- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

COMMENTARY:

Did you know Sarah Palin-haters are still trying to prove she didn’t give birth to her youngest son, Trig? These tinfoil hat-wearers are as obnoxious and unhinged as the Sept. 11, 2001, Truth cultists who insist America engineered the jihadi attacks on itself.

The presidential campaign may be over, but there’s no expiration date on Palin Derangement Syndrome.

Jack Bogdanski, a law professor at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., stirred up Trig Trutherism again this week with a post on his Web site exposing “Sarah Palin’s fake pregnancy belly.” Armed with frontal photos of Mrs. Palin’s stomach, Mr. Bogdanski declared: “The March 26 photo is the smoking gun. There really is no chance that there’s a baby in there who will be born 23 days later at 6 pounds birth weight. And there really is no chance that the child grew so suddenly over the following two weeks. … Sarah Palin is not the mother.” We’re all obstetricians now!

This nonsense began with left-wing Internet rumors that Mrs. Palin was really Trig’s grandmother and was covering up for the “real” mother - her teenage daughter, Bristol. The conspiracy was hyped by the Atlantic’s excitable resident womb-chaser Andrew Sullivan and later amplified by “respectable” journalists like CNN/Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz. As the fever swamps roiled, Alaska TV reporter Cherie Shirey stepped forward to squash the paranoia with a statement to the liberal Huffington Post:

“These Internet rumors are very bizarre. We worked with Gov. Palin many times in 2008. Our reporters worked her on location and in the studio, and I worked with her myself. She was definitely pregnant. You could see it in her belly and her face. The whole idea that Sarah Palin wasn’t pregnant with Trig is completely, absolutely absurd.”

Miss Shirey was ignored. Profile shots of a heavily pregnant Mrs. Palin taken in April 2008 didn’t satisfy the Fake Belly mob, either. The disclosure that Bristol was in fact pregnant with her teenage boyfriend’s child did not quell the insanity. Neither did a health assessment from Mrs. Palin’s personal physician affirming her five pregnancies, nor did contemporaneous hospital accounts of the birth or Mrs. Palin’s accounts of nursing Trig.

It’s only a matter of time before someone accuses Mrs. Palin of planting fake breast milk on her pump.

The plain truth will never mollify a Truther. There’s always a convoluted excuse - some inconsequential discrepancy to seize on, some photographic “evidence” to magnify into a blur of meaningless pixels - that will rationalize irrationality. Mrs. Palin could produce Trig’s umbilical cord and it still wouldn’t be enough.

Alas, Trutherism thrives on both the left and right. That brings us to the spate of lawsuits challenging President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider one of those suits, filed by New Jersey citizen Leo Donofrio, who maintains Mr. Obama is not a “natural born citizen” because his father held British citizenship.

There may have been the seed of a legitimate constitutional issue to explore here - how is the citizenship requirement enforced for presidential candidates, anyway? And at least Mr. Donofrio conceded that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii. But a dangerously large segment of the birth-certificate hunters have lurched into rabid Truther territory.

The most prominent crusader against Mr. Obama’s American citizenship claim, lawyer Philip Berg (who, not coincidentally, is also a prominent Sept. 11 Truther) disputes that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and claims Mr. Obama’s paternal grandmother told him she saw Mr. Obama born in Kenya.

Mr. Berg and his supporters further assert that the “Certification of Live Birth” produced by Mr. Obama was altered or forged. They claim the contemporaneous announcement in a Hawaii newspaper of Mr. Obama’s birth is insufficient evidence that he was born there. (Did a fortuneteller place it in the paper knowing he would run for president?) And they accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being part and parcel of the grand plan to install Emperor Obama and usurp the rule of law.

I believe Trig was born to Sarah Palin. I believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. I believe fire can melt steel and that Osama bin Laden’s jihadi crew - not George W. Bush and Dick Cheney - perpetrated mass murder on Sept. 11. What kind of kooky conspiracist does that make me?

Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.”


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