Trump resiles from birther theory but says it is all Hillary’s fault

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, September 20th, 2016 - 88 comments
Categories: International, spin, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

Donald Trump now accepts that one of the most idiotic unproveable falsehoods ever said by by him, and there are a few, is not true. Barak Hussein Obama was born in America and is entitled to be the President of the United States. But Trump is now claiming that Hillary was the original source of the birther theory even though all the fact checking in the world has not come up with a shred of truth.

You have to wonder why it took Trump so long. Obama tried to put him right in 2011 at the 2011 White House Correspondent’s dinner but to no avail.

Various correspondents at the New York Times got stuck into Trump in a way I have not seen the American Main Stream Media do before. Normally they frustratingly report both sides of a story, even if one is true and the other is a lie. But not this time.

For instance Gail Collins said this:

How did we get to this place, people? The big story of the day is that a candidate for president of the United States — a candidate who, according to The Times’s Upshot model, now has a one in four chance of being elected — admits he spent years telling the American people a stupendous lie. And even now, he won’t say he’s sorry.

“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again,” Trump said abruptly and briefly on Friday. This was at his new Washington hotel, which he has been promoting with an avidity he has never devoted to, say, getting his immigration policy straight.

Then Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton had been first to spread the rumor that Obama was not a native-born citizen. This is a lie. A lie that all the fact checkers in the world debunked when he started saying it long ago.

People, I know some of you get very frustrated that news coverage of this election does not begin every day with: “In yet another total falsehood, Donald Trump …” This is your moment.

Michael Barbaro thought it may be a strategic decision to try and improve Trump’s standing amongst black voters which is at extraordinarily low levels. Clearly the only way is up. Barbaro said this:

Much has been made of Mr. Trump’s casual elasticity with the truth; he has exhausted an army of fact-checkers with his mischaracterizations, exaggerations and fabrications. But this lie was different from the start, an insidious, calculated calumny that sought to undo the embrace of an African-American president by the 69 million voters who elected him in 2008.

But for a major newspaper to say that potentially the next POTUS is a liar is a rather unusual event.  Imagine on what he will say about important like climate change policy.  And just remember.  This guy still may be the next POTUS.

88 comments on “Trump resiles from birther theory but says it is all Hillary’s fault”

  1. Manuka AOR 1

    The “birther” nonsense was just one item out of his bag of “magic tricks for attention”. What is really sad is that mainstream media often treats his verbal garbage as if it has some sort of validity. The consequence of the media giving equal weight to his stunts as they do to the genuine efforts of the other candidate is that the 2016 US elections could be called the “False Equivalence Elections”: http://fusion.net/story/341420/the-maddening-world-of-false-equivalence-media-from-a-climate-reporter-who-knows/

    Excerpt: “Climate change is real. But all I’m saying is, what if it isn’t?

    “To help answer this question let’s give equal time and consideration to the views of a climate change scientist and another person who may or may not be some sort of scientist, but who has definitely chosen to refute and/or ignore all the compelling scientific evidence of human-driven climate change with little or no evidence in exchange. Also, they may possibly be not-so-secretly supported by the fossil fuel industry.

    “In other words, a climate change denier.

    “For years, those of us covering climate change have had to, if not abide by, frequently encounter this type of so-called “unbiased reporting” in the name of so-called “objective journalism.” What we’ve known for a long time is that this is really a headache-inducing form of false equivalence—the practice of presenting differing views as being equally valid sides of an argument, even if one side is objectively true and the others are not.” [emph added]

  2. dukeofurl 2

    Gail Collins is a columnist and the piece by Michael Barbaro was called a ‘news analysis’. So its not expected that these items be even handed.
    In general you could say the NY Times covers Clinton with what has been called ‘tough love’ as the controlling family just dont like her.

    • Manuka AOR 2.1

      And yet it is the trumpster who is threatening to sue the NYT, … for “irresponsible intent”: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/18/donald-trump-threatens-to-sue-new-york-times-over-irresponsible-intent

      In a tweet on Saturday night, the Republican nominee for president wrote: “My lawyers want to sue the failing @nytimes so badly for irresponsible intent. I said no (for now), but they are watching. Really disgusting.”

      “Irresponsible intent” does not exist under any standard or doctrine found in US law.

