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No Birth Certificate? What about no Mouth?

[Satire from Andy Borowitz]

In what might be the most serious challenge to Barack Obama’s legitimacy as President, a new poll shows that one out of five Americans are not convinced that Mr. Obama exists.

The poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, reveals that 23 percent of those surveyed “strongly agreed” with the statement, “I believe that Barack Obama’s birth was faked, just like the moon landing.”

The poll results coincide with the recent rise of the so-called “Exister” movement, a group who believes that Mr. Obama is an optical illusion created by the Democratic Party to raise taxes and bail out banks.

“The Birthers say that Obama’s lack of a birth certificate means he was born in Kenya,” says Jerrilene Rance, a leading Exister. “We believe it’s proof that he was never born.”

Ms. Rance says that while President George W. Bush was criticized for disappearing every August, “Obama is never there to begin with.”

Appearing Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) made comments about Mr. Obama’s existence that only stoked the controversy.

“I’ve spoken to him face-to-face, and I take him at his word that he exists,” he said. “Unless of course I was talking to a hologram.”

At the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs brushed aside a question about the President’s existence, saying that Mr. Obama had “no comment.”

Exister leader Jerrilene Rance offered this response: “The reason he has no comment is that he has no mouth.”



  1. Dave TN wrote:

    Somewhat off and on the subject is that Rosalynn Carter has come out recently with a book about the mental health crisis in this country (Within Our Reach Ending Mental Health Crisis). The more I see and hear these days makes me truly believe we have a problem and that mental issues are suspect. I have been the first to point to lower education, especially since the Red states that are pounding some of these tin foil issues are rated at bottom of the public education, but this has stepped into the land of twilight zone. I live in the south and I see some of the old racial hatred resurfacing, when I confront this they pull out these absurd excuses. It’s as if they know this wrong but need some external reasoning to justify the extreme views, no matter how bizarre it sounds. One last note, I have not heard this “exister movement” approach but I’m sure it will be main stream any day now. It almost makes me want Prozac dumped into the water supply, almost.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    I should have made it clearer. Andy Borowitz is a satirist, and this is a joke. I added the word “Satire” to the original post. Sorry! I guess this is just a little too real!

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink
  3. Dave TN wrote:

    All humor and satire aside, per a recent study ( mental illness strikes one in four adults; it’s actually around 26.2 percent of America’s population per year. Nearly half of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for two or more disorders. The sad thing is that there is medication for a large number of these disorders and it can be controlled. “Most people with mental disorders in the United States remain either untreated or poorly treated,” write researchers in another study. A study done back in the nineties of five countries (U.S., Germany, Chile, Canada and the Netherlands) of 23,000 people revealed we scored worst in how we care for the mental ill, and the US also led all nations in drug and alcohol abuse. This as evidenced by the high water mark of insane politics currently should frighten us, encourage us, and empower us to make changes. These other countries have universal health care and this should be a driving force to push for better healthcare than what we have and we are about to have.
    PS I did get the humor and hope I added to it but I felt a more serious point could be made here in this Addendum , sorry for the delay but it just takes me a long while to hen peck type.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 12:17 am | Permalink
  4. Actually, I was reminded of my college students, who would often read the first part of a sentence/set of instructions, assume that they know what the rest says, and react according to those expectations.

    I’ve given quizzes that include odd side requirements later in the instructions, and graded accordingly. More often, I’ve included an announcement deep in the instructions that the quiz may be worked together, in their small groups. I’ve then had delightful times as most of the class quietly worked, shocked that I’m letting some people talk. When some student finally asks me to shut the talkers up, I’ve responded with “but they clearly read *all* of the directions, which is one of the things I’m trying to teach you to do.”

    So, yeah, I can almost believe the “study,” if the survey was written so as to enable the reader to think they know the rest of the question and so skip reading it.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 4:07 am | Permalink
  5. starluna wrote:

    I agree with Dave that things have gotten so bizarre that an “existers” movement actually seems plausible.

    Dave TN – I just visited TN and found it to be a beautiful state (I’m assuming you are from TN). we didn’t see or experience much in the way of racial antipathy, but we were in Nashville, which definitely deserves its moniker as the Athens of the South.

    With that said, we did watch a little of the local TV news and you could see strains of racial, ethnic, and religious animosity in the stories reported and how they were framed. We did see a few signs on porches when we drove through the smaller towns along the North Carolina border. What’s difficult to know is how widespread the sentiment is. We were mostly struck by the many billboards about abolishing the IRS, the ATF, the Federal Reserve, etc.

    The argument that there may be a relationship between these bizarre claims (birthers, etc) are related to mental health conditions is interesting. I don’t know what the national statistics say about mental health, but I can say that here in MA, the vast majority of our mental illnesses are related to drug/alcohol abuse and depression. Mental illnesses that foster paranoia or similar psychological conditions are still relatively rare, at least here.

    But it’s an interesting idea.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 7:46 am | Permalink
  6. Bert and/or Ernie wrote:

    It may be somewhat redundant to point it out, but the statement I believe that Barack Obama’s birth was faked, just like the moon landing.” is a true statement.

    In logical form
    Barack Obama’s birth was faked -> the moon landing was faked

    by the contrapositive law of logic:
    !(the moon landing was faked) -> !(Barack Obaba’a birth was faked)

    So I admit that I would agree with that statement. 🙂

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 9:20 am | Permalink
  7. Dave TN wrote:

    Starluna hit upon the point of humor I was aiming for. I was alluding to the fact that the same percentage of people with mental disorders closely match’s the percentage of people that think Obama is either foreign born and/or Muslim. I balked at the last minute because I didn’t want to insult people with mental disorders. Their problems seem to be more related to racial hatred, although I typical don’t like generalizations. I guess I have blogging at HP too much; I try to be extremely subtle to slide past the censors. Usually the people there see the humor yet the intended troll completely misses the point. I will try to be more upfront with my comment and leave satire to the experts.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink