The flat out wackiness of wingnut’s knows no boundaries. Just as there was an underground conspiracy theory that insisted that the Clintons were somehow involved in drug smuggling along with Bush 41, there is the animating conspiracy of the Obama years, namely that he is not a natural born citizen of the United States.
We have all watched with reasonable schadenfreude as the queen of the Birthers Orly Taitz has been slapped down like an over-active cocker spaniel by federal court rulings. Still the fact that she has been fined $20,000 (a huge amount for a fine) by a District Court Judge has not prevented her from carrying on like the energizer bunny.
The thing is that she is not the only person totally unhinged by this bit of race-baiting conspiracy theory. There is a group called the American Grand Jury. They are the real deal when it comes to wingnuts (accept no substitutes!).
Lest you think that I am exaggerating the wackiness of this group let me just give you the title of one of the posts on their home page:
US Orders Blackout Over North Korean Torpedoing Of Gulf Of Mexico Oil Rig
To be fair they didn’t write the article, they just scooped it up from a website called the European Unions Times. However that did not stop the folks at AGJ from starting their commentary with:
Some people are saying this story is a hoax. We have no way of really knowing as the media has done absolutely NO investigative reporting on the explosion itself.. all they talk about is the spill.. Obama and Homeland Security are hiding something.. why won’t the administration be more transparent on this?
The basis of this group of prize-wining knuckle-heads is that they believe that the 1946 codification of federal criminal procedure usurped the power of the people to form their own Grand Juries and then indict or pass down presentments against anyone they think broke the law. The guy who wrote this bit of really spurious legal reasoning is Leo Denofrio, a retired attorney.
He makes the usual “orignalist” style argument about the intent of the Constitution, and as is par for the course for folks who make these arguments, ignoring the case law that has come about in the last 234 years.
These folks are wicky-in-the-wacky-woo to say the least. What is so troubling is that they are not just confining their lunacy to the internet. Over at Talking Points Memo Zack Roth has a great run down of how one of the AGJ nuts went to his local grand jury, tried to get them to indict the President for treason and sedition. When the GJ foreman basically ignored this request he returned to try to affect a citizens arrest.
Mr. Walter Fitzpatrick was arrested and jailed. That might have been the end of it, but these groups are not stand alone. Many of the Birthers are associated with other fringe groups like the Oath Keepers. If you aren’t up on them, take a look at this post I did a couple of months ago.
One of the members of the Oath Keepers, Darren Huff, was so exorcized by this that he hopped into his truck, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a .45 caliber pistol to go to try to in his words “peacefully resolve the situation”. Though one has to wonder why you need to be armed to resolve a situation peacefully.
From the TMP story:
Huff said he told the troopers: "I can probably think of five different ways to Sunday that you guys have violated [your] oath," by stopping him and trying to temporarily confiscate his weapons. "So the reality is I could place you under citizen’s arrest for doing this. But we’re trying to play nice here."
Huff’s self-congratulatory broadcast was posted on the Crook and Liars website — along with Swensson’s call for volunteers to come to Fitzpatrick’s aid.
But the FBI soon listened to Huff’s broadcast, determined that he had the means and the intent to cause violence, and arrested him. He’s currently under house arrest.
You see the FBI is not taking this insanity lightly. They have been watching folks like Huff precisely because the confluence of Birtherism and anti-government extremism is a volatile one.
The issue here is how well accepted the whole Birther meme is by many mainstream Republicans. It is conspiracy theory at its very best, no amount of common sense or logic seems to penetrate that the President was actually born in Hawaii. I won’t get into motive though I think there is one there, but the fact that this idea can be accepted or at least not roundly denounced by Republicans elected to high office is really dangerous.
George W. Bush managed to steal the 2000 election. He did it with the help of the law and a some really bad reading of the law by the Supreme Court. The thing is once he was president that was it. It was wrong and we suffered because of it, but there was no long term attempt by the Left to delegitimize his office (he managed to do just fine on his own). There were no serving military officers who questioned the validity of his orders nor organized groups tying to use the orginalist arguments to empower their own Grand Juries.
For all the false equivalence in the traditional media between those on the far Left and those on the far Right, there really is not comparison. As this Birther idea stays alive in the Republican Party it gains more and more acceptance as plausible. Republicans don’t seem to see the danger of stoking the fear of nuts and the incipient racism that animates them. The guy who narrated the GIECO commercials was fired when for asking what the Tea Party Express folks were going to do when one of their members killed an elected offfical. Can the time be very far away when we have people like Derren Huff driving from Georgia to Tennessee with guns to resolve a situation?
The floor is yours.