      It is unclear what prompted Trump’s statement. However, the Times published a detailed investigation earlier on Saturday describing how the real estate developer had relied on nearly $900 million in taxpayer subsidies over the past four decades to build his fortune.

  3. Manuka AOR 3

    Trump and Climate Change: http://fusion.net/story/337458/trump-and-breitbart-match-made-in-climate-denier-hell/

    Donald Trump has reshuffled his campaign team, again. While the exact reasons for this latest realignment, in which he hired a top executive from ultra conservative Breitbart News and promoted a senior adviser, remain debatable, one thing is clear: Climate change will be more maligned, misconstrued, and relegated to obscurity than it was even before the shift.

    A Google search for “Brietbart climate change” displays the tip of the iceberg of the site’s extreme views. Top results include:
    “Climate Change: The Greatest-Ever Conspiracy Against The Taxpayer”
    “Climate Change: the Hoax that Costs Us $4 Billion a Day”
    “Climate Alarmists Invent New Excuse: The Satellites Are Lying”
    “1001 Reasons Why Global Warming Is So Totally Over In 2016”

    A venture into the “1001 Reasons…” led to this: “None of the people involved in this scam deserve the merest scintilla of respect. They are pure scum. They have not a single redeeming quality and everything they do is worthless—as I shall not hesitate to remind them from now on.”

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      I agree that Trump has headed down the climate denier road, but let’s be realistic – there ain’t 5ppm of difference between pro Big Corporation Clinton and pro Coal Mining Trump.

      • Manuka AOR 3.1.1

        “.. do you think its a good idea that the President of the United States rejects science and says that climate change is a hoax? “

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Of course, it’s not a good idea, but as I said, there isn’t 5ppm worth of difference between Clinton and Trump.

          • Manuka AOR 3.1.1.1.1

            The person who asked the question above then went on to say,
            “I think that if you look at the issues — raising minimum wage, building infrastructure, expanding healthcare — Clinton, by far, is the superior candidate.”

            That person is Bernie Sanders: 16/9/16: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/09/16/discouraging-protest-vote-sanders-says-elect-clinton-then-mobilize

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Sanders could have mounted a serious left wing challenge to Clinton, and it is a shame that he pulled his punches and let the DNC treat him in such a biased and humiliating way.

              • When exactly did he pull his punches? He kept in the race until the whole thing was over, and hit her pretty hard on her ties to wall street. He wasn’t perfect, but then again, he’s more of a representative with integrity than he is a politician, so I wouldn’t have expected a perfect debate performance.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Jesse Ventura said he spoke with Sanders at a Sanders rally before the Democratic Convention.

                  Sanders admitted to him that if he didn’t get the DNC nomination then he would never run as an independent; he would instead fully endorse Clinton and the Democratic ticket.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    “admitted”

                    An “interesting” choice of word. Jesse Ventura is a credible source now, is he?

                    Smell that rank pile of steaming bullshit.

                  • He said during the primary he wouldn’t run as an independent if he lost. That’s not pulling his punches, that’s respecting that joining the democratic primaries should mean you win or lose as a Democrat, and keeping your promises.

                    Besides, he knows how FPP splits votes and doesn’t want to help Trump win when he won’t have a shot himself. Nobody has even gotten close to winning as an independent or third party candidate yet. Running as a Democrat was the smart move and allowed him to effectively criticise Hillary without being seen as a spoiler.

                    Also, while he may have endorsed her, he also extracted a lot of progressive policy concessions from her in order to do that endorsement. (it confused her people at first because they were expecting to have to bribe him to get him to drop out, but eventually they got the message that his campaign really was about policy, so they offered him policy instead) He won more by losing with grace than he could have by running as an independent, and honestly, if she wins, she’s going to be a one-term President, whether she wins or loses the next Democratic primary. He could make a serious bid to primary her in 2020.

              • dukeofurl

                he lost by 4 million votes to Clinton. Get over it. Thats wasnt the DNC

                And yes he did mount a serious challenge but there is no indication he would have been any different to Obama if elected.

          • marty mars 3.1.1.1.2

            Cv you keep saying the difference is unimportant but it isn’t. Every little bit helps and a denier in charge makes the situation so much worse. That is a fact. All of trumps lies are worthless because he denies reality.

