Inside the Capitol

Thursday, August 06, 2009

8-10 Conspiracy Theories Abound in Crazy Times

Syndicated Columnist
SANTA FE -- In these crazy times, at least a couple of conspiracy theories have prominently raised their heads.
One of those theories maintains we never went to the moon. Our astronauts landed in the Nevada desert and walked around trying to avoid telltale signs they weren't on the moon.
There was much celebration last month surrounding the 40th anniversary of the first moonwalk. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration wanted to toot its horn but was hampered by not being able to locate its footage of that moonwalk.
That gave the conspiracy theoritists cause for much celebration. "See, what did we tell you?" Fortunately news networks had prints but the damage was done.
Conspiracy theories about the government often result because of government blunders. The great debate about a flying saucer crash in Roswell in 1947 was caused by the government quickly changing its story about what happened. And changing it again 50 years later.
Or maybe those weren't blunders. Maybe government officials are laughing about how well their story about space aliens so successfully covered up the testing of advanced aerial vehicles at White Sands Proving Grounds.
Something similar may be happening in regard to President Barack Obama's unwillingness to produce a certified copy of his original birth certificate. In 2001, Hawaii converted its birth records from paper to electronic.
That electronic record is not good enough for some people who wish Obama had not been elected. The president could request a certified copy of his paper birth certificate, show it to the world and the controversy would be over.
Why does he choose not to do what would be so easy? My guess is he thinks it is to his advantage to have an element often associated with the Republican Party running around the country filing suits and producing bogus birth certificates from Canada, Australia and Kenya.
I imagine Obama laughs whenever he thinks about it. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs appears to be stifling a laugh every time he is asked about it at a news briefing. And it isn't the uneasy laugh of someone worrying how much time is left before the world learns the awful truth.
It appeared the "birther" issue would become the theme in town halls held by almost every member of Congress during the August "district work period."
At an early town hall, a birther asked a member of Congress why he had not challenged Obama's citizenship. When he began his answer, she began reciting the pledge of allegiance and much of the audience joined in.
The incident was publicized widely. Members of Congress prepared for the worst. President Obama probably laughed again.
But the worst was not more birthers. It was a well organized national effort to disrupt town halls by yelling questions about the health care bill pending before Congress.
Whereas birther questions can be directed at both Republicans and Democrats, the health care demonstrations are directed at Democrats who have voiced support for the health care bill.
This is a development sure to stop all laughing in the White House. They can't stand and watch town halls disrupted by people bussed in to raise havoc.
There is nothing unlawful about the disruption effort. It would be difficult to ban people from outside the congressional district. Former President George Bush required town hall attendees to present an invitation. But that won't work for members of Congress.
The Obama team is the best group of organizers ever. It will come up with something but it is up against a health care industry that is spending $1.4 million a day to prevent change from happening.
There are more than four weeks left in the recess. It will be fascinating to see what happens.
All this is leading up to what is sure to be the hardest fought general election ever next year.
MON, 8-10-09

JAY MILLER, 3 La Tusa, Santa Fe, NM 87505
(ph) 982-2723, (fax) 984-0982, (e-mail)



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