[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Funny. It was just a couple of weeks ago that Bill O'Reilly was making fun of anyone who would buy into the Birther conspiracy theories. Now that the Donald Trump candidacy has had a couple of weeks to ripen into a really fetid mess for Republicans, O'Reilly has decided he's down with it.
On Wednesday night, he devoted his opening Talking Points Memo segment to plumping up a Trump candidacy without a single mention of Trump's ardent adoption of the Birther conspiracy theories.
O'REILLY: Well, I don't even care about the Birther stuff. Because it's inconsequential. It really is. Because that's an issue that's not going to affect anybody.This is just gobsmacking hypocrisy, of course: O'Reilly has declared that anyone who adopts the 9/11 Truther conspiracy theories is vile and beyond the pale: He attacked Rosie O'Donnell for holding those views -- she was being "hurtful" and "grossly irresponsible" -- as well as Charlie Sheen and other figures, including Van Jones (who didn't even actually adopt the theories).
And of course, the Birther theories are every bit as offensive, hurtful, and grossly irresponsible. But hey, they don't mean anything ... because it's a right-wing candidate who likes to talk tough like O'Reilly, so he's good with that.
It's true that the Birther controversy at a certain level really is meaningless, because it has zero grounding in reality and is not going to affect reality directly in any way. (Sorta like the 9/11 theories.) But that doesn't mean that a public figure's embrace of them is meaningless. Especially when that person is running for public office. Especially when he's running for the presidency.
Because it's a powerful demonstration of that person's judgment -- or rather, the complete and utter lack thereof. It means that they are stupid, gullible, and wantonly, willfully ignorant. Even more disturbingly, it means that the people who support him eagerly embrace that ignorance.
Actually, Donald Trump reminds me of a half-dozen different bosses I have had over the course of my lifetime. You know the pointy-haired boss in Dilbert? That guy: So gorged on his own certitude he becomes utterly uncaring about how well informed he is regarding issues he's making command decisions about. Like the way he was completely stumped about the right to privacy the other day. And like those pointy-haired bosses, he just pulls crap out of ass and hurls it with extreme certitude and then thinks that he won the argument.
Donald Trump is the pointy-haired boss on steroids. The only people I can imagine dumb enough to vote for him are Tea Partying Republican base voters. Not to mention Bill O'Reilly and Andrea Tantaros.