            • Manuka AOR 3.1.1.1.2.1

              he denies reality.
              He is stranger than fiction, even 🙂 http://crooksandliars.com/2016/09/keith-olbermann-points-out-trump-many

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.2.2

              What has CO2 levels done during Obama’s term? Gone up something like 20ppm?

              Both Clinton and Trump are going to be atrocious on climate change but yes, in points, I would give Hillary credit a bonus for talking about it seriously, while Trump needs to get his head in gear and realise his nice Florida properties and hotels are going under water if he doesn’t take climate change more seriously.

              • Manuka AOR

                Oh but he does take it seriously! …When it impacts on his own assets:

                “the man with no fears about drowning coastal communities has, through his company Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland, applied for permission to build “a coastal protection works to prevent erosion at his seaside golf resort in County Clare,” based on… yep… the danger of rising sea levels. We’re talking about “200,000 tons of rock distributed along two miles of beach.” And if permission is finally granted, the result will surely be a “great wall,” a “beautiful wall” that will not let a drop of sea water emigrate onto Irish soil.” Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Rise of the Right and Climate Catastrophe @ http://www.tomdispatch.com/

                • Colonial Viper

                  So tell me what this data point reveals to you about what Trump really understands about the impacts of climate change.

                • TheExtremist

                  “So tell me what this data point reveals to you about what Trump really understands about the impacts of climate change.”

                  It points to Trump being a serial liar, hoodwinking the people of the USA and getting them to follow the tired “global warming is a hoax” while privately shoring up his own assets against a disaster he is pretending isn’t happening.

                  In other words – he is an amoral fucktard.

        • Richard Rawshark 3.1.1.2

          Do you think it’s suitable for the NZ PM?

  4. Meh, I just can’t team for the Dems, especially with Clinton up front. She’s John Key with a ponytail as far as I’m concerned. Maybe if the GOP had selected someone as truly disturbing as Cruz or Rubio I’d consider her a lesser evil. Or if the Dems had done the smart thing and chosen Bernie. But the Democrats didn’t. Because aren’t a left wing party. As it stands, my view on the American elections is, “who is least likely to start WW3?” On that score, there’s only one Putin-baiter left on stage, and she’s not getting my adulation. Doesn’t mean I ‘like’ Trump (or trust him), but there’s one disturbingly common idiocy among most of this year’s primary season candidates which he’s yet to exhibit: thinking he can outsmart Putin.

    • Liberal Realist 4.1

      +100

      CJ, I share very similiar views. While I can’t stand Trump, Clinton is just out right scary! There’s also the risk that if her health is in fact poor as it appears to be, we could be looking at POTUS Kaine.

      The neo-mccarthyism coming out of US Pro Clinton MSM and the her campaign should be a huge (Yuge?) red flag for everyone.

      • joe90 4.1.1

        The neo-mccarthyism coming out of US Pro Clinton MSM and the her campaign should be a huge (Yuge?) red flag for everyone.

        Trump’s spent the past day demonising Syrian refugees, possibly the most brutalised people on the planet, and characterising US citizens who happen to be Muslims as Trojan horses and a cancer secretly plotting to overthrow xtian America who, at the very least, need to be profiled, interned and punished but preferably, expelled.

        And the pro Clinton camp are a neo-mccarthyism influence. Do fuck off.

        • I see where he was coming from. The Clinton camp are claiming their enemies are wrong and evil because Vladimir Putin, and information pointing out that the DNC was organising to block Bernie and emailing around racist patronising comments about Hispanic voters should be disregarded because Vladimir Putin. Any information to surface from the negligently operated home server Hilary used as secretary of state should also be disregarded because Vladimir Putin. And so on, because Vladimir Putin.

          Russophobia, however cynically practiced, is still racism. In the form practiced by the Clinton camp, it is something I am fine with characterising as neo-McCarthyist racism.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Sid Blumenthal, well known Clinton confidante, urged McClatchy DC news editor to investigate Obama’s birth place in 2008

    Meanwhile, former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher tweeted Friday that Blumenthal had “told me in person” that Obama was born in Kenya.

    “During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.,” Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

    “During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.

    “At the time of Mr. Blumenthal’s conversation with me, there had been a few news articles published in various outlets reporting on rumors about Obama’s birthplace. While Mr. Blumenthal offered no concrete proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth, I felt that, as journalists, we had a responsibility to determine whether or not those rumors were true. They were not.”

