I have detailed in great depths my distaste for and distrust of the "birther movement,' as defined as those individuals, predominately conservatives, who believe that our President is not qualified to be in that role because he has lied about some detail of his birth, which if known would make him constitutionally ineligible to be President. It is my opinion that all decent conservatives should verbally and frequently distance themselves from the extremes which are hurting genuine conservative ideals and policies.
But while we are in the business of calling out nutjobs who believe crazy things despite all the evidences, let's make sure we are an equal opportunity blaster. Long before the conservative birther movement gain national prominence, a prominent conservative-turned-liberal blogger was promoting a birth conspiracy of a different kind. His "logic" has been dismantled and his arguments debunked, so much so that his editors called on him to stop his insistent "raising of questions" because they were hurting the credibility of their website. He has yet to learn his lesson.
For some reason, Andrew Sullivan despises Sarah Palin. Now, you can disagree and disagree strongly with Palin's political positions. You can believe that she was unqualified to be nominated as Vice President. You can disagree with virtually every choice she has made in her political and even private life, but it is possible to do so without expressing out right hatred for her and her family, especially her children.
Sullivan has been caught in some downward spiral concerning the birth of Palin's Down Syndrome son Trig. He is convinced that Palin was never pregnant with Trig, but that one of her daughters was the real mother. Initially he believed that Bristol was the mother. However, after Bristol became pregnant by then-boyfriend Levi Johnston, it supposedly finally dawned on the now deranged Sullivan that it would be essentially medically impossible for Bristol to have been pregnant with both her son Tripp and also Trig.
Sullivan, after being chided by his editors, placed the story on the back burner of his blogging. Only occasionally bringing it up in crypto-fashion, as if to indicate to his readers that he still believed it but had to play along with his higher-ups.
Meanwhile, Johnston and Bristol apparently ended their relationship with Johnston using his new found "fame" to dish dirt and gossip on the Palin family in order to extend his unfortunate 15-minutes. He has appeared on any show who would let him, trying to secure acting deals and other means to capitalize on nothing more than being the boyfriend of the daughter of a former Vice Presidential nominee.
In one of his recent "tell-all" sessions, this one with Vanity Fair, Johnston alleges that Palin continually tried to convince he and Bristol to let her adopt their son. He added that he believed the governor's motivation was to help her daughter "look good" and avoid the embarrassment of being a pregnant child of a high profile politician.
What was once back-burner has come to the fore-front again for Sullivan, who latches on Levi's unproven and unprovable allegation and re-fires his pet conspiracy theory.
So, according to Levi, Governor Palin was very, very interested in
avoiding embarrassment for her daughter – and a political problem – by
passing off someone else's child as her own and adopting him. This
kid's name was Tripp. But this exercise is called "proof of principle."
If anyone believed that Palin wasn't nutty enough to try to pass off
her own daughter's baby as her own, they need to reassess.
Because we all know, that fame hungry teenagers who have repeatedly said tabloid-esqe things in the past to get and keep their fading attention would never lie or exaggerate the truth in order to satisfy their ever fleeting desire to stay relevant.
Initially, Sullivan declared Obama-birthers to be crazy, etc. Weekly Standard blogger Mary Katharine Ham used that occasion to demonstrate Sullivan's double-standard on the issue. Later, Sullivan did change, somewhat, his previous position. But instead of rejecting Palin-birtherism, he affirmed the calls for President Obama to release his original birth certificate. All the while, he has maintained that this does not mean he automatically believes either conspiracy theory. He is just "asking questions" that the media should be asking.
Here's my question for liberals. Obviously, the birther theories for Pres. Obama are much more "newsworthy" (if that's even the right word for it) because he is President. The Palin theories are not as prominent and discussed as much (except on Sullivan's blog) because she is not Vice President (she's not even governor anymore). But they have been discussed by other liberals besides Sullivan and they would have been (or will be) discussed even more if Sarah Palin had achieved a higher office.
If liberals insist that conservatives should denounce every idiocy of the Obama birthers, should liberals also not denounce the same idiocy all directed at Sarah Palin? Liberals have repeatedly said, and I agree, that hiding behind the "just asking questions" about Obama's birth certificate is trying to pander to the lunatic fringe while maintaining plausible deniability. Should the same not hold true for Sarah Palin's delivery of Trig?
Maybe most of the decent liberals hear do think the whole story about Palin covering for one of her daughters being pregnant (one time, but obviously not the other) is bunk, here's your chance to be on the record with consistently decrying the depths of political conspiracy theories, no matter over which side the black helicopters are circling.