A Funeral Oration for Joe Bob Birtherism
April 28, 2011 8 Comments
Why do I not title this post the more musical “Death of Birtherism”? Because President Obama’s release of his long-form Certificate of Live Birth did not, strictly speaking, kill Birtherism — anymore than Communism died with the disintegration of the Soviet Union or JFK assassination conspiracy theories died with the publication of the Warren Commission Report.
Birtherism simply suffered a fatal blow yesterday, subject to Whac-a-Mole resurrection by people with time and strange inclination to conceive new layered conspiracies about conspiracies.
Nevertheless, we properly gather for the funeral to pay our last respects to Joe Bob Birtherism (and mumble privately what an ass he was while alive). Herewith, then, my Shakespeare-inspired respectful eulogy to Joe Bob Birtherism upon his timely demise.
“Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your minds. I come to bury Joe Bob Birtherism, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with their bones. So let it be with Joe Bob.
“The noble MSNBC has told you, repeatedly and with strange enthusiasm, that Joe Bob was ambitious. If so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously has Joe Bob answered for it. But MSNBC is honorable.
“When the unknown Obama leapt into strange and sudden prominence in the struggle for our country’s leadership, his party’s opponents wept, and Joe Bob Birtherism was born, weeping himself.
“Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. Yet MSNBC says, repeatedly and with strange enthusiasm, Joe Bob was ambitious, and MSNBC is honorable.
“Just yesterday, the word of Joe Bob Birtherism might have been a sound and a fury signifying nothing, and now here he lies, merely signifying nothing.
“And yet if I were to stir your hearts and minds against the rampaging obsession with Joe Bob by MSNBC, I would do MSNBC wrong, because MSNBC, as you all know, is honorable.
“Joe Bob was loved most well by MSNBC. Joe Bob had few friends at the ignoble Fox, and many at the noble MSNBC. And now I must pause for a moment because my breaking heart is in that coffin with Joe Bob, along with the large heart of MSNBC and its daily chorus of Joe Bob celebrants. Forgive me for a moment…
“My countrymen, Joe Bob Birtherism is dead. We, the great callous majority, might have wished it a swifter and less painful end.
“But such is the genuine affection for Joe Bob by the noble MSNBC that it desired nothing so much as Joe Bob’s steady companionship. However weak and frail Joe Bob became, however pocked with the war-torn marks of conspiratorial ravage, MSNBC well and truly loved Joe Bob, and wished him an eternity.
“Now we bury Joe Bob, taking solace in both the end of his suffering and the certainty that his memory and his progeny will thrive at MSNBC.”
P.S. One of the items uber-Birthers have seized upon as suspect in Obama’s long-form Certificate of Live Birth is the “II” in Obama’s name, because it should have been more probably “Jr.” My name is Gordon Kendrick Macdowell II. Turns out my parents just didn’t like “Junior,” and didn’t want to risk me being called “Junior.” The improbable “II” is therefore evidence, to me, of authenticity — and endearing as well.