    Blumenthal, who worked in the White House with President Bill Clinton and later was employed by the Clinton Foundation, could not be reached Friday but said in an email to The Boston Globe, “This is false. Period.”

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article102354777.html

    The actual tweet from Asher is here, and he has kept it up:

    https://twitter.com/jimasher/status/776633213015982080

    • Clinton latched on to the Birther thing, true, and deserves to be criticised for that.

      But she didn’t “create” it by any stretch of the imagination.

    • joe90 5.2

      He’s got Blumenthal’s business card too, so it must be true.
      /

      Well I still have his biz card. So it's his word against mine.— James Asher (@jimasher) September 17, 2016

      https://thebuckleyclub.com/examining-james-ashers-claim-that-blumenthal-pushed-birtherism-dea4e7d27aab#.q85v814b1

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        McClatchy is one of the top tier news organisations which operates out of DC. If the former head of their news bureau makes a claim on record like Asher has, I’d give it some credence.

    • dukeofurl 5.3

      Strange isnt it that you have your ‘birtherism’ beliefs. ie Anything that runs down Clinton MUST be true.

      Did a Clinton advisor promote ‘birtherism’? Emails show only that he pushed other stories on Obama and Kenya
      http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-blumenthal-birther-20160919-snap-story.html
      Blumenthal, whose penchant for spinning dark hypotheses long ago earned him the nickname “grassy knoll” — a reference to Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories — did not work for the 2008 campaign.
      So he did work for Bill Clinton- according to some that means his wife too is responsible for he husbands decisions. Misogyny ?

      Heres what Blumenthal was saying
      ‘“Jim: On Kenya, your person in the field might look into the impact there of Obama’s public comments about his father. I’m told by State Dept officials that Obama publicly derided his father on his visit there and that was regarded as embarrassing and crossing the line by Kenyans for whom respect for elders (especially the father, especially a Muslim father, in a patrilineal society) is considered sacrosanct. Sidney.”

      Gee CV you could for once read more deeply the stuff you promote, especially since it contradicts your revelations

  6. Justathought 6

    Trump doesn’t have an original thought in his head. Everybody knows the dopey innuendo was originally based on a mistake in a bio issued by Obama’s publisher, and that the story was embellished by Clinton supporters when she ran against Obama in 2008.

    Trump, in trying to claim he was first to pick up on it, is just playing Pinnochio.

    Snopes 2016
    “A 1991 literary promotional booklet identified Barack Obama as having been born in Kenya.”
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/booklet.asp

    The Telegraph 2011:
    “Birther row began with Hillary Clinton supporters”
    “The lie that Barack Obama was not born in the US has been fuelled by fringe Republicans — but supporters of Hillary Clinton, now Mr Obama’s Secretary of State, are largely to blame for starting it.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new

    Politifact 2015:
    “It’s an interesting bit of history that the birther movement appears to have begun with Democrats supporting Clinton and opposing Obama. But Trump, and others who have made this claim, neglect to mention that there is no direct tie to Clinton or her 2008 campaign. The story appears to have started with supporters of Clinton, an important distinction.”
    http://www.politifact.com/trut

    Factcheck 2015:
    “Two Republican presidential candidates claim the so-called “birther” movement originated with the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008. While it’s true that some of her ardent supporters pushed the theory”.
    http://www.factcheck.org/2015/07/was-hillary-clinton-the-original-birther/

    “Claims about Obama’s birthplace appeared in chain emails bouncing around the Web, and one of the first lawsuits over Obama’s birth certificate was filed by Philip Berg, a former deputy Pennsylvania attorney general and a self-described “moderate to liberal” who supported Clinton.”
    http://www.factcheck.org/2015/07/was-hillary-clinton-the-original-birther/

    “Philip Berg, a former deputy Pennsylvania attorney general and a self-described “moderate to liberal” who supported Clinton” just won’t let it rest:
    http://www.obamacrimes.com/

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Some of the links you put down don’t exist.

    • Anne 6.2

      Politifact 2015:
      “It’s an interesting bit of history that the birther movement appears to have begun with Democrats supporting Clinton and opposing Obama. But Trump, and others who have made this claim, neglect to mention that there is no direct tie to Clinton or her 2008 campaign. The story appears to have started with supporters of Clinton, an important distinction.”

