formulated by a coven of Satanic Muslims . . . and therefore he's ineligible to be President?
Wait a minute. I don't want to give them any ideas . . .
While the blithering, batty Birthers are an interesting study, more fascinating is the recent cultural paradigm shift that has spawned this crop of dolts. How did this devolution occur? In a couple of generations we seemed to have morphed from a nation of doers and free-thinkers who prized intelligence and sought knowledge and higher learning to a herd of ditto-heads who scorn anything and anyone who smacks of intelligence and can't form an original thought or opinion if promised a million dollars to do so.
It's hard to determine where to place the blame for the recent public dumbing-down of Americans who call the Republican Party their own. The GOP has notoriously churned out simple-minded puppet-politicians (think: Quayle, Bush, and Palin) who have been manipulated like marionettes by craftier crooks, like Deadeye Dick and Rove the Architect whiletheir so-called "base" out in middle America always remained quietly passive, with only a few, rare public displays of their witlessness (see "Moran Guy" above).
Yes, these conservative mini-minds kept their inanity (and racism) safely tucked away -- for the most part -- during the eight-year-long illegal tenure of the Bush Crime Family. Perhaps Raisin Brain was so blatantly thick as a brick they realized there was no need for further public displays of Republicanbrainlessness. After all, this was a man -- Bush --whose central campaign message was distilled to, "Vote for me, I'm a C student who's failed at everything and the kinda non-threatening, party-hearty guy you'd love to grab a beer with . . . not like that pointy-headed Gore fella who thinks he's so smart."
Ignorant, incurious, the GOP base (spoon-fed Beavis and Butt-Head, Rush Limbaugh, Archie Bunker, and Homer Simpson as role models) wanted the stupid guy to be President, to be this nation's face to the rest of the world. Amazing. This is the penultimate example of their own inanity.
These Neo-Con talking heads, themselves no mental giants, stepped up to the task, massaging the moronic masses with simply-stated messages, promising them that it's still okay to be dumber than a sack of hair because you see, Obama is not a real American. And therefore (shhhhh. . .) America really didn't elect a colored to the Oval Office.
Mentally handicapped from the inception, programmed to mindlessly accept any message fed to them by their leaders, they are more to be pitied than scorned.