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Future Shock: The Conservative Post-Fact World

If you haven't seen it yet, de-facto Birther movement leader Orly Taitz was given some air-time by the good folks at MSNBC. In a few minutes of fact-free incoherent babble, Taitz effectively offered nothing to support her claims, except, perhaps, some high-pitched squealing. To be fair, in conservative circles these days one wins an argument not by presenting the most convincing evidence to support a case, but by screaming louder than one's opponent, so perhaps her strategy is understandable, if unforgivable.

(More after the video)

Taitz's appearance on MSNBC follows closely on the heels of the release of some "evidence" that has the Birthers all a-twitter. It seems that somebody took it upon themselves to generate a fake Kenyan birth certificate to post on the Internet to "prove" once-and-for-all that President Obama is not a natural-born American. But, the forgery was such a piss-poor attempt at creating a believable birth certificate that it is riddled with obvious errors.

Perhaps the most frightening prospect from this episode isn't that Taitz's insane rantings have been taken to heart by so many willfully ignorant and scared (or simply racist) Americans, but that technology has gotten to a point where somebody can make up a fake document and post it on-line where those who don't know what to look for might very well think it is legitimate. In this case, there is a bevy of reputable news sources debunking the Birthers' bullshit, but the door is wide open for the creation of a wide range of forgeries. Virtually any document could be rewritten or re-editied to a forger's liking, leaving it to the viewer to determine authenticity. How long until conservatives create an alternate copy of the Constitution that's more to thier liking? Or any other document (such as a law) or image that they find inconvenient? I mean, what's next - a museum that "proves" that Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs? Bear in mind that there are a number of conservative Republicans in Congress who are proud Birthers.

Of course, the technology exists for anybody to use, so in theory the knife cuts both ways, so to speak, but the modern conservative movement in America has a history of playing loosely with the truth, to be kind. Welcome to the conservative post-fact world.

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