      Here is a NZ parallel concerning Helen Clark. It was a group of Labour Party members (mostly men but included at least one woman ) who were responsible for starting the ‘lesbian’ rumours about Helen Clark. They were supporters of a right-wing nominated candidate for the seat of Mt Albert at the start of the 80s decade, and it was designed to stop Helen winning the candidacy. It failed by a big margin but the falsehood was picked up by the political right generally and spread throughout the country.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Yes, Trump’s support amongst African Americans is pathetic, but it has also just reached an all time high of 19% on the LA Times/USC tracking poll of 3000 people.

    Clinton is still a staggering +54 in this demographic.

    Having said that, Romney only got 6% of the Black vote in 2012 so Trump is on track to at double or triple that.

    This is one reason that so many more states are now back in play compared to a month ago.

    http://graphics.latimes.com/usc-presidential-poll-dashboard/

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    By the way according to Scott Adams, Obama publicly mocking Trump at the White House Correspondents dinner probably helped to energise Trump going into this Presidential campaign.

  9. This is classic Ailes stuff. Trump is giving white voters nervous about being perceived as racist some cover to vote for him, while reminding the fascists and racists that he was one of the people behind the birther movement, in case they had forgotten. The fascists and racists will forgive him, and praise him as clever for backing off as “cover,” because of how much red meat they know he’ll give them if he takes office.

    And there’s no way it was his idea to leave them waiting covering his sycophants advertising for him and then do a short two-sentence announcement, Trump would have been there on-time to talk and talk because he loves the sound of his own voice.

    Hillary needs to take this buffoon seriously because people think (possibly quite accurately) that she’s a corrupt fake, and he’s now got advisers who he’ll actually listen to who are helping him make sound tactical moves. He’s within range to actually win the election if she doesn’t get her act together.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Real Clear Politics poll of polls now has Clinton 0.9% ahead of Trump.

      So yeah, maybe she should start taking Trump seriously.

      • The sad thing is that all her MSM buddies are running around making excuses about how polls can be unreliable (which is true to a degree) and are ignoring the important part, the trend in the polling, which is showing a significant erosion of her support base.

        This isn’t a traditional election and Hillary needs to stop playing it like one. (Partly because she would lose a traditional election anyway) Both candidates are deeply unpopular so whoever the media is covering loses. She needs to deflect the coverage back onto Trump urgently, or her support will continue to erode.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          Real Clear Politics even has an article up right now entitled Why a drop in polls may be good for Hillary.

          • http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/09/19/why_her_poll_decline_could_be_good_news_for_clinton_131820.html

            That is some serious journalistic yoga going on there. Plumetting in the polls isn’t good news just because you haven’t yet fallen into second place. It’s always bad news, lol.

            The only silver lining here is that Trump isn’t gaining any new popularity, but that’s expected. His strategy is, and will remain, to attack Clinton until she’s less popular than he is, and play low-profile defense to lose as little support as possible while doing so, and hopefully attract as little critical media coverage as he can. That’s not “good news,” and spinning it as such indicates that they don’t understand what’s going on in the election.

            Hillary is the only candidate with significant upwards potential. (and she’s not going to realise it, because it would require her to pivot back left like she did in the primary, and to take measures so she appears less fake, neither of which are things she understands the value of) Trump can only lose or regain voters. Right-wing mode Hillary can only lose or regain voters. Nobody has a realisic chance at any non-voters who weren’t already engaged for these two during the primary process, so it’s all about defense and attack.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Hmmmm, I think Clinton is the candidate with significant downward potential. Trump’s stupid red neck comments, off the cuff BS and prior business bankruptcies are all already baked in IMO. Clinton on the other hand has a tonne of revelations to come.

              Bernie is out campaigning hard for Clinton at the moment, we’ll see if that is enough to bring out the left wing for Clinton.

              • They both have HUGE downward potential. It’s just a matter of who the election ends up being about. If Hillary can get people talking about Trump without being perceived as too negative, she wins. If Trump can get people talking about Hillary, he wins.

                And no, Bernie won’t make significant inroads into the left wing. Clinton has already effectively burned that bridge when she pivoted right for the general election, and would need to re-build it to make gains there.

                edit: It’s worth understanding that Bernie isn’t the leader of the left wing of the Democratic Party, exactly. He was their rallying figure. A lot of them won’t even consider voting for Hillary even with his endorsement. Many of those people are now enthusiastically supporting Jill Stein, while others don’t really see any acceptable option to vote for.

