Limbaugh at Birther Ground Zero
Nice catch by Andrea Nill — Queen’s Medical Center, where Rush Limbaugh is being treated after experiencing chest pains yesterday, happens to be a crucial location in the birther mythos. A UPI article mistakenly identified that hospital, not the Kapi’olani Medical Center, as the birthplace of Barack Obama. And even though the article was corrected, the “no one can say where Obama was born” myth has persisted. (This is often how conspiracy theories work. Many 9/11 conspiracies are based on flawed information from articles that were published in a hurry on the morning of the attack.)
I’d add that Limbaugh played a pivotal role in elevating “birtherism” from the very far fringes of the discourses into a sort of dog whistle for right-wingers. On his Oct. 23, 2008 show, Limbaugh responded to the news that Obama would travel to Hawaii to visit his grandmother on her deathbed by speculating whether the candidate was trying to cover up the truth about his birth certificate.
Who announces days in advance they’re rushing to the side of a loved one who is deathly ill but keeps campaigning in a race that’s said to be over, only to go to the loved one’s side days later? See, I think this is about something else. You know what’s really percolating out there? I’ve been laying low on this because it hasn’t met the threshold to pass the smell test on this program. This birth certificate business, this lawsuit that a guy named Philip Berg filed in Philadelphia in August for Obama to produce his genuine birth certificate and he still hasn’t replied. You’ve got a deathly ill grandmother, you are going to rush to her side a few days from now, when you first announced this, you’re going to rush, you’re going to hurry, you’re going to make tracks, you’re going to get over there because you don’t want your grandmother to die before you got there like your mother did, but somehow you keep campaigning, you take three days to get over there, if he’s left yet, and this birth certificate business, I’m just wondering if something’s up. I have no clue, and folks, I’m telling you, this has not reached the threshold until now, and it’s popping up all over the place. There are a lot of people now that are starting to speculate and be curious about this.