Charles Blow Scorches Trump's Birtherism Lies
Only Donald Trump could spend five years spouting conspiracy theories best left to those in tinfoil hats only to become a serious contender for leader of the free world. Most candidates pay immense sums to destroy evidence of their past. Instead, as New York Times Op-Ed columnist Charles Blow deftly points out in his Monday column, "the Grand Wizard of Birtherism" is not only not distancing himself from earlier anti-Obama attacks, but instead trying to convince the American public that not only was he never a birther (despite mountains of television appearances to the contrary), but that he "deserved credit for dousing the flames he’d fanned."
Worse, Blow notes, he has the gall to claim, "“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy.” Let that sink in. Trump spends years telling anyone and everyone who will listen that Obama wasn't born in the United States, then, when faced with criticism, says in a speech, without, Blow emphasizes, allowing questions of elaboration, "“President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.” He couldn't simply stop at one contradiction, but then claims his opponent started it, and that he "ended it."
Trump, as Blow goes on to explain "has a long history of elevating the idiocy of conspiracy theories and normalizing the nonsensical." Just in case we might have forgotten, in the long, terrifying fever dream this election has been, Blow provides, as the late, great, Whitney Houston once demanded, "the receipts"
Bill Ayers wrote the President’s acclaimed, best-selling memoir because surely this black man couldn’t have the talent to write the book. "I think somebody else had a lot to do with that book. I think he wrote the second book, which was certainly not a masterpiece. I’m very good at books, and it certainly wasn’t a masterpiece."
Trump has insinuated that Obama never attended Columbia University. In 2011, Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference that “our current president came out of nowhere” and “In fact, I’ll go a step further: The people that went to school with him, they never saw him, they don’t know who he is. It’s crazy."
Trump claimed in a 2011 interview with Sean Hannity that President Obama was “born Barry Soetoro, somewhere along the line, he changed his name.” Soetoro is the surname of Obama’s mother’s second husband, who she married when Obama was a young boy.
The worst part of this however, and the most chilling point in Blow's column is how devoting so much effort to exposing Trump's distortions means "time and attention that could be put into exposing that Trump’s policies are either paper thin or laughably unworkable are instead diverted to disproving lies which usher forth from his mouth like water from a hose at full throttle."
By the time we're done fact checking conspiracies, there's no time left for evaluating his potential performance for the job. And, as Blow proves, that's exactly how Trump wants it.
Read the full column here.