                Some will be persuaded that it’s worth voting for Hillary to defeat Trump, but they’ve mostly already jumped over to her if that argument would work on its own. Hillary would need to pivot much further left than I expect she would ever consider acceptable in order to start winning over the voters who won’t vote or are going to vote Green.

            • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1.1.2

              “It’s always bad news, lol.”

              Not true. The RealClearPolitics report is a specious argument.

              Polls aren’t what wins elections, the actual turnout of your supporters is.

              If the polls show you ahead by a few points, people can be more complacent about voting for you. If the polls tighten, it can increase your supporter’s enthusiasm to get out and vote for you.

              It’s difficult to really gauge the impacts of this, but it’s been posited as one of the factors in the Brexit outcome. There were quite a few people saying “I didn’t vote because I never expected brexit to win”. It cuts both ways of course – brexit may have happened because supporters of it were much more enthusiastic, and when they saw how close the polls were, they could have spurred them on to vote.

              • ….that’s a phenomenon that happens when your opponent gains support and your soft supporters become harder supporters. I would worry that you’re making precisely the same mistake in analysing this US election that RealClearPolitics themselves are.

                My view here is that some of Hillary’s soft supporters are becoming non-voters because they don’t trust her and Trump’s attacks are working for them. And Hillary is not even getting the benefit of the shoring up of her remaining soft support that you’d expect from polling getting close because the media are poo-pooing the very idea that this is going to be a close election. (and it objectively is, both candidates have ridiculous unfavourables, I saw an article today claiming that more US voters believe in the abominable snowman than trust Hillary Clinton. She has so little credibility right now, I’m practically tempted to say the best way for her to grab back her lead is to endorse her opponent!)

          • James 9.1.1.1.2

            You will know thats she’s lost it when she comes out and starts calling the polls Bogus.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.2.1

              Watch for her core campaign team to start spinning its wheels in all directions under the stress.

  10. Scott 11

    I’d ask Trump what happened that caused him to change his mind about it.

    If nothing in particular, then why should we trust his current position is honestly held, and does that mean his previous position was not honestly held.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Trump says he closed the birther issue down once and for all by forcing Obama to produce his birth certificate.

      • Scott 11.1.1

        But he reaffirmed his “doubts” after that was produced, suggesting it was a fake.

      • Phil 11.1.2

        Trump says he closed the birther issue down once and for all by forcing Obama to produce his birth certificate.

        Liar, liar, pants on fire, Mr Trump.

        Obama produced his birth certificate in 2011. Trump was still tweeting birther remarks in at least 2014.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1

          Well, part of that was probably Trump’s personal animosity at being humiliated on nation wide TV by Obama.

          • Phil 11.1.2.1.1

            That makes literally no sense.

            • Scott 11.1.2.1.1.1

              I think CV may well be right in a way.

              I doubt Trump ever really believed the birther rubbish, surely he’s not that stupid. I suspect he just doesn’t like Obama and stirred the pot because of that.

              The Obama speech at the press dinner must have annoyed him even more. Being ridiculed publicly an all. But that came after Trump started strumming the birther banjo – in fact in direct response to his tiny fingered plucking. It might be a reason he continued the tune, but cannot have been the initial cause.

              • dukeofurl

                he was one of the first leading figures to push the birtherism.

                We cant know what was in his brain but lets just look at something he defintely was one of the first to publicly promote.

                • Scott

                  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make excuses for him. Quite the opposite!

                  I suspect nothing has happened that would cause him a change of mind in the past few months. He was deliberately misleading people then, or now. Either way it isn’t good for him.

                  • dukeofurl

                    My take is he still believes it. he is just doing some work ahead of the debates so he can avoid that question better.
                    if hes behind after the debates and before the election he will renounce his previous claim and go back to his claim.
                    Why wouldnt he , there is a big slab of the voters who still think the Kenya lie is true.

                    • Phil

                      there is a big slab of the voters who still think the Kenya lie is true.

                      … and they’re already firmly ensconced inside the basket of deplorables.

                      There would be no benefit whatsoever to Trump if he bought the claims up again.

  11. Richard Rawshark 12

    IF Trump wins it will be more a protest vote against the powers that have and have been, economics, jobs wall street etc, am I not correct?.

    This being why he can say just about anything because of the huge backlash against government? It just doesn’t effect him like it should.?

    If I am right, Donald is perhaps sharper than people give him credit for, in that he understands the climate and that, this is how to win, keep those people hating anything Clinton/Obama Democrat. Keep the haters hating, fuel the fires, seems his actual actions make this look true sad for the world.

    You can probably scrape by with instability in most countries but in the States that is concerning.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Did you see the interview Scott Adams did on the Rubin Report about Trump and Trump’s persuasion tactics? YouTube it. It’s worth watching.

    • There are a lot of things going on with Trump.

      Obviously, there’s the racists, who love his policies about Mexicans and Muslims, and completely agreed with him that a black man couldn’t possibly be American enough to be President, no matter what his birth certificate said. The don’t care what he walks back, they know in their hearts that he’s their guy.

      Then there’s the fascists and proto-fascists. The Republicans have been building them up for a long time, often under law and order or religious disguises. They absolutely love the way he treats protestors, and eggs people on to assault them. They love his loyalty pledges. They love his sloganeering. He would be America’s first openly authoritarian President. (There have been plenty of closet authoritarians, of course, but they had to wrap themselves in the legitimacy of wartime action or faux-democratic language about emergencies) They love that they have a candidate who they can really be themselves around, and they’ll accept some degree of manipulating the media by backing off some of his less popular authoritarian policies, on the basis that once you elect an authoritarian, they’re still going to do exactly what they like.

      Then there is a significant amount of economic vote, but it’s not a protest vote as you’d think of it normally. These are the people who don’t see themselves as racists, but think white people have lost out in America because minorities are no longer being completely oppressed. All they know is that they’re falling further behind and they don’t like it. So they see him appealing to whites, saying he’ll fix the economy, talking up his “businesses” which have at least the veneer of success, and think… “finally, someone will fix the economy for people like me.” This is euphemised into the “rust belt vote.” A lot of these people don’t like to be seen as racist, so this is who he is pandering to when he walks back his birther remarks. He knows he’s not got much of a chance with brown people, so he’s instead going for the “I have friends who aren’t white” vote.

      There are also Republicans who are holding their nose because they really are willing to vote for Anyone But Hillary.

      And finally, there are people who are simply taken in by the fraudster that he is, and think he’s a successful businessman who is (somehow) the better candidate. This is where his vanishingly small black and latino support comes from, for instance. Arguably these people fall into the same category as the rust belt vote, but I think it’s worth seperating them out because there’s no unconscious racism behind their vote.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        This is where his vanishingly small black and latino support comes from, for instance.

        You mean his 19% support amongst Blacks and his 33% support amongst Hispanics, according to the LA Times/USC tracking poll of 3000 Americans?

        That’s “vanishingly small” to you?

        but I think it’s worth seperating them out because there’s no unconscious racism behind their vote.

        Would you characterise them as self hating then? Or just ignorant or uneducated, in their support of Trump?

        Edit – or are they simply gullible rubes?

        • Last I checked he had 2% support among African-Americans. It’s 20% now? I’d be cautious about believing that even while preparing for it to be true if I were in Hillary’s team. I find those numbers hard to believe, but I don’t want to fall into the stupid trap of people who won’t believe what polls actually tell them, either.

          As for why they’re taken in- they’re people who are swayed by emotional arguments. Some of them are actually very smart and think of themselves as rational. (you can see that in the interview with the previous leader of Trump’s latino supporters when he announced he wasn’t endorsing Trump anymore, he was a smart guy who had been taken in)

          Trump knows how to sell things. He is fundamentally a narcissist and a fraudster. They are great at lying, at covering themselves, at talking people into believing them for emotional reasons. This works well with some of the electorate, and I think it’s where his support amongst minorities largely comes from. (To the extent they don’t fall into the “authoritarian” bucket)

          I don’t believe that minorities who support Trump are self-hating as such. They probably think that there are “good ones” and “bad ones.” (this is distinct from people who genuinely DO hate their own races but won’t acknowledge it, but it follows a similar structure. I expect if he does have “self hating” support, it’s from the ABH republicans) They’re good ones, and maybe so are some of the people supporting the other woman. But Trump is only going to go after the “bad ones,” because he’s a sensible guy who understands common sense. You have to be to be a billionaire, right?

          (Not that I actually believe in his claims of his net worth. I expect he likely has less money than he inherited from his father, as almost all his business ventures fail)

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1

            I’ve seen MSM news stories declaring that Trump’s support amongst African Americans was 0%. I think that’s a bit low.

            Also your characterisation of coloured Trump supporters as somehow more naive or gullible is an outlandish – if not racist – undercutting of democratic values.

            Last I looked, “selling” is a core skill required of all politicians.

        • Lanthanide 12.2.1.2

          538 thinks that the LA Times poll has a 6% bias towards Trump built into it:
          http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-leave-the-la-times-poll-alone/

          They have a very unusual methodology compared to other polls, so I wouldn’t trust those numbers when they’re such wide outliers compared to others.

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.2.1

            I’m reassured now that 538 has put their mind to it…?

            • Lanthanide 12.2.1.2.1.1

              Why would you be reassured?

              I’m just pointing out that picking up those poll and saying “see, Trump is doing well” is silly, because that poll is very strongly leaning in Trump’s favour anyway.

              Trump himself likes to tweet that poll, because it’s one of the best ones for him.

  12. RedLogix 13

    Nothing stupid about Trump’s line on this at all. Again you all underestimate Trump and overestimate most people who are pretty much irrational about everything all of the time.

    People don’t vote on reason.

    Trump is an instinctive emotional manipulator and rather good at it. To me it’s obvious. Here in NZ we should all be familiar with it because John Key is pretty good at it too, and we’ve had quite a few years now to get the hang of it.

    Scott Adams named it as ‘pace and lead’, but there may be other ways to model what he’s doing here. Essentially he’s spent a year becoming ‘our man right or wrong’ to a whole segment of voters who feel abandoned by the system (and hijacking an utterly dysfunctional Republican Party along the way). Now’s he’s ‘got them’ … he can lead them.

    More or less anywhere he wants, even if rationally it looks 180 deg opposite to what he said last week. That takes skill and ballz.

    (Oh and I’m still not saying I want to see him as President, but jeeze it’s a close call with the other one.)

    • Absolutely agree with your take on this Red, he is doing this for smart reasons.

      I disagree that they’re his smart reasons, because this walkback isn’t his style. But that’s actually even scarier to me than if it was his idea, because his biggest weakness until now has been that he didn’t listen to any of his advisers. If he’s got people on board who he respects who will steer him in a smart direction, that’s really bad for Hillary, for the USA, and for the world, ultimately.

  13. Pasupial 14

    I was lured to this Fallows piece in the Atlantic mainly by this quote:

    In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” Jane Goodall, the anthropologist, told me shortly before Trump won the GOP nomination. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”

    In her book My Life With the Chimpanzees, Goodall told the story of “Mike,” a chimp who maintained his dominance by kicking a series of kerosene cans ahead of him as he moved down a road, creating confusion and noise that made his rivals flee and cower. She told me she would be thinking of Mike as she watched the upcoming debates.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/10/who-will-win/497561/

    However, there is more further down the article that bears examination in why Drumpf finds it so easy to get away with his lies:

    “People have noted that Trump’s spoken vocabulary is limited,” Brown told me. “His nonverbal vocabulary is quite limited too. He has a relatively small set of go-to expressions.” The fact that they’re so operatic—the dramatically raised eyebrows, the jabbing finger-pointing at the crowd—distracts from how few of them there are, and how they serve as the physical equivalents of Trump’s spoken refrains of “Believe me!” and “It’s gonna be great.”…

    “you almost never see from Trump expressions conveying empathy”—the ability to imagine others’ feelings or pain.

    The payoff in this understanding of Trump’s body language, according to Brown, is that it explains why he can so often say, with full conviction, things that just aren’t true. The large-scale fantasies are not the issue: build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it; bring China to heel with “great trade deals.” Instead the puzzle with Trump is the gusto with which he presents very specific, and thus specifically disprovable, factual claims…

    “When you have a more limited vocabulary of words or expressions, it’s easier to lie,” he said. “Everyone lies, but for people with a greater expressive range, it requires more conscious work, and you’re more likely to give yourself away. With a narrower range, the brain doesn’t have to multitask as much and worry about what the face is doing, which makes it easier to deceive.”

    At the end of the day, it is difficult not to picture certain other politicians when you read this description.

  14. Infused 15

    You might like to watch the latest episode of south park.

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